Monday, December 19, 2011

Penicillin, Penicillin, Everywhere

I am just about ready to age the Roqueforts in the wine refrigerator after sitting out on the counter for 2 days expressing whey.  But it has me concerned.  Even though I have a two compartment wine refrigerator, the penicillium roqueforti used in Stiltons, Roqueforts and other blue veined cheeses seems to cross-contaminate my other cheeses, even though they are in separate containers and in separate compartments of the fridge.  This mold is prolific...and I seem to be able to grow them quite well...maybe too well.

I had my Stiltons in one compartment, isolated from the Port Salut.  Each compartment has it's own cooling fan.  But I still ended up with tiny colonies of p.roqueforti on the Port every now and then.  Once I removed the Stiltons, the tiny colonies on the Port stopped.  Now, I have to put the Roqueforts in the refrigerator.  But maybe the b.linens, which is now blooming well, will prevent the colonies of p.roqueforti from taking hold.

The only other solution is to buy another wine refrigerator, dedicating one to blues and the other to everything else.  THAT will make my wife happy....not.  Another choice is to do blues only for a while, and once wrapped, I can sterilize the refrigerator and prep it for other cheeses.  But I like rotating different cheeses so that I have a variety coming due all the time.  The blues take much longer to age, so that means no cheesemaking of other varieties for over 2 months at a stretch.  Waxed rind cheeses are unaffected by the p. roqueforti, so there is that possibility.  But, still, that takes a lot of planning to time this right.

eBay, I think it's time I check out what wine refrigerators you have available.  Maybe I can get a great deal like the last time.

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