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CHEESE TYPE BOARDS (for Cheese Lovers and Cheese Makers) => RENNET COAGULATED - Hard Grana (Grating Cheesee) => Topic started by: Tiarella on August 16, 2012, 06:51:39 AM

Title: ideas for the cracks in my aging Parm?
Post by: Tiarella on August 16, 2012, 06:51:39 AM
My parm is aging in a wine fridge with a pan of water.  I don't have a way to measure the humidity level and unless there's a cheap instrument to do that it's unlikely to be in my budget. ( I'd like to be able to measure humidity and pH and suggestions for that are appreciated.  Yes, I've read the threads but ideas of cheapest source would be welcome and I'll start saving.)

I'm attaching photo of one of the small cracks.  There are about 2 of them.  I haven't done as much with this cheese as the recipe suggested because of how busy I am with outside farm chores so I've been a bit of a bad cheese parent.  That said, I'd love to do as much as possible to make this cheese work out and be yummy in a few months.  It's about 2 weeks old now, quite firm.  Wondering if I should vacuum pack it? or wax it?   I did add a piece of damp cheesecloth to the fridge to help up the humidity hopefully.  It also has a few small pits that have had some blue mold in them.  I've washed it with the white vinegar/salt mixture and most of that is gone. 

I also wonder if anyone ever uses grapefruit seed extract in water to kill off unwanted surface molds.  It would only take a few drops in the water and would seem unlikely to penetrate to cause any other die-off.  Clove infusion would also likely work also.  Haven't any problem with white vinegar and salt but an enquiring mind always wonders what else is possible.
Thanks!
Title: Re: ideas for the cracks in my aging Parm?
Post by: Tomer1 on August 16, 2012, 07:18:03 AM
You can use lard.
Title: Re: ideas for the cracks in my aging Parm?
Post by: bbracken677 on August 16, 2012, 10:17:00 AM
I bought this hygrometer which also displays temp as well has a "high" and "low" for each...has worked wonderfully for me and measures humidity up to 99% and seems fairly accurate.

http://www.amazon.com/Acu-Rite-Indoor-Humidity-Monitor/dp/B0013BKDO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345130001&sr=8-1&keywords=hygrometer (http://www.amazon.com/Acu-Rite-Indoor-Humidity-Monitor/dp/B0013BKDO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345130001&sr=8-1&keywords=hygrometer)

for a pH meter, I got this cheapie...which has it's issues (have to store tip wet in solution as well as needing to calibrate often)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B005H78ZI0/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new (http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B005H78ZI0/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new)

I payed a combined total of about 25-30 bucks
Title: Re: ideas for the cracks in my aging Parm?
Post by: Tiarella on August 16, 2012, 10:57:23 AM
You can use lard.

do you mean smear some lard just on the cracked areas or to coat the whole cheese in lard?  Thanks for this idea....
Title: Re: ideas for the cracks in my aging Parm?
Post by: Tiarella on August 16, 2012, 11:02:33 AM

I payed a combined total of about 25-30 bucks

That sounds like my kind of price range!!  Thanks for sharing those links.
Title: Re: ideas for the cracks in my aging Parm?
Post by: bbracken677 on August 16, 2012, 11:08:43 AM
Quite welcome! ....the hygrometer has worked better than expected, and the pH meter has given me good results as well, even though it is a bit of a pain to use.

My hygrometer is currently showing me 99% RH in my mini cave, and once I got there I have to wipe down condensation, so it appears to be on the up and up. The temp it displays matches an analog thermometer I have to a T...so no complaints whatsoever with it.


Regarding the lard solution...makes sense. Thanks for the suggestion! I have not had a cracking problem yet, but am still a cheese newbie so it's just a matter of time   :)
Title: Re: ideas for the cracks in my aging Parm?
Post by: Tomer1 on August 16, 2012, 11:28:03 AM
You can use lard.

do you mean smear some lard just on the cracked areas or to coat the whole cheese in lard?  Thanks for this idea....

Just at the cracks, look at the WIKI about rind treatments.