Author Topic: Storing Fresh Cheese?  (Read 2236 times)

Offline semisoft52

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Storing Fresh Cheese?
« on: September 03, 2011, 02:05:27 PM »
From what I've been reading fresh cheese has a short shelf life. Is there a way or is it a good idea to age fresh cheese? I have been making Fromage Blanc and I want to age it if I can. Yes, no, maybe?


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Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2011, 02:27:16 PM »
Yes, it can be done.  Keep in mind the flavor will be quite different from its fresh state.  You'll want to make sure the cheese has air dried pretty well before going into the ageing area.  Then in the ageing cave, you'll want to use a mesh on the boards to keep it out of its continued whey seepage.  Lifting it will also add to better air flow underneath, and in addition to flipping, helps it to age more uniformly. 
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Offline semisoft52

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2011, 03:46:25 PM »
smilingcalico,
Thanks for the info. What would you consider a good drying time, 3-5 days, or what? As you mentioned it is wetter because of the whey. My "cellar" is the fridge. I have been reading about adding moister to the air in a fridge with water and leaving the cheese container partly open, is this what I want to do or is that the opposite of what I want? As far as the taste, I am curious to see what the aging does for it. The fresh Fromage Blanc tastes good but I figure it can be improved with age. I used lemon juice, does it cause a bitter taste if left too long?

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 06:33:51 PM »
I'd air dry for 24 to 48 hours, depending on ambient conditions.  The fridge is another beast.  Is it for cheese only, or your regular fridge?  Search refrigerator on the forum and you'll find much on the subject.  For a time you likely won't have to add any humidity to the box since it will create its own, but once the outer starts to dry, you'll need to add some.  Ageing this way is a little trickier.  Boxes need opening and closing to maintain humidity level, or removing/adding the humidity source.  How long do you intend on ageing? At low refrigerator temps ageing is dramatically slowed.  Also consider what you'd like the rind to be like.  Many people are mold shy and insist on wiping everything off before it takes over.  I like molds on my cheese, they add tremendous character.  However, if your rind is compromised, you stand a better chance of losing the cheese.  However I mentioned recently in another thread, I've had a cheese with cracks up to a half inch deep and the cheese was perfect.  I had another cheese that looked perfect, but somehow inside I found mold.  I guess rules are meant to be broken by cheese too.
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Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2011, 06:35:25 PM »
Oh, I forgot to say, first and foremost, keep the cheese itself dry.
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Offline semisoft52

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2011, 07:59:32 AM »
Thanks again smilingcalico.
I am just starting out on this cheese making journey. I made my first three weeks ago. I find the whole thing very fascinating. So right now it's like every batch is your baby. The three batches (is that the right word?) are sitting in my regular fridge. I am looking for a small used one, there is a college near by so it may not take to long, to dedicate to just cheese. This week end I plan on making some more and will let these air dry first before I store them.

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2011, 07:03:36 PM »
No problem, Semi.  May I call you that? Every batch will be your baby.  I still am quite protective of my cheese, not against molds, cuz I like them, but I don't trust other people to handle the cheese as I do.  What cheeses have you made? Are you concentrating on just one till you get it just as you like?  Many folks suggest that.  I like variety too much though, and many cheeses and techniques overlap, so I feel ok saying go for whatever cheese you want to eat.
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Offline semisoft52

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 10:17:52 AM »
Quote
What cheeses have you made? Are you concentrating on just one till you get it just as you like? I like variety too much though,......
So far I have been making Fromage Blanc with my sights set on much more involved things. Farm Cheddar,  Mozzarella and Ricotta are on my list.  I can see a year from now opening up the fridge (hopefully the small one I buy for just cheese), looking inside and saying "what suits my fancy today?". Learning about one aspect of cheese making sends my mind a whirl in all kinds of directions. I want to find a few types that I really like to eat and mostly make them and experiment with others. There is a health food store that I go to (a lot more now that it has some of my cheese making supplies) that has a nice "cheese shop" in it. I go there and drool. One of my favorite areas is this little straw basket setting in with all the other cheeses that has small almost bite-sized samples in it. I have been raiding that basket and buying different ones to see what they taste like. It's a great way to learn about cheeses.
I have always liked science and this is a lot of science. Watching the milk turn to curds is fun. I can hardly wait to start making rinds on some of my cheese. I made a batch of F.B. yesterday with white vinegar instead of lemon juice and kosher salt instead of regular salt. I have it hanging to air dry in a piece of muslin. I used a dry piece so the cloth didn't have to dry out too. I checked it this morning at it seems to be doing well. I have a lot of ideas of variations on this theme to try still. I bought a gallon of whole milk and quart of butter milk. I am making one quart (of whole milk) batches trying some thing different with each one.   
I bought Junket rennet because it was the first rennet I could get but haven't used it yet. I bought some real liquid vegetable rennet at that health food store a couple of days ago so now I can play to my hearts content.  I want to use the Junket to see what it does first. 
Oh ya, you can call me Semi.

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 11:34:59 AM »
You know, I've never used Junket, but I always had quick access to liquid.  While you don't need fancy equipment per se for home cheese making, the quality of ingredients do matter.  Please keep posting, it's great having active members here!
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Offline semisoft52

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 12:37:27 PM »
The thing about Junket that I can see is trying to match it to other types of rennet tabs. From what I've heard it's a lot weaker so you have to do some math and measuring, especially in the small amounts I'm making. I agree about quality in all aspects of cheese making from the ingredients to the equipment to the handling.
These seems to be a fun forum. Hopefully I'll have images to post soon of my adventures.


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Offline semisoft52

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 12:46:44 PM »
I've been taking nibbles from each batch I make, soon I'm going to make a batch and just sit down and eat it. The idea of flavoring the Fromage Blanc with spices and herbs sounds like fun.

Offline semisoft52

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 02:45:55 PM »
Just finished making some Paneer for the first time. It gave me a chance to use some citric acid for the first time.

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 01:35:05 AM »
You've been busy! Go ahead and eat it all, you need to make room for the new cheese!
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Offline semisoft52

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2011, 01:33:27 PM »
Quote
You've been busy! Go ahead and eat it all, you need to make room for the new cheese!
Ya, that's what I was thinking. Either that or start renting some fridge from the neighbors.
Yesterday was the first time using citric acid as a coagulant, does it cause a "spoiled milk" smell, or does Paneer in general? The only two ingredients were whole milk and citric acid.

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing Fresh Cheese?
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 03:14:30 PM »
Good question, maybe post that in a separate thread, as I never made any cheese with citric acid.  I've eaten paneer, but don't recall any funky smell.
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