Author Topic: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses  (Read 9125 times)

Offline Tea

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Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« on: July 14, 2008, 04:25:42 PM »
Wasn't sure where to post this, so if it needs to be moved, that's fine.

Just thought I would show the process that I use when waxing my cheese.

First they need two coats of plastic cheese applied and dried.  This helps with the adherence of the wax coat.
First photo shows the pepper cheese with a half coat of plastic, and the second shows the peppers and the monterey jack vino coated and dry.


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Offline Tea

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 04:31:05 PM »
Then I heat up the wax to between 90 - 110c.  Holding one edge I dip half the cheese in around 15 times then gently shake off the excess wax, and dry.  This takes a minute or so. Once dry I repeat holding the now waxed section and dip the other side in as before and allow to dry.

Offline Tea

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 04:37:24 PM »
As I wasn't sure that the first coat was thick enough, I decided to double dip one of the peppers.  Finally decided to redip them all doing exactly what I did defore, coating only half the cheese at  time.
Anyway this is what I do, would be interested if anyone else does things different, because as usual, I am self taught, so always open to learning new tricks.

 

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 05:33:38 PM »
Tea thanks for the info and ideas, sorry but I have no advice as I have not yet waxed a cheese.

I've never heard of the Plastic Cheese Coat before, I assume as you are in Oz that you got it from http://www.cheeselinks.com.au/WaxPlasticoat.html? Do you find it helps or have you always used it?

Also, do you re-use your wax or not bother?

Offline Herb N Cheddr

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 05:59:13 PM »
Hi Tea,

If you live in Canada, you can order something called CREAM WAX CHEESE COATING from Glengarry Cheesemaking and Dairy Supply in Ontario.  (It says product of USA so should be available in the US also.)

I too use this as a pre-coat to waxing, as mentioned in Margaret Morris's book on cheesemaking. 

I note you use a paint brush to coat the cheese wax/plastic.  How do you clean it out of the brush?  I'm having an awful time cleaning my brushes and cloths of this stuff.

Great talking to my fellow cheesemakers.

Herb N Cheddr

Herb N Cheddr aka Urban Cheddar


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Offline Tea

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2008, 06:50:23 PM »
Herb and Cheddr, the plastic coating that I use is water solulable, so washed off.  If I let it dry, then it is impossible to get off.

Cheese Head, wasn't sure of the answers to your questions so decided to ring around.
As I think I mentioned the wax does not adhere as well without the coating, and can form air bubbles during application.

They also don't recommend the reuse of the wax as if would transfer the bacteria and molds used back into the cheese.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2008, 06:53:26 PM »
Thanks both, I'd seen on some chese making supply stores that you can re-use the wax, I agree probably not that hygenic.

Offline Tea

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2008, 06:47:24 PM »
JUst thought that I would update my thoughts on the waxing of cheese.
When using the cheese plastic it smells just like PVA glue, which when I enquired was told that basically it was.  mmm
The whole idea, for me anyway, of making things myself, is to cut out the usage of chemicals, preservatives, and plastics.
What I haven't been happy with is the fact that the plastic is not coming away with the wax, and has to be scraped off the cheese before it can be eaten.  Not a good look in my opinion.  The cheese that I have opened is a moist softer cheese, and I am wondering if it will be different with the harder drier cheese.

So what are the alternatives open to me?  What would the original cheese makers used to wax cheese, and does it worry me if I don't have a perfectly waxed cheese?

As I have a 10kg block of pure bees wax, I am going to try using that the next time I wax a cheese.  Will be interesting to see how it goes.  Will update further when I have done it.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 07:02:44 PM »
Tea, thanks for the thoughts.

I think PVC glue is the "flammable and avoid inhalation/closed spaces" type glue used for connecting plastic PVC pipes, not a good smell unless you like getting "high".

Agree fully on less additives, my mooching around the cheese culture manufacturer's websites sections on "improvers and preservatives", at least the sections that are open to the public, has made me realize how many additives are probably in commercial cheese, no wonder it has infinite shelf life in our grocery stores.

I've checked around the Cheese Supply Stores I have linked and the only ones that sell that plastic coating are your Australian Cheeselinks.com.au and Glengarry in Canada/USA, so not a very popular product.

Original cheese makers did not use paraffin based wax, as it is a petroleum based product it is quite a modern invention. Thus I think they used more cheesecloth and lard as coatings/sealants.

