Air drying

This topic contains 12 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  user6244 4 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #1939 Reply

    johnny larue
    Participant

    When air drying my farmhouse cheddar should I use a bamboo mat or is a regular plate good enough? Should I change the plate if whey accumulates or wipe it off? How worried should I be about contamination from handling at this stage? I’m being overly cautious and wiping my hands with a little alcohol and drying before I touch anything now. Thanks much, Johnny.

    #1945 Reply

    user6244
    Participant

    Using a bamboo mat will work good allowing the whey to drain away from the cheese, Do you have a place to air dry? I thought about air drying in the house but with temps in the house pushing near 80 to 85 with 90% humidty , I had to just immediately put them in my mini fridge cheese cave, I bought controllers to manage temp and humidity and keep it at 57f with 85% humidity and flip daily,, The first cheese after several days had dried enough that I dipped it into wax and turn it daily though from reading i could probably just turn it weekly (since I still have some newer ones requiring daily flips i just flip them all)…
    Oh about keeping things clean,handling, I just wash my hands with dish soap, rinse , then dry them off with a paper towel, I think it is a good idea regardless to stay as clean as possible to prevent introducing any mold that was not intended..

    I got my controllers from : Controller

    Cheese cave

    first cheese

    tools

    second cheese

    #1947 Reply

    user6244
    Participant

    As I am new to this too, I have one concern I have not brought up. So far every hard cheese I have produced once removed from the press the next day have shown no signs of dripping whey onto the mats or pans underneath (they have been ever so slightly moist which dried off completely by the next day and rind development could be seen by the 4th day), In fact my cheeses are now on mats (plastic mats) in the cheese cave without pans to the exception of one that is over the humidity controller and I put the pan under it to prevent moisture from the controller from hitting the bottom of the cheese , I at first thought this was good, but not having tasted the end result yet not sure, just guessing but I am wondering at the end will this result in a dryer possibly crumbly cheese?

    Unless someone chimes in with actual experience I guess time will tell……..

    #1951 Reply

    johnny larue
    Participant

    I guess time will tell, but if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it I guess, no dripping that is.

    Love your setup and those big rounds look fantastic! I take it they are 10 liter size batches or so?
    Eventually I’ll go with a fridge cave, but my veggie drawer is holding at 10c so I’ll use that for now, also making small cheeses, 3L size so storage is not a problem….yet.

    This is how I’m air drying now in the fish/veggie dryer I think your aware of. My cheeses have come out of my Tupperware made press quite wet and are still quite wet after a few days. Out summer weather has broke early this year so our humidity and temps have dropped significantly thankfully, we get the same temps and humidity as you it seems, no A/C in our house but lots of fans.

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    #1956 Reply

    user6244
    Participant

    That ought to work good for the air dry period. I bet if you wonder around the markets you will be able to find containers with raised plastic mats inside bpa free even etc (I have seen them here in Korea just have not bought any yet).

    Those rounds are actually 6 liter batches or about 2 gallon, the press came with 2 and 6 gallon molds….

    I have AC in the house but they are for looks most of the time,, I turned mine on a few days last month and my utlity bill came in at 546 dollars YIKES!!! So back to fans…needless to say lol

    #1958 Reply

    user6244
    Participant

    My cheeses have come out of my Tupperware made press quite wet and are still quite wet after a few days.

    If you made your press, and after the pressing period your cheese is still fairly wet, ,, I am not an expert but it is possible that maybe your curds where not cut small enough to release the whey?

    I know it depends on what your making but from what i can tell from lots of reading is that the larger your curds are cut the more moisture they tend to retain,,

    the press does express some of the trapped whey between the curds but it is really meant to allow the curds to knit back together,

    oh I ordered for my first go a mad millie hard cheese kit and it comes with a decent plastic press with pressure indicator on it it was like 138 bucks but it was worth it comes with all the tools to get started…….

    #1959 Reply

    johnny larue
    Participant

    I hear you on the utility usage , ouch. Thanks for the tip on curd size, now I think part of my problem is inconsistent curd size and insufficient pressing weight due to my lack of a real press. Doing small 3 liter size cheeses I will end up with something like a supermarket Camembert size . I’m afraid to put 30 kg or I’ll end up with a pancake. I read on this site I think, how making smaller cheeses you can reduce weight by 1/4, but I’m still under that figure. I’ve been using much less, like 7 kg or so. I know I should either buy a real press or make a better one, but can’t do it right now. Next I want to try a 4 liter, I think that is the largest I can handle right now. Still a few more days on drying to go though. Thanks again for your help.

    #1960 Reply

    johnny larue
    Participant

    One more thing, I wonder if using a small fan to circulate air would be helpful or harmful? I read commercial operations blow cold air on theirs.

    #1961 Reply

    user6244
    Participant

    I would think that adding air movement across the air drying cheese would be fine.

    I actually wanted to make my own press but if Japan is anything like Korea , they don’t have like a home depot type place around here most of the stuff I find is usually in a hole in the wall out of the way place near industrial areas ๐Ÿ™‚

    I went for a full day trying to spy out all the items I would need, it was a fail to find the components and quality of materials I was looking for ๐Ÿ™

    The concept of self help in Asia is to call someone else to do it for you. Like doing something yourself is beneath you, like a low person , probably the same in Japan,, hell I couldn’t even find filters for the water filter or actually I did but they wanted to charge me more than what is cost to have a guy come over and change them out monthly ๐Ÿ™
    crazy,,,,,,

    #1962 Reply

    johnny larue
    Participant

    I’ve got the fan going on low and intermittent so as not to over do it, a rind is starting to form finally, seeing some yellow, and still smells good. They’re not dripping anymore but when I turn them the bottom side is damp to wet. It must be the insufficient weight of my “press” if I can call it that.

    DIY is not big here either though there are some decent “home center” hardware stores, mostly catering to tradesmen and the occasional DIYer. Here too most people won’t even change wiper blades or paint a door themselves, things like that. I think some of it is people have limited experience, they have the same job from age 18 or 22 forever and that’s it.

    #1963 Reply

    johnny larue
    Participant

    It seems my first made cheese has some b.linens growing on it and it’s starting to get a funky smell, hope it dries fast so I can vacuum seal it! Gave both cheeses a very light brine and vinegar wipe and pat dry.
    Pretty much as described here. http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php?topic=12053.0
    Not the end of the world it seems.

    #1977 Reply

    johnny larue
    Participant

    Ok I learned that using a fan at room temp may not be the best idea. However my bagged cheeses with what seems to be b.linens. Is doing well and possibly even recovering.

    #2010 Reply

    user6244
    Participant

    hey I have been out playing tour guide for the last 30 days,,, so why was the fan a fail?

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