Author Topic: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?  (Read 1878 times)

Offline Catie Pie

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Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« on: December 13, 2011, 05:39:46 PM »
Hello cheesemakers! I just made my first farmhouse cheddar on Sunday and I am a little worried about overdrying before sealing in the wax. At what point do I know it's safe to wax? As soon as I don't see anymore moisture coming from it? As soon as it all seems to have the semi waxy yellowish surface all over it? I don't want to overdry it, and I don't want to seal it before I'm sure it's all the way dry. I live in Sacramento, Ca,  we have fairly dry winters here and it's not supposed to rain til Thursday (so they say). Right now the humidity monitor says around 50% humidity and temperature fluctuates between 60 and 68 degrees in the cubby where it's drying. It's been out of the press and drying for around 34 hours now. Is there a tell tale way to know or is it a learning curve type of thing since our climates vary so much? Any thoughts? I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2011, 05:48:16 PM »
It depends on how well you made the curds and your milk/rennet quality and the moisture level post press. If it is not seeping whey, and if the outer layer has turned a slightly yellowish color, and if it looks like it has dehydrated some on the outer layer, it's ready. When in doubt, guess :).
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Offline Catie Pie

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2011, 09:05:57 PM »
Thank you! I figured all the variables would make it hard to figure. I've had a little bit of cracking that I've filled with butter. The sides are drying faster on the sides than on top or bottom maybe I need more air flow. I figure I'll wash it lightly with brine before waxing. Thanks again!
Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use Vermouth!-Julia Child

Offline Crystal

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2011, 03:41:04 AM »
Ive actually been worried a bit about drying times too. I have got 3 farmhouse cheddars waxed now and i dried them all to varying stages of dry before waxing. I read somewhere that it should feel like a 'clammy handshake'. lol... my first had a few mould spots, which i washed off. the second i made it was MUCH warmer, so it dried in 3 days. the last one i had a lot of trouble with. Its been very cold here for what is meant to be summer, and its been rainy and yuck. I had two days of pretty looking cheese drying away on top of the fridge ( out of kiddie reach!), then day 3, 5am when i check it, mould explosion! so i gave it a good wash and then let it dry out for a few more hours before waxing. now its been waxed for 3 days and seems to be doing ok... i wont know for a few weeks how any of them have turned out though.

Maybe do a few different with yours, just see what the finished product is like then change what you need to!
I dont know what to put here...
Crystal ;-)

Offline Catie Pie

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 11:09:12 AM »
Crystal, we must have the same book! That's what I read too. My sides are drying really well, but the top and bottom, not so much. I am letting it go to 4 days and then waxing. It's been really cold in Sac, I don't think it's ready. I figure I'll keep an eye on it after waxing and make sure there's no whey build up. After making this one I started to do more research and realized I was a bit willy nilly with my making. I have new ideas for next time!

That's a good idea to do a few of the same. After spending all Sunday making it, I wished I had just gone ahead and made a few more! I think I will try Caerphilly next. Looks easy enough and it ages in three weeks. I made a few molds that will fit together, I think I can press them all together. Just need to figure out what adjustments to make to double a batch, I know it's not just double everything in the recipe.

Good luck with your cheddar! I'd be interested in hearing how they turned out!
Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use Vermouth!-Julia Child


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Offline Crystal

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 03:07:26 PM »
I just saw your intro post, were both on the same page cheesewise. Im making a Caerphilly next with the flocc multiplier too. As i dont have raw milk ive been having a few problems with my cheeses but i think we have fixed most of them so id like to try very hard to get it 'right' on the next one! Will you be waxing your Caerphilly? It would be interesting to know the recipe your using and some details about your methods before you start? Just so we can compare notes?
I dont know what to put here...
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Offline Catie Pie

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 12:02:10 PM »
Crystal I'm going to use the recipe from 200 easy homemade cheeses. I was going tot use the one from the blog I had mentioned to you 'Chickens in the Road' but I realized she was using the 200 cheese one but halved. I want to make a full batch so I can get two cheese out of it. Still good pics of the process though on the blog. I think I might wax one and experiment with washing the other rind. I need to make some smaller molds though. I also think I'll be using store bought milk for this batch from our co-op. My farmhouse cheddar is still drying and I think it's due to the uber high fat content in the milk and I have no way to judge the percentage or anything.

