Cheese · Cheesemaking

Stirred-Curd Cheddar Batch #1 – Part 3

One of the things I did on Saturday was to wax this wheel of cheddar.  I'd aged it for about 5 days and it had developed a nice rind over that time.  Time to wax it and put it downstairs to age with the first cheese.

In addition to the rind, though, the cheese had also developed a couple of small dots of mold on the surface….

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This is not unusual, which is reassuring.  I dipped a clean cloth in vinegar and just wiped it off.  And since I was about to wax the whole cheese anyway, I wiped the whole wheel down with the damp, vinegar-dipped cloth, then let it sit to dry and chill in the fridge for about 3 hours.

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I melted the wax in a makeshift double boiler…

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And this time I actually dipped the cheese in the melted wax.  The melted wax wasn't deep enough to cover to the midway point, but I was able to get all the edges done and about an inch in on the flat sides.  I used a natural-bristled brush to get the spots dipping missed.  I chilled the cheese again, briefly, to harden the wax, then applied another coat.

And, finally, I attached my little label to the cheese.

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I've been using the backs of business cards, because they're a nice size, but the card stock is pretty stiff and doesn't adhere well, so I need to think about switching to something with a bit more flexibility.  Details, details.

This cheddar joined my first cheddar in the chest freezer/cheese cave in my basement.  The temperature ranges between 50-55 degrees F, and the humidity should be fine; there's a bottle of water in with the cheeses (the temperature probe for the regulator dangles in the bottle.)

So there we go.  Two waxed…many more to go.

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