Another PetSmart Cold Smoker Build -- Plus, First Cheese Smoke w/ Q-View

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by mikewysuph, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Hey everybody! Here's my post up about my cold-smoker build (props to GrillDad for the design and inspiration and JarJar for the ingredient write-up...much thanks).

    I followed GrillDad and JarJar's instructions pretty spot on...except my Home Depot didn't have the exact brass fittings to make their Venturi Nozzle as described. So I just improvised: 3/16th brass internal tube inside the 1/2" brass intake.

    Here's the final product, it purred like a kitten first run:

    I giggled the whole time....

    The set-up:

    For my first cheese smoke I used David Jack's Colby Jack, Jarlsberg Swiss, Galbani Mozzarella Fresca (not sure how "fresca" this was as it was on super-sale at the market...I bought a bunch), and Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar, aged 2 years....mmmmmmmm.

    The cheese getting ready:

    Here's my cold smoker proper:

    Cold Smoking... this set-up rips!  ((I'm thinking I may need to install some adjustable air baffles. That's a lot of smoke.))

    Cheese is smoked. 4 hours of sweet apple smoke:

    (good color...but the mozz might have absorbed too much...we shall see)

    Sweaty cheese:

    I then let it dry for about 12 hours. Which produced this (thanks Mr. T for the much appreciated info):

    Notice the nibble? My son had less will power than I did. :)  That's what I get for leaving out smoked cheese.......

    Final product, sealed as best I could with SeranWrap and packing tape:

    This was done Sept. 20-ish and I'm letting it mellow until Christmas. A good 3-month age...........I hope I can wait!!  :)

    And I got another 3 lbs of cheese for my next smoke. I'll probably do the same technique (all learned here so THANK YOU GrillDad and JarJar, Mr. T) unless somebody tells me otherwise. I'm open for all advice, encouragement and critique!

    Thanks for looking.

    Mike in Colorado
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good looking cheese! Is there no exhaust vent from your box? That's the only thing that I would suggest is punching a few holes in the top to let the smoke flow freely. It should also help alleviate any heat building up and reduce the sweating.
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Holes in the bottom sides and top.... that will give you air flow through the "smoke house"..... and remove the moisture....  As a note, bring the cheese to room temp before smoking.... that will stop the condensate for the most part....    Burning anything, moisture is a by product....  

  4. nice looking stuff there mike love the color!
  5. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Thanks Dirt, Dave and Silent!

    Going to definitely put in some intake/exhaust holes for the next smoke. Hopefully happening tonight! I'll post pics if/when it happens.

    On a side note, I visited a specialty cheese shop and picked up some apply/walnut smoked "promontory" cheese (along with peppered salami  :)  ) and I gotta say I'd never even heard of this kind of cheese, but it is FANTASTIC. Nutty, parmesan-ish flavor and texture with subtle smoke. So delicious, pick some up if you can!

  6. dahoovman

    dahoovman Newbie

    Didn't find the build on the search. Did you craft that fancy contraption yourself?
  7. sigmo

    sigmo Smoking Fanatic

    That all looks beautiful.  I may have to try building a smoke generator of some sort in the not too distant future.  Your cheese looks yummy.  It's making my stomach growl!
  8. Nice smoke generator. Good looking cheese as well. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy smoken.

  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Good  job on your cold smoker, glad I could help along with the others.  Are you monitoring your interior temperatures.  For quality reasons, try to keep the temp below 75°.  Vents of course will help here, moving your generator further away will help cool things down also.

    Again, good job and enjoy.

  10. Nice job on the cheese. Like others have said some top and bottom holes will help reduce moisture dramatically. I'm guessing you probably noticed some streaking of color due to moisture. Again , that's a nice batch of cheese. Congrats
  11. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice - you got some good color on that cheese
  12. mikewysuph

    mikewysuph Fire Starter

    Thanks for the kind words....I hope they taste amazing. But I just checked and my Mozzarella is getting moldy!

     What should I do?? It's been aging only a month so far....and it was on sale so I bought and smoked a bunch. Would hate to lose it.

    The harder cheeses look fine.

    (Sorry, a quick search said to scrap it off and then rinse with vodka, then re-wrap??) Sounds like a lot of work.

    DaHoovMan, here's the link for the build: Thanks again GrillDad

    Mr. T, I didn't monitor internal temps as it was in the mid 50s the day I smoked.

    Question though, has anybody sold their smoked cheese commercially? I saw a "Wade" that does, hopefully he'll see this.

    Thanks everyone!

  13. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Mike, you really should monitor your temps.  Hard cheeses should be kept under 80°, soft under 55° when smoking for best quality.  The hard should be stored under 70° and the soft refrigerated.  As for the Mozz, cut the mold off as scraping soft cheese may be difficult. Coat in olive oil and rewrap then keep refrigerated.  When using, cut off what is needed and re-oil the cut side and rewrap.

    If you want to sell your cheese, check with your local health officials, not an easy thing to do, legally.

    Any more questions, please ask.

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Use a new piece of wrap to re-wrap.....  sanitize you hands and anything you come in contact with.... smoked cheese should have been "sterile" from the smoke.....   I think you may have contaminated it during the wrap...   Dave
  15. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Dave is correct on using fresh wrap.  After looking at the picture of your Mozz, even though you may think so, I can see that it is not tightly wrapped.  This would allow air to come in contact with the surface of the cheese which would cause your problem.  Mozz is very hard to keep mold from growing on if not properly wrapped, you may want to consider a vac sealer if you intend to smoke cheese, it will soon pay for itself.  Unlike hard cheeses like cheddar, mold on soft cheeses like your Mozz is hard to control.  If the mold is very deep it may be best to discard it.  The next time you smoke Mozz, oil it then wrap this will help keep air from reaching the surface of the cheese.

    If you have any Mozz that does not have mold on it, consider oiling and rewrap soon.

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013

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