Author Topic: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion  (Read 5490 times)

Offline humble_servant7

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« on: August 05, 2009, 11:04:49 PM »
Hello all.. A question has been perplexing me...

As I have read through almost 2/3rds of the threads here and I have seen that the dilemma of aging cheese has to do with one's location, and the humidity and temperature, I have ALSO been informed that these effects, however, do not apply to or as HEAVILY to waxed cheese than to cheese that is Natural Rind.

My Question to the board is.. what is the difference between Cheese that has a Natural Rind versus those that have been waxed that have caused some to buy refrigerators and all manner of smaller freezer/wine cooler appliances just to accomadate this particular aging method of cheese, when it seems to me the simpler way is just to wax?

There must be a BIG difference in between how the cheeses taste or something? Because it would seem to me that there MUST be a reason as to why one would insist on natural rind, despite its technical drawbacks/headaches, right? Natural Rind CHEESE MUST be THAT much of better taste and/or quality, correct?

Thank you for your time.. I have learned MUCH from you all


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline humble_servant7

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2009, 12:21:42 AM »
Can someone also describe for me any of the other methods of aging cheese besides waxing and just leaving them in freezers/fridges/wine coolers?

I really would like to make some masterful mozzerella and soft cheese-- are these age-able with wax?

Or do I need another method to be able to age these types of cheeses?

Offline Wayne Harris

  • Wine and Cheesemaker
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Posts: 1,938
  • Cheeses: 53
  • Wayne Harris
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 10:34:24 AM »
humble_servant7 ,

Affinage is the art of aging cheese. 

Methods vary depending on type of cheese being aged, intentions/skills of the affineur, and the equipment on hand.

Most cheese makers here are amateurs.  Francious and Linuxboy being exceptions that immediately come to mind.

That being said, for most aging requirements, there is a specific desired temperature and humidity for each type of cheese. One issue I and other folks here have to deal with is that they quite often make several types of cheese that may in fact have different/competing environmental requirements.  From that perspective, compromises need to be made if one is not willing to make separate accommodations.

A proper natural rind, a waxed rind, and a vacuum sealed rind all do pretty much the same thing. They seal and protect the inside of the cheese from the elements. A proper natural rind is damn near impervious providing a virtually hermetically sealed wheel of cheese.  Wax and vacuum sealing do much the same thing. 

Borrowed from a previous post of mine:

The rind is the outer/exterior portion of a wheel if cheese.  If this is a natural rind, it is the same cheese as the inside of the wheel, except that it is allowed to dry and harden.  The whole point of any rind is form a protective barrier.  A natural rind is simply cheese that is exposed to the air allowing a tough crust to form naturally.  (thus the term Natural Rind).  This tough, hard, dry exterior protects the inner (meat) of the cheese from over-drying and allows the inner cheese to age. A natural rind is not normally considered good eats as much of the cheese flavor is lost over time, when compared to the interior of the wheel. (But I rarely let it go to waste….)

If you do not want your cheese’s exterior to dry out and form this protective barrier, then you can do several things.  You can stop the exterior of your wheel from drying out by waxing, vacuum sealing, shrink wrapping your whole wheel.   These all do much the same thing in that they prevent the exterior of your cheese from drying out and thus forming a natural rind.


So, to answer your question directly, you will need to control the temperature of your cheese as it ages, but if you, as the affineur, are trying to develop a natural rind, you will need to control your humidity very closely. Why would you do this? 

Natural rinds are more traditional.  Waxing can be messy.  You may not have a vacuum sealer.
Going back to how I started this, the “why” depends on what you as the affineur are trying to accomplish.

BTW, all of my comments are hard cheese centric.


« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 11:16:42 AM by Wayne Harris »
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline humble_servant7

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 12:50:17 PM »
humble_servant7 ,

Affinage is the art of aging cheese. 

Methods vary depending on type of cheese being aged, intentions/skills of the affineur, and the equipment on hand.

Most cheese makers here are amateurs.  Francious and Linuxboy being exceptions that immediately come to mind.

That being said, for most aging requirements, there is a specific desired temperature and humidity for each type of cheese. One issue I and other folks here have to deal with is that they quite often make several types of cheese that may in fact have different/competing environmental requirements.  From that perspective, compromises need to be made if one is not willing to make separate accommodations.

A proper natural rind, a waxed rind, and a vacuum sealed rind all do pretty much the same thing. They seal and protect the inside of the cheese from the elements. A proper natural rind is damn near impervious providing a virtually hermetically sealed wheel of cheese.  Wax and vacuum sealing do much the same thing. 

