Cheese Attempt ~ Foamheart

Discussion in 'Cheese' started by foamheart, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My first attempt at cheese. I will not say it was a rousing success but for the temperatures we have here to deal with, and my lazy attitude about building a heat exchanger, it went better than expected.

    Lets start with the cheeses as it makes a difference. AND that is never so obvious as in the forth comming pictures. I went from really dense to medium dense in a a nice progression. 

    I stayed with one manufacturer so the cheese would be of the same quality throughout. 

    I have more cheese sitting in the project reefer but this was a first attempt and I didn't want to waste it all if I really screwed up. Besides I wasn't even sure it was cold enough to do this.

    The cheese:





    I believe I even have them in the proper progression as to relative density.

    For the smoke I chose the new AMAZIN adjustable oval tube aux. smoke generator in the MES40 w/ Q-mats. Thinking on it now, I had just purchased some apple dust to use in a tray and completely forgot. I went with the oval because it has show to produce copious amounts of smoke while requiring very very little air, it makes its own cirrculation. LOL

    This week is probably the last possibility I will get to attempt cheese for another year, so I pounced in there as usual at the last minute making a command decission, damn the torpedoes full speed ahead!

    Weather day time, upper 60's but at night high 30's, It was chilly last night so I charged up that hill!

    I had the cheese sitting in the reefer, out the wrappers and cut hoping for a chance, three days ago was hoping for a good cold front, had prepared the cheese for smoking even bringing to room temperature only to put it back in the reefer. The reefer did do a little dehydration but so I am guessing you need to have a better handle on when to prepare than I did.

    From left to right; Colby, extra sharp, sharp, and medium. LOL... I had been cussing you guys from the Great NM Territories for having this cheese I always se you using. Not too much cheese produced around here. We eat ice cream I guess. Then I find out that Walmart and NOT Sams is a national distributor, boy did I have egg on my face. Guys from the GNWT, I appoligize!

    I waited to the most cherry time to put the cheese on. 2 AM. I had started up the oval and it was really pouring out that smoke!

    No heat, no power to the unit ( Thanks a load to a friend for teaching me, that which would have no doubt bit me in the butt).

    I had to open the door and allow a minute for all that old white smoke out so I could take a picture! I have seen river fog that thick but not too many times. AND let me say before someone jumps me, the vent was in the full open position. That way it allowed both the heat generated and the smoke out. Of course it also made more fresh air available to generate  more heat...LOL

    An Hour later still smoking, box is at 64 degrees...... I am starting to get a little antsy.  Not the Maverick remote, I am NOT going to turn the smoker on, even for the light! <Chuckles> 

    I can't see any change in color, this is three hours into the smoke and the Maverick went off. I had it set at 70 chamber temp. I jumped up, having visions of a smoker with a soft cheese center and ran out, damn it was chilly! Throw open the door A huge cloud of smoke envelopes me, eyes water knees chatter, and as the smoke clears I still have cheese. BUT no noticable color change. The chamber immediately cools down to 60 again. The tube has maybe an hour and a half possibly 2 left in pellets, I didn't intend to smoke a lot. Besides Its cold and I gotta pee!

    I close it up, and go inside and go to bed. I knew it would not get that hot again, I thought that the little smoke would be maybe about right, you know, less color but a small delicate flavor.

    LOL... BTW note those Q-Mats they are the berries! Also note the the lazy cheese. Its no longer straight and tall but (especially the colby), squating down like its carrying a have load.

    It is all very well oiled which I asume is NOT a good thing and means that it was or was very near a critical moment it its journey. I wiped the oil off.

    I also to my surprize I had some cheese flaking. I had not seen or anticipated this. Yes there was some skin cracking. I assume to the reefer dehydration. I broke off a flake and popped it in my mouth, OMG its an ashtray! Like jerky and smoked nuts, I am guessing it has to mellow some before packaging.


    Lets see if I can put two next to each other.


    So it did sneak that color in there. Guessing its a temperature thingie like everything else 100 to 140 is magic.

    The medium cheese, some surface cracking probably for the two day dehydration in the reefer.

    The sharp cheese, it did some flaking, really strange IMHO. It may have been a manufacturing FUBAR also.

    The extra sharp No sagging, no cracks or flakes, took a nice color of course remember it is the most dense. And it is dense.

    The colby cheese just sagged and squated down.

    All cheeses have a nice color even if they smell like an ashtray.

    Notes to self.

    Next time a shorter smoke will cure most of the problems I had here. 

    Do not unwrap and cut untill ready to put on the smoker

    Allow to come to room temp in the wrapper.

    Needed to be colder tha 38 outside or attempt a cracked door smoke. I think with the new oval it is well within the realm of possibilities.

    Remember that this one was done in a semi-white smoke.

    Need to try the dust vice pellets.

    Anything I missed please let me know. I am guess a few days or longer breathing then I will wrap.

    I am wondering though. if I vacuumed now would it not give a great penetration? Wound the ashtray not mellow in package abeit slower? Lots of questions still to know.\.

