Author Topic: Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar  (Read 889 times)

Offline niczus

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Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar
« on: January 26, 2013, 11:46:36 PM »
Hi Everyone, I'm a newbie making my first aged cheese! It's a farmhouse cheddar, vacuum sealed and in a wine cooler for 2.5 weeks now.

Over the last few days the bag has lost its vacuum and is a little puffed up. I was planning to re-bag it, but I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this, and if it might mean something unwanted is growing inside.


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 01:54:36 AM »
It does, its an indication of yeast activity in most cases.  Do check that there is no liquid inside  (whey can sip when you bag too early), this can often promote.
Another possibility is that you underacidify during the cheesemaking process and now a cold resistant strain is eating away at the residual lactose.
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Offline cowboycheese

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Re: Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 09:39:22 PM »
From one newbie to another - FWIW I've let my farmers dry out an extra day or three before bagging. I also give my wheels a bit more rubbed on salt during  the drying phase and lightly brush most if it off before it gets bagged- to help with a bit of rind development and a shot at fighting off whatever is in the air.

I do both wax and bags and I'm thinking the wax might be the best thing for some cheeses that have more internal whey and save my bags for the cut product. My vacuum sealer has an adjustment for the level of suckage. If yours has that too maybe you can tone it down a bit so it isn't so tightly wrapped and looks like a wedge of plastic?

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Offline Boofer

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Re: Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 08:20:18 AM »
Hi Everyone, I'm a newbie making my first aged cheese!
Welcome to the forum. Could you post in the Introductions board and give us a little detail about yourself and what kind of cheeses you like and may like to make.

Then add a little detail about this make: type of milk, culture mix, process, etc.

The gas that has defeated the vacuum may come from the type of culture you used, late-blowing from the milk, or poor sanitation in your process. :o

More information could help narrow down the source of your problem.

-Boofer-
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Offline niczus

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Re: Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 01:26:32 AM »
I followed the farmhouse cheddar recipe in Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll. The milk was Clover-brand whole cows milk, and the rennet and mesophilic packet were from New England Cheese Making Supply. After four days there was a uniform rind so I sealed it up.

When I opened the bag there was a slight sour milk smell, but nothing too unpleasant. There are now cracks in the rind and the cheese inside is moist, but there's no liquid seeping out. I'll let it dry out for a day, salt the outside, and decide what to do next --probably bandage or reseal.

Thanks for the help, and I'll let you know how it goes!



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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 04:15:19 AM »
Sometimes it's tricky drying a cheese out.  I've found that in the winter dry air here in the northeast I can't dry cheeses in room air anymore or they crack.  I have to put something loosely over them.  Maybe where you are the air isn't too dry but I thought I'd mention this so you could assess.  I started making a lot of cheese in our humid summer air and it's been surprise to have to change so many things because of the humidity level change. 

You might want to consider putting it in a container with the lid ajar in your wine cooler.  That way it can dry a bit but slowly?

Offline niczus

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Re: Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 12:28:10 AM »
As an update, I unpacked the cheese and dried it out for a few days, and then rebagged it. Today is the 5 week mark and I sliced into it! It has a camembert-like odor; not bad but not like cheddar. There are also tiny holes like Lorraine swiss. It tastes a little like a blue, but it's really not bad. I'm glad I kept it. Thanks everyone for the advice!

Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: Vacuum bag puffed up - farmhouse cheddar
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2013, 12:58:41 AM »
Have you started any other makes since this one?
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