Borrowed from a previous post of mine:

The rind is the outer/exterior portion of a wheel if cheese.  If this is a natural rind, it is the same cheese as the inside of the wheel, except that it is allowed to dry and harden.  The whole point of any rind is form a protective barrier.  A natural rind is simply cheese that is exposed to the air allowing a tough crust to form naturally.  (thus the term Natural Rind).  This tough, hard, dry exterior protects the inner (meat) of the cheese from over-drying and allows the inner cheese to age. A natural rind is not normally considered good eats as much of the cheese flavor is lost over time, when compared to the interior of the wheel. (But I rarely let it go to waste….)

If you do not want your cheese’s exterior to dry out and form this protective barrier, then you can do several things.  You can stop the exterior of your wheel from drying out by waxing, vacuum sealing, shrink wrapping your whole wheel.   These all do much the same thing in that they prevent the exterior of your cheese from drying out and thus forming a natural rind.


So, to answer your question directly, you will need to control the temperature of your cheese as it ages, but if you, as the affineur, are trying to develop a natural rind, you will need to control your humidity very closely. Why would you do this? 

Natural rinds are more traditional.  Waxing can be messy.  You may not have a vacuum sealer.
Going back to how I started this, the “why” depends on what you as the affineur are trying to accomplish.

BTW, all of my comments are hard cheese centric.

ah! THANK YOU my good man!

I was panicking because after sifting through all the threads in here it looked like to me that the general consensus was saying that it wasnt going possible to be possible for me to age cheese at all!!

I'm glad that there are other alternatives or else I would be DOOMED! lol

Just one last question.. when aging soft cheese, and the semi-soft and semi-hard-- wont I need a waxing coat for that also?
Seems more unlikely to do that with soft cheese than with hard though right?
Should waxing be okay for those types of cheeses, (both soft and semi-soft) and mozzerella? Or is the waxing not needed?

And if I do decide to wax, will the waxing procedure only limit me to aging only certain types of cheeses, or am I free to do with my heart's desire?... I dont want to be limited and held back by this method, I hope to create all cheeses.

Offline Wayne Harris

  • Wine and Cheesemaker
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Posts: 1,938
  • Cheeses: 53
  • Wayne Harris
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 12:58:37 PM »
You are welcome,  Like many things in life, there are many ways to accomplish what it is you are doing. The difficult part is deciding what it is you are doing.

(making a very traditional English hand bandaged cheddar?, making generic stirred curd cheddar, or simply making a cheddar-esque cheese.......)

I am not an authority on soft cheeses, I have never made one, nor have I read up on them.  I will have to completely defer on that.

Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline FRANCOIS

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 788
  • Cheeses: 71
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2009, 02:45:44 PM »
Soft cheeses, besides practically being impossible to wax, would only rot if you were able to do so.  Soft cheeses fall into two main categories: fresh and mold ripened.  Fresh cheeses are consumed very early in their life and have short shelf lives (unless preservatives are used).  Mold ripened and their variants (smear, leaf wrapped etc.) all require significant microflora chemistry on their surface which and a gradual loss of moisture from the body of the cheese, which could not happen with a wax coating.  I'm sure somewhere you could find someone that makes a soft cheese that could be waxed (I'm thinking high fat blues) but it is not commonly done and is, for most mainstream recipes, impracticle.

Offline DeejayDebi

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 5,804
  • Cheeses: 95
    • Deejays Smoke Pit and DSP Forums
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 05:30:34 PM »
There are many different techniques for protecting and aging cheeses that require it. We each have our own favorite way to achieve the same end.

Moisture and temperature are key points to keep in mind.

Offline humble_servant7

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2009, 05:37:29 PM »
Soft cheeses, besides practically being impossible to wax, would only rot if you were able to do so.  Soft cheeses fall into two main categories: fresh and mold ripened.  Fresh cheeses are consumed very early in their life and have short shelf lives (unless preservatives are used).  Mold ripened and their variants (smear, leaf wrapped etc.) all require significant microflora chemistry on their surface which and a gradual loss of moisture from the body of the cheese, which could not happen with a wax coating.  I'm sure somewhere you could find someone that makes a soft cheese that could be waxed (I'm thinking high fat blues) but it is not commonly done and is, for most mainstream recipes, impracticle.

Thank you.. just what I needed...

Um.. would you happen to know if one could age mozzerella?

I was told the aging of mozzerella is in actuality, called Provolone.

Could waxing be used in the aging process of mozzerella or any other semi-soft cheese? thank you again sir for your time

Offline humble_servant7

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2009, 05:40:39 PM »
Soft cheeses, besides practically being impossible to wax, would only rot if you were able to do so.  Soft cheeses fall into two main categories: fresh and mold ripened.  Fresh cheeses are consumed very early in their life and have short shelf lives (unless preservatives are used).  Mold ripened and their variants (smear, leaf wrapped etc.) all require significant microflora chemistry on their surface which and a gradual loss of moisture from the body of the cheese, which could not happen with a wax coating.  I'm sure somewhere you could find someone that makes a soft cheese that could be waxed (I'm thinking high fat blues) but it is not commonly done and is, for most mainstream recipes, impracticle.