    Thanks for looking in, thanks to Mr. Tom, and to our smoking Marine bauchjw. Thanks for helping enough so I could try it for myself and not waste the cheese.
    smokinal, disco, redheelerdog and 4 others like this.
  2. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks great from here foam,,,Nice color on the cheese,,, You will love it in two weeks or longer,,,

    A full smoker is a happy smoker - You are looking happy happy happy 

  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you DS, I love a new challenge!

    BTW I forgot to mention thats smoked with apple and a touch of hickory.

    Man I am tearing up this apple! I have used up a 5 lb bag since Christmas of pellets. I am using the heck out of that new adjustable oval, brought to you by the good folks up at AMAZIN Products. Todd & Ms. Rhonda are good folks. (OK, so do I get the check now?)
  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Kevin that will develope more color and mellow out, even if you vac seal now.I like to wait 3 weeks and the longer you wait the better it gets.Points

  5. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hope it turns out tasty! I'm still aging my last batch much stronger then the first, I added an hour to the smoke time and tried corn cob pellets where I used Pitmaster blend the first time. Maybe sometime I'll try a mailbox mod.
  6. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ya, that oval in my mailbox mod and my fridge smoker is the bomb,, I bought both of them,,,Lovin it also

  7. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Colour looks good. Give it time, it'll be fine.
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am guessing its because it over heated and released some of the oils, but the outer layer on the cheese is getting hard.  <chuckles> I am gonna tell folks you have to peel it back, that's how all the good cheeses are supposed to be served........ROFLMAO! Think I can sell that explaination?
  9. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Good job on your first attempt at smoking cheese. You seem to have learned a bit in order to improve your next smoke. Give me a heads up before your next.

    I would rather be getting up a 2 AM to put cheese in a smoker than getting up at 2 AM to shovel snow.

  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Coolios! You know it's so funny I am all laughs and smiles, I love doing something new. I only wish I had some of that cold weather for about a month. I put it up in the reefer, since its cheese. But I can leave it on the table if its better. heck nobody sits at the table anymore anyway. Too far from the TV.
    I have gotta tell you, my neighbor saw ne at the smoker and had to come over to see what I was smoking. You'd think I whipped him when I told him no tasting for a few months....LOL He told me he'd never seen smoked cheese but it was his favorite. I had to tell him 1/2 a dozen times it tasted like an ashtray right now, but in a tear or two.......It was hillarious. 
  11. twoalpha

    twoalpha Smoking Fanatic

    Great looking cheese, nice color. POINTS!!!!

    Let us know how it turns out in a few weeks.
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Todd is one smart businessman. Give them something that works great AND uses more resources!  Its a win/win. Yeah you'd have a fight you try and take my new oval. Ya know it needs a name like a 'Todd' cause having to write an "adjustable oval pellet smoker" all the time is a pain. How about an AOPs?
    I wasn't really complaining, I am happy. Its just with all the great educators here, my first attempts are always perfect, its the second and third I screw up cause I try and do it my way....LOL
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I will, I always ready your posts, you are the one should recieve any points from here cause its not something I would have otherwise tried.

    Thank you for your knowledge and help. Next time I will at least know enough to ask some proper questions. But ya really need to try first. Like golf, you have to be consistent first then they can change what you are doing wrong.

    Snow? I had a yard full of Cajun snow day before yesterday ( 4.5 inches), but it was all finally absorbed into the ground.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  14. Nice looking cheese, I have some friends that are hooked on cheese they beg for it when they come over
  15. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Nice first try, Foam. That nasty taste is why you let it "air" overnight before you vac-seal it. I don't even cut it out of the packaging until you're ready to smoke it (it dries out). You're worried too much about "color". This isn't meat you're smoking. If you see lines from the grill on the bottoms of the cheese then you probably have enough smoke. Vac-seal them with that fancy new toy of yours and wait at least a month before cracking open. You'll like it 😉
    Next time throw some Gouda in there...

  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you. LOL... I have my neighbor now doing the yard spraying for me.... he 's a nice guy anyway but get a go bag way too often doesn't hurt.
    Thank you. Actually my favorite cheeses are guyere, provolone, gouda, and Camenbert. But I'll eat cheddar any day!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
    mowin likes this.
  17. muralboy

    muralboy Smoking Fanatic

    Nice job Foam on your first. Give it a few weeks and you'll be loving it

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  18. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Great job foam... listen to MrT. He's the cheese smoking god...:points:
    Snow? Haven't seen any here in upstate NY...:head-wall:
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  19. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks great Kevin, I am loving the cheese. I am doing a load now too.
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks.... Oh yeah I understand about the smoothing process. I just am not so sure about leaving it in the reefer dehydrating while smoothing. I don't mind bacon, nuts, or even jerky, 'course none of them cost as much...LOL 

    I can't wait. I am thinking smoked mac & cheese. What can I say I am just an old country boy.

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