Author Topic: Pressed Cheeses, Sealing - Wax Alternatives?  (Read 546 times)

Offline anarch

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: New Mexico, USA
  • Posts: 87
  • Cheeses: 2
  • Default personal text
Pressed Cheeses, Sealing - Wax Alternatives?
« on: February 28, 2012, 11:52:40 AM »
OK, here we have:

Front left, Monterey Jack style cheese, made on 10/29/11
Front right, stirred curd cheddar style chees, made on 10/14/11, approximately 1/2 of it left, the other half eaten, detail pic below is a piece of this cheese
Center rear, stirred curd cheddar style cheese, made on 11/14/11 (slightly sloped from bad pressing angle).





The one that is partly eaten, well has a very sharp/tangy taste. 

The other two, I have not tasted.  All were made with raw milk.  The monterey smells sweet/milky, the cheddar smells a little tangy, but not so tangy as the one I've tasted. 

My issue is that they were waxed, but then started to develop some sort of mold inside the wax, not a lot, just a little.  When I was flipping them, I could tell that there were air pockets between the wax and the cheese, which started to develop about 60-70 days into the aging process. 

Last night I took the wax off, and did a brine wash on them.  Now they're air drying.

I have been aging in my basement, in a cooler.  The basement is in the low 50Fs and decently humid (haven't tested it). 

What would you suggest in terms of a) salvaging these cheeses and b) not having this occur in the future?

I'm thinking I will probably not wax anymore, I've always had mixed sucess with it.  Just air drying/letting natural rinds develop?  Oiling?  Cloth bandaging? 

Thank you for any input/suggestions in advance :).


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline anarch

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: New Mexico, USA
  • Posts: 87
  • Cheeses: 2
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses, Sealing - Wax Alternatives?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 01:30:59 PM »
Oh, I just thought of something.  I have an unused full size fridge in my garage.  I can use that as a cave, duh.  Perhaps more consistent results to be had with this. 

Offline mightyjesse

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 110
  • Cheeses: 6
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses, Sealing - Wax Alternatives?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 02:44:22 PM »
Hi, Anarch...

Can you tell us specifically which result you'd like to avoid? Each aging technique has it's good and bad aspects.

I like vacuum packing for things that I don't want to worry about much. Kind of "set it and forget it."

I let certain cheeses develop a rind (parm, mold ripened, etc) age in the open air of my cave. Unfortunately, some of these develop "off" or "too moldy" flavors that I do not like and I risk cross contamination of projects... Sometimes I forget to check humidity and I get cracks in my rinds, or the baby turns off the fridge and the mold gets OUT OF HAND in the warmer environment.

I like to lard and bandage my cheddars because they just *taste better* that way... But these are messy and need to be flipped rotated regularly.

Offline anarch

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: New Mexico, USA
  • Posts: 87
  • Cheeses: 2
  • Default personal text
Re: Pressed Cheeses, Sealing - Wax Alternatives?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 02:52:23 PM »
OK, I think at this juncture I'd like to avoid mold growth or other things that would contribute to off tastes in the final cheese, while letting them age a while longer. 

I was unhappy with the wax, and have yet to get a wax to successfully seal a cheese well enough to avoid issues like this within 4 months.  I currently did the dipping method on these with 3 layers and it still didn't work.  Made sure to heat it to the specified temp too.

I do have a FoodSaver, I could try vac packing them.  Or I could try and let them get a rind and age them that way.  Is it possible to do at this point after the waxing, then taking it off, then brine washing?  This is unknown territory for me!

I have sucessfully aged a parm with a rind for 12 months in the past. 

Perhaps vac packing them and putting them in the back of the regular fridge for slow aging?