Author Topic: 85% humidity seems too high. What am I doing wrong?  (Read 1225 times)

Offline rattman

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85% humidity seems too high. What am I doing wrong?
« on: December 26, 2011, 06:31:26 PM »
Happy holidays all!

So my new cheese cave is a 52 bottle wine cooler set at 55 degrees and about 58% humidity.

I knew 58% was too low for aging hard cheeses so I read up on the forum and got some large tupperware cntainers. I can fit 2 - 2 lb cheeses on bamboo mats with a small container of salt water and have the humidity consistently at 80%+ humidity in the container.

I have a 3 week old farmhouse cheddar and a 1 wek old traditional swiss in the tupperware. They both initially went in completly dry but moist with no cracks.
Now, (5 days later) every time I check tem they are dripping with perspiration. The farmhouse is starting to get slight bumps on it.

I have occasionally wiped the farmhouse cheddar down with a cloth dipped in vinegar to remove some green mold but there has been no green mold since the farmhouse joined the new swiss in the tupperware container.

I have the lid open about 10% of the way.

- Should I remove the water from the tupperware container? Won't the humidity dro below 80%?
- Should I be wiping these 2 cheeses down every day to remove the moisture?..... remember no green mold at this point.
- Of course venting the tupperware is an obvious option.... but once again, that defeats the purpose of the tupperware which was to get the RH level to 85% in the first place!

Thanks all in advance.
I am really learning a lot combing through these great older threads.


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: 85% humidity seems too high. What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2011, 06:39:33 PM »
I suspect your getting to 90+ % in that container. So your option is to either leave it so and wash with weak brine to encorage a natural rind or to lower humidity and kill anything that grows with vinegar\salt.
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Offline rattman

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Re: 85% humidity seems too high. What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2011, 07:02:47 PM »
Thanks, as always Tomer!

The farmhouse cheddar is just over 3 weeks old. I can leave it in the tupperware and wipe it down as you suggest, or wax/vacuum seal it now and let it go for another month or more? Do I need to wait for a rind before wax/vacuum or just go ahead and protect it from humidity and the elements all together at this point?

I guess what I'm really asking is.... is there a benifit for a 3 week old farmhouse to continue being exposed to the elements in the tupperware container (RH, mold, etc) or would it make more sense to get it in a protective coating of some sort now? I think I may be confusing drying hard cheese techniques with attempting to create a natural rind on a cheese.

As it relates to hard cheeses only, is there any benifit to trying to create a natural rind? Is that the goal even when I plan to wax it?

Should I always shoot for a specific time period of drying in a high humidity environment before wiping it down and waxing/vac packing it?

I do have wax, (not used yet) and a foodsaver for vac sealing... so I can follow any advice you have.
Thanks again for your advice!

Offline Tomer1

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Re: 85% humidity seems too high. What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2011, 10:40:20 PM »
As linuxbuy suggested in another thread its hard to tell how long a cheese needs to "crust up" before you can vacuum bag it or wax without fear of whey under the wax which can turn nasty or inside the bag which can too become smelly.

I dont use vacuum because I dont have one, I do let my cheese go for at least a month before waxing.


Quote
is there any benifit to trying to create a natural rind?
Not that im aware of in cheddared style cheeses.  you basically want to get the blue the white and the black stuff under control.
Rind control doesnt have to encorage growth , doing it frequenty enough with dry brushing and brine washing can be enough to not grow anything and maintain a neutral crust.

A good example is natural rind aged goudas.   
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Offline John (CH)

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Re: 85% humidity seems too high. What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 05:34:37 AM »
Ditto on Tomer1, if you are getting condensation, then you are at 100% RH. Normally young cheeses give off quite a bit of moisture, which tapers off over time.

Me I like oiling cheeses to form a low permeability and hardier to unwanted molds rind, waxing is too difficult and I bought a vaccum bagger but as stated, difficult to determine when to bag. Some info on different oils here.

Also, I'd get rid of those bamboo sushi mats as they can easily harbour molds.


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Offline rattman

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Re: 85% humidity seems too high. What am I doing wrong?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 09:52:49 AM »
Ok, after reading your comments I removed the water from the tupperware container.

The cheese all by itself produces enough humidity in the tupperware to keep itself consistently at 80%.
Guess I'll just leave it as it is and see what happens.

Thanks all. I learning.

starting my 5th hard cheese today! (Made my first on 12-12-11)