Author Topic: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?  (Read 10173 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2013, 07:16:22 AM »
Hi everyone. This is my mini-cave. It's a little wine cooler with some adaptions. You can see my last batches of hard goat's cheeses. The darker one its a Cabra al Vi, I did a wine bath with some of the local amazing wines. Hope you like it.

Those look wonderful!   :D  Thank for sharing the photo with us. I would like to see some closer photos of your cheeses because I do natural rind goat cheese.  If you have close photos of your rinds maybe you could post them here?  it's rare for me to get to see other goat hard cheese with natural rinds. 


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Offline Albert

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2013, 11:37:00 AM »
Hi Tiarella. I show you two pics of my natural rinds. One at 9 weeks old and the other one at 5 weeks. Hope you like it.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2013, 12:02:50 PM »
Hi Tiarella. I show you two pics of my natural rinds. One at 9 weeks old and the other one at 5 weeks. Hope you like it.


Oooh, Thank you!!!!!!    :D  Do you brush them often?  They look great.  Mine are being aged in small boxes in a cold workshop area of our cellar so the moisture isn't perfect for them.  They don't get enough airing out I think.  I still like how mine look but I get more B. linens than I like.  Winter has also made draining the cheese more difficult because the air is so dry from heating our house with firewood that curds don't stay moist enough to keep draining as long as would be best.

Here's a post I did about some of the rinds on cheeses I am aging. 
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10923.0.html

I'm still learning how best to handle rinds during aging.  It's fun!   ;)

Offline Albert

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2013, 02:35:56 PM »
Hi again Tiarella.

Yes, I brush them, but not many times, only when the moulds appears. I try to do the same things to all my cheeses, but I don't have always the same results. It's difficult...
Thanks for your comments.
Best regards from Catalunya, southern europe.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2013, 05:17:25 PM »
Nice, Albert! :)

Great rinds.

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Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #50 on: April 02, 2013, 09:15:08 PM »
Hi again Tiarella.

Yes, I brush them, but not many times, only when the moulds appears. I try to do the same things to all my cheeses, but I don't have always the same results. It's difficult...
Thanks for your comments.
Best regards from Catalunya, southern europe.


Albert,  I think I have some nice natural rinds now also!  You can see them here:  http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,11244.0.html
Maybe you could put some photos there too?  I'd love to see what your cheeses are looking like now.  Or if you have more....   :D
I've been brushing and sometimes rubbing with olive oil.  Sometimes I have had B. linens so bad that the whole basement was stinky!   :o  I tried washing those under running water to make it a bit easier to breath.   ;)

Offline jwalker

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #51 on: April 03, 2013, 08:43:02 AM »
Here's mine , so far , new Swiss top left , three two pound Goudas top right , four one pound Cheddars bottom left , and a two pound Blue in it's own container.

Oh yes , and a Lonzino cured pork loin) in upper rear.

It is a wine cooler that I tweaked to stay at 50-55 degrees , works well so far.

Will probably have to expand to a larger one next year though.

Cheers , Jim.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #52 on: April 03, 2013, 10:12:56 AM »
Jim, When you expand will it be into another fridge?  Or a freezer with Johnson Control  (or whatever those things are called)?  I have a chest freezer I'm going to have to convert unless a real cheese cave magically appears.  (the easter bunny didn't bring one but I'm eternally optimistic)  These days I have an entire workshop to age cheeses in because it's easy to keep cold in winter.

Offline CheeWilly

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2013, 09:47:37 PM »
Just finished up my cave tonight.  No cheese yet, because I needed this cave completed before ruining some experiments.  I will be asking alot of questions as I dive into this unique world of cheese.
Picked up a smaller freezer off craigslist for 50 bucks
 
Had an old emergency light box laying around, so I cut some holes to make room for a PID controller to hold the freezer temp steady and to control humidity.

Here are the controllers slid in place to see if the units would fit.

Cut holes in the back of the box for some plug inserts.  Checking size of holes.

Had to build a bracket for the thermocouple. Good ol aluminum.

