Author Topic: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?  (Read 11892 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« on: October 16, 2012, 06:48:38 PM »
I'd love to see how others are doing these things.  I'll post a photo of my mini wine fridge and then a photo or two showing how I keep cheeses up above the bottom of the mini-caves by using an upside-down jar lid with cheese matting over that. The lid is about a half inch high and the matting provides air circulation option even for the bit of cheese directly over the lid. 

Please also post photos of your cheeses in the cave with notes about the care you're giving them or what you're going for.
For instance, I'll also post by Cabra de Vino style and show that it's got a few white spots of mold on it that I rubbed away with clean finger tips after the photo session.  Then there's the cheese massaged with a paste of smoked paprika and olive oil.  That one is developing molds on it (what shows up dark in the photo is moistness, not mold) and I'm not quite sure what to do about that one.  Any hints???  The paste is a bit moist yet to rub with any vigor so I guess I have to just pat it down.  Would LOVE ideas about that.

My cave inventory is a couple of Parmesans and a Manchego style that were lightly rubbed with a tiny bit of olive oil.  I have some vacuum packed Caerphillies and some Italian Basket style cheeses and a Valancay style (but wrong shape mold) as well.  The fancy leaf wrapped Valencay style have been moved up into the kitchen fridge although still in a mini=cave rather than paper wrapped.  I'll post a recent photo of one of those too.  The latest cheese visible in the wine fridge is another Caerphilly that I hope to do a natural rind on. 

Please note:  I wish I had more room for larger mini-cave containers but I don't.  With my lid and mesh technique I can keep the cheese up off moisture and by keeping the lid ajar I can allow more air circulation than a big cheese in a small closed box could offer.  I wipe down any moisture I find. 

I'm looking forward to seeing other styles and getting some ideas.


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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 12:26:05 PM »
Well I've just started out making cheese, as a hobby, in a small way.  Prior to actually making anything I decided that I needed a place to age the cheese in place before I could make it.  After looking at every small fridge in the area I stumbled upon a 6.9 cubic foot Igloo upright freezer (Best Buy $179.00).  It seemed perfect for my needs as far as size and configuration.  I also picked up a Johnson controls remote thermostat for $45.00 and installed it in the freezer by drilling a hole through the back and running the probe into the freezer and under the center shelf.  I then sealed the hole with silicone. To this I added a thermometer/hygrometer of the non-electrical variety which I attached to the inside of the door with industrial double back tape.  I set the thermostat for 56 degrees and let the freezer sit for several days to normalize.  Much to my happiness when I checked on it the temperature was right at 56 and the hygrometer read 85%.  Been making cheese like crazy since and am really enjoying it. ;D
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 09:08:54 AM by Al Lewis »

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 12:51:58 PM »
Say Al you have whey (  ;) ) to much room in there, looks like to me yuh need to get more cheeses in there :o
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 01:02:01 PM »
This is my setup, including some mini-cave solutions I am using:

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 08:20:32 PM »
Say Al you have whey (  ;) ) to much room in there, looks like to me yuh need to get more cheeses in there :o

I just started making cheese in October. LOL  Just tasted my first Camembert today.  Everything else is still aging.  I have added two more 4 pounds wheels and two 3 pound ones and have a 4 pound Swiss in the press. May be getting crowded soon at this rate. LOL
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 10:45:27 PM by Al Lewis »


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 06:09:27 AM »
Yeah Al,  you'll be in trouble with space issues soon in your cave!   ;). Do keep posting photos of it!  I do really like your set up though.  My wine fridge is way too small and the shelves aren't of a good size for the boxes I've been able to find.  I am thinking of creating a small insulated cheese cave in the basement.

Offline Gobae

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 10:58:29 AM »
I'm in the process weighing my options for building a cave now this is a great thread!

Offline Tobiasrer

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 11:06:16 AM »
I have also just started so trying to get going with minimal costs. So far i have been able to use just a tupperware box and store in my cold room. The temp has maintained between 10C to 12C for over a month now, I need to start keeping an eye on the moisture soon if I am not keeping it all in boxes to control it but then i guess if i vac pac all I need is really to worry about temp which seems ok so far. I Found a great container at Walmart by starfrit that has a rack in it, not as deep is I will eventualy need but working GREAT for my 2lbs cheeses, I will post soem pics soon.

Offline Montie Derby

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 08:32:22 PM »
Here are some photos of my chest freeze, and one of my dorm fridge. (I have two 'caves').   I made 4 PVC shelves and zip ties to affix 'shelving' and needlepoint sheets. I did that so I could run through dishwasher etc.  I hope this helps / is of interest. 

1.  Without affixing the fluorescent lighting grid ..
2.  Sample shelf
3.  8" tomme mold to give example of clearance.

- Montie
Petaluma, CA, USA

Offline Montie Derby

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 08:34:15 PM »
Here are some more shots of my cave  - Montie


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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 08:40:22 PM »
Montie that is cool 8) what a great Idea.
maybe one day I will have a real controllable cheese cave :)
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Offline Montie Derby

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 08:56:16 PM »
For what it is worth, here is my second cave... a dorm fridge...

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 08:58:49 PM »
I may be in need of one of those. LOL

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 09:03:06 PM »
I have to say the use of the egg crate  for shelving has given me so many ideas, can't believe I hadn't thought of it 8)
A cheese tuh you, great ideas ;D
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But the ability to cope with it."

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Will you share photos of your caves? and Mini-cave techniques?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2012, 10:40:31 PM »
Montie,  I like your set up!  In the chest freezer how do you have access to the cheeses on the lower levels?  Or do you reserve the lower levels for cheese not needing attention?  I use the fluorescent light grids too on one of my shelves but I still have those stupid wavy wine racks.  I need to replace those.  The lighting grids aren't strong enough for to use them without some other support......especially when I've got a lot of cheese.