Author Topic: Root Cellar Cheese Cave?  (Read 2648 times)

Offline goatherdess

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Root Cellar Cheese Cave?
« on: June 23, 2009, 12:32:04 PM »
Has anyone else ever built a separate cheese cave into the side of a hill - like a root cellar?
I am thinking of doing so.  We have a contractor coming over to give us some advice on building a cheese cave and small commercial dairy on our place.  Just to get some ideas.  Does anyone else have a cheese cave?  What works for you? What would you do different? 

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Root Cellar Cheese Cave?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2009, 01:45:24 PM »
I do not have a real cheese cave. I have a modified refrigerator.

If the point of a real cave is the relatively free cost of maintaining evironmental control, I guess I would have to ask what the return on investment would be compared to using comercial (and artificial) environmental controls. 
So, a natural cave might cost little over time, but might be a huge cost up front, while commercial "reefer" might cost a lot less initially, but have ongoing costs over time.

A natural cave might also be a bit more dificult to "fine tune" when it comes to temp/humidity.

So, if your return on investment is relatively short, and you find that you get the kind of environmental controls you need from a natural cave, then I would say go for it.  It certainly sounds cool. 

But If I did,  here are the things that I would want.

Lights, small fan (i would run electricity)
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Offline zenith1

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Re: Root Cellar Cheese Cave?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 06:50:02 PM »
Building an actual in the ground cheese cave would have to depend on several factors. What area of the country it was being built in. Remember that the purpose of the cave is to maintain a constant temperature of around 50 degrees. To get anywhere near that ground temperature in some areas of the country would be very difficult(costly). Also something to consider is the depth of the ground water in your area. Remember that a cheese cave has to have a relatively high humidity for proper aging to occur. Not to the extent of water seeping into the walls or under the footings(costly). An actual cheese cave is almost a living entity in itself. From what I have read over time the cave will build up and maintain it's own natural mold level(of beneficial molds)on the walls etc. If you are going into it commercially the cost can probably be written off over time.Don't forget the cost of official certifications and inspections if you are going that route.  For a small operation for personal use I believe like Wayne does that other options should be explored. There are problems to be solved going that route as well, but I believe less costly.