Author Topic: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?  (Read 3312 times)

Offline MacGruff

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Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« on: February 13, 2012, 05:34:12 PM »
Many people here have vouched for using a vacuum bag system instead of waxing various kinds of cheese. My question is what should be done if you vacuum seal in terms of aging?

Is it still a good idea to keep it in a temp range of 50-55 degrees and a humidity level of 80% or higher? Maybe once you vacuum seal, you should just put the cheese in the regular fridge?

I have also seen some recommendations from people who told me to first age the cheese in a 'cave' for a few weeks to a few months, and only then vacuum seal it. Again, the question remains: Once vacuum sealed, does it need to be in a carefully controlled environment?

Any help appreciated! Thanks!


Offline Gürkan Yeniçeri

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 06:08:31 PM »
Quote
Is it still a good idea to keep it in a temp range of 50-55 degrees and a humidity level of 80% or higher? Maybe once you vacuum seal, you should just put the cheese in the regular fridge?
Yes keep them in your cheese fridge.

Quote
I have also seen some recommendations from people who told me to first age the cheese in a 'cave' for a few weeks to a few months, and only then vacuum seal it. Again, the question remains: Once vacuum sealed, does it need to be in a carefully controlled environment?
You can cut them in wedges and vacuum pack. I would still keep it in the cheese fridge if I am not going to consume them immediately.

How is the humidity in your cave? Why are you vacuum packing them?

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 09:42:07 PM »
MacGruff,

Once you vac bag, humidity is not an issue, but temperature is still very important. Unless you plan on aging for years, you cannot age cheese in your regular refrigerator.

I personally go natural rind for a month and then vac bag.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline zenith1

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2012, 09:01:42 AM »
Macgruff_ I totally agree with Sailor and follow a similar workflow. That is I age with a natural rind for a month or longer and then vacuum bag when I want to age long term without the worry of having the wheel dry out too much. Like Sailor has already mentioned, the humidity will then not be a concern, but the temperature that you age at will still need to be closely regulated as it will ultimately determine how long you will need to age your wheels.
Keith

Offline MacGruff

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 07:28:28 PM »
I have a vacuum sealer. I also have a dorm-stye fridge that I found I can keep at between 50-56 degrees F. I have managed to find ways to keep the humidity consistently in the 85%+ Rh.

Glancing at my hydrometer just now, the readings are 50.0 temp and 91% humidity.

I was asking because I have had a terrible time keeping blue and black mold off my cheeses. Another problem I have is that I travel for business about 30-35% of the time and am away from the house for a week at a time. When I come back, the cheese wheels are compeltely festooned with mold. I wipe it off with vinegar and salt, but some still remains settled in dips in the cheese and so I know it will be back within a day or two. Since I cannot consistently keep it clear, I was hoping to vacuum seal it and be able to forget it.

For now, I have three cheeses in the cave. Each in a vacuum pack. But I wonder if I packaged them up too quickly. I have a Havarti that I made two months ago; a Gouda from about 5 weeks ago, and a Colby that's two weeks old.


Offline Tobiasrer

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 10:25:08 PM »
Why do you like the natural rind? is this not kind of a waste, as some of the rind would not be eaten? wouldnt vac packing not save that and alot of the hassel of maintaing humidity and checking? I am asking as I have no experiance now so... wanna see what the pro's do ;-)

Offline anutcanfly

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 10:53:57 PM »
I tried out cheese cream as an alternative to wax and vacuum packing and so far its been working well.  It peels off, so I don't lose the rind and it does breath, as the marker I used went right thru and stained the cheese.  I'll use a grease pencils from now on.  I've been using one layer and so far that's been enough.  I know more as time passes. 
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 08:43:47 AM »
ANut- The cheese cream breathes a little too well. Watch your humidity or the cheese will dry out and get hard.
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Offline anutcanfly

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 12:25:59 PM »
Thanks for the heads up Sailor.  I was hoping that would be the case!  I keep my cave humid as I don't use cheese cream until the cheese is 2 to 3 weeks old.  It's weird, but now that my cave is almost full, I have trouble keeping the humidity down to 85%.  I don't have any water in the cave and all surfaces are dry.  These days I have to leave the door open for a while each day to bring the humidity down.  Any idea's why that is???
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 03:27:40 PM »
Cheeses constantly give off some moisture, especially in the early stages of aging. The more you have, the higher the humidity.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline anutcanfly

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 05:59:52 PM »
That's what has me stymied, except for 2 cheese cream treated cheeses, the rest of the cheeses in there are vacuum packed!  I keep the natural rinds cheeses in containers in an unheated room of the house during the winter months.
Early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

Offline MacGruff

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 07:02:55 PM »
anutcanfly - I experienced the exact same thing.

When I had one cheese in the cave, I was struggling to get the humidity over 80%. As soon as I put the second cheese in, the humidity zoomed to 90%+.

AND all my cheeses are vacuum sealed right now!!!     ???

Anyway, I have three cheeses in there at this moment and my Hygrometer is reading 92%.

Offline anutcanfly

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 07:47:14 PM »
Yep.  Last winter I had to keep a pan of water in my cave to keep it at 85%  Well it's nice to not to be the only one perplexed.
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Offline leabrit

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 01:08:36 PM »
I watched a Utube where they made swiss cheese and they vacuum sealed it straight away? What I like is I can see if it is developing any problems unlike when you wax

Offline Caseus

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 02:18:11 PM »
You can see through natural color wax, especially if you just use a couple of thin coats. 

I have a vacuum bagger, but I haven't attempted that method yet.  I will eventually, but right now I'm just waxing because that's how I started.  I've only made four cheeses, so no great amount of experience here yet.   :)

What I'd like to know is how that cream works, what it's made of, whether it has mold-inhibiting additives (e.g., Natamycin), and where I can get it.  So long as its not something I'd want to put in my mouth, I might be interested in trying it.