Skip to main content

Maturing cheese in a cheese fridge

When our cows first calve, we have to milk them daily and end up with so much milk, we nearly have to make a cheese daily to keep up!  The occasional cheese can be matured in the back of a normal fridge.  Sure the temperature is a bit low for proper maturation, but there's no point turning on another fridge just for one or two cheeses.  But when we start to have 10 or 20 cheeses, we need the cheese fridge so we have somewhere to put them all!


Fortunately for us, we had a spare bar fridge, that wasn't being used for anything and wasn't really worth selling.  We set that up with a thermostat and can easily adjust the temperature to suit cheese maturation.  Ideally cheese should mature at around 8-12degC, which is warmer than a normal fridge temperature of 5degC.  We just plug the fridge into the thermostat, and the thermostat into the socket.  The temperature sensor goes in the fridge and we set the temperature on the dial to about 10degC.  A second thermometer in the fridge is a double-check on the thermostat.  The cheeses are either vacuum sealed, or more recently I've ventured into waxing the cheese.  There's also jars of feta in olive oil in the door.




How do you mature cheese at the right temperatures?

monday's homestead barn hopFrom The Farm Blog HopHomegrown on the Hill  Small Footprint Fridays - A sustainable living link-up  blog gathering

Comments

  1. I would love to put up hard cheeses. It is on my "someday" list!
    For now it is just soft cheeses.
    Thanks for the information :) something to tuck away for future use :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh how awesome to have a cheese fridge!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! For how long do the cheeses mature in the fridge?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just pull out the oldest one when we need one, but apparently the longer the better. Some like parmesan are supposed to age for months, and as long as several years. The flavour develops as the cheese manures.

      Delete
  4. I used to have a designated shelf in the fridge (one Dexter cow's worth of cheese) but I love the idea of a cheese fridge! Sadly, my much loved cow died a few years ago and the feed on our new block will not sustain a cow, maybe a goat in the future. We also live on stand alone solar, so the addition of a few more panels and a larger battery bank would be required to run even one fridge.
    My grandfather, who lived in St Albans, Sydney, had a cheese cave on his property; it had niches in the wall and a sandy floor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sorry to hear about your cow. I would love a cheese cave! If I can work out how to create a stable temperature in our sub-tropical humid climate I will try it.

      Delete
  5. Saying 'I'll just go check the cheese fridge' is even more awesome than saying 'I'll just go check the wine fridge' :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your cheeses look gorgeous! How does the wax work out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't tried a waxed out yet, still working through the vacuum packs, it was fun painting on the wax though, very messy!

      Delete
  7. Looks like a great set-up. I have a spare fridge, but it has to be used for other things besides cheese, so I can't set the temp at optimum cheese levels.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Can you explain more about how the thermostat is used and how it all works? I like that idea better than an expensive wine fridge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The thermostat has a temperature sensor which is in the fridge, and a setpoint (mine has a dial, you can also get digital versions). The thermostat maintains the temperature at setpoint by turning the fridge on and off (and therefore turning the cooling on and off). If you buy one, just make sure that its a "cooling thermostat", from experience, we have tried to use this cooling one for controlling a heat lamp and it doesn't work, so I imagine that a heating one won't work for cooling either! It cost about $100 from a homebrew shop, but you can also find them online.

      Delete
  9. Thank you for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop. I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.

    ~ Kathi

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko and give the vine a structure to climb over.  In summer, the vine will produce tiny flowers that will eventually swell into choko fruit.  The vine doesn't like hot dry weather.  And it doesn&#…

Native bee hotel

Like I wrote back here, native pollinators are as important (if not more important) than honey bees for pollinating crops and native plants.  There are a few things you can do to attract native pollinators to your garden:

Grow flowers and let your veges flower to feed the pollinators all yearHave a source of insect-friendly water in the garden (shallow dishes are best)Provide somewhere for them to live/nest/lay eggs - a bee hotel! In Australia, our native pollinators consist of both stingless native bees, which live in a colony like honey bees, and lots of solitary bees and wasps.  These solitary insects are just looking for a suitable hole to lay their eggs.  You may be familiar with these in sub-tropical and tropical areas, in summer you will find any and all holes, pipes and tubes around the house plugged with mud by what we call "mud daubers".  These area a real nuisance, so I'd rather provide some custom holes near the garden where they can live instead, so I don'…