Offline Tea

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2008, 03:59:14 PM »
Yes I realise that they wouldn't have used parafin waxes, but they probably would have used bees wax, if anything.
I haven't heard/read of lard being used before.  I could see tallow being able to be dipped and setting hard, but I thought lard was softer.
I know that lard was used to preserve chickens and game fowl through the winter months.  The birds would be layered in a vat and lard poured over them and allowed to set.  This kept them free of air, etc and preserved them.  They would just cut out the bird from the lard, and then cooked. Interesting I thought.


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2008, 05:04:37 PM »
Yikes, birds in lard, good thing we have evolved form the bad old days!

Just looking at Ricki Carroll's book and she says: try bangaging Cheddar, cut strip of muslin to go 1.5 x around the periphery / side of cheese and four cpas for top bottom that are larger than the cheese. Rub thin coat lard or veg shortening on cheese, then place two layer caps at both ends folding down sides, then middle wrap, sticking it down as you go. This is tradional Englsig technique that produces drier flakier cheddar. Keep bandaged until ready to serve, bandage and lard will come off when remove. Mold will develop on outside, this will protect cheese from drying outto breath and develop optimal flavour.

Offline Tea

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2008, 03:59:53 PM »
I opened my gouda yesterday, it was almost 2 mths aged.  Very nice and mild, but with a few air pockets most likely from the initial laddling into the press.  Drat got to do better with that.  But the cheese glue is still adhering to the cheese.
As I had the monterey jack ready to wax I decided to try out the bees wax idea.  I was surprised at how well the wax adhered to the cheese with no sign of slipping or bubbling.  This has been dipped three times as usual.
Anyway here is the end result.  Next time I might try tallow and see what the differences are.




Offline bec1986

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2008, 05:12:37 PM »
when i was 34 weeks pregnant with my youngest daughter we slaughtered a steer for the freezer, if something has to die i dont like to waste anything so i decided to try and make some soap using rendered suet (kidney fat), well i got as far as rendering it when my daughter arrived 3.5 weeks early i had done it all outside in a big copper boiler we use if we ever need large quantities of boiling water. well that was over 2 months ago and my tallow is still sitting outside in a big drum and it is still perfect, birds have pecked a few holes in it but it has no smell and is the same texture and colour as it was the first day. i just though id demonstrate the keeping properties of tallow if anyone was concerned with wrapping their cheese in an animal product.
if you ask your local butcher you will be able to get suet very cheap and if you ask nicely they might even mince it for you which makes rendering so much easier.  :D

Offline reg

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2008, 06:37:19 AM »
Ch your quote " Yikes, birds in lard, good thing we have evolved form the bad old days! "

thats pretty funny CH. actually a cooking method called 'confit' is a very similar idea. last year i did some pork belly confit which in lay mans terms is pork that was (in my case) seasoned and cured, simmered at low heat for hrs in its own fat then cooled. after cooling the meat was completely covered with its own lard. the container and all went into my downstairs fridge for nine months. brought it out during the holidays. you talk about the WOW factor, absolutely incredible ! will be making duck confit very soon for the holiday season.

how it would work with cheese i have no idea. pure lard will never go bad if kept correctly

Tea-Bec, is tallo the same thing as pure lard ?

reg
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Offline Tea

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Re: Plastic Coating & Waxing Cheeses
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2008, 04:35:46 PM »
Reg I was thinking when CH made that reply, that the process or something similar was probably still used, just "sugar coated" with another term, to make it sound good.   :D

Reg lard is pork, tallow is beef although from what I can gather, tallow is harder than lard.

Bec tallow if not rendered properly will go off too, as it is an animal product.  I once had a lady give me a 20lt container that was supposedly rendered tallow, but she hadn't done it right, and what a smelly mess I had to clean up. 
Have you made soap before?  Tallow makes a great cleaning soap, and is especially good as a laundry soap.
I just ordered 10kg of suet from the butcher to make some more soap.  The family is going to love me rendering that hehehe.
Last time they threatened to move me down to the back paddock with the bbq.  I use sage, cloves and eucalyptus oil in the suet to mask the smell somewhat.  What I really want to try is a tallow candle, but the family just about had a fit when I suggested that.  Might do one anyway just for the sake of trying one.

What I am interested in though is trying CH's suggestion of wrapping and dipping in lard/tallow.  That sounds promising.