If you don't have 200 Easy Home made Cheeses I highly reccommend it. Let me get the recipe together and we can compare notes! I will message you!
Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use Vermouth!-Julia Child

Offline Crystal

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 01:21:34 PM »
Hi catie,
How long since you made the farmhouse cheddar?

I think 5 days is the longest ive left mine without wax. I cant see any liquid in there and thankfully no mould! They are soft though... not sure what their meant to feel like though, never had one before!

I dont have any books so im going with a recipe from here, but i wont make it till after christmas. And im worried about making it with my wind down press, but dh isnt chomping at the bit to weld up a dutch one so ill have to make do!
I dont know what to put here...
Crystal ;-)

Offline Catie Pie

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 10:42:49 AM »
I took it out of the press last Monday morning. I'm waxing it tonight so I guess we'll see! It's only had a few mold spots that I've cleaned with a little vinegar. The surface looks dry in some places but still white in others. The sides are ready though. I increased the airflow hoping it would help a little. My house stays pretty cold so I think that's partly why it's taking longer. That and high fat content. Maybe I should have skimmed off more of the cream.

Good luck on yours! It sounds like it's going pretty well!

I need a proper press too. Although the Caerphilly only takes medium pressure, so I wont have to risk it with the 45 lb weight! What recipe are you using from here? I'm curious!

If you do get a Dutch press post pictures! Christmas is around the corner, you never know!
Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use Vermouth!-Julia Child

Offline Crystal

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2011, 01:39:32 PM »
Lol Catie, i just got a laptop and a stand mixer for christmas, think the press is out of the budget! I want one tho so i can make cheddar.

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,8617.0.html

I think ill use this one, as after 5 times ud think it would be pretty good by now ;-)

**forgot to say, post pix of ur cheese before you wax it if you can!?!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 01:58:12 PM by Crystal »
I dont know what to put here...
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Offline Catie Pie

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2011, 12:17:39 PM »
Ohh those are pretty nifty gifts! I guess a press will have to wait! I just pressed my farmhouse cheddar with measured buckets of water and then a 45 lb weight plate. Worked well, as far as I can tell. A little dangerous maybe, I propped it up well, but I don't have any kidlets running around. I would like a proper press though.  I've found some easy to make ones. Maybe after Christmas!

It looks about the same to the recipe I have. I am interested to see what happens. His cheese looks mighty nice! I'm thinking after Christams to do mine. I wanted it in time for New Year, but I'm just too overwhelmed with other stuffs right now.

I waxed it last night. I brushed on the wax, but I think next time I'll dip it. I know realize why it's important to have a fairly smooth surface to your cheese. I had mold growing inside the little crevices, I tried getting it all, but it was pretty tough to clean. and it was hard to seal those guys in with wax.  I might have some interesting farmhouse cheddar! I'll post pics soon.
Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use Vermouth!-Julia Child

Offline Crystal

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 01:44:33 PM »
i was worried about the 'top' of my farmhouses. a little lumpy and harbouring mould. but i washed in vinegar and water and it was good in the wax. nothing on it when i opened it. but it was awkward to wax. i soooo need a vac sealer!
I dont know what to put here...
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Offline Rizzo

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Re: Air Drying Pressed Cheese - When To Wax?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2014, 03:35:42 PM »
" I'm going to use the recipe from 200 easy homemade cheeses"  -(Caaerphilly)

I made this just this weekend and it went very well...not too difficult, and seems to have taken only 3 days to dry .