I have been asked many times over the last two months about how I mature my cheese here at home. I don’t have a damp, humid basement in which to store it, so I have to deal with second best. A cheese fridge.
For the home cheese maker with a very hot summer, you have to make special preparations to keep your cheese cool enough so that it matures during the required ageing period. Cheeses like Parmesan or Romano take over 10 to 12 months to ripen at around 13°C (55°F), and without a cheese fridge it is nigh on impossible to do this.
Enter the new cheese fridge. I used to have a wine fridge, but they are designed for temperatures of around 24°C (75°F), and not the 45°C we get here in Melton during the summer. When the weather hits these extremes, the wine fridge could only cool down to about 24°C which is way too high for cheese maturation.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had to upgrade, and solicit a bar fridge with an external thermostat. This arrangement runs on the sniff of an oily rag, clocking in at about 150 Wh per day, which is nothing compared to the 1 kWh a normal bar fridge would use.
So, because so many YouTube fans asked about my “Cheese Cave”, I made a quick video to show them how it works.
Without further ado, here is my cheese cave in less than 2 minutes!
Now if you want to read more about the cheese fridge, head on over to my cheese making blog, Little Green Cheese to read the post titled “My New Cheese Cave“. There are lots of pictures, and links on where to find the thermostat if you are looking to equip yourself with this sort of gear (not affiliate links).
Hopefully, this has shown you that you can indeed mature cheese on a small scale at home.
Thanks for your video Gavin. Where the thermostat cord goes into the fridge does it stop the fridge door sealing fully or does it not matter so much due to not trying to achieve a 4 degree temperature?
Gavin Webber says
Hi Fiona. I haven’t found it to be a problem. The fridge rarely turns on, so I don’t believe that it is too much of an issue. I have measured how much electricity it is using each day, and it is only consuming about 150 Wh/day. Normally a bar fridge would use between 500 – 1000 Wh/day.
I also consciously placed it through the top of the door as cold air sinks. I figured that it has less chance of affecting the inside temperature.
Great blog! My partner had a day in a cheese making workshop yesterday. The smile on her face and knowledge imparted has both her and I inspired to set up here at home. I think Santa will bring a bar fridge and external thermo. Serious skills imparted here in your blog. Thank you.
Any thoughts on this? Claims to be more energy efficient. Has anyone tried it?
My cheese cave is a wine fridge but i’m Having difficulty maintains the humidity at a decent level. It ranges between 85/93%
Do you have a trick to reduce the humidity?