Author Topic: Best way to age?  (Read 957 times)

Offline custardfairy

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Best way to age?
« on: March 20, 2009, 10:52:41 PM »
I'm still relatively new to cheese making.  I've made lots of mozzarella, a couple of blues, and a cheddar.  The cheddar didn't really turn out that well so I'm making some changes this time around to ensure a bit more success.  However, the one sticking point is the issue of aging.  Some folks say to let it air dry for up to 2 weeks, then wax.  Some say air dry, then move it to a fridge for some further drying, then bandage or wax.  In fact, it seems like every resource I find gives a different opinion on how a cheese should be aged.

For something like cheddar, is there a more standard aging process?  Starting from taking the pressed curds out of the mold - what's my best bet for a sturdy cheddar?  I have a small cheese fridge available for use, with a hygrometer and thermostat bypass.  I'm in Michigan so the air is pretty dry right now, and it's still fairly chilly.  I have a basement but it is not cheese friendly.

Any pointers are welcome!

Colaly

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Re: Best way to age?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 12:06:20 PM »
I think the most important thing is to make sure the cheese is dry before waxing and depending on your cheese and the humidity and temp this can take longer or shorter. I air dry at room temp - its actually about 66, because my cheese fridge as really high humidity and nothing will ever dry out in there. Then when it is dry all over, I vacuum seal it and put it in the cheese fridge which is set to 50F. This has taken between 3 days and 1 week for me. I just keep checking everyday and flipping it over until it is dry.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Best way to age?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009, 07:00:16 PM »
Depending on your heating system ... very dry heat is not good!

I have a floor furnace (bassically a BBQ bolted to the ceiling in the basement with a grate on top) and it will evaporate a cheese overnight anywhere in the house except a closed off room. I usually take cheese cloth dipped in brine and wrung out (damp) and wrap it around the cheese before setting it out at room temperature. If you have steam heat or hot water this won't be a problem.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Best way to age?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 02:53:08 AM »
If you search posts by me you'll see I've outlined a process I've perfected for air drying cheddar to make sure it's dry and doesn't crack.
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