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first time smoking cheese question
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When you smoke the cheese the creation of the smoke in the generator also creates water vapour in the smoking chamber which makes the surface of the cheese damp. It may not be particularly obvious when you pull the cheese out but it does need to be allowed to dry off. This will only take a few hours in the fridge - I usually leave mine overnight before vac packing.
Do not worry about the colour. If you have too much colour then it is likely that you have over smoked it. I smoke mine with a light hickory smoke for 2-3 hours and is only slightly deepens in colour. Are you smoking it on a wire rack to allow the smoke access to all surfaces?
As you can see everyone smokes cheese a little differently and each does what works for them.
You are doing just fine, don't over think it.
The fact that you are using a mod smoker can give you a big advantage as you can adjust the smokes temperature and cleanliness entering your can. You mention you are using a mailbox so I take it your smoke generator is inside the MB.
If you are using an A-Maze-N product in your MB the length of time it takes to get to your desired color is greatly dependent on the type of fuel being used. It could be 1 or 2 hours or 15 or more hours.
You want your cheese as close to the same temperature as the smoke entering the trash can as possible. This will eliminate moisture formation on your product. At the least, the cheese should not be cooler than the smoke.
As far as packaging the cheese, as you can see above some allow it to air dry in a fridge until moisture, if any, has dissipated. If you are smoking hard or semi hard cheese such as cheddar, you may let it set out at room temp by placing it on a rack inside a open ended zip or paper bag. In either case, it may be packaged after moisture has dissipated. You didn't hurt the cheese by dabbing the moisture off, you just removed some of what you just took time to put on.
There is no need to turn the cheese during the smoke.
As far as color on smoked cheese. Some like a certain color on their cheese disregarding what the finished product taste like. I personally recommend smoking to a desired color rather than time due to the influences that weather can have on the color and density of your smoke. How is this done? Experience, the way you determine the desired color is by doing taste test. When you find the taste to your liking, check the color of the cheese, that's what you want to duplicate. This then can be done regardless of the color or density of the smoke.
If you are planning on waxing, only wax hard cheese and bring it to room temp beforehand. Further help may be found here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/123130/mr-ts-smoked-cheese-from-go-to-show-w-q-view
If you are planning on using the colour and experience method to gauge required amount of smoke then just make sure that you are consistent with the smoke generators and wood that you use each time. I mostly use an AMNPS with hickory and this generates a light colour in a couple of hours. Over the same period of time my AMNTS gives me a much darker colour. When using my ProQ dust smoker though I think I could leave it in for days without generating much colour at all on the cheesel - OK maybe a little exageration there... But the point is that different smoke generators and even different woods will colour the cheese at different rates. When developing your experience it is important to make sure you take good notes. Just because it does not have much colour does not mean that it will not have a full smoked cheese flavour.