Many of you have asked how I mature my cheese and what conditions are required to facilitate this. Well, I have a cheese fridge and that is where I place all my cheese when it is ready to mature and affinage.
I maintain mine at a temperature range of 11-13°C or 52-55.4°F. The humidity varies because I use ripening boxes to maintain the relative humidity for individual cheese, or just wax or vacuum package the cheese wheel whereby no humidity regulation is required.
So how do you make a cheese fridge, I hear you ask? Well, the easiest way for the home cheese maker to maintain the temperature for maturation is to convert a standard refrigerator or under-counter small fridge using an external thermostat.
I used to use a wine fridge but found that the temperature would drift during our hot summer here in Australia. I then decided to convert a conventional refrigerator to a cheese fridge.
The process for converting a fridge is straightforward. All you need to do is source an external thermostat (recommendations below), plug in the refrigerator of your choice to the cooling socket, set the desired temperature on the controller, then place the temperature sensor probe through the door seal and loosely tie it to a rack in the fridge.
Once set, the fridge will automatically turn on and off as required to maintain the desired temperature!
Then all you have to do is fill your new cheese fridge with lots of delicious cheese that you’ve made in your very own kitchen. Easy peasy lotsa cheesy!
So what brand do I use and recommend? I have had very good success using the Inkbird WiFi ITC-308 digital temperature controller. Easy to set up and even has an Andriod/iOS app to monitor and help with setup. It supports Celcius and Farenheit.
You get the Australian/New Zealand Inkbird WiFi ITC-308 here or the US/Canada Inkbird WiFi ITC-308 here.
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Angela Murray says
Dear Gavin. I would appreciate a recipe for making cheesecake using homemade cream cheese. Available recipes all use Philadelphia cheese, which hardly has any cheese in, but has cream and supplements such as gums, etc. i wonder if you have a recipe for using homemade cream cheese instead of the usual Philly?
Gavin Webber says
Hi Angela, it just so happens that I do have a very good recipe for cheesecake with homemade cream cheese. You can find it here; https://youtu.be/ecUgK0Vf2Tk