Mr. T’s 2016 Christmas Gift Cheese - Aged – Smoked - Waxed
Included in this year’s gift cheeses are five pounds of 6-year-old Tillamook Medium Cheddar and two pounds of 9-year-old Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar.
Some left unsmoked the rest received 18 hours of a very light cob smoke before waxing. The following was the process.
The corn cob pellets used in a tray type smoke generator were a combination of whole and broken pellets. An earlier test made on fresh cheese determined the color/taste desired which took 20 hours of smoke.
6-year-old Tillamook Medium Cheddar
9 - year- old Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar
Residual liquid from each package, 7 tsp. from the 5 # of medium cheddar, 4 tsp. from the 2 # of extra sharp. Note the extra oil/fat in the whey of the extra sharp. This is a natural occurrence especially when aging cheddar cheese and nothing to be concerned over.
Six hours into the smoke, could not help the reflections.
Sixteen hours into the smoke, note the color and density of the smoke.
Cheese ready for dipping. You can see the difference between the non-smoked and smoked cheese. The cheese went directly from smoker to the waxing table.
First dip in 220° - 225° wax to kill bacteria and prevent molding. The subsequent two dips are at 160° for secure seal.
After second dip, identifiers are applied to still hot wax.
After third dip, the cheese is ready for continued aging.
Note: Test results after removing from smoker were the Medium was now Extra Sharp with a good smoke flavor. The Extra Sharp was sharp yet surprisingly mellow with a good smoke flavor. The extra sharp had to be cut carefully as it was brittle and wanted to break, it will be good used as grated or chunked cheese.