Author Topic: cracking while drying tomme?  (Read 545 times)

Offline xyztal

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cracking while drying tomme?
« on: February 08, 2013, 03:43:07 PM »
Hello all,

I made my first tomme this Tuesday and I started drying the cheese in room temperature starting Wednesday night.  I put the cheese in a food container and left the lid open because the room is very dry.  It was drying nice and steady and then I saw a few small cracks (between 1 - 1.5cm) this afternoon!  Should I start worrying???  The surface is still quite wet....



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Offline High Altitude

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Re: cracking while drying tomme?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2013, 06:17:31 PM »
Hi!  Not sure what you ended up doing (this was some days ago I realize).  Living in a very dry climate myself, my first parmesan got similar cracking after a single overnight of air drying (and never completely healed, though coating with olive oil has helped keep increased cracking at bay).  Since then I starting let my cheeses of all types dry sitting quietly in the microwave, away from the dry air...success!  I then got aging boxes and dry them in those adjusting the lid as necessary (and covering overnight so excess drying will not occur when my eyes are not on the cheese).  If it is a particularly moist (or even weeping) cheese, I tend to let it air dry completely uncovered during the day, flipping every 5-6 hours, and cover with cheesecloth overnight for the first day or two.  Then watch carefully during the remainder of the drying process for the next day or three (as necessary) and cover with lid ajar to provide fresh air, but not so much dry air to induce cracking.  Good luck!
Have some (homemade) wine with that cheese!

Offline Tiarella

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Re: cracking while drying tomme?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 06:11:09 AM »
Hello all,

I made my first tomme this Tuesday and I started drying the cheese in room temperature starting Wednesday night.  I put the cheese in a food container and left the lid open because the room is very dry.  It was drying nice and steady and then I saw a few small cracks (between 1 - 1.5cm) this afternoon!  Should I start worrying???  The surface is still quite wet....

I'm surprised at the cracking because it sounds like you were doing everything right.  Was the lid ajar too far perhaps?  Did you brine this cheese?  That usually hardens the rind and makes for an easy drying phase.  If you rubbed with salt instead of brining I can imagine you having this problem.  Can you manually dry with clean cloth to help it along?  Or, if you or someone else are home a lot of the day you could close the lid and just open it to fan fresh air into it every hour or so?  Can you tell us if you brine the cheese and how firm the cheese is?

Offline xyztal

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Re: cracking while drying tomme?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 05:58:09 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I put the tomme in a 20% brine for about 14 hours before I let it air dry...  the cheese has been in the aging box for about 3 weeks now and the cracks look more or less the same to me.  Except the one on the edge of the rind looks a bit worse... we'll see how it goes.  Will post some pictures.

I think it's the sudden change of RH% that crack my cheese... the past few weeks have been a bit crazy.  Snow for a couple days (humidity gets really high) and then the temperature dropped for about 10 - 15 degree overnight.... I could even feel my skin cracking (!!) in this weather... hopefully this old man winter is leaving and spring is coming soon...!!!!


Offline Tiarella

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Re: cracking while drying tomme?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 08:07:34 PM »
Hey, I think I remember someone putting lard in cracks to keep them from creating a problem.  Don't remember who or with what cheese but maybe someone else remembers?


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Offline xyztal

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Re: cracking while drying tomme?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 08:11:04 PM »
Would it not affect proper drying of the cheese? 

I was thinking of using olive oil next time I make a big tomme... just not sure when it's the best time?

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: cracking while drying tomme?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 10:21:50 PM »
Some have recommended filling cracks with salted butter.  Apparently, it more or less incorporates itself into the cheese.  I've not tried this myself, so can't give any report based upon my own experience of trying this, although those who mentioned it were people whose other advice I've followed with success.

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Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: cracking while drying tomme?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 03:28:46 AM »
Some have recommended filling cracks with salted butter.  Apparently, it more or less incorporates itself into the cheese.  I've not tried this myself, so can't give any report based upon my own experience of trying this, although those who mentioned it were people whose other advice I've followed with success.

- Jeff

I have a cheddar that won't be ready till August and when I made it there were a couple of small cracks when it dried before waxing.
I used the salted butter before waxing but I won't know till I cut it if it worked (I used premium NZ Butter  since it's use by date was October 2013  :D)
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