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-   -   Cracks (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f130/cracks-58939/)

talkingseagull 03-14-2008 08:40 PM

I made a Colby that is curing. Cracks have developed. Cause for concern?

talkingseagull 03-17-2008 11:51 AM

must have been a dumb question.....:drunk:

Nurmey 03-17-2008 11:14 PM

It's not a dumb question but maybe no one knows. I don't. I would be concerned about bacteria getting in the cracks since your outer "seal" is broken. But what do I know?

SuperiorBrew 03-17-2008 11:59 PM

Might be just too dry, cheese needs like 85-90% humidity and a temperature in the 45-55 range.

THey say you can increase the humidity by just placing the cheese in a loosly covered tupperware type container. If you get condensation in the container just dry it out until it stabilizes.

talkingseagull 03-18-2008 05:08 PM

Thanks- that is what I ended up doing, now I need to wax,do I just let the wax into the cracks?

zoebisch01 03-18-2008 05:49 PM

Cracks you don't want. As indicated before, it is the %RH being too low. You can arrest this by waxing, the one thing is that if you get a void, mold could develop there. The outer layer that forms on the cheese is kind of like the curing barrier. In fact some cheeses, especially soft ripened cheese, will literally halt the maturation process once that barrier is broken. Now in the case of your Colby this is probably not as big a deal, but how deep are these cracks? I'd suggest waxing, trying to get the cracks filled first and then coating the whole thing.

Or, what may be best in this case is that if it has gone long enough, then to use it. That's probably how I'd do it actually. You would probably get unexpected results by trying to 'fix' this issue now so the product you have to this point might be better than if you were to try to continue the aging process post-waxing. But that is just a guess.

cj8scrambler 03-19-2008 03:18 AM

Ricki Carroll's book suggests smearing butter over the cracks to seal them while the cheese ages.

zoebisch01 03-19-2008 02:17 PM


Originally Posted by cj8scrambler
Ricki Carroll's book suggests smearing butter over the cracks to seal them while the cheese ages.

I must have missed that, but it makes sense.

cheeseloverturnedmaker 04-12-2008 11:10 PM

My trad cheddar cracked before wax and now...
So this is my first attempt at cheese making...a traditional cheddar. It cracked on the last day of drying. I waxed anyway and now mold has developed underneath the red wax. I just cut it opened (its been aging since 3-6-08) and am going to scrape the mold off and rewax. Should I just pitch it at this point or what????

Thanks- I'll try the butter if it happens again.

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