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!