Author Topic: Bandage Wrapping Formed Cheese - Kelley's Experiences  (Read 1358 times)

Offline Kelley

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Asheville, NC
  • Posts: 17
  • Cheeses: 4
  • Default personal text
Bandage Wrapping Formed Cheese - Kelley's Experiences
« on: October 30, 2009, 04:38:59 AM »
I have read that some of you are experimenting with bandaging, so I thought I would let you know my experiences. I bandage many of my hard cheeses, but I don't press them after wrapping and I use butter instead of lard or olive oil. Whatever you use is going to flavor the cheese, and I find the butter  complements the cheese instead of changing it. The cheeses then gather some wonderful molds, which add a lot to the flavor complexity of the cheeses. Mold is not our enemy in cheesemaking, unless it is a mold we don't want, or if it develops underneath wax.  Many award-winning farmstead cheesemakers are crafting wonderful cheeses using mold as an ally. After a time, when I like the looks of the mold, often many colored, I brush the cheeses down with a soft brush, to keep them in check. I keep many different types of cheeses together in my cave, and I don't mind an occasional sharing of mold between cheeses. As long as I watch them and decide when enough growth has occurred, it only seems to add to the flavor. When you unwrap the cheeses to eat them, most of the mold comes off with the bandages, and you can wash the rind with salt water at that point to clean it up if you wish. My bandages never dry out after having been coated with the butter the first time. Since I also love natural rind cheeses, and have been experimenting with some wonderful ripening cultures to develop them (mycodore, arn, geo. etc.), this  adds to the variety of the mold that gets onto the bandaged cheeses and makes them much more interesting! And the cheeses still taste like they are supposed to, (cheddar, havarti, etc.) only better, in my opinion. This is, for me, the thrill of making my own cheese, not  to come up with the same product each time, but to experiment, and celebrate each and every cheese I make, and enjoy it! Since I have chosen not to sell my cheese, it allows me incredible freedom. As artists we can wow ourselves and our friends with each new masterpiece, and have a lot of fun doing it. (Can you tell I am a foodie?)
The following photos show a 4 LB Havarti in the process of being unwrapped, then
cleaned and ready to eat. I suggest you unwrap your cheese and clean it before you serve it to your guests. Although you and I might find the discarded wrappings really interesting, they might not!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 04:46:29 AM by Kelley »

Offline Sailor Con Queso

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Posts: 2,544
  • Cheeses: 128
    • Boone Creek Creamery
Re: Bandage Wrapping Formed Cheese - Kelley's Experiences
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 11:09:01 AM »
Excellent. Tell us more about how you are experimenting with "mycodore, arn, geo. etc".
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline Pavel

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Russia
  • Posts: 248
  • Cheeses: 15
  • Default personal text
Re: Bandage Wrapping Formed Cheese - Kelley's Experiences
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 01:35:18 PM »
This looks wonderfull Kelly! I couldn't tear myself away from viewing your pics for at least 15 minuets :)
Can you please tell me:
1. What type of material do you use for wrapping hard cheeses?
2. What are temperature and humidity in your cave during aging?
3. I thought butter get spoilt if store it for 3+ months even in a cool place?

Offline Kelley

  • Young Cheese
  • **
  • Location: Asheville, NC
  • Posts: 17
  • Cheeses: 4
  • Default personal text
Re: Bandage Wrapping Formed Cheese - Kelley's Experiences
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 02:22:26 PM »
Hi Pavel! There are probably a long list of things to discuss about using raw milk that  should be on a different post (the raw milk post), but I need to reference it here to answer your question. I think it has a lot to do with why my cheeses seem to make themselves so beautifully, without a lot of interfering from me.
I buy raw cream directly from a grade A dairy farmer, who also sells me raw milk at $5/gallon. I trust the source, as he has been in business for 20 years, no one has ever been sick from his milk, and he has a lot to lose if he doesn't keep up with cleanliness, testing, etc.  If you use raw milk, do your homework and know your source.  I put the cream in the blender, put it on low, and let it go for about 8-10 minutes, until I see that the butter is forming. Then I just rinse it under cold water until there is no white liquid left, and squeeze the water out from the butter, put it in a glass tupperware container and store it in the fridge. It seems to last forever. I don't culture the butter, because I don't want the flavor interfering with the flavor of the cheese, but I do believe that the cheese and butter meld together in some strange way, sort of a symbiosis thing, and the natural beneficial bacteria that is in good raw milk and butter ends up protecting it. Probably the butter takes up some of the culture in the cheese and thus ends up protecting itself from bad bacteria. ( This is only my opinion.)
I can't say whether or not it would be the same with pasteurized milk or butter, but I would love to hear if anyone else is doing this. I myself am not interested in making cheese with pasteurized milk. To me, the quality of cheese from raw milk is just so superior, but that is another issue.
You can certainly make your own butter in the same way with pasteurized cream, if that is all you have access to,or if you prefer to use it,  so you could experiment.
I use cheesecloth that I buy from the cheese supply stores online to wrap it, and just cut it to size. I don't reuse the cloth, and from the photos you might understand why (yuck!)
My ripening temperatures for most cheeses are between 50 and 55 degrees F. If I need to slow the ripening of a cheese for a certain event, say, a white mold cheese, it will ripen slower at lower temperatures (38-40), so I might just wrap it and put it in a normal fridge to save it for the time I want to use it. Then it won't ripen as quickly and I will still have some in two months time.
As far as the ripening cultures, I will save that for another time, as I need to go to town. Oh, and one last thing. I normally wax cheese that is intended as a gift, because it looks so clean and nice. Most people are afraid of moldy cheese, and don't understand it's purpose. Better to make them happy!
Have a great weekend!

Offline Pavel

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Russia
  • Posts: 248
  • Cheeses: 15
  • Default personal text
Re: Bandage Wrapping Formed Cheese - Kelley's Experiences
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 10:32:57 PM »
Thank you very very much, Kelly for such a detailed answer! I use raw milk from one farmer but a don't know much about him though I use this milk for a long time. Guess I should do my homework :)
I thought for a recent month or so about aging my cheeses. It seems to me there are two extremes. Waxing on the one hand and aging cheese uncovered on the other. Bandaging cheeses at my opinion lays somewhere betwing. So I'll try it for sure :)