Author Topic: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave  (Read 1573 times)

Offline thebelgianpanda

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thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« on: April 01, 2009, 04:22:59 PM »
I have a small wine fridge that works great for my indoor storage, but the project I'm really excited about is the 'cellar' I built in just a couple hours.  Basically, I sunk a 45 gallon plastic trash can in the ground with styrofoam insulation and a very small tarp on the top.  I've been monitoring the humidity and temperature this last week with a wireless device I picked up at home depot, and it's staying below 90% humidity and the temperature is 48F with several unsealed cheeses in it.  It's a tad cold, but it takes no electricity and the biggest temperature swing so far has been 2F (46-48F).

If anyone wants pictures I can go out and snap a few.


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2009, 03:23:52 AM »
Yes pics please, what do you mean by 'in the ground'? Make sure critters don't get in it.
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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2009, 09:20:27 AM »
I was thinking critters too.
 
I have raccoons in Cleveland that are crafty little devils. I see the bother they go through to get a left over chicken-wing bone out of my garbage.  I could only imagine the persistance they would show if the prize was a stilton, or wheel of sharp cheddar.
 
 
 
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Offline thebelgianpanda

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 12:31:53 PM »
Here are some pics from my current cave setup









The device attached to the side of the wall is the wireless thermometer/hygrometer, so I don't have to go out in the rain to check on it.  I suspect I will need to construct a vent here soon, since the book I have on root cellaring makes it pretty clear they are essential.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2009, 12:36:36 PM »
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that quote from a movie:  "It puts the lotion on the skin or else it gets the hose again" what was the name of that.....  oh well i forget.
 
Secondly it looks like a lot of work went into sinking that.   I am interested in how it comes out from a critter, water, safety perspective.
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Offline thebelgianpanda

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2009, 12:46:51 PM »
Wasn't as bad as you'd think, the soil there is just loam and clay, no rocks.  And I only had one root to deal with, so it took about 40 minutes total.  I'm still lookin' out for critters, but raccoons haven't been a problem due to our dog (she got into an altercation with a giant raccoon two weeks ago and literally ripped it's face off, it was scary to say the least).  It's rained almost constantly since I installed it and there isn't a drop inside.  I'm mostly worried about smaller animals/insects, but only time will tell.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2009, 12:59:22 PM »
You might want to put some self-stick weather stripping along the inside of the lid to form a tighter seal.
 
But that brings up a question.
 
Does a cave need fresh air?  don't know.
 
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Offline thebelgianpanda

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2009, 01:22:49 PM »
I honestly don't know, but skimming through 'Root Cellaring' by Mike and Nancy Bubel, they talk about gases that vegetables emit that encourage either ripening or spoilage (adding a few apples which emit ethylene to ripen green tomatoes, for instance), but I can't find any reference to cheese needing fresh air.  There is a paragraph on storing cheese in the book, but all it says is basically Your Mileage May Vary.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2009, 01:32:00 PM »
Does look like a lot of work and thought went into but personally I wouldn't put my cheese in there. Unless it's air tight bugs will get in. And I don't mean a passive air tightness but a forced one like a frig.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline thebelgianpanda

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2009, 01:36:42 PM »
I'll post success/failure updates as they happen.  I am concerned about bugs, but not so concerned that I won't at least try it.


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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2009, 01:39:10 PM »
Given today's economy,  that hole looks like where I have been investing lately.
 
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Offline thebelgianpanda

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Re: thebelgianpanda's Trash Can Cellar Style Cheese Cave
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2009, 01:43:55 PM »
If it doesn't work out as a cheese cave, I'll just market it as an investment vehicle--safer than your 401K!