Originally Posted by Uncle Noon
I cold smoked using AMNPS with apple wood pellets. I placed the cheeses, AMNPS, and frozen water bottles per the excellent recommendations by experts on this forum .I got the idea of using frozen water bottles and tagging the cheeses from guys on the cheese section of this forum. I started out with 2 bottles and added another when my temperature began to creep over 90 deg. F. I smoked the eggs for 2 hours and the cheeses for 3 hours. I'm going to try the mailbox mod in order to keep from having to use frozen water to keep the temp. below 90 deg. Besides that it looks cool as hell!
The AMNPS works really well for cold smoking. Todd gave me that idea for using plastic jugs of frozen water to keep the temp down. I've had a tendency to oversmoke my cheeses--4-5 hours--because I didn't yet know what I was doing. Of course the frozen water was long thawed by that time and the ambient temp of the MES had risen. The next time I'm using those Qmatz and smoking no longer than 3 hours. I think I'll pull some at 2 hours for a comparison.
What I was taught in these forum was to vacuum pack the cheese and let it just sit in the fridge for at least 3 weeks before the bags are opened. You'll be amazed at the changes. When you think the cheeses were too light and didn't absorb enough smoke you'll see over the course of those weeks the cheeses darken in color as the smoke is distributed around inside and out. It's really impressive. What I like about the vacuum pack bags (we own a Foodsaver) is that I can fill one with as many cheeses as I choose, take one out to enjoy and re-seal the rest. The remaining cheeses continue to develop in color and flavor. If you do it enough you no longer have to buy smoked cheeses at the store. I think later this year I'll be adding Gouda, Edam, provolone, Jarlsberg, and perhaps some Fontina to my standard mozzarella and sharp cheddar.