Thursday, March 19, 2015

How To Wax Cheese (again)...

Who doesn't love cheese, well unless you are lactose intolerant. Cheese is one of those items I really wanted to learn about considering how much Mr. Perky and I consume. It is surprisingly easy to wax cheese for long term storage. It's just a matter of getting all the proper equipment.
First I wanted to share, this block was waxed 7 months ago and has been sitting in a cool, dark, dry place. Look how beautiful it looks.

How To Wax Cheese:
This delightful Gouda has a wonderful taste and I really can't believe it worked so well. 
Let's start with the fact that as you eat the blocks of cheese, you are able to wash & rinse the wax and add it to your next waxing batch. 
Research. First, I read multiply cheese waxing posts on Preparedness Pro's blog & I ordered her DVD “For the Love of Cheese” Resource Guide, with video and written instructions. It was extremely helpful & answers a lot of question. 

Now let's get to it. You will need to have dedicated equipment for waxing, since you won't be able to get these items completely clean again. Get your equipment. You need a double boiler, parchment paper, a thermometer, boar bristle brushcheese wax & muslin.  
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Seriously? This picture of the double boiler and wax won't post correctly, so please tilt your head to the left to see it properly. 

Then comes the cheese. Use hard cheese. Test it (before buying by pressing your thumb into the cheese, it needs to not leave a thumb imprint to be dry enough) 
Prep & dry the cheese. I cut them into meal sized portions. Wiped it down with vinegar & wrapped it loosely with a paper towel. Then let it it out on the counter to get to room temp. & to dry it out more. Pat it down to remove moisture. Moisture will interfere with the wax adhering process.

Break up the wax (tip: take the plastic wrapping off before you cut it) and melt in a double boiler until your temp. reaches 180 – 212 degrees. 

Wash hands. Dip half of each block of cheese, slowly in & out of the wax. Hold it over the pot for a few seconds to allow the excess wax to drip off.

Gently set on parchment paper (a smooth surface will help eliminate lumps & bumps in the wax). Set the side you just dipped facing upwards. Let it cool for at least 90 seconds.

Then dip the opposite side of the cheese. Dip 3 times (3 layers).

Look how nice they look.

Then brush one more layer on. Look for spaces where it may have not been covered.

Add the labels (I cut them out ahead of time) to the block of waxed cheese and wax a thin coat over the label. It will adhere the label and you can still read the label.

I tried adding one of those canning jar labels to see how it would work. I labeled it first, then dipped it in the hot wax. It was a little gushy, but it worked.

Then, I wrapped up the brush and thermometer up in foil for the next time. I let the wax cool in the double boiler, then packed it all away.
After the wax has cooled sufficiently, then wrap each piece with a piece of cheese cloth, like a gift package. 

Store in a cool, dark place & fairly dry. It should last for years and years (she gives 8-10 years). But I will stress it depends on how well you follow the instructions and how well you store the cheese.
Again, I am going to suggest getting the DVD and written resource from Preparedness Pro's blog. There is entirely too much information to share here, and it is her copyrighted work.
There you have it. My second batch of waxed cheese. (358)
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