Cheese Caves

Quick Improvised Mini-Cave

I often speak of ripening boxes or mini-caves.  I thought I would share a little photo essay on how to make a quick, cheap, but temporary fix until you can get a container that fits your cheese better.  Again this is just my opinion and it works for me.

All you need is a bike pump or a straw, plastic draining mat & zip-lock bag

All you need is a bike pump or a straw,
plastic draining mat & zip-lock bag

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Its been one week since you looked at cheese

I know that BNL will be OK with me adjusting the words from “One Week”.  It has been a week since the little pillows of happiness were made, and with an every two day washing cycle it has been pretty good so far.

I was away for the weekend, so I washed everything on Friday morning before I left.  When I returned to the city on Sunday I checked on them.  They had a nice layer of Geotricum mould on them.  Some times it does pay to ignore them.  I brought them out for their 30 minutes at room temperature to encourage the  B. Linens to grow, then I washed the three with the morge and the smaller one with the scotch and back they went.  Monday was just a breather and rub down day for them.   As I took them out of the cave, I rubber/smeared the mould on the rind all around to help with even coverage, you will know that you are doing it right when the rind is sticky,damp but not wet (this is part of a washed rind/smear ripened process).

I am having some humidity issues with the cave, so I used the domes from two of my mini caves and added damp paper towels to the cave.  This will be in addition to my cheese cloth water system.

It is starting to get a bit stinky in the cave, that is the B. Linens, that should mellow out when I stop the wash and age them.  I love that smell,it smells like I imagine these cheeses should.

The little ones in their protective domes. The smell is starting to get stinky which is great for these cheeses.

Have a great day and I will post more in One Week.

Ladies and Gentleman – The Barenaked Ladies

Les Fromages sont Morts – The Cheese are Dead

I know I have not posted anything for a little bit, it has been busy at my house with non-cheese related items.  I know what could be more important than cheese, my wife tells me there are other things but she…..is not a cheese fan….I know!

I wanted to talk about the cheeses in the cave right now and how they are progressing.

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Cheese Cave Spelunking!

Before I start I want to let you know these are my opinions and you could take them with a grain of cheese salt or not.  If you have suggestions then please post in the comments because   Knowledge is Power!  Now let’s do some Cheese Cave Spelunking!

I am often asked where I store all the cheese that I make, in my “cave“is the usual answer.  After they are done with the funny looks, they ask me what I mean.  In some places there are cheese makers that still use caves to age their cheese.  By caves I mean actual caves.  In the Roquefort region of France, Roquefort Cheese (the supposed mother of all Blue Cheeses) is still aged in caves in the surrounding mountain sides, as is some Gorgonzola and Taleggio in Italy.  The reason is twofold, first they have a specific temperature that is perfect for ripening cheese year round and secondly they have the right humidity for ripening cheese (anywhere from 80 to 95% RH).  These locations have a micro climate that help to develop the specific moulds and flavors that give us the specific taste, smell and texture of these cheeses.  As a Home Cheese Maker we do realize that we cannot truly duplicate these conditions in our homes, but we can try to get it close.  You need to try to duplicate a temperature and humidity level, which is easier said than done.

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