Author Topic: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?  (Read 572 times)

Offline thewanderer

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Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« on: August 27, 2013, 07:38:48 PM »
Hello,

First time post and first time making cheese (well, something other than curds / ricotta)

I made a farmhouse cheddar the other day, but it has since started molding. I tried wiping it off with saltwater but it didn't work so well, I couldn't get it completely clean. It has come back now again as well. Part of the problem is probably that my cheesecloth was a little bunched up, which made it into a shape far from flat. I am at the point now that I should wax it, but I'm not sure if I should or if I'm wasting my time.

Do you think it'd be worth waxing or is it more or less "ruined"?

Thanks in advance for any input!


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Offline gsager18

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 01:04:17 AM »
I definitely don't think it's ruined. The mold is just on the surface. The inside of the cheese should still be fine. But if you wax it now, the mold would probably keep growing underneath the wax. So first you have to get it all off. If saltwater didn't work, try vinegar - or a mix of both. Use one of those long-bristled nail brushes to really scrub it well. The brush will get off anything you can get to. If there's mold deep inside the crevices, that'll be more of a challenge. Once the mold is gone, let it dry off and wax it before the mold has a chance to fight back.
Keep us posted about how it turns out :)

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 05:57:16 AM »
A couple more ideas.....you could let it go to a natural rind and just keep brushing the mold back. it'll help the cheese ripen.  OR, you could rub it thoroughly with coconut oil and keep rubbing/adding anytime you see mold.  I've had good luck with that.  The coconut oil is liquid at about 80 degrees but will be solid at aging temps if the cheese is in a wine fridge or something like that.  You don't mention aging temps or humidity level.  That has an impact too.  I don't wax my cheeses but it's hard for me to imagine you could get this cheese clean enough to prevent mold growing under the wax.

I don't think this cheese is ruined at all.....unless the mold is a really horrible one in which you'd have to cut off a thick layer from the outside and only eat the innards.

keep us posted so we can learn what works for you!

Offline Boofer

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 08:25:17 AM »
I would also suggest vinegar & salt as a wash. For those tiny crevices, gently tease the errant mold out with a toothpick dipped in the wash.

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Online jwalker

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 09:07:45 AM »
Too many little cracks and crevices to ever get clean enough to wax without mold growing under it , that will be even more of a problem.

Spray liberally with vinegar and clean it as good as possible , then use Tiarellas coconut oil rub , and just keep rubbing as the mold comes back to keep it in check.

That has worked for me , if it's a small make and you have to cut the rind of before eating due to the mold , you may not get that much out of it in the end.

My experience has been , Cheddar + mold = not good , most other cheeses like some mold on the rind , but cheddar , not so much.

I hope it turns out OK , but you may want to start another soon so you'll have one to fall back on.

Good luck.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.


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Offline thewanderer

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 11:28:37 AM »
Thanks for the info! I will definitely give vinegar a try. So I could let it develop a rind without waxing and just wipe off mold as needed with the vinegar or vinegar/salt mix? Would this make the cheese dry out more? Coconut oil would also be instead of wax?

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 02:03:52 PM »
Right.  Wash with a mix of vinegar, water and salt (proportions not that important, 50/50 water/vinegar with added salt is fine). Then once it has air dried, rub with coconut oil.  You still haven't mentioned how you are aging it as in humidity and temperature....in a box or in a fridge, at what temp.  Why don't you give us those details so we can be of most help.  My coconut oil instructions will be different depending upon those details. 
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 09:44:43 AM by Tiarella »

Offline thewanderer

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 09:01:23 PM »
The cheese has been at 74°F and 53% humidity (temp and humidity in my house.) I haven't put it in the "cheese fridge" (solid state electric cooler, hopefully with a sponge or bowl of water for humidity) yet since its only been a few days, this is about when I would have tried waxing and putting in the cooler. I might be able to just store in the basement, the temperature would probably be perfect (60-65°F) but it would probably be too dry.

 I like the sound of the coconut oil or natural rind, I didn't find a local source for cheese wax so I was going to use beeswax.

Online jwalker

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 09:11:46 AM »
I find bees wax is very hard and tends to crack easily , I raise bees , so I have lots of it.

I now melt it and ad about 50% coconut oil to make it softer , it seems to help , but proper cheese wax works even better , it's pricey though.

I also clean with a spray of straight vinegar , when I really want to get rid of all the mold.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 09:50:10 AM »
How many days did you leave it out?  Mine usually head to the cheese fridge by about day 3.  I keep my fridge around 55F except when I put it down to 45 to slow down the Geo on a Geo\PC rinded batch of bloomy cheeses.

A sponge likely won't be enough humidity in a fridge.  people come up with a variety of schemes to manage humidity.  So far I've mostly used mini-cave boxes and shifted the lid to manage air flow and humidity.  I am however getting a cool little gizmo to keep the humidity just where I want it in a small chest freezer that is about to become my cheese aging solution.  (along with a Johnson digital temp controller)


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 09:52:59 AM »
Also, when you post with a question it's really helpful to give as much pertinent info as possible.  date of make, date of appearance of mold, what temps, humidity, location the cheese was aging at.  (cave, fridge, counter, etc). When you give more info it saves us all time in our answering of your question.   :)

Offline gsager18

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Re: Farmhouse cheddar started to develop mold, ok?
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 09:32:35 PM »
If you wax it, you don't really need to worry about humidity. That said, it's probably not a great idea to, say, leave it next to the shower or directly in front of an AC vent, but I don't know why you'd do something like that anyway.