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Old 05-10-2009, 07:58 AM   #1
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Default Cheese Caves

So, I became interested in making cheese as yet another DIY type of hobby. I assumed that that brewers and cheese makers would have a similar culture in terms of problem solving and building radical equipment.

I was wrong.

Apparently, from what I've gathered on the cheese making forum I joined, is that cheese makers are satisfied to spend lots of time on bussy work to get an approximation of the result they want. I'm hoping that people here can help me find a more satisfying solution.

Most of cheese making seems relatively simple, except for one thing: Aging. To age cheese you need a constant temperature and constant high humidity. The temp problem isn't too bad because you can run a mini fridge in the high temp range or rig a manual on off sort of fairly easily. The humidity however seems to be complicated. The humidity for cheese is supposed to be in the 80% range. Mini fridges tend to have very low humidity, because the condenser coil draws mosture out of the air when ever it comes on. Or something to that effect.

So, my question is, can anyone think of a cheap way to make a Cave that would be reasonably effective and does not require fussing with 2 to 8 times a day like many cheese hobbyists seem content with?

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Old 05-10-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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I bought a little wine cooler. It holds about 12 bottles. I took out the top shelf, and put the cheese in it at 55 degrees. Since it's low in humidity, I added a tiny bowl of water and a washcloth to wick up the water. The hygrometer shows 85% humidity. It works great, and costs $33 on clearance.

Otherwise, you could use a small cooler with frozen water bottles that "sweat" in the cooler, and try that.

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Old 05-10-2009, 03:00 PM   #3
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I don't know about making cheese (i saw this under new posts) but, we use this in the cigar world: Large Humidifier. It's electric and takes care of up to 60 cu ft, it's factory set at 70% but I think it has an adjustable range of at least 60-80%. Should do the trick.

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Old 05-11-2009, 02:13 AM   #4
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Just getting into cheese making here but from what I've heard you need 90% humidity for some cheeses. I just bought a little dorm fridge and am going to experiment with some cigar humidifier products but also I think you can age cheeses in individual tupperware containers which will have high humidity from the cheese itself which is what I'm planning on doing.

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Old 05-11-2009, 12:27 PM   #5
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I need to order some more mail-order steaks. The big styrofoam cooler they come in would make an excellent storage unit with some frozen water bottles, I think!

Now if I only had some homemade cheese to eat with the steaks...

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Old 05-13-2009, 03:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saccharomyces View Post
I need to order some more mail-order steaks. The big styrofoam cooler they come in would make an excellent storage unit with some frozen water bottles, I think!

Now if I only had some homemade cheese to eat with the steaks...
That's a pretty good idea. I have one of those coolers sitting in my apartment right now from a chocolate order. I might have to do some tests.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:58 AM   #7
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I dodn't know about manual temp control. Seems like it could get tedious after oh, say, 8 or 9 months.

I found a nice 28 bottle wine cooler that chills from 42 to 65 and has room for I believe 8 to 10 3 pound cheeses although I could be underestimating the size of the cheeses. We'll see. I have a bunch of different hygrometers and humidifiers from a previous life as a cigar merchant. but that part will be more or less a static system.

Got it for 129 delivered with warranty.

Making a cheddar next week to christen the fridge.

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Old 05-15-2009, 06:21 AM   #8
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I had no idea what this thread title meant... I was hoping for edible caves made of cheese. For some reason I was hoping for pictures too... Oh well.. carry on...

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Old 06-17-2009, 08:21 PM   #9
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being a avid cigar smoker i would suggest getting a sap super absorbent polymer in pellet form put it in a bowl and add distilled water with a little propaline glycol. I got mine for my cigar cave at www.creativechemisty.com. I mounted a small computer fan to it set on a time to circulate the air in my cigar cave every 20 minutes. works like a champ and its much cheaper than 150-200 for a humidifier kit.

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