And one last question.. if one was to wish to create old-ripened cheese at home.. how exactly should one go about it?

Waxing is out of the question, so is this where natural rind and/or shrink/vaccum-wrapping come into the matter?

thanks again.. sorry for the so many questions.

Offline DeejayDebi

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 5,804
  • Cheeses: 95
    • Deejays Smoke Pit and DSP Forums
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2009, 09:59:55 PM »
Mozzarella is in a family of cheeses called pasta filata. There are several variations to making these cheeses. Some are fresh, some are ages and some are smoked. They may be made exactly the same initially but once the curd is cut the process changes somewhat to create a different cheese. When this happens the name also changes.

Provolone is not aged mozzarella although they both come from the pasta filata family of cheeses. Provolone has the addition of lipase for example where mozzarella does not. My guess is you are thinking of Caciocavallo which looks much like a mozzarella with a nub when it's first made but it's hung by a rope to age. It actually a variatio of provolone. Maybe that is where the confusion come from.

It would be very difficult to tell you where to start other than to suggest you get a good book to begin to get an understanding of what cheese is first.

I highly recommend:
Margaret PetersMorris's book - The Cheese Makers Manual
or
Debra Amerein-Boyes's book - 200 Easy Homemade Cheese recipes
or
Tim Smith's book - Making Artisian Cheese To get started.




Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline humble_servant7

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2009, 03:09:37 PM »
Mozzarella is in a family of cheeses called pasta filata. There are several variations to making these cheeses. Some are fresh, some are ages and some are smoked. They may be made exactly the same initially but once the curd is cut the process changes somewhat to create a different cheese. When this happens the name also changes.

Provolone is not aged mozzarella although they both come from the pasta filata family of cheeses. Provolone has the addition of lipase for example where mozzarella does not. My guess is you are thinking of Caciocavallo which looks much like a mozzarella with a nub when it's first made but it's hung by a rope to age. It actually a variatio of provolone. Maybe that is where the confusion come from.

It would be very difficult to tell you where to start other than to suggest you get a good book to begin to get an understanding of what cheese is first.

I highly recommend:
Margaret PetersMorris's book - The Cheese Makers Manual
or
Debra Amerein-Boyes's book - 200 Easy Homemade Cheese recipes
or
Tim Smith's book - Making Artisian Cheese To get started.

Wow.. thank you...

"Pasta Filata"? Never heard of this term before, The only categories I've been told of from reading Ricki Carroll's book is "soft", and "hard", and a category of cheese in between. thank you for these books, I hope they teach me all I need to know about cheese and the different families of them, and what I can and cant do with different kinds.

« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 03:22:10 PM by humble_servant7 »

Offline DeejayDebi

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 5,804
  • Cheeses: 95
    • Deejays Smoke Pit and DSP Forums
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2009, 07:35:05 PM »
There are also some very old books you can download from the net from google books and Scribed? I'll be darned if I can find the link right now though.

I also have a small eBook I put together a few years back to try to get some of my forum members into cheese making that is VERY basic. Not technical at all (I didn't want to scare them). We are a Smoking Meat/Sausage/Beer/Food preservationsite site with a forum attached. Just a small family of food addicts.

http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/CheeseDownloads_files/LetsMakeCheese.pdf

And a quick and dirty info sheet here:

http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/CMProcess.htm

Might give you some basic idea of what you want to know.

Offline humble_servant7

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 02:49:41 PM »


I highly recommend:
Margaret PetersMorris's book - The Cheese Makers Manual
or
Debra Amerein-Boyes's book - 200 Easy Homemade Cheese recipes
or
Tim Smith's book - Making Artisian Cheese To get started.

The top two books must be some MIGHTY hard books to find/get.. because when i completed a google search for them, most of them appear to be strangley vague/ambiguous with only a few copies left. even the libraries dont run anymore copies.

i guess i'll just have to shell out for them and buy'em via Amazon

Offline DeejayDebi

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 5,804
  • Cheeses: 95
    • Deejays Smoke Pit and DSP Forums
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2009, 07:36:30 PM »
Two of them are Canadian authors.

Offline Tea

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,914
  • Cheeses: 27
Re: Pressed Cheeses - Natural vs Oiling vs Waxing Rind Discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2009, 09:32:17 PM »
Welcome humble-servant7.  I have to admit that I have only skimmed through this thread, but you can also wrap cheeses, cover them in lard, and even age them in oil.

The different tecniques give different flavours.  I have made provolone and aged in oil and another without anything, just wiping in down every now and then with oil.

The difference in flavour was unbelieveable, and personally I prefered the cheese that was just wiped over with oil.

So try the different methods with the different cheeses and see which one you prefer in the end.

Lots of luck.