Author Topic: Camembert Ripening - Humidity Control  (Read 1460 times)

Offline Chevre Guevara

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Camembert Ripening - Humidity Control
« on: March 27, 2009, 10:39:41 AM »
Hello- new to the board, still a newbie cheesemaker--

Here's my question- I made some Camembert last weekend, it all seems to be going well,
however, I'm drying it in my wine room, not really a cellar. The temp is okay 54-58F, but with
my ultrasonic humidifier going night and day, I think I'm only hitting about 70% humidity.
The temp/humidity gauge I bought doesn't go as high as I needed it to, didn't think to check : (

I have a fridge that I was going to use for the colder aging- would it be better for me to put the
cheeses in there humidifying with distilled water? I didn't think the lower humidity would be
a problem but after reading your board, now I'm getting worried. Right now, the cheeses seem
firm and getting a soft white haze, which I am hoping will blossom into some nice white
mold. Any thoughts are much appreciated!!


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Camembert Ripening - Humidity Control
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2009, 11:52:25 AM »
Low humidity issues can be difficult to fix. You can try putting the cheeses in a container, and letting them out to breathe once a day. Or you can put in a bowl of water with a paper towel hanging from it so it wicks moisture and increases surface area. An ultrasonic mister doesn't do such a good job at helping to maintain humidity.

You can try a new fridge, but that introduces new variables. How is it cooled (water might condense on the racks)? How big is it? With a large size and few cheeses, it's difficult to achieve and maintain equilibrium because there's not enough thermal mass. You might encounter uneven heat and humidity distribution that fluctuates.

Try putting a bowl of water with a towel and spraying the existing fridge sides to increase humidity.
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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Camembert Ripening - Humidity Control
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2009, 12:21:49 PM »
Chevre Guevara, I noticed this is your first post, welcome to the forum!

From new guidelines from experienced Camembert maker FineWino, you are a little too warm, humidity is a bit low but your gauge is maxed so it's probably higher than 70% especially as you are starting to get a nice bloom. Thus I would move into a "warm" 48-50F(9-10C) fridge and place inside a cracked plastic box to raise the humidity.

Once you have a good mold bloom, you will need to wrap and cool them either by lowering that fridge's temp or placing in regular household fridge as many people keep there's at the required lower temperature of 38 F/1 C.

Do you have wraps ready?

Offline Chevre Guevara

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Re: Camembert Ripening - Humidity Control
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 02:19:37 PM »
Yes, I do have some wraps I bought previously. I only have 6 rounds so I don't need much. It's funny, but
it seems that every time I try to make cheese, I'm missing something or other. I'll try the fridge- I currently
have it set @ 55 degrees, the recipe I was following indicated that as the initial aging temp. I can adjust down.

Thanks so much for your reply. I'm finding cheesemaking to be very complicated, but I'm determined
to produce consistent, excellent cheeses!

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Camembert Ripening - Humidity Control
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 05:11:26 PM »
I'm working on my seventh batch of Camembert and still not perfected ;D.

This batch I am following FineWino's recommendations linked above, and I've updated the website's Camembert Recipe, Tricks & Traps from the generally available recipe which use the warmer aging temperature.


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Camembert Ripening - Humidity Control
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2009, 03:22:31 AM »
I have to say an ultrasonic humidifier will put out tons of humidity but almost all ultrasonic humidifiers do not have actual setpoints, just volume levels. You need a humidifier that has a read out graduated by numbers. Most humidifiers do not go about 60%. There is a Hamilton Beach model that is no longer made but can be had on Ebay for $20 that has a digital set point and goes to 90%. It's model 055018 or something like that, I don't have the number off hand but PM me and I'll look it up.
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