Author Topic: What to do now?  (Read 238 times)

Offline John@PC

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What to do now?
« on: April 06, 2015, 06:16:33 PM »
On another thread I mentioned testing a miniture mold-eliminating ionizer.  You can read background here.   Before the ionizer test I had a terrible time lately controlling mold (mostly blue) and if I put a fresh cheese in there there would be surface mold within two days.  I had to resort to vacuum bagging the cheeses earlier than I liked and planned to clean my cave but then I thought it would be a good test for the ionizer under very difficult conditions (i.e. an infected cave) so I unbagged all the cheeses and started the test at 55F and 90% RH (5% higher than usual but wanted to make it a good test).

Results after one week the cheeses are pristine with no surface mold at all :).  Instead there is a very nice very light white exterior similar to what you see with a rustic aged cheddar.  Usually when I pull cheeses out to wipe or wash I do a quick smell check and instead of a slight musky smell (if mold is there) or a "refridgerator" smell these all had distinctly sweet smells.  While I didn't cut any (yet) the rinds seemed soft perhaps due to the higher %RH?

So the question is what should I do now?  I've had these ionizers for a couple of years but didn't try to sell them because I was worried about it's effect on beneficial mold, bloomy rinds, etc.  But for us small scale cheese makers we can isolate the blues and bloomy's in minicaves and run the ionizer for everything else.  If you're making all natural rind pressed cheese one of these as small as they are should handle a pretty good sized cave (they are installed in houses, hospitals, schools etc. but they haven't been tested in larger cheese caves as far as I know).  Ozone generators have been used for commercial purposes and Caldwell even discusses them for controlling cheese mites (see pg. 95-96 of her book) but these ionizers have none of the health risks that O3 generators do.

Is this a commercial product to consider offering? 

Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2015, 08:39:48 PM »
Sounds like it has potential.

Here's a test that comes to mind: how much would one interfere with the mold production of a cheese inoculated with something to begin with? I.e. bloomy penicillin, blue penicillin, b. lines. Perhaps, for instance, while fuzzy type growths are really impaired, growth of b. linens in the moist medium of a rind wash isn't as hampered.

Offline awakephd

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 08:43:13 AM »
I also think there is potential. I wonder if it would have an effect on a cheese "protected" by a ripening box?
-- Andy

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 10:04:41 AM »
It would be great to have one of these in my cave as long as it didn't affect my bloomy rinds and such.  I want the molds on some of the cheeses and I seldom use ripening boxes.
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Offline Kern

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 10:54:12 AM »
I believe your ionizer has potential but suggest that you try it on some washed and bloomy rind cheeses.  Perhaps you could loan one to Al or another aficionado of these cheeses to test with the understanding that you are not responsible for the results.  Another thought:  could the ionizer be used to take care of a problem similar to the one in your cave for a limited period or would it have to be used all the time?

Offline qdog1955

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 03:08:20 PM »
John ----see a lot of potential----if I develop a mold problem in my cave, especially in winter (our kind of winter, not yours ) ;)----hauling a rather large "old fridge" outside to do a Clorox fix and thorough wash down is kind of a pain in the arse. If your like Danbo----with a couple caves----one or more, that you want to keep mold free, it would be great.
 What is the life of one? What size cave will one handle? What would you have to charge? And finally----could these be safely used in your regular house hold fridge? OK---one more----could you use this for , say three months, remove it and do some moldy cheese for two months, then reinstall it, and it still be effective?
Qdog
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Offline John@PC

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 03:14:26 PM »
I also think there is potential. I wonder if it would have an effect on a cheese "protected" by a ripening box?
To answer your question and others about affecting bloomys and cheese with wanted surface mold yes, enclosing in a minicave will limit the effect of the ionizer.  For those like Al who doesn't use ripening boxes it most likely wouldn't work but who knows?  One test I'm doing is taking a wedge of my 3+ month old "seriously blue" that I had previously bagged, cut it in half and put one piece in a ripening box and one on a board with the sides and top exposed. 

Offline John@PC

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 03:52:09 PM »
What is the life of one? What size cave will one handle? What would you have to charge? And finally----could these be safely used in your regular house hold fridge? OK---one more----could you use this for , say three months, remove it and do some moldy cheese for two months, then reinstall it, and it still be effective?
Qdog
My nephew tells me the lifetime is very long and they warranty the modules for 3 yr.   As far as size of cave, these are typically installed in the main A/C duct for a home or office to eliminate growing mold and odors so I would say it could treat a 2,000 cu. ft  cave easily and larger if it's installed in the main HVAC system.  Cost for the ionizer in a small fan unit like the Cave Cube could be less than $100 assuming my nephew keeps the same very family-friendly terms :).   And yes you could remove it to do  moldy cheeses and re-install and still be effective.  Also, when it's out of your cave you can put it in your kitchen to eliminate odors or set it in your air return and de-mold your whole house ;D

My nephew is CEO of the company: Global Plasma Solutions and there is more information on the module and technology here.   

Offline awakephd

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 04:11:18 PM »
Also, when it's out of your cave you can put it in your kitchen to eliminate odors ...

Hmm ... is it small enough to fit in my teenager's shoes? :)
-- Andy

Offline John@PC

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Re: What to do now?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 04:18:09 PM »
Probably no help there Andy as it needs air moving across the brushes :(