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GENERAL CHEESE MAKING BOARDS (Specific Cheese Making in Boards above) => INGREDIENTS - Everything Else => Topic started by: Dulcelife on June 26, 2012, 07:19:44 PM

Title: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. No Sticking. **UPDATE 3**
Post by: Dulcelife on June 26, 2012, 07:19:44 PM
I recently ordered some cream wax from Hoegger.  I find this rind treatment product to be easy to use, convenient and pretty similar to traditional (red) waxing of Edam and Gouda although I understand that it may not be as non-permeable as traditional cheese wax.

I am dismayed however to find so little information on this board about its use and the little information available seems to lean toward disregard and or a preference for not using it.  I yearn to learn why from our more experienced cheese experts.  I have read about it making the rind inedible and would like to hear under what circumstances since the Edam boules I first used it on (after mold under wax issues), had total edible rinds and peeled off easily and harmlessly.

In my endless research, I found video where this or something very similar is being applied by hand in the making of Gouda prior to aging and or waxing.  Gouda and Edam which are so often coated in red wax appear in articles as giant orange colored wheels in open air markets.

The last bit of intriguing data comes from a commercially produced red-wax coated Gouda imported from Holland that I decided to carefully peal back only to find a yellow coating between the perfect rind and red wax.  Can this be our cream wax in some form or another?

I would love to hear from anyone and everyone that has experience with this .

 

Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Boofer on June 26, 2012, 10:13:11 PM
I don't think what I used is "cream wax". It is actually a polymer coating with natamycin mold inhibiter. I have only started to examine it and have yet to remove any from a cheese rind. Member hoeklijn (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=7486) apparently has used it quite often. He's the one that convinced me to give it a try.

I am using it on two of my three Caraway (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9806.msg72295.html#msg72295) cheeses. I figured I'd do a rough control experiment and see whether they age differently and if the coating will be easy to be removed when the time comes. Off-hand, I would reserve the coating for smooth rind cheeses. Any rough rinds will most likely cause the coating to stick excessively. I'll probably let the Caraway go for another month or so and then try to remove it and cut the cheese.

I am not waxing over this coating. The coating stands alone.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on June 27, 2012, 07:36:35 AM
Boof,

Be aware that the coating is not air tight and your cheeses will lose moisture. That's why you normally wax over top of it. I ruined a batch of Emmental thinking that the coating would prevent moisture loss. After aging for 6 months, they were hard as a rock. Made a fantastic tasting grating cheese though. ::) After that, I saw no good reason to use it. I'll stick with my vac bagging.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Dulcelife on June 27, 2012, 10:30:50 AM
I am a big fan of traditional waxing of Goudas and other hard cheese.  I wax fairly heavily though and I discovered unwanted green/black molds under the wax on a couple of Edam boules despite waxing at pretty high temperature for 10 seconds per dip and so think that this cream wax may be a good compromise.  I have been playing around with ziploc vacuum bagging with manual hand pump but they tend to loosen up over time. The higher expense of food saver style bags is still a turn-off for me.  I rather put that money into the raw milk which is all I have used thus far.

What appeals to me about this cream wax is the mold inhibitors as well as the glassy hard surface that results while allowing the cheese to continue to breath.  So once the cheese is fairly dry,  I can cream wax over  a two week period and let the cheese continue to breath and dry a bit while being protected from  molds until I am ready to hard wax it and age.  This is more convenient than scrubbing and washing cheeses I intend to wax.  If I were vacuum bagging I can see no reason why this would not also be a good protocol in eliminating the mold issue. This is my theory anyway but, time will tell.

Right now I have two Goudas (No. 4), cream waxed and sitting in 52F @ 65% RH cave.  These will be hard waxed in the coming week.  I also have this weekends Manchegos drying off naked in the same environment. I will cream wax the smaller wheel and keep the other natural with weekly olive oil rub downs.  At 60 days I will slice into both and post results.

