We milk 13 Jersey cows and make cheese from all of the milk. I currently have a traditional walk-in cooler for a cheese cave. It is 28' long by 8' wide. For the most part, I store 12-lb wheels of Alpine (Gruyere style) cheese on shelves, and have the shelves arranged where I can get up to 800 cheeses in the cave (see attached photo).
I have also made a lot of blue cheese, which has a very nice following with chefs and retailers. However, I stopped aging it in the cave because b. linens would penetrate the piercings of the blue and leave small amounts of unwanted pink mold in the paste. Not a huge problem for chefs, but not retail quality. So..., I'd like to add an additional cave for now but suspect we'll need to expand even further later, since I make primarily long-aged cheeses (Gruyere and clothbound cheddar). It makes no economic sense for us to do something like Jasper Hill did or Bonny Blue in TN, so my question is this...
What is the most cost-effective way of constructing modular cheese caves for farmstead cheesmakers who are small, but may grow moderately?
I do have cement slabs poured next to the dairy, so one idea is to buy insulated, interlocking panels (like those to assemble walk-in coolers), construct small rooms (12X12 or so) and maintain temperature with CoolBots. The first room could be used solely for blue cheese, and if I need space to expand either blue or b.linens cheeses, I could add another. Of course, I'd need to consider airflow pipes on the bottom and top of each unit.
BTW, I do have the Cheese Cave Report from Silvery Moon that was sponsored by SARE.
Any ideas/thoughts on how to approach this from those who have experience?
Grateful for your help.