Author Topic: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer  (Read 3580 times)

Offline LadyLiberty

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2009, 07:55:20 PM »
This cheese cave is a bust! Due to the some of the same problems Wayne and John faced I am now facing them. I got this for free although I spent considerable time cleaning it multiple times and sterilizing it. It's not a total waste. It will work for waxed cheese, So I'll keep them in there. Now I have a blue cave, waxed cheese cave, natural rind cave and camembert cave..dam this is going to far  ;).

FOR EVERYONE LOOKING FOR CAVES you can't use the freezers that use coils on the shelves, I'm not sure about the box top loading ones like John uses (he has high humidity trouble too), but I suspect you really need a freezer that is forced air (some sort of fan inside hidden that circulated the air). What happens is all the humidity you introduce into the air condenses on the coil on the shelves and then drips on your cheese, not good. Plus my humidistat reads 73% and keeps the humidity on when my separate hygrometer says 98% and I trust that one. I'll leave it as a waxed cave.

The reason I didn't want my natural cheeses in my wine cellar originally are they would take up too much room, the humidifier in it is ugly and there isn't enough room to hold all the cheese I make. So I decided to get a wire rack unit with wheels and that will be 14" deep x 36" long and 74" high. That way I can store a ton of cheese and the humidifier and it will make everything a little more tidy and pleasing to the eye, plus I can pull the rack out, because it's on wheels, and turn the cheeses or fill the humidifier.

Carter, can't you just put wooden shelves on top of the metal ones, and also protect the cheese from the drip with something?


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2009, 11:13:13 PM »
Wayne why not keep it and do like I did and use it just for waxed cheeses?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2009, 11:54:11 PM »
Here's the new cart with wheels where I'll keep all the cheese, then I just have to wheel it out to fill the humidifier and flip the cheese. The far Parmesan is the new one I took out of the brine today. The one in front is real old and is white on top from the water dripping on it in the other cave.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2009, 06:20:05 AM »
That is a great picture to get a sense of size.  Fantastic.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline TomW

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2009, 02:45:15 PM »
Well. at least I'm glad I read this before drilling any holes in my freezer, which also has coils on the shelves. I thought about putting hard plastic sheets under each shelf, but realized that would only compartmentalize the cave and restrict moisture and even temperatures.
I have sent back two hygrometer/thermometers because they did not test out well. But I have just ordered a Sunpentown ultrasonic humidifier from--of all places--Sausagemaker.com. They say they have tested it out for making fermented sausages (which I am NOT ready to attempt) so it should work well for a cheese cave.
Now I've got more invested in the controls, etc., than in the freezer itself, but it's going to mean a delay until I can find a suitable and suitably priced freezer to use.
Sorry about your bust, Carter. I was going to go for Emmenthal this weekend, but I think I'll try something I can wax.


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2009, 04:44:20 PM »
Tom it's not the dripping water but many things that the coil shelves do that make it not work, there is no way around it.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline TomW

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2009, 08:13:05 PM »
I realize that. It was a passing thought but I rejected it for those and other reasons.

Another thought struck me, however. When we consider getting a fridge/freezer with a fan, we need to be very careful about how that works because there would appear to be a risk of having mold grow in inaccessible places, such as if there is some passage for air behind an inner surface that cannot be gotten at to scrub and disinfect.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2009, 08:21:37 PM »
Usually forced air refrigerators have some small hose for drain water and that allows some air exchange. My forced air freezer for blue style cheeses have never develop mold anywhere else. It has good air exchange, plus we are trying to keep moisture in the air, regular friges condense water and puddles and wet walls = mold.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline LadyLiberty

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2009, 12:27:35 AM »
Usually forced air refrigerators have some small hose for drain water and that allows some air exchange. My forced air freezer for blue style cheeses have never develop mold anywhere else. It has good air exchange, plus we are trying to keep moisture in the air, regular friges condense water and puddles and wet walls = mold.

we haven't even used this freezer yet, and there's mold in it already.  We are going to have to get rid of it on craig's list.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2009, 03:52:11 AM »
Yeah as i mentioned the nonforced air freezer don't have any air exchange. Did you sanitize it? and with what?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.


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Offline LadyLiberty

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2009, 04:08:02 AM »
Yeah as i mentioned the nonforced air freezer don't have any air exchange. Did you sanitize it? and with what?

It's not even turned on yet.  No, it's just outside on the deck.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Carter's Cheese Cave #3 - Second Upright Radient Freezer
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2009, 07:48:28 PM »
Here's an updated pic of my Parm Cave/Wine Cellar. I added some San Jamar Bar Mat to the shelves. The holes are big which will allow air to get around, but still is sanitary as I have no idea what they used to paint the shelving. All my caves now have this shelf liner as it's sanitary and allows a ton of air movement to pass through.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.