Author Topic: About to wax my first cheese  (Read 1027 times)

Offline Caseus

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About to wax my first cheese
« on: March 25, 2012, 01:04:43 AM »
Hi.  This is my first post on this forum.  I have made a cheese, my first one, and I believe it is ready to wax.   The cheese is a 2.25 pound wheel of Farmhouse Cheddar.  It's been drying for 6 days.  Just this morning for the first time when I flipped it, there was no moisture on the bamboo mat.  The rind is firm and looks and feels dry.  I believe it is ready to wax.

I've read a lot about waxing, and I'm aware of the basic procedure and safety issues.  What I'm not sure about is cheese preparation prior to waxing.  There are no visible mold spots on my cheese, but since it's been sitting out in the kitchen drying for a week, I'm wondering whether I need to wipe it down with vinegar or a salt solution before I wax it.  I don't want mold growing under the wax.  If wiping it down is a useful precaution, which is better to use?  Vinegar or a saturated salt solution?  And finally, how long will it take to dry after wiping it down?   

One other thing.  I don't have a cave yet.  I'm working on it, but this cheese will need to survive outside of a proper cave for a week or so.  I have the choice a room that I keep at 60 to 65 degrees, or my refrigerator, which stays around 36.  I know neither of those is ideal, but which one would be preferable for a couple of weeks?


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: About to wax my first cheese
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 01:13:42 AM »
A week is a long time at 60 degrees but if it is dry and has no mold just wipe it with a dry paper towel. Don't wet it before you wax it. Then put it in your fridge. It will age slower but it will be safer. All kinds of bad stuff can grow at 60 degrees!

Offline Caseus

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Re: About to wax my first cheese
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 01:26:59 AM »
Ok, the fridge it is.  Thank you.

Now, it's been drying in my kitchen on the counter for a week at 73 to 75 degrees, actually.  The instructions I had from a couple of different sources said to let it air dry at room temperature until a dry rind forms and no moisture collects on the mat.  So was that wrong to do? 

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: About to wax my first cheese
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 06:43:21 PM »
A week is a long time to dry at room temperature of 73! Mold likes ot grow and other nasties can too. Not have a cave is tough but a cooler with ice can work too.

Offline Caseus

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Re: About to wax my first cheese
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 09:24:04 PM »
I'll use a cooler for my next cheese then.  Maybe a large ice chest with frozen milk jug bottles to keep it cool, and with the lid cracked open and a small fan inside to reduce humidity during the drying stage.

But this one is waxed now, and I put in in my fridge.  It's a bit too cold for proper aging, but I'm looking into getting a small dorm fridge or wine fridge and setting it up with properly controlled temp and humidity.  I've been reading a lot, so I think I know what to look for.   

Here's the cheese.





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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: About to wax my first cheese
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 09:56:40 PM »
Nice wax job. It's not to late to put it in a cooler. Even though its waxed it still need the proper temperature to age. Humiity is less critical but temperature is still a big plus.