Author Topic: Cave, please critique  (Read 1203 times)

Offline rolsen99

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Cave, please critique
« on: November 14, 2012, 06:40:45 PM »
Here is my cheese cave.  Please critique, give recommendations.  I have the following:

- Temp and Humidity Controls....can maintain very accurate temp and humidity.
- Humidifier, on the large side, works well if needed, may just use tub of water.  Thoughts needed from experts.  This will probably be moved to meat curing chamber if not needed.
- Secondary Temp and Humidity Monitor
- Computer Fan....is this large enough for air movement?
- Mini Heater to maintain warmer temps if needed.  Will I need to maintain higher temps, like 80 F, for some cheeses in the early days of aging?

Needed:
- Shelving, material undecided, I would like to do wood, but not sure.  Recommendations?
- Storage containers (have seen people aging cheese in containers, not sure why).

Thanks for looking!


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Offline rolsen99

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 06:42:23 PM »
More Pictures

Offline rolsen99

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 06:44:43 PM »
Another

Offline BobE102330

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 10:01:02 PM »
Does the fan blow outside air into the cave?  If so, plan on needing the humidifier a lot.  You will have a hard time holding the internal humidity high enough without bringing in outside air.  A better use of the fan would be to blow across a wet piece of cheese cloth or other cloth with an end dipped in a container of water. 

The containers you see are people using are a solution to the humidity problem.  It is far easier to keep a small container (mini-cave) with a cheese or two in it at the proper humidity than it is to keep the whole cave humidity up.  They also provide some separation if you have mold ripened cheeses in the same cave as non moldy cheeses. 

I doubt you'll want a heater in the main cave unless you only have one cheese at a time.  It may be useful in cooler weather when you want to press at elevated temperatures or get a nice blue mold started.  Use it to heat a separate mini cave. 

What temperature/humidity controller are you using? 

Offline rolsen99

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 06:48:33 AM »
BobE, Thanks for the response.

The Temp / Humidity controlled I think is from ZooMed, it's for controlling reptile environments.  I use one to controll my meat curing, and it worked great!

As far as the heater, I should have noted that it would be used in a separate chamber if needed.  Maybe for what you said, to get a blue started or something.  I am not sure, though I read that some people start some cheeses in the 80 F range.

Are you saying that I should close the holes for the fan, and just use it for circulation, without pulling in outside air?


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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 04:27:46 PM »
Exactly.  The outside air is likely to be far less than the appropriate humidity for aging cheese.  That would mean you'd have to work harder to keep the moisture up. 

Offline rolsen99

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 06:19:44 PM »
Gotcha, thanks for the input!

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 06:25:35 PM »
I tried to get my cave (mini fridge) to >90% humidity for Raclette with just bowls of water and towels, but didn't work and then I got wild mold on the cheese.  I ended up putting it into a container and it maintained a 90-95% humidity no problem....and no more wild molds!

Offline BobE102330

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 11:36:57 AM »
A fan blowing on the wet cloth helps. I used a dish towel sized microfiber cloth that seems to hold a pint of water. It keeps a 3.5 cubic foot fridge at about 80% without a fan.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 12:00:41 PM »
I tried to get my cave (mini fridge) to >90% humidity for Raclette with just bowls of water and towels, but didn't work and then I got wild mold on the cheese.  I ended up putting it into a container and it maintained a 90-95% humidity no problem....and no more wild molds!

You can get plenty of wild molds even with the cheeses in a container I'm sorry to report!   :(. Wish it weren't true!! 


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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Cave, please critique
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 01:02:19 PM »
I know that is the case, but it is more difficult to sterilize a container than a whole fridge! ;)