One last note: the version from Hoegger pictured below is pretty specific in indicating the need for waxing for long term aging.  The last sentence of the instructions on hard waxing also implies that its possible for cream waxed cheese to sweat.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Boofer on June 27, 2012, 11:45:23 AM
Thanks for the heads-up, Sailor. I did coat 2 and vacuum-seal one. Maybe I need to vacuum-seal one of the coated ones. That way, I'd know for sure how each method works out.  ::)

These were expected to age out to about 2 months. Would I lose that much moisture over that time? They are supposed to breathe with this coating, huh? Seems like it's pretty sealed up.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Dulcelife on June 27, 2012, 11:51:48 AM
Boof, take one of your cheeses out of your cheese cave area.  Clear you lungs then whiff your coated cheese.  Smell It?
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on June 27, 2012, 06:06:12 PM
The mold inhibitor is Natamycin (aka Natamax). This is a "natural" antibiotic produced by certain strains of bacteria. So, there are other ways to achieve mold prevention without using the cream wax.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Dulcelife on June 27, 2012, 06:22:02 PM
I just took a sniff at my cream waxed Goudas (No. 4), and detect a faint smell of cheese.  These have been coated twice and would appear to be sealed tight.  They are obviously not and no doubt would dry up given enough time as Sailor indicated.

I went ahead and cream waxed one of the Manchego No. 2 wheels and oiled up the other.  The oiled one will go into a ripening box as I did with Manchego No. 1.  The cream waxed wheel I will leave in the open cave environment which is about 52F - 54F @ 60% - 65% rH and see what the short term (60 day), outcome will be and how it compares with the oil rubbed natural rind version.  I am particularly interested in how the rind develops under the cream wax with no further protection in short term aging.

The first photo below is what Gouda No. 4 looks like cream waxed.  I can still smell it after two coats and will hard wax one wheel and Ziploc vacuum the other;  a secondary experiment for kicks and giggles.

The second photo are the  Manchegos No. 2; top one cream waxed and bottom oiled with good italian E.V.O.O.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Dulcelife on June 27, 2012, 06:38:26 PM
The mold inhibitor is Natamycin (aka Natamax). This is a "natural" antibiotic produced by certain strains of bacteria. So, there are other ways to achieve mold prevention without using the cream wax.

Awesome!  Never would have guessed that.  As we say in Aviation safety: you can't know what you don't know.  So please do tell how to go about it.  I am all for the simplest cost effective protocol/methodology.  Time is definitely money not to mention lost vacation/holiday time so, how do you go about mold suppression in your operation.  Is there a readily available and economic source of Natamax for the home enthusiast?  Do you use vacuum bagging exclusively for your product?  Tips, suggestions, pitfalls?

As always my heart felt thanks for taking the time to share your experience, especially since I suspect most of this has been covered before somewhere in this forum.
   
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Boofer on June 28, 2012, 01:25:34 AM
Boof, take one of your cheeses out of your cheese cave area.  Clear you lungs then whiff your coated cheese.  Smell It?
You know, I think there's cheese trying to escape from my humidistat because it has been in there with the cheeses and it smells of cheese. Hmmm....  :D

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: hoeklijn on June 28, 2012, 02:50:05 AM
As Boofer mentioned, I've quite some experience with this type of coating, in fact as long as I make cheese, however that's not longer than 3 years  ;)
First of all I have my doubts about the expression "traditional wax coating of Gouda cheeses". I live in a town next to Gouda, I'm eating Gouda cheese all my life (I'm 57) and the the only waxed coated cheeses I've seen are the small Edam and Gouda they sell in the souvenir-shops, or the Cheddar a friend of ours brought back from the UK. As far as I'm aware, ALL Gouda cheeses from the big automated factories (and they produce Gouda's all over Europe) are coated with this type of cheese coating using special machines. Take e.g. a look at http://www.doeschot.nl/index.php?category=kaasbehandelingssystemen&id=14&lan=en (http://www.doeschot.nl/index.php?category=kaasbehandelingssystemen&id=14&lan=en)
Artisan cheese makers use it also and they apply it (like I do as a hobby cheese maker) with a brush, or with a sponge or even by hand. I use 3 thin layers, some apply it in one thick layer. See the picture taken at a children's party on the farm where I buy my milk...
And yes, opposite to vacuum packing, they are supposed to breathe with this coating, just like a natural rind does. That's why in "the dutch bible about making artisan cheese", which originates from the 1950's, there is a distinct difference in making baby Gouda's which are called "consumer cheeses" and making "storage cheese", the wheels up to 20 kg that can mature for more than one year. A baby Gouda coated with plastic is not supposed to last that long, but a baby Gouda with a natural rind neither.
I find the coating easy to peel off, when the cheese is not straight out of the fridge and assuming the coating is not too thin and the rind was smooth. Sometimes when herbs are applied the coating will stick a bit more to herbs that are directly in the rind, one of the reasons that Leiden originally is made with curd without cumin at the outside of the mould 
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Dulcelife on June 28, 2012, 06:41:44 AM
hoeklijn:  Thanks for the explanation.  Your observations verify much of what I think this coating does and can do.
My comment about traditional wax coating for Gouda comes from my perspective buying imported Gouda from the common supermarket supply chain in the United States: it is always wax coated.  That would be the smart thing to do prior to export.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: hoeklijn on June 28, 2012, 08:14:47 AM
My comment about traditional wax coating for Gouda comes from my perspective buying imported Gouda from the common supermarket supply chain in the United States: it is always wax coated.

