Author Topic: 1st Parmesan- surface mold problems  (Read 355 times)

Offline ascatalano

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1st Parmesan- surface mold problems
« on: February 28, 2014, 12:58:42 AM »
Cheese newbie here needing some help with my first Parmesan.  It's about 5 weeks old from Ricki Carrol's recipe and it seemed to be going along fine in the cave but it started developing mold after about 10 days of aging.  I've been removing it with vinegar and after reading some posts here got a small brush to make sure I got it all out.  Since it's my first Parm (and my first aged cheese at that), I don't know if this type of mold is normal or if my first "baby" is doomed.  I'm attaching a picture of it before I removed the last round of mold this evening- is this type of mold normal and/or harmless?  I've decreased the humidity in the aging box and am drying out the surface completely before putting it back in the box.  I was going to oil the rind at 2 months- should I do it sooner and will that hamper the mold growth?  Can I expect to see mold growing during the entire aging process? I'm going to look into getting a vacuum sealer but am worried what would happen if I missed some mold before sealing it - would mold continue to grow and ruin the cheese?  Sorry for all the questions- I'm learning as I go!  I'd appreciate any help/advice you can give.  Thanks!


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Offline John@PC

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Re: 1st Parmesan- surface mold problems
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 05:28:38 PM »
Hi ascatalano.  From what I've learned surface mold on very hard cheeses like Parmesan are not as much a concern as with semi-hard and softer cheeses where the mold can grow into the paste.   Vacuum bagging will pretty much prevent all surface mold growth but it will impede the aging process (I'm a bit out of my league here so I expect correction from the elders ::))   I'm surprised that you're getting so much re-growth so quickly after you brush with the vinegar.  What are you using to age your cheese in?   

Offline jwalker

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Re: 1st Parmesan- surface mold problems
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 09:41:01 AM »
I'd have to say that's not really "normal" for a Parm , but probably harmless.

You may not want to eat the rind though. :o

I think I posted this in another thread , but look at this.

There's a lot of good information there on washing rinds , I don't know how much of it pertains to Parms , but definitely worth a look anyway.
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Offline John@PC

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Re: 1st Parmesan- surface mold problems
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2014, 04:36:57 PM »
Thank you for re-posting the link to Alp's tutorial on washing cheese.  It was a game changer for me and I keep my little brush-and-jar of b. linens solution and use it for most hard and semi-hard cheeses I make.  It's quick and easy, but be careful with cross contamination (I just tossed 1.5 lbs of a brie because it got invaded somewhere along the line; I love the stinky cheeses but this was more of a stinky goop :'().   If you follow his instructions you will be rewarded - just take care to isolate in mini-caves when necessary.