Author Topic: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons  (Read 7703 times)

Offline zenith1

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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2010, 09:55:37 PM »
Now this is a thread! Great discussion thanks to John and LB!
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Offline MrsKK

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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2010, 09:24:59 AM »
Well, then, considering that it is better to age vac packed cheeses at cooler temps, I guess it's working just fine that my cheeses end up in the spare fridge for the summer months.  Just about ideal, in fact.

This is a great thread and one I'm glad got revisited.

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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2010, 10:25:36 AM »
Aging cooler also means that it will take a LOT longer to mature. LB's original reference was buying cheap cheddar, vac bagging, and aging for YEARS.

I age naturally with olive oil rubs for a month or two, vac bag, then age at 54F.
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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2010, 10:45:26 AM »
That's true, it does depend on the cheese. Here's the end result of all this talk:

- You can age at whatever temp you see fit, but understand the reasons for your choice and adjust the choice to fit the cheese
- Cheeses differ in the byproducts of maturation, but generally, you have to deal with co2 and ammonia. This depends on the culture mix and strains.
- In general, a 40-45F aging will give you slower aging, but will, in general, produce a more nuanced outcome in the flavor profile
- Extended aging (1+ years) does better  at lower temps
- If your cheese has a great start (high milk quality, proper culture choice, good process), then it can tolerate higher aging temps. If not, then lower temps help to mellow out the flavors more slowly.

I routinely vac bag pieces of cheese (not only cheddar), label them, and toss them into forgotten corners of the fridge, only to find them 6, 12 months down the line. It works well for me.
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Offline newcheemomma

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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2011, 10:54:05 PM »
This forum rocks! Great thread...even 100= days later! Opened a Colonia that had a natural rind and found some interior green mold. Cut out the mold, but the cheese still tastes premature to me at 31/2 weeks. Good to know that vac bagging will continue aging and I can
" label them, and toss them into forgotten corners of the fridge, only to find them 6, 12 months down the line...
Cheese saved!
Mauricia


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Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2011, 12:36:08 AM »
Linux, definitely looking for some of your wisdom after our recent discussion on moisture loss.  John might take note too.  We vac sealed some cheese at the 2 month mark after lightly (and I do mean lightly) oiling the rind.  Here we are 5 months later and there is moisture (not much) in the creases of the bag.  The aroma after opening was rank to say the least, but it dissipated within a day.  My question or thought I guess is: is the whey seepage caused by the negative atmospheric pressure in the bag?  Is there a way to prevent this?  These were small wheels + or -2 pounds.  Our normal on wood ageing gives us a nice texture, not too moist, just a slightly thicker rind. I use a 3 times floc.
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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2011, 01:12:18 AM »
Quote
is the whey seepage caused by the negative atmospheric pressure in the bag?
Most of the time, it is caused by some sort of mismatch in the rennet/flocculation technology. Meaning, if you're using a 2x floc, your curd size better be 1/4". To put it another way, your curds at fuse should be mostly done. The point of the press is not to squeeze whey out. Rather, it is to fuse the curds together. So there are all sorts of things that can go wrong here. Uneven curd size is a biggie. Temp gradients during acid buildup (warm on top, sitting on cold table) is possible. Whey pockets due to inadequate press is possible. Your rennet quality might not work with your milk type. Or, the PF is too low, and you have excess retention, but haven't compensated the recipe to account for it.

The pressure may contribute, but after a month, if the cheese is releasing water, then something was off during the make or the ingredients.

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Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2011, 04:40:35 AM »
Hmmm.  So I'll need to get on my real computer because my phone won't download pdf's from the CF site for some reason.  Anyhow, I'll check for the cut size later.  I see from different recipe that says floc of 3 gets 3/8" cut.  That could be the issue.  I'll have to measure tomorrow, or technically today since it's 2:30 am! Actually, your whole answer gives me pause.  The rennet quality plus milk type is something I'll look into, but you might be seeing a new thread for that in the near future!
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Re: Vacuum Bag Aging - Pros & Cons
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2011, 09:08:49 AM »
Quote
floc of 3 gets 3/8" cut.  That could be the issue.

This is generally ideal for most hard cheeses. But when you're working with milk that has a lot of fat (I might be misremembering, but I thought you're mostly a Jersey farm?), it will give you excess whey retention. In the summer it should be OK, but right around now, you'll start seeing issues. The way around it for something like Jersey milk is to use a little more rennet, add some CaCl2, or both. Or skim some cream. And, one other approach is to cut to slightly smaller curds. Something on the smaller side of pea size... maybe 6 mm size.

I think more likely, it's whey pockets from slightly uneven curd sizes. Because even floc mismatches even out after 2 months, but whey pockets do not because you will continue to have moisture gradients.

rennet quality is possible, but if you have been achieving yield in the expected ranges, it's not highly likely. But I think you get my core points, that you're dealing with a cheese that when fused continues to release whey, and that points to an inability of the curd to hold whey (due to rennet or floc mismatch or incomplete cook), or to whey pockets.
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