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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cellaring Conundrum

In texts that I've read about aging cheese, I seriously have read the recomendation, "Put them in your cave."

To use a bit of internet slang, WTF?

Who in the United States has a cave? Who in the United States still even has a root cellar (I'm sure you exist, but you're pretty uncommon)? So, since I do not have an extra fridge at the moment to retrofit, I've been doing it the manual way, which is to keep them in the fridge for 12 hours, then take them out for 12 hours.

This is far from ideal. I am pretty sure that this may cause defects or off flavors, but I think it is a better compromise then the alternatives:
  1. Leave all the loaves at room temperature, which may cause the acidity and harsh flavors to run rampant
  2. Leave all the loaves in the fridge, which I suspect won't allow for much flavor development at all
  3. Put the loaves in the cold barn, where they will be over run by ants
  4. Cellar the loaves in the garage, where my lovely dog will certainly find and consume them
So at the moment I don't have a huge amount of options. I have contemplated digging a mini-cellar where I can place a sealable bucket of some sort, but frankly it is so rainy right now I hardly want to go outside.

Anyone have any suggestions?


  1. Depending on how many loaves you have, I would suggest one (or many) mini wine fridges.


    I usually see them for $20-$40 on craigslist. The adjustable temp ranges are typically 45-65 degrees, and some of the fancier ones even have humidity controls. I haven't started making cheese yet, but I think (and a few cheese making forums have confirmed) that these would be a great option.

  2. or a regular frige with an external thermostat.

  3. @Andrew

    Yeah, that would work too... Though I live in an apartment, so of course my mind immediately goes to more space efficient options :)

  4. I have kind of a particular situation, in that they area that I would like to devote to this project is in an area of dubious wiring (a farm building my grandfather built in the 60's) and equally dubious floor boards. A small wine fridge may just fit the bill due to my wariness about weight and power consumption.

    Or I could just dig a cellar :D


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