IS IT?? I never realized that! This explains why on several fora at your side of the pond people keep talking about waxed Gouda's!
I always assumed that the Gouda's in the US were sold like in the EC, also because some time ago I saw some ads of a Canadian or US diary that was selling coated pressed cheeses. And that's so familiar here... Okay, for me it give a complete new angle to this discussion  ^-^
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Dulcelife on June 28, 2012, 10:32:44 AM
hoeklijn your reporting puts a new angle on this for me also or, as we say here "a new spin on things".
Based on your information I speculate that these coatings are a form of rind treatment for these big wheels similar to oiling that heal but don't seal the rind, so-to-speak.

Based on this I will change my little experiment with the Goudas (No. 4).  I will hard wax one and apply a third final coat of the cream wax to the other.  both will go into the cave and I will monitor weight loss until they are 60 Days.  That's around mid August.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Dulcelife on July 02, 2012, 05:51:31 PM
Well after even more extensive searching, reading and contemplating, I broke down and bought the Foodsaver V3820 and enough bagging material to keep me sucking air for quite a while.  The kicker was finding my Havartis and other chunks loose in the Ziploc hand-pump bags.  These are a waste of time and money in the long haul.

Kudos to Sailor and Linux for all their posts, info and data throughout the forum.  Took a little while to find the answers to all my questions but there was a lot of additional information to be had by reading the posts.  And, as they say the best form of flattery is imitation so why try to re-invent the wheel when years of experience in the real world provide obvious solutions to everyday cheesecraft issues and techniques.  Thanks guys.

Sailor, also found the Danisco data sheets on Natamax.  But, after reading your post I doubt I will need to use it.

So, I will officially put away the red wax and relegate my makes to Cream wax for the Goudas and Edams, natural rinds for those makes that benefit from brushing, oils and molds and vacuum for all else.  After all, with all the expenditures in making this a worthwhile endeavor, what's a couple of more dollars?
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Boofer on July 02, 2012, 07:45:09 PM
After all, with all the expenditures in making this a worthwhile endeavor, what's a couple of more dollars?
Ah, there, that's the spirit!  ;)

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: hoeklijn on July 03, 2012, 01:18:47 AM
Well, reading all your stories about vacuum sealing cheeses, I'm thinking about buying a Foodsaver as well. But certainly I will be coating my pressed cheeses. Dulcelife, I hope your experiments with coating will give you the results you are looking for, keep us posted. And if you have any questions about my experiences with coating, please let me know...
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Dulcelife on July 20, 2012, 08:52:20 PM
I am still experimenting with this cream wax as a rind treatment and confirming if indeed the cream wax can serve as an alternative to a natural rind sans the vinegar brines, mold, brushing and oil rubs.

Today as I was cream waxing a wheel each of  my Fast and "not so fast" Double Gloucester as well as vacuum packing the other wheels, I observed that my Gouda No. 4 wheels which were the first to be creamed waxed and vacuum packed for comparison, displayed a notable difference in size between the cream waxed specimen and the vacuum packed wheel.

This observation confirms what Sailor has posted insofar as the cream wax not sealing the cheese and loosing moisture.  I believe he indicated having a cheese dry to the extent that it was unusable for anything but grating.

For some reason the photo does not do justice to the difference observed.  Suffice it to say that the cream waxed wheel of my Gouda No. 4 is considerable smaller than the vac-packed wheel. When observing the photo, keep in mind that the layers of cream wax are quite thick on the top wheel.

The plan is two open both the cream waxed and vac-packed wheels at two months and see what differences exist in both approaches.

Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: hoeklijn on July 21, 2012, 05:28:44 AM
Interesting. I just recently started with weighting my cheeses after brining, triggered by what I saw on this forum. I'll keep an eye on the changes in weight as well...
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The discussion.
Post by: Boofer on July 21, 2012, 09:30:42 AM
This is good stuff!

I wonder what the moisture/weight loss is with waxed, cloth-bound, or natural rind cheeses? Of course I believe with those you DO want some adjustment of the initial paste. How does the cream coating treatment compare?

