Mellowing Time

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by blue hill, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Hi Folks,
    It's my understanding that smoked cheese needs to rest after it's smoked, optimum 4 weeks or so.
    I smoked some cheddar, feta and Baby Bels a few days ago and the suspense is killing me. Do the softer cheese like the feta and Baby Bels require less mellowing time than the hard cheeses like cheddar?
  2. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    I waited a month, as hard as it was.  You will be rewarded.
  3. :hissyfit::icon_sad: thanks Mr. Bear. I was thinking that would be the answer.
  4. I guess maybe I'll try smoking some eggs and get a little instant gratification.:drool
  5. link

    link Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I let mine sit for a minimum of 2 months before I open them and have never been disappointed. I opened some Farmers cheese that was 3 months and some sharp cheddar that was 4 months last weekend and they were awesome. 
  6. slackbarry

    slackbarry Newbie

    I've been smoking cheese for about four years now, the longest I've left to "mature" is about a week.

    I will try leaving it a little longer now I have read this. Will it make that much difference to the taste etc?

    Will it matter that much on how long I smoke it. I usually leave between 6-8 hours to smoke ( using a homemade dust mix of maple, mesquite and dried mixed herbs) And it is a very strong, but a nice and sweet taste.
  7. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would get rid of the mesquite, that is very over powering. I am fairly new to smoking cheese but I favor the fruit wood. smoke for 3 to 4 hrs rest over night in fridge, shrink wrap for a minimum of 2 weeks. Leave them longer and you are gold
  8. oleolson

    oleolson Meat Mopper

    What's the reason for waiting a month before eating it?  Can you package and freeze it right away after smoking?
  9. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You can package it a day after it is smoked, I would not freeze it vac pac it will be good in the fridge for a long time.

    The waiting time gives the cheese a time to mellow, the day after it is smoked if you taste it you may throw it out, dirty ash tray taste. Let it breath and mellow like a fine wine.
  10. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum.  You will find that the longer it rest the milder and more consistent the smoke flavor will become throughout the cheese.

    The smoke flavor will transfer throughout the softer cheese at a faster rate than the hard varieties.
    Welcome to the forum.

    A week definitely is not very long, but at times we serve ours the very same day it is smoked.  It all depends on how and what kind of smoke is applied.  Without getting into detail here, the cleaner and smoother the smoke, the earlier it can be consumed without any bitterness.  As many here use smoke generators in close proximity to the cheese, it picks up the bitter molecules and then requires a longer waiting period before consumption.

    I suggest to both of you that you smoke enough cheese at one time so you can sample at different times.  Keep good notes of the woods, color and density of the smoke along with taste. Try smoking to a desired color rather than time as many factors can determine the end results. If making changes, make them one at a time and record the results. 

    Slackbarry, the dust mix you are using most likely contributes to the short waiting period with good results.  Good on you.

    Maybe the following will help both of you.  Mr T's "Smoked Cheese From Go To Show" w/ Q- ViewMy Cold Smoking Options w/Q - View

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  11. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The waiting period allows the smoke deposited on the surface of the cheese to penetrate throughout the cheese, the harder and thicker the longer the wait .

    I normally will let the hard cheese set at 70° or less overnight prior to waxing or sealing.  The softer should be kept 50° or less.  This allows any moisture that may have been collected on the surface to evaporate, do not wipe off.

    I do not recommend freezing cheese, but many do.  Do what works best for you.

    Hope this answered your questions.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  12. Thanks Tom,
    In my particular case that really makes a lot of sense. I have a very (at best) makeshift and small setup, because I just wanted to try some cold smoking to see if I could do it, so my smoke generator is quite close to the product I'm smoking. That being said, it's working pretty good so far and after it's not 40 below zero anymore, I will be putting together a better setup.
  13. oleolson

    oleolson Meat Mopper

    [​IMG]   Thanks!
  14. slackbarry

    slackbarry Newbie

    I have tried using other dust tropics, but found this mix (70/30) has brought out the flavour on the cheese I normally use.

    Mr T, I think living in England helps as well, as the temperature at night(when I normally smoke) Is cold. I know some people say not to smoke below a certain temp, but as I say what works for one man may not work for another.

    That's a great article to read as well, thanks for shareing!

  15. my last cheese smoke turned into a marathon due to the low (very low) temps. I went 4 - 6 hrs on various soft and hard cheeses. after 3 weeks of resting in a (what I call my deep cooler) refer at 37.4 always the cheese seemed to be a failure (low smoke flavor) in my opinion. thankfully with the back log of (my opinion) good cheese this stayed wrapped for 3 - 6 months and now is better. many that tried that run were happy but some said a little light. this was the first time I tried a lighter wood (peach) thought it would be  heavier than apple that I usually use,,,,lesson learned but could be due to temps, smoke settling at bottom not rising to top rows effecently . learning curve in the NW. it can actually be too cold VS years in Medford. in the future I will add a touch of heat /warmth so ALL the smoke will rise. so I guess this long dissertation is about the rest time can vary, if at the start if the taste is too lite let it rest (the hardest thing for cheese hounds)

    again it all looks great! [​IMG]

  16. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Oregon Smoker,

    Be careful adding heat.  Any smoker can quickly become overheated.   As I understand you do, smoke cheese to a desired color rather than time.  Two options, one is to move the cheese around as it smokes or, remove it as it becomes the color you want.  Take those notes and record the color, resting time and end results.

    You are doing a good job and learning while enjoying your cheese by not going overboard on the smoke to begin with.  By gradually increasing the smoke time you will eventually hit that sweet spot.

    To speed things along, try letting your cheese rest in the 50° range.

    Enjoy your cheese and have fun.

  17. Tom,

    once again thank you for your input/knowledge!!!

    you know if you do not have a few failures to go with all the success you are not learning or moving forward. that is the beauty of this neighborhood, always room to grow if your willing to ask for help/advice or willing to take some criticism ,,,,again learning...learn something every day whether it be what to do or not to do but keep learning.

    again thank you for all your and many others for the vast years of knowledge that is shared.

  18. tom,

    probably not the right time or spot to mention this (sorry to many others), I spent as younger many summers fishing Trout Creek in the summers. what a beautiful area you are in.

  19. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Michael Welcome to the forum

    I am not sure where in the UK you are but I am in Kent and I too do most of my smoking overnight. This includes a lot of cheese. The temperatures here are usually fine overnight and it does not annoy the neighbours. I have found that recently some nights are too cold so I built a thermostatically controlled heater to keep the smoking chamber at 10-12 C.

  20. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Taken from my community profile. [​IMG]

    Even at my age, there is something to be learned almost every time I smoke, or maybe it's relearning what was forgotten. [​IMG]   Either way, it's new and I truly love it. 


    PS, Let me know if your in the area again.

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