Well, I'm not sure if pics could help but here they are. I had just wiped it before the pics. Maybe I can get some in a couple days of some of the small blue spots that have been appearing. I feel like this poor cheese has really been through the ringer from the beginning.
Gloves are a fantastic idea and I had thought about that but none of the instructions I read suggested gloves - strange given how sterile everything must be. I am a soap maker, at the professional level, and I wear gloves from start to finish of every batch to protect me from the alkaline lye as much as to protect the soap from contaminates which could ultimately cause oils to go rancid thereby spoiling the batch. So I'm wondering why directions don't suggest to wear them.
Here are the "stats" for this cheese batch:
Uses ricki kit
*2 gal Tunawerth, LLC whole milk low pasturized cream on top
*Used Mesophilic direct set
*I followed the directions - heat to 90F, add cal chlor, stir, culture, stir, rennet w careful stirs then top stir. Cover & rest 45 min, cut into 1/2in blocks. Place pot in sink of hot water raise 2F every 5 min up to 100F, cover & rest 5 min, pour into cheese cloth, knot and hang for 1 hr, curds to bowl & broken into walnut size pieces & salted., and packed into cheesecloth lined basket mold.
*Pressed @ 10lbs for 15 min, turned (my press was just another container that fit in mold topped w a cutting board and filled jugs for weight-a method I will not use again)
*Pressed @ 20lbs for 12 hrs, turned
*Pressed @ 20lbs for another 12 hrs
*Air dried at 64F/82% humidity in wine fridge on a plastic strainer 5 days (directions say 3-5)
*Removed, due to stink and wetness, at day 5 and placed in an off oven where it remains
Should I even try to wax or just go with a natural rind? Its starting to develop a harder rind but I am nervous about the mold coming back under the wax.
Thanks so much Boofer. I followed all those links and feel better informed although I wish I could find someone who has experienced the b.linens on their cheddar. I guess we'll see in 2 months if I don't toss it before then. Before I begin my next batch I am going to look up some directions here.