Author Topic: Cheese waxing  (Read 980 times)

Offline shotski

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Cheese waxing
« on: March 01, 2013, 09:36:33 PM »
I have notice in some recipes only mention waxing. My question is about mold inhibitors. When the recipe only calls for waxing do the assume that you know\ will use a mold inhibitor? or do not all waxed cheeses need a mold inhibitor under the wax? Is there any rule of thumb?

TIA

John 


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Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 09:40:36 PM »
The wax is a physical barrier to prevent air getting to the cheese which inhibits mould growth the same as vacuum sealing does.
Also, you should hold the cheese in the wax for about eight seconds and this will kill the spores as well.
-Bill
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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 06:43:06 AM »
Provided the rind has dried well (don't wax while it's still damp), you shouldn't have any problems. You can also wax at a higher temperature, effectively killing anything on the surface of the cheese.

Offline shotski

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 08:27:21 AM »
Thanks for the information WovenMeadows \ Schnecken Slayer. What is the recommended temperature for waxing?

Offline stratocasterdave

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 08:50:31 AM »
Hey Shotski,

I used to wax all my cheeses but moved recently to using Cream Wax or vacu bagging. I love cream wax. It has mold inhibitors in it. My job and kids prevent me from being able to constantly monitor my cave. The cream wax creates a nice barrier. The final aged product is like a natural rind. The only down side is price. However it's much less than waxing or bagging.

Good luck!

Dave


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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 09:01:50 AM »
Thanks for the information WovenMeadows \ Schnecken Slayer. What is the recommended temperature for waxing?
In Caldwell's book, she says that waxing can be done anywhere from 120 to 220 degrees F. The low end would not kill everything, you'd need probably 160 F plus (think pasteurization temps). The hotter though, the thinner consistency it is, and more coats may be needed. You also don't want the wax thin enough that it may crack during aging, thus letting air and molds in (though I've had that happen, and just cut away the mold later on).

Offline High Altitude

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 11:03:44 AM »
I can only get my wax up to about 188 F in a water bath (water is contacting the thin s/s bowl), and do hold the cheese in the wax for about 6 seconds.  This morning I was waxing a Jarlsberg, dipped the first half and set on side to dry.  I turned around to hear a "thump" and saw my precious cheese on the floor!  Gasp!  Thank goodness it didn't split and I was able to peel off the wax and wipe down the cheese with vinegar to cleanse.  Am now cooling it in the fridge for a while (which I had forgotten to do) before rewaxing attempt. 

I would like to be able to direct-heat the wax so that it would "for sure" kill any spores on the cheese surface, but alas I am not willing to risk a kitchen fire.  I'm sure that's silly and the risk is very minimal I realize, but I do tend to walk away from the heating wax at times (it takes forever to heat up) and this way I know it's a little safer.
Have some (homemade) wine with that cheese!

Offline shotski

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 11:19:39 AM »
Thanks everyone for all the great tips, I do have a Food Saver but I just love the visual of differant colour waxed wheels.

Online Alpkäserei

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 12:41:12 PM »
188 degrees will do a good job of sterilizing. There is no need for more heat than that.

pasteurization (not UHT) is often around 160 degrees
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline High Altitude

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 10:11:55 AM »
Thanks Alpk...good to know!  I have read where the heat needs to be at least like 240 to kill bacteria/spores, so I am relieved to hear from you that 188 is high enough.  Btw, the "fallen" Jarlsberg was successfully waxed yesterday and is happily aging.  Can hardly wait til mid-late April when I get to cut it open!  Found out that I will be getting a FoodSaver for my birthday (woo hoo!) so now I can wax or bag cheeses as desired.
Have some (homemade) wine with that cheese!


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Offline Milk Maid

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 11:41:28 PM »
I wonder if cheese wax denatures when it gets too hot (maybe above 180F?). I had a block of black cheese wax in the crock pot on high for an hour. When I went to dip the cheeses, it seemed the wax was separating out into stadas. When I dipped, the color wasn't an opaque black but rather grey and increasingly transparent. I wrote the supplier and they said "you shouldn't let the wax get that hot or stay hot for that long". But a crock pot on hot can't be that hot, especially since the wax only finished melting after 40+ minutes.

Anyway, now I am careful to not overheat my cheese wax, although that isn't consistent what others are saying about using higher temps to kill surface microbes.

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Re: Cheese waxing
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 01:55:41 PM »
When wax gets too hot, it begins to vaporize and is extremely dangerous at this point. I imagine different types of waxes acting differently in this situation. For example, I imagine a paraffin wax would evaporate in stages as it is comprised of several different hydrocarbons mixed together, so this could explain the situation above. The lighter oils evaporated out.
Beeswax will evaporation and become highly flammable -thin Greek fire. We know the ancient Greeks did in fact use molten beeswax as a weapon, it burns very hot, is sticky, and almost impossible to extinguish once it gets going good and hot.

The point of all of this is, don't try and get your wax to high temperatures, you might just burn the house down  :o

240 degrees is UHT levels. This is not necessary, 165 degrees for a minute or two is more than sufficient.
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser