Author Topic: Aging Cheese and Meat during the same time  (Read 2564 times)

Offline humble_servant7

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Aging Cheese and Meat during the same time
« on: February 17, 2010, 07:15:20 PM »
Can you cure meat and age cheese in the same refrigerator?

Unfortunately I only have room for one fridge-- and would love to spend my time predominately making cheese but also dabbling a bit into curing sausages,hot dogs, salami, and things like Pancetta and ham also.

If I could do it alongside of the cheeses-- that would be perfect.

The ideal temperature and Humidity for a lot of Charcuterie (Aging/Curing Meat) should be around about the same intervals for aging cheese, correct? (55-65 Degrees and 70-80% humidity), I think.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Aging Cheese and Meat during the same time
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 05:36:17 PM »
I have been carelessly doing so quite a few times. No issues ever. They don't seem to feed on the same bacteria and I have never experienced cross contamination. Regardless I still try to keep them away from each other in the space. I have been using a GE wine cooler and I usually set it around 55-60F. I clean and sanitize it often.

Online Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Aging Cheese and Meat during the same time
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 07:51:39 AM »
As I am setting up my first cave, what is your target humidity, and what cheese (and meats) are you usually keeping?
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Aging Cheese and Meat during the same time
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2010, 02:43:56 AM »
Hmm, my cave (wine fridge) is usually stuck in the 50% RH range which works great for the meat, but I must lock the cheese in partially covered ripening containers (just simple see through plastic boxes with an elevated platform so the cheese would get air from the bottom and not soak in its own old whey). This also enables me to control each cheese to its target humidity by covering/uncovering the lid more or less. The see through enables me to put a measuring device in each box so I can see the RH % level. It also lets me see when water beads are collecting. These boxes also help in preventing or slowing down any cross contamination of cheeses.

Unlike cheese manufacturers or farms where the cave is reserved for a single type of cheese only, at home you will need to replicate several different conditions for your variety of cheeses (and keep them apart) so a single cave with single target wouldn't work. Just get close to the 55-60F and 50%+ RH and it would be easy from there to fine tune slightly each cheese.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Aging Cheese and Meat during the same time
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 03:20:24 PM »
I often do cheese and sauages in the same cave. Actually I stole space for my cheese from my sausages. I keep mine at 50F degrees and 85 to 90% RH. The humidity is a bit high for some sausages but if you get any green surface mold on your sausage just wipe it off. The only mold that is a PITA is the geo candidium it likes salami but it won't hurt it. A nice imported salami has it's own Geo growth as a part of the aging process. SO it is a god thing if it doesn't bother you.

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Aging Cheese and Meat during the same time
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 01:33:20 PM »
Hi,

I make both Salami and Brie style cheeses, however, they do age in separate caves. That being said, they are in the same room - I make sure my sausage cave has enough air-exchange (air movement is important for proper aging) and I conduct my daily Brie flips on a counter in that room ... in other words, I don't think I can avoid cross contamination whether in the same fridge or same room, probably all the same.  Since my Salami always develops a great natural, dusty, white mold (which adds an amazing depth to the final product), I once wondered whether it is actually my Brie mold that is growing on my sausage. Somewhat intrigued as well was worried that it might not be a good thing, I did some research online and found an amazing study: somewhere in Switzerland a team actually made a scientific study, a side by side comparison of using cheese and sausage mold to inoculate their Salami. Unfortunately,  the document is in German, but you might be able to use Google translate to get an idea (luckily I speak German).

link to original document: http://www.agroscope.admin.ch/data/publikationen/pub_HadornR_2005_15929.pdf

link to google translate: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.agroscope.admin.ch/data/publikationen/pub_HadornR_2005_15929.pdf&ei=eGvcS9HREqfbsAaW7PXCBw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CCcQ7gEwBQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dcandidum%2Bauf%2Bwurst%2Bund%2Bkase%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX

As a final note, I would not worry too much as long as you are don't ever let mold get out of control. In other words, don't make hard cheeses with huge amounts of natural mold build up that you don't plan on wiping off for a couple of months. Sausages have far more moisture than cheese and most importantly, they don't develop a protective rind    - but you can wash them and wipe them down should anything start growing, but I suggest doing that as soon as you spot anything (with slightly salty water and a tad of vinegar). What you should keep in mind is that you can't crowd the fridge too much, sausages really need air-exchange. Another consideration is obviously the humidity factor - depending on the type of sausages you want to make, humidity will have to be reduced gradually which might result in a problem for your cheese which wants to spend many more months in somewhat constant humidity (keeping the cheese in separate plastic containers might help here).

The best of luck.