QA7 – How Do I Label My Waxed Cheeses?

By on 22/05/2012

How to label waxed cheese

So you’ve made a great looking round of cheese and now it’s time to wax it.

But once it’s waxed and stored away for aging, how do you ever remember which cheese is which, when it was made and when it will be ready?

Obviously the answer is to label the cheese, but how?

Don’t worry it’s extremely simple.

How To Label Waxed Cheeses

  • Apply your first coat or two of wax.
  • Next, prepare a label. I actually use a label maker to print plastic labels, which don’t smudge or fade, and other home cheese makers use adhesive labels which would work well too. But you are also just fine using plain paper labels because the next steps will protect your label.
  • Be sure to put at least the type of cheese and the make date on the label. Some cheese makers also put a batch number on their cheese to help them identify not only when the cheese was made in reference to other cheeses but also to use to refer back to their cheese logs to see what milk, starters and rennets etc were used in that make. It can also be helpful to put an expected maturity date on your label so that you can quickly see when your cheese might be ready, but also to avoid any ‘intruders’ ; ) opening and eating your cheese before it’s fully ready.
  • Apply your last coat of wax and as you put the wax onto the side of your cheese that you will label, press the label you have already made flat onto the wax while it is still warm and soft so it sticks.
  • When you have finished applying your last coat of wax, paint another few light coats of wax OVER the label. This will seal it into the top layer of wax and prevent it from falling off or smudging

And just like that, your cheese is labeled!

How to label cheese

Other Methods Of Labeling Waxed Cheese

There are 2 other methods of labeling your waxed cheese – direct labeling and stamping.

If you want to do things much more quickly and simply you can simply write your details directly on the wax with a permanent marker BUT the downside to doing this is that you may not really want to re-use the wax after opening it. For me, this is a definite downside. I’m not sure I like the idea of ink in my wax and on my cheese : /

Alternatively, you could go the fancy, but more expensive route and purchase, or have made, a cheese stamp. I haven’t personally used one of these, or even investigated getting one as I am quite happy with my home made labels but if you ever get into selling your cheeses, this may be an option to brand and label your waxed cheeses.

Final Fun Tip

If you are giving any of your cheeses away as gifts, maybe later in the year for Christmas, consider making up festive gift labels to paint into the wax. I made these Christmas ones a few years back and although they certainly weren’t works of art, or even tidily written, they helped remind me that these cheese were for gifts and not for us.

How To Label Cheese

3 Comments

  1. Louise

    22/05/2012 at 11:26 pm

    Rachel, what types of cheeses should I make now for Christmas? Any thoughts?

    • curdnerd

      15/06/2012 at 2:14 pm

      Hey Louise

      Sorry I’ve only just spotted your question. Since you are one of our regulars : ) you get auto approved so I didn’t see you there!!

      With 6(ish) months to go until Christmas you have some time up your sleeve so you could go for a Cheddar or a Romano. A young Gouda needs at least 60 days but is even better after 5-6 months so this is also an option. And an Emental is aged for between 6-14 months so this one would be just ready for Christmas.

      Of course you can always go for the softer cheeses if you want to wait for a few more months too.

      Good luck!!

  2. Thomas

    18/01/2014 at 3:19 pm

    A set of metal punches/stamps for metal or wood work great too. Heat the tip a little and press it into the cheese.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply