Author Topic: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?  (Read 2685 times)

Online Boofer

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 02:43:55 PM »
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.
You might check member Hoeklijn for more details on how it's used. He uses it.

I've attached one source of the coating.

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 03:04:00 PM »
Some have Natamycin (mold inhibitor) and some don't, so you have to ask the supplier. I hate the cream because it digs in and makes the rind inedible.
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Offline Caseus

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2012, 04:55:15 PM »
That was the first time I'd really explored that cheesemaker site, Boofer.  They carry a fascinating array of tempting goodies.   8)

$75 for 5 pounds of cream wax seems expensive unless a little goes a long way, in which case it might be a lifetime supply.  I rather suspect that is the case.  There's no indication there of shelf life or keeping qualities, so that is something I'd consider.  But I did find a smaller (albeit more expensiver per pound) 500 gram jar of it here, and it appears that it comes from Glengarry.  Anyway, not hard to find.

Making the rind inedible is a big consideration for me because I am making only small cheeses right now (2 gallon batches).  The smaller the cheese, the greater the loss due to inedible rind.


Offline knipknup

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2012, 07:49:01 PM »
I vac packed my couple of cheeses this past weekend after fighting with humidity and giving up.  The highest I was able to get anything was 70%.  My cave is a little dorm fridge.  Now I'm fighting with temp.  I am trying to avoid buying a temp controller, but the warmest I've gotten it is 45F.  Is that too cold?  It really isn't big enough to age cheese for years unless I stop making now.  I would prefer to age 3-6 months on 'regularly made' items.
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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2012, 09:04:00 AM »
I vac packed my couple of cheeses this past weekend after fighting with humidity and giving up.  The highest I was able to get anything was 70%.  My cave is a little dorm fridge.  Now I'm fighting with temp.  I am trying to avoid buying a temp controller, but the warmest I've gotten it is 45F.  Is that too cold?  It really isn't big enough to age cheese for years unless I stop making now.  I would prefer to age 3-6 months on 'regularly made' items.
I have two 4.5 cu ft "dorm" fridges as caves. They each have a temp controller that keeps the temp around 52F. The ambient humidity inside is around 80%, but my new cheeses are in their own little minicaves which keeps them comfy at RH around 98%. Right now that's important for the blues I have in there.

You can get by without a temp controller for now, but the cheeses will take longer to ripen. There are a lot of choices for cheeses that ripen in 3-6 months. I opened my Leiden recently after only 9 weeks. There are blues, lactics, Camembert, Reblochon, and others that ripen fairly quickly. Very rarely do I see a cheese that has to go for 12 months and pretty much never for years. That third pic shows some possible candidates for long-term affinage on the shelf below the minicave (Fourme d'Ambert #1, little guy): Cheddar #1, Cheddar #2, and Double Gloucester #1. Humidity isn't an issue for them because they're enclosed in vacuum bags.

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Online MrsKK

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2012, 01:52:44 AM »
I also use a mini fridge as my cave.  Many of the cheeses I make start out in a ripening container - lidded plastic box with a rack in the bottom to keep the cheese wheel out of any moisture.  I really like the natural rind that forms in the ripening box.  When they come out of that, I usually give them about a week to dry up a bit more, then coat them with lard or butter.  It is a bit messy, but tends to dry out eventually.  Once that happens at around the 2-3 month mark, I'm more comfortable with vacuum sealing the cheese.

My mini fridge is rapidly filling up now that the cow is back in milk.  I've got a Colby and a Tomme that are ready to be vac sealed, plus a half-wheel of Gouda that's already been vacuum packed - when I make more cheese that needs to be aged, the oldest will go into the warmest part of the regular fridge.   Not ideal, but it works for the time being.

Offline knipknup

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Re: Waxing vs Vacuum - effect on aging?
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2012, 02:39:28 PM »
My mini-fridge is probably only 1 sqft.  It was only $20 and I got what I paid for.  I had a big 'ol fridge for lagering beers and it raised my energy bills, so I went little this time.  I may upgrade in a while, but not now.

Humidity is my biggest issue.  I can't seem to get the humidity higher than 70%.  I am encouraged by the posts that state higher with more cheese (even with all vac sealed) in the fridge, which is probably a function of the volume going down. We'll see if this happens here as well.

Working on a fontina today.
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