Author Topic: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave  (Read 4304 times)

Offline Tea

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Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« on: July 06, 2008, 04:57:00 PM »
Ok not sure that this is of interest, but I thought I would show what I am doing for my cave.  I have the temp between 12 and 14 constant, so that is a definate plus and better than my last attempt.  I the water bottles frozen and replace them 2-3 times a day. 
I don't though have any way of controlling the humidity, although I don't think any of my cheese at the momnet are that dependent on humitity as they are waxed or sealed.
I also am using three cake trays that stack on top of each other and they are turning out to be perfect for this cave at the moment.


Offline John (CH)

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2008, 07:35:29 PM »
Great idea on the folding cake trays. I should have used that when I was using a cooler as a cheese cave.

When I used a cooler I found my ice blocks as meltd were sweating condensation from air as very humid here like you and forming puddles on bottom which gave me too high a humidity. But like you said, you have already sealed your cheeses.

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 04:23:31 PM »
Made some camembert on Monday and as I have no way of controling the humidity in my esky, this is how I hope to be able to mature them at a high humidity.
Not sure that the cheese turned out the best, it seems a bit harder and lumpier than I expected.
Might try another recipe next time and see what the difference is.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 04:58:30 PM by Tea »

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 05:33:10 PM »
Well we have a cold night last night and the temp in the esky dropped to 6-7c, but I am assuming that a colder temp is better than a warmer temp ... right??

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 05:59:08 PM »
Definately in my book, as long as above freezing ;D!

Too cold, process is slowed, too hit things can go tragically wrong.

That said, from everything I've read on Camembert, it is a particularly fickle cheese to make . . .

I hope your esky was inside and cold was from a window, hate to think it was outside and a fox or some strange ozzie animal could have eaten them, you have kangaroos in NE Queenland?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2008, 06:10:33 PM by Cheese Head »

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008, 07:50:34 PM »
Tea, hope you didn't take the picture the wrong way . . . to make it even, here's a picture from where I grew up . . .

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2008, 05:35:00 PM »
Your kidding, that sign is for real!!   :D

No I didn't take it the wrong way.  Actually foxes are an introduced species, which I am sure you know.  We actually don't have any around here, and originally I don't think there were any in Queensland at all, but I think they have crossed the boarder, but they stay mainly down south and more inland.

We also don't have kangaroos here either, although we do have wallabies which are their smaller cousin. They are plentiful and as I live in a semi rural area, we see them frequently.  Actually had to dodge a couple on my way out to my friends the other day, and no they don't jump up and down the main streets of town.
Kangaroos which are much larger, and don't eat cheese are found much further inland on the big grazing and grain properties.
Now snakes are a different thing.  They will come in side, but are usually looking for water not cheese.  Found one of them under my babies cot a couple of weeks ago.  Needless to say he didn't live for much longer.


Offline John (CH)

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2008, 05:50:48 PM »
Wow, snake killer Tea! Good on ya, my wife would have had a fit, surprisingly we have lots of snakes also around here, many highly venemous, also alligators in the bayous and a few amadillos.

Offline DaggerDoggie

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2008, 06:14:36 PM »
Ok, I know we're off your topic, Tea, but here's what I have in my back yard and see regularly.  The turkeys and deer we see everyday.  The coyotes are more elusive, but you can hear them howling every night in the summer with the windows open.  The fishers and the beer will sometimes get into the garbage at night.  Last summer a beer bent my bird feeder to the ground.  It was mounted on 1" black iron pipe and he bent it like it was nothing. ;D













Our snakes a pretty harmless.

Ok, now back to your cave.

Offline Tea

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2008, 06:47:42 PM »
Oh must we go back to my cave?? Those pics look much nicer.
Thankyou Dagger for those, they are just beautiful.  I can only dream of seeing just animals in the wild like that.

Offline bdasko

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2008, 11:57:24 AM »
Great idea on the folding cake trays. I should have used that when I was using a cooler as a cheese cave.

When I used a cooler I found my ice blocks as meltd were sweating condensation from air as very humid here like you and forming puddles on bottom which gave me too high a humidity. But like you said, you have already sealed your cheeses.

Do you think that maybe if you had a nested box inside the cooler it might eliminate the humidity problem (or at least reduce it)?

I mean, if you have a cooler, and then inside a rubbermaid-type container that seals to put the actual cheese in.  Put a towel on the bottom of the cooler itself to absorb any puddles, and put in your ice block.  I don't think it would eliminate the problems completely but I bet it would reduce the humidity a bit.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2008, 06:00:43 AM »
Hi bdasko, yes putting the maturing cheese in a rubbermaid or Tupperware type box would seal it from the very high humidity in the cooler caused by the ice blocks thawing. But then the cheese is also releasing moisture and inside such box would quickly create very high humidity, not good. I like your idea of cloth to soak up liquid condensation. Right now I've just switched to plastic box placed inside standard fridge wit lid cracked to release humidity. Temp is too cold - not ideal . . .

Offline bdasko

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2008, 02:56:21 PM »
Hmm... I'm a very very noob, will be doing my first hard cheese within the next week or so, and so I can't put a lot into a cheese cave just *yet* but I think that might be a decent place to start.  I have a fairly cool room in my basement that I use for food storage, so maybe down there the temps wouldn't be too warm, especially with winter coming up.  I'll have to play it by ear, though especially at first I don't imagine my cheeses being aged TOO long hehe

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2008, 06:52:48 AM »
Sounds like ideal place from temperature, your main problem I expect will be maintaining enough humidity until you have enough of a natural rind or seal the cheese. Most people control humidity with a box and crack the lid to release humidity or use bowl of water and cloth wick to add humidity. You really need a gauge to measure it, if not then if you are getting mold the too high, cheese cracking from differential drying then too low, this picture is from one of my earlier 1 US gallon/3.8 liter batches in very dry forced air style modern household fridge :(.

Offline bdasko

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Re: Tea's Cooler Box Mini Cheese Cave
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2008, 04:32:17 PM »
What sort of gauge do you need to measure it, are they expensive?