Thanks! I'm not sure I have high hopes for how it comes out after tasting my Raclette today. Now that I think about it, NONE of my pressed cheeses have come out that great. I think I may have overpressed this cheese....I need to read up again on target PSIs. I don't trust the two books I have because they are off by so much. I also received a pH meter for Xmas so I hope that helps too. I have a Thermapen already so I know my temps are good.
Tiarella: yes, I'm really happy about the colors. Big difference between it and the colors I got on the Raclette. I had gotten a few spots of blue mold on it early on and I just washed the rind without regard and they just got snuffed out. I left it for maybe 5 days while I was sick (it was early on and I didn't have much linens at that point), and I was expecting the worst when I opened it up. Surprisingly, the rind was completely pale red/orange and beautiful. This picture doesn't have full coverage of linens because I washed and flipped it two days before. I also had a dusting of Geo on it then which I should have taken a picture of...it was pretty cool for a newbie cheese maker! I wash both sides and that creates a bit of a slippery handling situation and takes off some linens. My container doesn't have much clearance on the sides to do a wash while in the container. It should fill out in another couple of days anyway.
The cracks are maybe 1/16" deep...so I think that is pretty thin. I keep the lid tight on this one and it gets to about 95% humidity that way. Really, with a washed rind and a closed lid you shouldn't need to do anything other than that to rehumidify it, I would think....but what do I know?
I also have thin grid matting that I could use, but I like the large grid look as well! This is my first time using the large grid so I didn't know the splitting of rind would be an issue. I like the look of the small mat as well though: