Author Topic: Designing small creamery - cave adjacent to make room?  (Read 309 times)

Offline Bantams

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Designing small creamery - cave adjacent to make room?
« on: August 03, 2015, 10:29:08 AM »
Hello!
We are in the final stages of planning our small creamery, and as we get closer to breaking ground, I am suddenly worrying about the design.
Some insight from fellow cheese makers would be greatly reassuring!
We will be milking just three cows and producing (pasteurized) yogurt and aged raw milk cheese.  The barn and milking parlor is a separate building already in existence. 
The new building will consist of four separate spaces: a milk room, an entryway for the make room, the make room (14x15'), and a cheese "cave" (10x12').
My concern is that having the cheese cave accessible directly from the make room will lead to issues with ammonia and molds wafting into the make room, and warm air being sucked into the cave when the door is open. 
I have two possible solutions - we will be installing fans/ventilation to create positive pressure in the make room and negative pressure in the cave.  I imagine that turning on a strong fan prior to opening the cave door will be sufficient to pull air into the cave and keep ammonia and molds from drifting out.  The cave will warm up, however.
The other option (that is not really practical due to the very limited size of the structure) is to create an entryway between the make room and the cave.  It will be cooler than the make room, and serve as a barrier between the two rooms. 
I'm worried that the small size of the building will not allow for adequate performance of my pos/neg pressure system.  I have never seen a small creamery implement a ventilation system like this.  Most creameries have a separate cheese aging facility that is not attached to the make room.
I wouldn't worry about this if we were only planning on making aged raw cheese, but the addition of yogurt calls for closer attention to possible contaminants.  We plan on only making products 3-4 days per week, so it's also possible that I could restrict entry to the cave on the days I don't make yogurt, and then I wouldn't have to worry as much.
Any thoughts?
Thank you,
Kelsey


Offline Sweet Leaves Farm

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Re: Designing small creamery - cave adjacent to make room?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 05:05:00 PM »
Do you have a floor plan? Is there any way you could make the entrance for the cave into the entryway? You will almost certainly need a positive pressure system for your make room either way you go, especially if the animals are on the same property as the cheese house.

You really need to be able to get into the cave everyday to check on rind development and brine tanks, if you're doing natural rinds.

Have you checked with your dairy inspector yet? They usually have some good ideas. Some of them don't cost an arm and a leg. ;)
Jennifer Davenport

Offline Bantams

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Re: Designing small creamery - cave adjacent to make room?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 05:21:46 PM »
Thanks, Sweet Leaves Farm!
Yes, I could easily make the cave entrance through the main entryway room.  That gets rid of the mold issue, only leaving the temperature issue.  I was just thinking that having three doors between the outside world and the aging cheese would be best, versus two.  Unfortunately our inspector had no ideas for us, only that the plan is up to code either way.  ::)
What is your setup like?

Offline Sweet Leaves Farm

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Re: Designing small creamery - cave adjacent to make room?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 06:05:12 AM »
I just have a cheese room in my garage, but the plan is to build the real thing, once we have enough goats in milk to make a go of it. This will be my hubby's and my retirement job. I'll try to dig up the floor plan I made with my inspector, it might give you a few ideas.
Jennifer Davenport