Author Topic: Temp in the cave  (Read 1188 times)

Offline Estes

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Temp in the cave
« on: February 12, 2009, 05:26:24 PM »
Hi everyone.
I am a long time reader but first time poster here.
I am relatively new to cheese making and having a great time.
I would like to make a Swiss this coming weekend, but I have a question about temperature when aging.  Most recipes I have read state that it should be aged at 45 degrees for 8 months or so.  I am using a wine fridge that keeps it's temperature pretty steady at 54 degrees.  I have a couple of other cheeses in there right now that need to stay right around there.

So my question is, can I age a Swiss at 54 degrees?  If not, what is my alternative?  The fridge would be my only other option, but that is quite a bit colder.  Thanks in advance everyone.

Estes



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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Temp in the cave
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 05:30:24 PM »
Sorry to disappoint but I believe the low temp is needed so the prorobotic bacteria doesn't continue to blow holes. Hopefully Dave will chime in, he's our resident Swiss Cheese Maker.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Temp in the cave
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 08:10:02 PM »
Estes...
First of all, I'm not an expert on this variety. It has become my favorite cheese to make, but only because I REALLY wan to perfect this variety.
Here is my experience......
I have made a couple of swiss style cheeses that I have aged in my regular household fridge.
The taste on these examples was VERY good but I still did not get the holes (eyes) in the cheese that I wanted to see, and the texture was not great.
Please understand that the colder temps were not the problem. It was simply that I did not get the proper curd  that is required to form eyes.
One other batch that I made, I aged in my wine cooler cave.
Mine seems to run a little bit cooler than yours (about 48 degrees), but I did have some small eyes form and the texture and taste were just pretty much perfect.
My current swiss is by far my best effort yet.....
The cheese puffed up quite nicely and then deflated overnight. I don't know if this is what is supposed to happen but even after another week on the kitchen counter, it has not exhibited any additional swelling.
Right now, I'm thinking this:
The cheese swelled to the point of reaching "critical mass' and then popped holes in the intereior of the cheese. This then relieved the internal pressure and the proponic is not able to produce enough gas to swell the wheel again, since the interior is now so "open".
Now I really have nothing to base this theory on, other than  what I've experienced with my past attempts, but at least it does sound feasible.
One thing that I've always done is to wax the cheeses after the eye formation stage has taken place.
I know you aren't supposed to wax a swiss style of cheese, but let's face it....humidity is a problem for the home cheesemaker.
After waxing a cheese, I've never really worried about the aging temp, that much. If it's a bit too cold that will only require a bit longer of an aging period.
If it's a bit too warm it will age more quickly but it can also cause other problems such as unwanted bacteria growth or a sour type of flavor.
If it was my cheese I would probably age it at a lower temp but ONLY after you are sure that the sweating stage has completely ended.
I've started letting my swiss cheese sweat for a minimum of 4 weeks. If nothing seems to be happening after this point then the cheese will be what it will be.
As long as it came out of the mold with a nice soft/elastic feel, you are well on your way to making a swiss that will taste fantastic, even if it doesn't form the eyes you would like to see.
I know I took the long way around, but hope this information helps...

Dave

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Temp in the cave
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 08:15:02 PM »
Estes....
I forgot, welcome to the forum. Glad to have you here and glad that you decided to post.
There's a lot of great information that will help you greatly with your cheesemaking.
I don't know what swiss recipe you are planning on using but I would like to suggest one that has given me great results, time after time.
If you google: How to make swiss cheese   One of the sites that will come up is an Ehow article that describes the process.
I have to admit that I was leary about wasting milk on an Ehow article but as I said, this consistantly produces a quality swiss style of cheese.
Again, I hope this helps and welcome to the forum.

Dave

Offline Estes

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Re: Temp in the cave
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 06:52:39 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions!  I will take a look at the ehow article and compare to what I have found. 
I will let everyone know how it all turns out.  Thanks!


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Temp in the cave
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 02:19:23 PM »
Estes, where are you located you can try getting a cheap dorm style frig off craigslist and buy an outboad controller to control the temp. If you don't know how to do this and are going to do this let me know and I can walk you through it. Also there a few posts already explaining conversions.

Oh, you may not need to buy something else depending on what type of wine frig you have. Look on the back, if the only thing on the back is an aluminum heatsink and a fan that's no good you can't use it. If you see a round black thing with metal tubes coming out that's good, it means its a real frig with a compressor and coolant. If you take a picture of the back and post it I can tell you what you have.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Estes

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Re: Temp in the cave
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 03:33:08 PM »
Uh oh...
It is just a basic wine fridge with the aluminum back and the fan.  The temp inside stays pretty constant and I am keeping a fairly consistent level of humidity.  How does a converted dorm fridge provide a better solution?  Like I said, I am very new so there are many specific I am not aware of.  Thanks.


Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Temp in the cave
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 03:35:41 PM »
Well what you have is a TEC thermoelectric cooler it uses electronics to cool instead of coolant. Basically if the frig was not built to go to lower temp the TEC might not beable to keep up, they can burn out if the heat sink is not adequate enough. With a frig with a real compressor they can handle going that low. Most wine friges use TECs. It really depends how far you want to go with this hobby. If you want to continue it's easier to get a used frig, full size, as it will fill up fast.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.