Author Topic: The Goldilocks Syndrome  (Read 705 times)

Online Denise

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The Goldilocks Syndrome
« on: November 30, 2013, 03:41:38 AM »
So, having used up all the mesophilic culture I had, I turned to the thermophilic in the mixed bag I had ordered, and decided to try a Romano. I followed the recipe in 200 Easy Cheeses more or less to the letter except that I had 18 l of milk instead of 16 l because I reckoned that if I was going to wait that long before I could taste it, I may as well fill up the pot.

The make went perfectly, not a hitch, everything was wonderful and now the cheese is sitting in the kitchen looking beautiful, air-drying on a high shelf where the cat can't get at it. So far no problems.

But now what to do with it? The book says to put it in a ripening container in the cave at 85% humidity for months and months and months. Off I went to find a suitable container, touring all the local hardware stores, home centres, kitchen suppliers...No joy. Lots of containers to be had, but they're either Too Big (won't fit in the cave) or Too Small (cheese won't fit in the container). Nothing was Just Right.

I feel vacuum-packing the cheese (if I can find a bag that isn't Too Small) would keep the cheese Too Wet, is that right?

Should I put it in an open plastic bag in the cave, to raise the humidity a bit? (Humidity in the cave is around 75%, Too Low)

Should I wax it?

Should I put it in the cave nekkid and let it take its chances with the Too Low humidity? Oil it a bit earlier than the book says (3 months)?

Any advice appreciated!


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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 08:04:01 AM »
\with an open plastic bag the cheese will be in touch with the water, never a good idea. Better to raise the RH by putting a bowl with water in the cave.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 09:07:14 AM »
I have similar caves problems Denise. I just can't find a container small enough to fit on a shelf or big enough to contain the cheese . My RH also doesn't go much higher than 78% even with a large surface water bowl and a sponge sticking out. It's a tiny cave though. I'm seriously thinking of buying a full sized beverage cooler.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 05:20:37 PM »
Cheese paint will be perfect as it allows moisture lose, your Parm will be dry as a rock by 6 months so you might do 3 months with pain, peal it off and bag it for another 10-12 months or more if you like it sharp.
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Online Denise

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 07:02:40 PM »
If I could rig up some way of keeping the plastic bag from touching the cheese, that would work? (Dunno how I'd do it....'borrow' some of the grandkids' lego bricks to build a frame?...)

A bigger cave is of course the perfect answer.....negotiations are under way, but I doubt they'll be in time for this particular cheese......Spoons, what do you do in the meantime?

Cheese paint is different from wax? Where would I get it? (There is nothing cheese-related bar rennet available here - everything has to be ordered from overseas, involving long waiting times and/or much expense) Does it really involve 3 months of pain?   :-[


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Offline Anonymous

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 07:29:00 PM »
Denise,

Until I get a bigger cave, I don't do natural rinds. I only do cheeses that can age vac sealed.

As Tomer pointed out, cream wax is also an option. I can't wait to try it! It's a bit like wax, but so much easier to apply. Look it up in the forums. Boofer is quite the fan of this stuff. The only thing is though, it's frost sensitive, so it can't be shipped during winter.

Offline Pete S

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2013, 09:17:48 PM »
  You might try coconut oil. I find it works a lot like cream wax .It should available in your country and is less expensive    Pete
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Online Denise

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 04:19:00 AM »
It's pretty cold here now so cheese paint/cream wax (are they the same? And different from ordinary cheese wax?) couldn't be shipped out till spring.

I had a look on Amazon Japan, they do have coconut oil, apparently it's a good fat substitute for people concerned about their health and in particular trying to avoid Alzheimer's, didn't know that. It comes in all sizes and prices, and people in the reviews are complaining about one type that 'doesn't taste of coconut' - maybe that would be the best choice for cheese?

Would I use the coconut oil just for the first three months until it was time to use olive oil, or does it replace the olive oil altogether?

Sorry every response seems to generate another question (or two), but this is all good stuff to know, I really appreciate it! :D

Offline Pete S

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2013, 05:09:06 AM »
  It is liquid at room temp and sets up like wax when colder.

  After my cheeses get to the point that I want to stop any more moisture loss I wax them.

  The coconut taste is so mild in mine that I never notice it on the cheese,even when I have used several coats.

  I have found that the more you learn the more questions you have.
THE MORE I LEARN----THE MORE THERE IS TO LEARN---PETE

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2013, 05:23:51 AM »
Denise,
As Tomer pointed out, cream wax is also an option. I can't wait to try it! It's a bit like wax, but so much easier to apply. Look it up in the forums. Boofer is quite the fan of this stuff.
And Boofer was more or less convinced by my stories  :)
Cheese paint or cream wax or plastic coating is the way all Gouda cheese here is treated, as well by the cheese making farmers as by the big dairies.
There is a representative of "Brouwland" (Brewland) in Japan, email-address [urlm-ito@ttmy.ne.jp[/url]. Brouwland is supplier for beer, wine and cheese making products, so you could give it a try....
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Online Boofer

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2013, 09:21:00 AM »
Denise,
As Tomer pointed out, cream wax is also an option. I can't wait to try it! It's a bit like wax, but so much easier to apply. Look it up in the forums. Boofer is quite the fan of this stuff.
And Boofer was more or less convinced by my stories  :)
Certainly not less....

Herman, I'm your biggest fan! 8)

Hey, the stuff works wonderfully. I was running out of my original tub of the yellow cream coating, so I bought some white and also more yellow. I age my cheeses to develop a hard, dry rind...then cream-coat them and age them for a bit longer...then vacuum-seal to forestall any further moisture loss. The cheese gets the benefit of a natural rind with limited moisture loss. :)

The cream-coating protects against molds with added natamycin and it allows the cheese to breathe and exchange gases. Good stuff.

-Boofer-
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Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2013, 09:47:41 AM »
- Herman -

Online Denise

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Re: The Goldilocks Syndrome
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2013, 09:26:44 PM »
Thank you all for all the advice. I've decided to try the coconut oil, seeing as it's the most easily available and looks easy.

One more question.  ??? I've already noticed a couple of very tiny spots of mould on the surface of the cheese, which I rubbed off, no problem.  I know that vacuum-packing (supposedly) stops mould growing because of the lack of oxygen, and waxing stops mould growing because the heat of the wax as it goes on zaps any lurking nasties. Is mould growing under the coconut oil a potential problem, and if it is, what should I do to stop it? Rub salt/vinegar/something else over the cheese before I oil it? Heat the oil first? Just be vigilant for the next 12 months?