Author Topic: Cheddar without waxing?  (Read 3041 times)

Offline Ariel301

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Cheddar without waxing?
« on: July 26, 2009, 05:13:52 PM »
Can cheddar be aged in any way without wax? I've tried a couple of waxed cheeses already, and I find the wax to be a messy process and cleaning up after it is time consuming. I just don't enjoy doing it. But I'd like to do hard cheeses like cheddar and monterey jack, etc. So, any other methods?


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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009, 05:39:06 PM »
Absolutely you can do this.
Many old school Vermont Cheddars are allowed to crust over with mold. They are larded and bandaged.

I, personally, have tried every conceivable method.

-Waxing
-Natural rind
-Lard/Bandaging
-Vacuum Seal
-Saran wrap

I would like to try shrink wrap at some point, but that is a small dollar investment.


I will say that the most satisfying (kinda weird i know) for me was the lard and bandaging. Someting about the tactile feedback of working the wheel with old school muslin an lard is very satisfying. It is a real connection to the past.   But it is very messy. 

The simplest and cleanest way is to use a kitchen vacuum sealer.  I can get an 8in dia by 3.5in tall wheel in the largest bag.

But, if you practice with wax, you can do this neatly and easily.  I have a dedicated dipper and pot for this.  I merely heat and dip and put away.  not a big deal.  I usually wait till I have more than one to wax.

Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Ariel301

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 06:38:04 PM »
Thanks. I may try natural rind on this next one and see how it works.

Lard is out, since we're Jewish. I had a tough enough time finding rennet that was certified kosher non-animal, and we can't use any lipase either. (No 'meat' products are allowed in our cheese)

 I don't happen to own a vacuum sealer, though I intend to purchase one in the future since I also like to dehydrate fruits and vegetables and put them up for camping or road trips or emergencies.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2009, 08:24:02 PM »
You might try a non-animal based grease like crisco/muslin. 

I've not done it, but I don't see why not.  Anyone else see why  not?

But a vacuum sealer is great for many things.  Its a good investment.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline PeterNZ

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2009, 10:35:00 PM »
I am with Wayne in everything he said. Just one comment about the messy-ness of waxing (Cheese that is!  :o) :

We use one pot only for the wax. We store it in this pot. We melt the wax in a water bath (Pot in pot system). And we dip the cheese and don't use a brush. We dip the cheese one half, let it cool for a couple of seconds and then dip the other half. We apply 3 coatings. If you put the cheese in a fridge 1 -2 hours before waxing it cools the wax quicker. Takes only 2 - 3 seconds. No mess! When finished we just let the wax cool in the pot for next time.

Cheers

Peter
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2009, 11:09:14 PM »
I've used palm oil before.  Really you can use any plant based fat (oil), I used palm because we had it extra and I thought it would have an intersting flavor.  It was unremarkable.  We bring in bulk blocks of cheddar that are shrink wrapped and aged for years in cold stores.  The flavor is actually pretty good but there's no rind on them.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2009, 01:43:04 AM »
I have used plain shortening to coat my cheese without any bandage.  It is a bit messy to turn, but I just use two cheese mats (one top, one bottom) and flip it over.

I never liked the work and mess of removing wax from a finished cheese, as it always seemed like such a waste to cut away so much of the rind to get rid of the wax in the crevices.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2009, 07:34:31 AM »
Agrees with MrsKK.
It bugs me to cut away so much to get to the cheese.

This is one of the reasons I am gearing up to make larger wheels.  Larger wheels give a higher cheese/rind ratio.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline pam

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2009, 08:45:08 AM »
I seem to remember as a young adult that the country store in my little home town carried wheels of waxed cheese that were very easy to peel. It was a cheddar or a colby and the cheese had been covered with a layer or two of actual cheese cloth prior to waxing. The owner kept a very sharp knife there and we would cut off the wedge we wanted to buy and peel and eat. The cloth made pulling the wax off very easy, even in the wrinkles. Why not try that?

Pam
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Offline Boulderbrewer

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2009, 10:04:13 PM »
A vacuum sealer would work? How much air space should you leave in the bag? I already own a sealer. What about getting the proper humidity? Or should I just wax?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 10:17:12 PM by Boulderbrewer »


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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 05:17:18 AM »
This was the same question I posed a while back in this forum.

My understanding is that as soon as you seal a cheese, whether it's shrink wrap, wax, or vacuum bag,  the cheese is sealed, and humidity is not as important.


Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2009, 06:22:26 PM »
We do multiple preservation processes, based on the cheese; including vacuum seal, shrink wrap and gas flushing.  The cheddar we get in is produced in massive plants in 40# blocks and vacuum sealed.  The moisture content is fixed and nothing grows on the rind.  We get in 3 year old cheddar that has been vacuum sealed and aged in a big chilled storehouse.  It's pretty good actually.  HOWEVER, we use gigantic undustrial vacuum chambers to do this.  I'm pretty sure it only works becasue we use a very powerful vacuum pump and heavy industraial bagging material.   I don't think a home vacuum cealer will do the trick.

Offline Sedona

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2009, 07:34:53 PM »
I do the same method like Peter do, no mess at all.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2009, 10:14:31 PM »
I do a salt rubbed natural rind on my asiagos, parms and romanos for grating fr a few months then vac-pack with my food saver. They will still develop a white mold dust of sorts even sealed but it takes about 8 to 12 months. I find I can just wipe it off and it seems to add flavor. Even after a few years it dosen't seem to penetrate beyond the surface of the rind. I've had a few go for 3 to 4 years with no problem. They also don't get so hard you can't grate them that way.


Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Cheddar without waxing?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2009, 10:37:58 PM »
Right, but you are talking about low fat, high salt cheeses.  We even have issues here sometimes with bagging blues (changes the flavor profile).  They will weep fat in their bags if not taken out in time.