Author Topic: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?  (Read 2860 times)

Offline saycheese

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How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« on: January 24, 2009, 06:16:54 PM »
Basic question regarding cheese cave -- I have a small dorm size fridge that I am using as a cheese cave.  How often do you clean/sanitize your cheese cave and what do you use to do so?  Any info and tips much appreciated.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2009, 08:28:49 PM »
SC, when I first get them I clean the hell out of them, but I never clean them out if I don't have a problem.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Captain Caprine

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2009, 09:09:33 PM »
Gotta agree with Carter on this one.  Don't fix a problem you don't have.
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Offline saycheese

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2009, 12:40:35 PM »
Unfortunately, I've got a problem.  The fridge was well used and unattended for a long period of time.  It was the site of many, shall we say, 'science' experiments, but price was right -- free.  I originally cleaned it out by washing it down with diluted bleach and water.  I thought I'd found and killed all the groaty things, but missed the drip tray under the freezer.  The little freezer door kept the area really moist and mold grew there as well, even after cleaning. 

Yesterday we took the freezer door off the small freezer compartment and took the drip tray out entirely.  We washed the insides with warm soapy water, dried it out and then sprayed everywhere with a dilute StarSan solution per maker's instructions, and allowed to air dry.  We went to open it up this morning AND it still smells moldy.  What now?  Rinse and repeat StarSan treatment?  Baking soda and vinegar? Other options?

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2009, 12:59:31 PM »
I have a feeling that whatever the combination of cleaning materials, you are going to end up needing 1 or 2 cookie sheets filled with baking soda to absorb smells.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2009, 03:12:46 PM »
No matter what you do there will always be some 'musky' smell in a frig that is not cold. Basically you need to turn it on to the temp you'll be using it at then smell it. I've converter a ton of friges and they always have some sort of stale smell, even clean, when they are at room temp. If you used star san everywhere it should be sterile.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline saycheese

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2009, 04:31:50 PM »
Thanks Wayne and Cartierusm.  We are also considering just making waxed cheeses and soaking manchego in oil or wine to age.  That should avoid the moldy cheese problem to a great degree, I hope.

Offline LadyLiberty

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2009, 06:12:39 PM »
No matter what you do there will always be some 'musky' smell in a frig that is not cold. Basically you need to turn it on to the temp you'll be using it at then smell it. I've converter a ton of friges and they always have some sort of stale smell, even clean, when they are at room temp. If you used star san everywhere it should be sterile.

Is this the same principle with old upright freezers?  We just got one today...

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 01:54:37 AM »
Yes.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 10:16:40 AM »
Where can you find StarSan?  Lowe's was not even familiar with it.
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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2010, 10:32:09 AM »
This is a product most often used in conjuntion with the food industry. (Beer, Cheese, and Wine Making)....And as such, I could understand them not having it.  I get mine Here
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: How often do you clean/sanitize the cheese cave?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2010, 11:26:09 AM »
No matter what you do there will always be some 'musky' smell in a frig that is not cold. Basically you need to turn it on to the temp you'll be using it at then smell it. I've converter a ton of friges and they always have some sort of stale smell, even clean, when they are at room temp. If you used star san everywhere it should be sterile.

Cartierusm is 100% correct.  After cleaning, I've had my 70s fridge on for 5 days, and the musky smell is virtually gone.

Now to replace that gasket...and get to some real cheesemaking.
CheeseStud(.com coming soon)
4 store-bought cow's milk mozzarellas, 1 rather rubbery raw cow milk mozz, cow's feta that melted, 0 ricotta