Does anybody have any experience with letting white mold ripened cheeses develop their mold naturally? I always read how in the old days, molds developed on the surfaces of cheeses simply because they were present in the cave. Now, it is obvious that in today's commercial production molds are added in order to ensure consistency, however, there must still be a way to follow the traditional method.
I have been making white mold ripened cheeses since about Christmas and have dedicated a fridge to the sole purpose of aging those cheeses. In the beginning I naturally had several cheeses stuck to cheese mattes and those became gooey and sticky, but with no more than white mold. I decided to not wash these mattes and simply hang them inside my cave (fridge). They have been there and a few were added ... I monitor them to make sure nothing else grows on them, but beyond that, they are happy.
I continue to mist my fresh cheese batches with re-hydrated spores, but I would like to stop because they are expensive and not available where I live (btw, I never add any spores/molds directly to the milk and simply use an atomizer to spray some on cheeses which are about to go inside the cave). Is it possible to let the molds propagate naturally and is there a danger in doing so - could other (potentially harmful) molds/bacteria take over? I currently add one batch of fresh cheese to the cave weekly and I am sure a certain amount of mold that grows on my cheese does not grow as a result of my atomizer, but I have yet to test the virgin cheese in that cave ...