John - in pic#24, your cheese looks quite dry after the immersion in the brine. did you dry this out before taking the photograph ? I followed your instructions for the steps before this but could only use weights till about 16lbs. Did this for 6hrs, flipping the cheese initially every 30mts for the first 2 hours. How dry does it have to be before I put it in the brine ?
Rahul, sorry for being absent from this thread, sounds like you've gotten some great advice. On your questions above:
1) No, I didn't use cloth or paper towel to dry it but it may have been a couple hours after removing from brine that I took that picture.
2) My Havarti is too firm, low moisture content, I think I will use less weights like you next time.
3) How dry before brining? Good question, hard to describe, not very, you are not trying to press all the moisture out of the cheese. You can in futire dehydrate your cheese during aging as sounds like you have done.
Also, I agree that store bought Havarti's are rindless, to be authentic I think you do have to vacuum bag, I just wanted a natural rind. Next time once reasonably dry I will oil the rind to get a humidity and mold barrier as otherwise long term aging will cause a thick rind, especially if small cheese like Sailor says.
Good to hear yours is working out