Author Topic: My new cave  (Read 2741 times)

Offline Caseus

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 08:16:16 PM »
Caseus, I mean if you like make some parm and ripening it, ->6 - 24 month's you need more air movement and humidity to get real thing.
And what is your humidity system anyway, you need keep it clean, even bowl of water and cloth :)

That is true Hande, no matter what you do to add humidity, you have to keep the system clean.  I suspect I will get to the point of adding a humidifier system and air circulation eventually.  From the reading I've done on the forum, it seems that maintaining proper humidity is a far greater challenge than maintaining optimum temperature.


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Offline Caseus

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 08:18:19 PM »
there are quite a few mini humidifiers at fairly cheep prices, short search brought up this,
it doesn't seem like some of them would take up to much room


There are also cigar humidifers, electronic and passive.  It seems like most have trouble maintaining a humidity level of 90%.

Offline Bear and Bunny cheese

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2012, 09:49:30 PM »
Hi folks,
  Nathan from Montreal here.  This is my first post and am jumping into this thread because it seems closest to my enquiry.
  My post is about setting up a proper cheese cave for my needs.  I wish to upgrade from a very cramped bar fridge with a drippy little freezer, to something larger and better as my cheese production has become more diverse.
  Mozzarellas and ricottas aside, I've made two Cambozolas, a Gouda and a Cheddar.  The two pressed cheeses went off without a hitch and are both in waxy slumber right now.
  The more picky bloomy rinds of the Cambozolas were more difficult to control.  The cheese boxes I chose to age them in were for individual wheels and were much too small. ie. no breathing room and too much condensation buildup.  The P. Candidium grew very well but after a few weeks, the rinds ended up getting grey, slimy sections that were too moist.  In the end the first batch looked a little gross but was delicious.  The second batch spoiled entirely.
  So I'm starting fresh with bigger cheese boxes. and looking for a bigger fridge and better control for humidity and condensation.
  My query applies to long and short term aging of different cheeses side by side; specifically bloomy rinds, waxed, pressed cheeses and non-waxed, pressed cheeses like Gruyere (my next project).
  How much can we rely exclusively on cheese boxes for humidity?  Is there a need for ambient, in-fridge humidity control if cheese boxes are used? 
  I've noticed from some posts on the site that Hande, amongst others, has set up an impressive humidification system with a controller which, I assume, is controlling the entire relative humidity in his cave/fridge.  I am more than ready to do the same, but would like to know if this is necessary for my needs. A bloomy rind and a Gruyere will need a good 90% RH to age (in separate boxes of course), where my waxed cheeses don't need so much.  Would boxes be fine for the high RH cheeses and ambient humidity for long term aging for the Cheddar and Goudas? I expect the changing seasons will make a difference as well.
  If the general consensus is that an ambient humidification system is indeed best I would love to have any updated advice from your experiences on ideas for equipment (fridges, controllers, humidifiers etc.) as well as any tips on setting it all up. 
  Many thanks for your patience and assistance.
Nathan   
Nathan

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2012, 05:40:11 AM »
My low-tech non-geeky answer is that my cams, blues, and stinkies all do just fine in their own ripening boxes while everything else just sits in their vacuum bags in the rest of the non-humidity-modified fridge/cave.
If I have to be a grownup, can I at least be telekinetic too?

Offline MrsKK

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2012, 08:52:33 AM »
If they are waxed or vac sealed, there's no concern about the humidity because the covering/coating protects the cheese from drying out.  Humidity is a much bigger concern with natural rinds.


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Offline Bear and Bunny cheese

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2012, 12:55:15 PM »
Thanks for the replies MrsKK and George,
  Your answers make sense.  I will be making a Gruyere this weekend which will not be waxed.  Would a tupperware style cheese box be sufficient for aging it?  If so, it makes me wonder why the high techs are going through all the trouble with producing and controlling humidity throughout the cave.  Firstly opening the door for a peek would destroy the balance immediately I would think.  Secondly, different cheeses at different ages have different humidity needs so I assume separate cheese boxes, either sealed or ajar etc. would accomplish this much better.
  One last question, when aging different cheeses in the same fridge is there a risk of cross contamination of molds or anythng funky from one kind of cheese to another, especially if they are not in their own private cheese boxes?  Why I ask, my Cambozola that spoiled last month gave a slight odour to my cheddar for a while which worried me to no end.  It is better now so I assume moisture and gases are leaving instead of penetrating the waxed cheese.
Cheers,  Nathan
Nathan

Offline Caseus

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2012, 08:29:01 PM »
Thanks for the replies MrsKK and George,
  Your answers make sense.  I will be making a Gruyere this weekend which will not be waxed.  Would a tupperware style cheese box be sufficient for aging it?  If so, it makes me wonder why the high techs are going through all the trouble with producing and controlling humidity throughout the cave.  Firstly opening the door for a peek would destroy the balance immediately I would think.  Secondly, different cheeses at different ages have different humidity needs so I assume separate cheese boxes, either sealed or ajar etc. would accomplish this much better.

It should be sufficient, if you can ensure proper humidity inside the mini-cave (tupperware box).  The trick is, how do you measure the humdity and finagle it to keep it in the right range?  You can guess, which is probably what most people do, or you can out a separate hygrometer, hopefully a fairly accurate one, in each mini-cave.  If you have moisture dripping down the sides of your mini-cave or dripping from the lid onto the cheese, it's too humid.   :)   But below that, how do you know if its humid enough? 

I'm no expert, so I won't pretend to know the answer to that.

  One last question, when aging different cheeses in the same fridge is there a risk of cross contamination of molds or anythng funky from one kind of cheese to another, especially if they are not in their own private cheese boxes?  Why I ask, my Cambozola that spoiled last month gave a slight odour to my cheddar for a while which worried me to no end.  It is better now so I assume moisture and gases are leaving instead of penetrating the waxed cheese.
Cheers,  Nathan

Yes, there is a risk of cross contamination, particularly with blue molds.  Many people keep a separate cave for blues.

Online Boofer

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2012, 08:41:25 AM »
Yes, there is a risk of cross contamination, particularly with blue molds.  Many people keep a separate cave for blues.
Or you could limit what the caves have "active". Right now I have a cave sharing space between a Fourme d'Ambert (blue) and some week-old Reblochons (PC/Geo/linens). They are both in their separate minicaves which maintain humidity and help to segregate them from each other.

If I were to consider placing a Gouda or some other cheese intended for a clean rind process in there, I would be taking a chance on a blue Gouda, orange Gouda (linens), or a white Gouda (PC/Geo). IMHO... :)

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Offline dbudge55

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Re: My new cave
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2012, 09:29:31 AM »
Indeed. I have a lovely orange Gruyere going now that was influenced by a wayward Limburger. I'm hoping I've invented something quite wonderful. But as always, hope springs eternal.
Laissez le rouleau grand fromage - Dave Budge