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A question for all you cheesemakers...

 
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Just Jane



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 140
Location: France
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 1:17 pm    Post subject: A question for all you cheesemakers... Reply with quote
    

How do you age your hard cheeses?

I previously experimented making a (verry small) cheese using (don't laugh) a litre of milk and a mixture of James_so's and Fankhausers instructions - after pressing via the inner tube method I stored it wrapped in a cloth in the fridge for about a month, the first week of which I dipped it salted water every day. The resulting product tasted good (even if I say so myself) but there was obviously not much left after the outer crust was removed.

I want to try again, this time using a larger quantity of milk but was wondering what other DS members thought was the best way of ageing the cheese - I have read about salt water baths, encasing it in cheese wax (what is in this?) and Seymour suggests a coating cheese with a flour and water paste, then wrapping in cloth

Any experiences gratefully appreciated

Thanks

Northern_Lad



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 14210
Location: Somewhere
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Don't know, in short.

My cheese comes in wax which is easy to peel off, and you can re-use it. Not sure what's in it, but it burns well.

Someone with experience should totter along shortly.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Different treatments produce different cheeses.

One limit is likely your available kit and conditions.

I've encased cheese in candlewax. Whittled off a candle, into a scrap aluminium foil dish (like a takeaway carton), melted in a cool oven...

I hope to have an old fridge soon to be modified fro temperature and (hah) humidity control... when I'll be back to playing at cheese!

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34344
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Northern_Lad wrote:

My cheese comes in wax which is easy to peel off, and you can re-use it. Not sure what's in it, but it burns well.


Mini Baby Bels?

Northern_Lad



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 14210
Location: Somewhere
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Nick wrote:
Northern_Lad wrote:

My cheese comes in wax which is easy to peel off, and you can re-use it. Not sure what's in it, but it burns well.


Mini Baby Bels?


Not quite.

snowball
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 6235
Location: swindon
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I havbe tried melted candle wax and I have tried muslin.
The muslin I re-osked in salted water every 48 hours or so.
The waxed ones worked much better.

I melted it in a bowl over simmering water (as you would ) chocolate.

Ascot actually sell wax fit for purpose, I have not tried this, but will buy some for the next.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19856
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

That's spooky that is - you actually answered the question

snowball
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 6235
Location: swindon
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    


Just Jane



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 140
Location: France
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thanks for the prompt replies.

With regards to available kit & conditions salt and water should be pretty easy, I do have some leftover cheese wax that came with my mushroom plugs, resulting product can either be stored in the fridge or in the basement (10-15C)

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Just Jane wrote:
With regards to available kit & conditions salt and water should be pretty easy, ...

Sorry, the point is that the conditions the cheese is kept in (specifically humidity) affects what happens with differnet washings, bindings, etc.
Different moulds will thrive on the outside and a different crust will form, influencing what happens inside.

Waxing is an attempt to seal it all up so outside humidity (and oxygen) doesn't become an uncontrolled variable.

10C should be pretty good.
Not quite so sure about 15C though...

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Ascott sell an excellent cheese coating, not a wax, but it's very easy to use, lasts for ages, goes a long way, brushes on and dries clear; it's what I use. Peels/slices off very thinly, so youa re left with maximum cheese.

Other methods are bandaging with muslin and lard, or cheese wax. I wouldn't use candle wax.

Keep in a cool, dry, darkish place for as long as you like. I keep mine in the meat safe in a north-facing store room.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 07 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Here's Dr Fankhauser's opinion on candle wax (and crayons).
https://www.clc.uc.edu/~fankhadb/cheese/waxing_cheese.htm
If its OK by him...

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 07 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I still wouldn't use candle wax or wax crayons on anything I would eat. Stearin - animal based, usually present in bought candles*, so no good for vegetarian cheese, as I make it - in my view and experience.

Bingo for Dr Fankhauser, still wouldn't use it.

*So I believe.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 15043
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 07 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

My mum wants to know if you could use beeswax - she has three hives, so has quite a lot, I understand!

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 07 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Yes, you can use beeswax, but I think it is better employed in other ways - polish, candles, sewing, cosmetics, soap, etc. However, if she has a lot extra, she could use it. The cheese would need to be stored quite cold to keep the wax firm, though I should think. Never used it on cheese myself. Would smell nice

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