Installed the thermocouple and humidity sensor

Mounted the box after wiring it up and powered it up.  No smoke

Drilled a hole in the bottom/back area of the fridge to let fresh air in.  A 1 1/2 PVC coupling fit perfect to line the hole

Covered the fresh air inlet with a piece of stainless mesh and some air conditioner filter material to keep dust and beasties out. I hear little critters like cheese.

Next cut in a fan to help dehumidify the cave if the humidity spikes.  This will be controlled by the humidity PID along with the humidifier.

Last was the humidifier installed in the lower area of the cave.
The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath.  W.C. Fields

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2013, 10:10:58 PM »
Wish you lived closer.  I'd beg you to come configure something for us here.  I'd trade goat milk?  But alas, you are way far away.  I'll have to do something more simple....      ???


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Offline CheeWilly

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2013, 12:35:06 AM »
Wish you lived closer.  I'd beg you to come configure something for us here.  I'd trade goat milk?  But alas, you are way far away.  I'll have to do something more simple....      ???
I would gladly do it for you if I was near.  If you have access to a freezer or fridge, you can get the controllers pretty easy online.  I could walk you through it.  The controllers , fan, thermocouple, humidity sensor, and humidifier were about 150 dollars total for everything.  Anyway, if you do decide to do it, I will help anyway possible.
The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath.  W.C. Fields

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2013, 06:52:38 AM »
Wish you lived closer.  I'd beg you to come configure something for us here.  I'd trade goat milk?  But alas, you are way far away.  I'll have to do something more simple....      ???
I would gladly do it for you if I was near.  If you have access to a freezer or fridge, you can get the controllers pretty easy online.  I could walk you through it.  The controllers , fan, thermocouple, humidity sensor, and humidifier were about 150 dollars total for everything.  Anyway, if you do decide to do it, I will help anyway possible.

Thank you!  What a totally lovely and generous offer.  I may take you up on that.  it would probably have to be after I survive kidding and lambing seasons. 

A forum member (Green Zebra) just had her cheese fridge die on her and the repair guy said her Johnson Controller had made it cyclen off and on too much and fried the compressor.  That made me nervous about setting up a similar system but other members seemed to think may e that guy was wrong and the fridge had just outlived it's useful life.  I think she said it was 8 years old?  So, do you have a recommendation if I am looking on Craig's List for a likely candidate?  Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Offline CheeWilly

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2013, 03:02:14 PM »
The controllers will handle any size upright freezer you choose.  So you will have to pick a size for your room.  My freezer is 59 inches tall, 24 inches wide, and 27 inches deep.  Once everything is set up, the freezer will only run for about 30 seconds every 5 to10 minutes.   The humidifier will run as needed, depending on the load you have in the freezer.  I had a towel placed in the freezer to act as a load of cheese or sausage and after the initial set point was reached, the humidifier stayed off for over an hour, holding 80% humidity and 55 degree temp.  The only thing I would recommend is getting a freezer with removable shelves.  This was an oversight on my part.  Let me know if you want to pursue and I will help you locate the controllers and draw up a wiring diagram for you.
The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath.  W.C. Fields

Offline Boofer

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2013, 03:08:15 PM »
A cheese to you, CheeWilly, for such unbridled enthusiasm and the ability to craft such a project. 8)

Now...where's the cheese? :)

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Offline shotski

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2013, 06:03:50 PM »

A forum member (Green Zebra) just had her cheese fridge die on her and the repair guy said her Johnson Controller had made it cyclen off and on too much and fried the compressor.  That made me nervous about setting up a similar system but other members seemed to think may e that guy was wrong and the fridge had just outlived it's useful life.  I think she said it was 8 years old?  So, do you have a recommendation if I am looking on Craig's List for a likely candidate?  Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
[/quote]

I just asked a friend of mine that services appliances and he said that he has replaced 2 year old compressors. He did say that it is not good for the compressor to cycle to frequently, meaning that if it runs and shuts off for 5 minutes than runs again that is fine. I also remember when I worked at Camco the average life expectency for a fridge was 10 yours, that was back in the 80's. I don't think it had to do with the johnson control.