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Cheese Waxing

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Danux
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Cheese Waxing

Postby Danux » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:59 pm

I'm reading that waxing cheese is a way to preserve it for 15 years at room temperature. Pretty neat stuff. Is anyone waxing their cheese? I currently freeze my excess, but I would prefer a non-refrigerated solution. Also, would a freeze-thaw cycle of waxed cheese be hard on it? I'd assume that the water in it would freeze, expand, and break the wax. But, if the wax was pliable enough to withstand the expansion, would the cheese still be ruined?
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr9rmeMc98A

Easy enough to do...
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Preparation
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby Preparation » Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:47 pm

Saw it being done on a TV programme, seems easy enough process, well worth the effort I think. Thinking of doing it myself.
On the programme they showed how the wax did break in some occasions but dont think they were actually freezing the cheese as such, think they were using cold rooms/"ice houses", would be interested in knowing how to do this also
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Danux
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby Danux » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:37 am

I bought some wax, now all I need it bulk cheese to go on sale in my area :D . I also got a coating, which suppliers of cheese wax seem to all sell. It can apparently be used as a stand alone sealant, but it looks like a really thin layer to me. I'll likely try both, see how well they work separately and in combination, but I think I would prefer to stick with just wax. I see beeswax being sold as a way to wax-seal cheese, also; tough to beat a natural supply of sealant.
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Preparation
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby Preparation » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:55 pm

Danux please let me know how this works out for you. Which works better etc? Will want to do this myself when I get a chance :-)
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Danux
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby Danux » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:39 am

Finally got a chance to wax some cheese up tonight. Bought five 1.15kg slabs of Kraft Cheddar a while back, hacked them into three sections each, yesterday, let them sit on a rack for about 24 hours.
I'm hoping this works as well as (or better than) freezing, am keen on the idea of preserving a dairy product for a long time without needing refridgeration.

The good and the bad regarding my first experience:
I really dislike the paint-on coating. I mean, I like the fact that you don't need to heat it to apply it, but it was very messy, and it was taking so long to dry, that I just gave up on it. If you're set on using the coating, give yourself plenty of time to use it properly. Honestly, I don't know how I would have been able to coat an entire block and left it to dry. It was just a messy worthless step in the process, I regret ever applying any of it.

The waxing, on the other hand, was painless and quick. Heat the wax in a double boiler - I lack one, so I used an old steel bowl that fit on top of a pot - dip half the cheese block in the wax, pull it out for a few seconds, do it again, turn upside down on a rack to harden. Repeat with each block, until you've got the top half of each block dipped, then do the same for the other halves. Very, very easy, almost no waiting.

So, don't bother with the coating IMHO, just go with the wax. If you're concerned about the coating failing, just redip it - you can reuse the wax as you consume the cheese, so go ahead and use it to excess. I've got some previously-frozen cheese I'm still eating, but it should take me a good long while to go through this 5.5kgs of cheddar, we'll see how it works out over time. I like that I can potentially store this without a fridge, but I don't like that I have to dry out a "crust" around it before waxing it. I suspect I'll just waste the crusty parts, but perhaps if it's going into a heated dish, it won't matter.

If anyone's curious, I bought my stuff through makecheese.ca under the "equipment" section: http://www.makecheese.ca/collections/supplies

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HopeImReady
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby HopeImReady » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:36 am

I waxed several blocks of cheese for the first time in October. I dipped mine, using beeswax. I plan to check it at the 2-month mark to see how it holds up and the taste. Best of luck :)
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HopeImReady
"The thing about smart mother f*ckers, is that they sometimes sound like crazy mother f*ckers to dumb mother f*ckers." -Abraham .”

Danux
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby Danux » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:36 am

Dug into my first waxed cheese block recently. It seems to have worked, didn't make me sick ;)
When I pulled the wax, the outside edge of the cheese seemed a little oily/damp, so I trimmed the outer surfaces neatly. The cheese had started taking on a different flavour as well, a sharpness seems to be replacing the tangy "old cheddar" taste. As a storage method, it seems to be working well enough.

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HopeImReady
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby HopeImReady » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:49 am

Good to hear, Danux. I realise that I am past the 2 month mark on my cheese, now ;)
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HopeImReady
"The thing about smart mother f*ckers, is that they sometimes sound like crazy mother f*ckers to dumb mother f*ckers." -Abraham .”

Danux
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby Danux » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:22 am

Halfway through the waxed batch, and still not sick.
I did have one block go bad; it was easily identifiable - the wax was clearly holding a bunch of liquid or gas in place, felt spongy underneath. As soon as I grabbed it from the cupboard, it was obvious. Just polished off the last of the coating + wax pieces, and dug into the first wax-only blocks.
I'd say I still prefer refridgerating it, to keep it, but if it'll keep for years in wax, that might work well when the price is down, or when it can only be made in large batches.
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Danux
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Re: Cheese Waxing

Postby Danux » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:59 pm

As an experiment, I cut open a waxed block a couple of weeks ago, and refridgerated the remaining portion, just to see if it would mold over. Appears to have stayed fresh, I see no green on the exposed part of the block.
I'm tempted to leave a block of this in the cupboard for a year or two, just to see if it does keep...

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