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The Verdict. **UPDATE**
Post by: Dulcelife on July 24, 2012, 08:16:08 PM
Well here's my verdict on the cream wax versus everything else.

Cut into Machego No.2 Wheels at the curado stage of 30 days.  One wheel had been cream waxed and the other left to develop a natural rind with olive oil rubbed in faithfully as needed.

First off, its good to know I can reproduce the make; taste and texture are similar enough to make no. 1 that I can claim consistency.

The natural oiled-rind wheel was like no. 1 at this same stage: nice hard thin rind, subtle flexible paste with a pretty creamy center.  Taste was once again young though nice.  This wheel was kept in a high humidity ripening box and developed green mold on one side only.

The cream waxed wheel was considerably drier, with thicker rind and more solid paste.  The texture from rind to maybe 1/2" in was identical to what one would expect in a hard Gouda or Edam  There is no doubt that in three to six months time I would have a hard grating cheese as Sailor con Queso experienced and reported.  I like the taste and consistency of this wheel and have made a mental note that it must be bagged or hard waxed at 30 days to mitigate drying out.  This also explains why the instructions indicate to hard wax two to four weeks after cream waxing.  If this is indeed the sole treatment given Gouda in the town of Gouda then I imagine it is being kept in a high humidity environment.

My verdict is that cream wax most definitely produces a breathable skin over the rind.  I find it is useful as a rind treatment as long as you either: 1) limit the time to 4 weeks before hard waxing or bagging or 2) keep the cream waxed cheese in a ripening box or other high humidity cave.  Seems useful if one does not care to wash and brush and rub oil or otherwise spend a lot of time playing with the cheese.

I have Gouda no. 4 cream waxed for 37 days and will bag it tonight knowing that I risk too dry a cheese if I let it go.
I also have the Double Gloucesters and will let those breath in the cream wax for 30 days each before bagging.
At least now I know how to get that super hard half inch rind I love so much in the Gallo Azul Edam cheese I can't find anywhere.

Might be time for some more washed curds.

Picture is of the Manchegos: Natural on the left and Cream waxed on the right.



 
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The Verdict. **UPDATE**
Post by: hoeklijn on July 24, 2012, 11:42:18 PM
To start with: A cheese for you for this experiment!
I'm a bit surprised by this result. I wouldn't have thought that the natural oiled rind would be different. On the other hand, I opened a 4 month old baby Gouda (1 kilo) a while ago and experienced again that considering the size of the cheese the rind was relatively thick. Taste was good and mature however. Having only experience with coated Gouda's I think that after my holidays I'll try a contra expertise and do a Gouda with an oiled rind!
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The Verdict. **UPDATE**
Post by: Tomer1 on July 25, 2012, 05:31:19 AM
I would think that using a simple plastic\seran wrap over it will limit moisture lost without the need to vacuum bag.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The Verdict. **UPDATE**
Post by: Dulcelife on July 25, 2012, 06:24:58 AM
@hoeklijn: I too did not expect too much of a difference and was surprised to find that four thin coats of olive oil are more impervious to moisture loss than two thick layers of this cream wax product.  It was a good surprise however since I love the thick rind and firmer paste.  I have high expectations for Gouda no. 4

@Tomer1: That's a very good option that never crossed my mind. There should be no concern about mold hence no need for a vacuum seal, reduced space requirements since no need for a ripening box and a savings in costs.  Great idea!  I never did get to vac-pack the Gouda, thus I will seran wrap and see how it goes.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. The Verdict. **UPDATE**
Post by: Dulcelife on August 10, 2012, 07:26:10 AM
Opened Gouda No. 4 to find a very nice hard rind beneath the cream wax.  The rind graduated from very hard to softer as you proceeded into the interior.  As it should on a good Gouda.

My recommendation is to use the cream wax once the cheese is dry and then vacuum or hard wax anytime after the first full month after the cream according to taste.

As can be seen in the photo, there is no issue with sticking cream wax.  Just follow the directions on the product container.
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. No Sticking. **UPDATE 3**
Post by: Boofer on August 10, 2012, 08:54:35 AM
Hey, Luis, now we're talkin'! Excellent pics.

Thanks for that clarification on the cream wax sticking issue.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Cream wax: the good, the bad and the ugly. No Sticking. **UPDATE 3**
Post by: hoeklijn on August 10, 2012, 03:04:53 PM
Nice pics, nice cheese! Just came back from holidays and I hope to start making cheese again next weekend. Still planning to repeat this experiment for myself and compare coating versus oiling!