Author Topic: Cheese ageing options in a warm apartment  (Read 1329 times)

Offline brandeeno

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Cheese ageing options in a warm apartment
« on: October 24, 2008, 10:29:26 AM »
Hi all,
I’m new to cheese making and hope to make this a hobby. Last weekend, I made my first attempt at cheese, and ended up with lots of “slop”… I hope my calcium chloride in the mail will solve this… but on to my main question: I live in a small and very warm new york city apartment. I keep dairy items in the fridge, so I do not think I have the option of increasing my fridge’s temperature much. I currently keep it at 35F (1.6C). I do not own a cooler/don’t have much room for it. 

What would happen if I attempt to age the cheese in the fridge At 35F?  how about at 40F (4.4C)?
What would happen if I attempt to age it at room temp, 70-80F (21-27C)? perhaps I could keep a hefty layer of salt on the rind?

Your answers, opinions and comments would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Brandeeno


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Cheese ageing options in a warm apartment
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 02:27:46 PM »
Hi Brandeeno and welcome to this forum!

Sad to hear your first batch failed, I've made several cheeses with store bought pasteurized milk and no CaCl2, if you didn't get a firm curd set maybe you didn't dilute your rennet and mix it in enough or maybe it was no good? CaCl2 in my experience just helps in getting a good set.

Good questions, aging at room 70-80F temperature is in my experience a non-starter as too easy to easy to get infected with air born spores etc. So I would go for fridge, even at 35F it will age, just slower, so if you could raise temp a little to 40F that would help. But, key especially in fridge is maintaining a high humidity.

Have fun, more details on your first batch would help identify the problem, (ie milk type, rennet source, how diluted, temp of milk etc).

Offline brandeeno

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Re: Cheese ageing options in a warm apartment
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 02:53:49 PM »
Thanks Cheese Head. Good know it will still age in the cold fridge. I could sacrifice 5-7 degrees for the sake of homemade cheese!

Details? Well, I left out some key factors (possibly to avoid embarrassment!?)… I was only working with store bought milk and fresh lemon juice.  I used the juice of about 3 lemons to 1 gallon of milk. I added it to the milk when it was about 86F (30C).  I gave it a thorough mix and allowed 1+ hour to set… was not getting a clean break.  I still tried to work with the curds I had, but I just could not get it to drain properly… and when I forced squeezing my cloth that held the curds, I was loosing curds!   I knew/know I was doing a lot wrong. It was just a quick experiment to see if I could work with what I had on hand.

main issues as far as I can tell:
* The cloth I used was probably too dense of a weave (old t-shirt)
* I was curdling the milk with acid, not rennet/enzymes
* I think I needed more lemons for the acidic method

I have now ordered a proper cheese cloth, liquid rennet, and CaCl2.  I plan to make my own starter from buttermilk, and I will be following some cheese directions this time.  I plan on using some tupperware or a coffee can for pressing.

Once I get some experience at making good curds, I plan on making a better cheese press. 

I am actually waiting for my order as we speak, and I am nervous. I’m having it sent to my office, and want to put the liquid rennet in the fridge ASAP. If it doesn’t get here before the end of the day, it might get ruined since it will stay at room temp for the weekend!!! 

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Cheese ageing options in a warm apartment
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2008, 07:21:59 AM »
Brandeeno

Ah-ha, the old lemon cheese recipe. I haven't tried that one, the first cheese I made was using apple cider vinegar and it set up great, maybe your amount - strength of lemon juice wan't enough?

Yep cloth was probably too thick, thus didn't drain. I've built an info page on cheese cloths here, even with that it's hard to describe in text what's best, recommend you try with few different grades, I got 4 different types from local WalMart cloth section.

I got my first rennet, a liquid vegetarian eye dropped format from Whole Foods Store (big chain in USA/Canada). I don't think it's that critical to be refrigerated all the time, a weekend at room temp won't kill it. When you go to use it it's critical to dilute and then mix in thoroughly as it's very concentrated and reacts quite quickly.

Have fun and post some pictures if want!


Offline IrisD

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Re: Cheese ageing options in a warm apartment
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2008, 04:21:49 PM »
Tried aging camembert and roquefort at ambient room temp (around 25C).
Unfortunately, the candidum and penicillium molds are wiped out by other molds.  One of the dominant and unwanted ones was black - might be aspergillus niger.

No shortcuts when you want the real stuff.

Good luck

Iris


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