Today, as were taking in deliveries of milk, Stu set about bandaging some more goat and cow cheese to mature in our little maturing rooms. Lydia was preparing customer orders to go out and I was printing out labels for our latest batch of chutneys.
Rich, our local builder made our maturing rooms from insulated dairy panels and smoothed down wooden slats. He did a grand job. We have one for blue cheese, one for unpasteurised and one for pasteurised goat and cow cheese.
We use a food grade glue which we spread over the cheese and then wrap cloth caps
on both ends and wind a strip around the middle, securing the top and bottom. We buy our cloths from A&I Holmes.
We let the freshly bound cheese dry out before we put it in the appropriate maturing room. We maintain the temperature, depending on the time of year at between 8 and 12 degrees C with a reasonably high humidity – in the third picture you can see a thermometer balanced on one of the cheeses to the right. Stu spends a lot of
time in the maturing rooms, cleaning each cheese, rubbing them to distribute and encourage an even distribution of rind. From time to time, we take all the cheeses out and place them in our trial fridge and steam clean the rooms to
discourage invasion by any lurking cheese mite, this seems to work. Maturing cheeses with a natural rind is a time consuming job, natural rinded cheeses are high maintenance cheeses, for sure.
Our Natural Rinded Matured Goat cheese was made in exactly this way and won two gold stars at the 2011 Great Taste Awards.