Monday, September 2, 2019

Emergency Cheese Cave! Cheese Updates

Hello Friends!

How are you all doing today? I think that summer is officially over this year, sigh. Usually we get an especially hot and humid September. For the last x number of years, I've been swimming in the lake all the way to the beginning of October! But this year, it's already close to zero at night. Oh well.

I wanted to give you an update on a few things. Firstly, I've made two new Fontina cheeses using two different types of culture for comparison. They are air drying and will be ready for ripening boxes in a few days. I'll post about that in the next few weeks! I have a goat milk cheese going too, which I'll also post about soon.

Also...I got too big for my britches lol...I ran out of room in my cheese cave! It's a small fridge and I have four wheels in there already, plus the Parmesan in a ripening box and the brine...For the next three cheeses, they need to be in ripening boxes for 2-3 months too and I have no more shelves!

So the "emergency cheese cave" has been born. I took an old Styrofoam cooler we had in the basement.

I added two blue cooler thingies (dollar store) and did a 12-hour test to see if it would hold my temperature between 10-12C. It passed the test! It varied from 9.6C to 11.3C - perfect!

My emergency cheese cave will now sit on the counter in the kitchen - safely away from the pets. I'll have to replace the blue cooler thingies every twelve hours to keep the temperature right, so I'll have to hit the dollar store in the next few days to get a few more.

Necessity and lack of funds are the mother of all invention!

Jarlsberg Update: My Jarlsberg is aging at room temperature in the kitchen. If you look close, you can see that the cheese wheel is becoming a little spongy, it's also really expanding in the vacuum seal. This is normal as the "eyes" or holes are developing on the inside of the cheese! I have to watch to make sure it doesn't burst out of the seal. If it does, I have to simply reseal it. This will be ready in about 3 weeks!

And here is a video update of my Parmesan. It's doing what it's supposed to do!

Update after I filmed this video: After doing some more research today, I learned that it's a good idea to have your ripening box slightly open for air circulation. This is how I accomplish that:

A binder clip on the edge of the box with the top on. This leaves a slight crack in the opening for air flow.

Also, I read that you need to wipe the lid on the inside daily to make sure no moisture drips on your cheese, which causes it to mould faster! Forever learning!!! :)


Leftycrafter said...

You amaze me with all your "inventions". You have a very creative mind. I would never had thought if a styrofoam cooler. Smart, very smart.

Rain said...

Thanks so much Marsha :) I was in a panic actually! I was measuring my cheese wheels and thinking I need to get specialty tupperwares for the ripening boxes, then it came to me. Phewf, saved myself a lot of money and hassles! But you know, when we settle, I'm getting a regular sized fridge for the cheese cave!