Author Topic: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?  (Read 1086 times)

Offline Likesspace

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How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« on: January 30, 2010, 01:40:24 PM »
Hi guys,
At the end of December I made my first swiss cheese of the season and it has been sitting on the kitchen counter since the 6th of January.
One thing that I tried with this cheese was to vacuum bag the wheel before beginning the sweating stage. My hopes were that this would contain any blowouts of the rind.
Well although I did not have a blow out, the surface of the wheel did crack about two weeks in and now the bag itself has puffed up to where it looks like a beach ball.
I would like to continue letting this cheese produce gas for longer than the suggested 4 week period.
My reason, for wanting to do this, is because it took about two weeks to create enough gas to inflate the bag. I'm thinking that if I allow the cheese to continue to produce gas, with the bag acting as a rind, I should still see some nice eyes form within the wheel.
My question is this.....
Does anyone see anything wrong with leaving the cheese on the counter for 6 or even 8 weeks of sweating? I have not noticed any mold during the first 4 weeks but I am a little concerned about spoilage if I leave the cheese out of the cave for such a long period of time.
The kitchen stays at about 70 degrees both day and night.
Looking forward to hearing your opinions on this.

Dave


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Online Sailor Con Queso

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Re: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 05:09:23 PM »
A crack in the rind means that the gas escaped and filled up the bag. If the gas escapes, you won't get good eyes, no matter how long it sits. After 3 weeks, the Propionic has done it's thing, so sitting longer won't help.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Likesspace

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Re: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2010, 05:21:36 PM »
Sailor...
Thanks for the reply.
What's strange about this one is that the cheese did not seem to produce ANY gas until the first of the 2 week mark. It just sat there, flat as a pancake with no visible signs of swelling or gas production.
At about the middle of the 2 week mark it started to inflate the bag and since that time has been producing gas at a fairly fast rate. Also, I am starting to see some round "blemishes" on the surface of the wheel that appear as if they are ready to pop. I honestly would expect this surface popping since the bag is now acting as the rind.
I've given this quite a bit of thought and it seems to me that if the bag fills with gas the interior of the cheese should then be able to form eyes. My thinking is that once the gas in the bag pressurizes enough then the cheese itself will have to give as the gas continues to produce.
I might be thinking entirely wrong but I'd really like to give my theory a try. I just don't want to take the chance of spoiling the cheese by doing so.
Do you think it would hurt anything to leave the cheese out another two weeks just to see what will happen? The gas production does seem to have slowed over the past few days, but the cheese is still producing.
Thanks in advance.

Dave

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Re: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 09:53:57 AM »
The CO2 has displaced any usable oxygen so there is not much for molds to survive on. It will not spoil, especially in a vac bag, so give it a shot & let us know.

I think of a Swiss as a balloon full of young, gas producing cheese. As long as the "balloon" (the rind) is intact, the gas inside tries to move around, pushes on the cheese mass, and make little tunnels - eyes. It is critical for the rind to be pliable to allow for expansion. Francois suggests using a PVA coating. I personally only do a VERY light brining so the rind stays pliable.

However, if the balloon pops or is broken in any way, the gas will take the path of least Resistance and flow outside of the cheese instead of making eyes. Depending on timing, you may get good eye formation before the gas starts to leak thru the rind. So, if you get really good swelling before the leak, you may still have a great Swiss.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 04:09:08 PM »
Good description Sailor. One thing I noticed is that if you vacuum the bag really tight you get fewer large holes. If you vaccuum the bag close fitting but not really tight it seems to act similar to the rind. Best fit seems to be about 1/2 of total vacuum pressure.


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2010, 05:23:31 PM »
Thanks for the information, guys....
My main reason for trying the vacuum bagging is because I have had problems with the rind splitting on a swiss. The best example I've ever made, looked as though it would be world class. Then one night I came home and the cheese had deflated.
I am not giving up on this type of cheese since it is one of my favorites. I figure that even if this one doesn't have nice eyes it will still be tasty.
On a side note, I haven't been able to be on here much lately since my dad has been going through some very serious health problems.
As of today, things are looking much better, (please God), than they have in the past month so I'm hoping to eventually get back to making cheese and posting on the site.
Life certainly has a way of throwing some curve balls from time to time and things can change at a moments notice. Right now, nothing sounds better than getting my life back to normal and beginning to enjoy things again.
I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't fallen off of the face of the earth and look forward to being on here more often.

Dave

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2010, 05:30:20 PM »
Prayers are coming your way for your Dad and family Dave! Sorry to hear you have had such a stressful time.

Offline FarmerJD

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Re: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2010, 07:29:24 PM »
Dave, I am really sorry about your dad and life right now; I can really relate. I hope things settle down soon. My family will be praying for you.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: How long can a swiss style safely sweat?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 07:51:39 PM »
Hey guys....
I really appreciate the thoughts and prayers. It really does mean a lot.
My dad is getting better by the day and was moved out of the ICU this evening. I'm hoping to see him back home by the weekend or early next week.
It's been a long month but finally things seem to be looking up. To say that this is a relief is the understatement of the century.
Hopefully by next weekend I'll be back in the swing of things and making some cheese.

Dave