Hard cheesemaking Q--what do you use to age it?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by hisenthlay, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    For those of you that make hard cheeses, what sort of refrigerator set up do you use to age your pressed cheese?

    I've been making soft cheeses and yogurt with goat milk for awhile, and I'd really like to get into the hard stuff--but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg on it. I think I can get my fiance to build me a press, but I was wondering what to do for the "aging cave". Does anyone here use just a regular little dorm fridge or something like that? Any other cheap answers? Or is there any place I could get a cheese aging fridge for a decent price?

    Thanks!
    h
     
  2. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    We had an old frig (almost sixty years old, bought new by my great-grandmother in 1948) sitting on the front porch. It wasn't very attractive, but it sure was handy. I had planned to use it for making hard cheese this year -- but it has died and is waiting to be carted off to the dump. So I am also looking for a solution to this problem -- a small dorm frig might be a solution, but I don't think we want to put another old frig on the front porch, LOL!

    Kathleen
     

  3. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    I'm fortunate enough to have a second fridge that I use for aging cheese and storing milk and storing seeds and....I don't know what I'd do without it! A dorm fridge for me would just be too small. If you have room for a smaller full sized fridge you can probably pick a used one up for a reasonable price. Watch the paper.
     
  4. ChickenMom

    ChickenMom Well-Known Member

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    I just wax mine and put it in a cool dark pantry, the recipe I use says to age it at 55*.
     
  5. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    that old fridge could be converted into a WONDERFUL smoker to smoke your meats, cant remimber exactly how they did it but it involved drilling holes in the bottom for air and a coffey can for the wood chips with holes drilled to set over the air vent, will have to check but it would make an awsome smoker
     
  6. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of turning the old frig into a smoker -- I had thought of turning it on it's back and digging it into the ground for a root cellar (which we badly need -- no basement under a manufactured home). I could use a root cellar for aging cheeses, too, if it was in the shade. But Grandma isn't too sure about my idea. She's afraid the 'root cellar' would fill up with water in the winter, since we get quite a bit of rain at that time of year.

    Kathleen
     
  7. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

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    we bought dorm fridges with the plan on using them as cheese caves...apparently there can be difficulty in keeping the temperature proper in some. try looking on the Yahoo chese making groups for more info about it. You can find a device for about $50 that hooks to a fridge that regulates the temps to keep them from dipping too low, they can be found at brewing supply stores.
     
  8. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Suzy, I had heard the same thing about regulating temp and humidity in regular fridges, so I'm glad to hear that there's a $50 addition that might solve the problem. Blue gecko, have you had any problems with humidity, etc. using your fridge? Did you make any modifications to it? I wish I had a cool, dark pantry, but there's tons of temperature and humidity variation in our house depending on the season and the weather (we don't have central air, so the house gets hot and the basement gets damp in the summer), so I don't feel too confident trying to mess around with that.

    Any other hard cheese success stories with fridges or other things?
     
  9. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry I didn't get back to this sooner. I keep a bowl of water in the fridge and depending on the cheese I use a bamboo steamer tray and its lid to put the cheese right over the water.
    I'm no expert hisenthlay just a mad food scientist pidler!
     
  10. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Thanks! I'm sure I could pick up a second fridge pretty cheap/free on craigslist or freecycle, and it can go in the basement right next to our spare freezer. It sounds like it's worth a try, anyway....