CONTAINS: A formulation of paraffin and microcrystalline wax, food grade coloring
YIELD: One pound will wax approximately 12-20 cheeses when brushed on. If dipping method is used you will need at least a 5 pound block.
DIRECTIONS: It is safest to melt wax in a double boiler so that it is not subject to direct flame. Never leave melting wax unattended. Wax can explode at high temperatures. Heat wax to 210ºF. Wax can be brushed onto a dried and chilled cheese with a natural bristle brush (anything synthetic will melt), or you can very carefully dip your cheese into the wax pot one side at a time (it can get very slippery). Two thin coats are preferable to one thick coat. Be sure to fill up any air spaces as mold needs air to grow.
When you are ready to eat your cheese, the wax is simply peeled off and can be strained through Butter Muslin (U2) to be reused over and over again.
STORAGE: Store in cool place, away from any high heat. Will keep indefinitely.
NOTE: We purchase this product Certified Kosher (Tablet-K) in bulk. The product is then repackaged into smaller quantities without Kosher supervision, thus voiding the Kosher certification. We are not, nor do we make any representation to be, under kosher certification.
WAXING STORE BOUGHT CHEESES: Wow, wax is flying off the shelf here! Many people are trying to prepare for a different type of future. Here is our short explanation of waxing store bought cheese.
Usually cheese bought in the grocery store is an already aged to perfection finished product. Waxing it in small pieces may cause some problems. If a cheese is not turned on a regular basis gravity will cause all the moisture to fall to the bottom causing a mushy mess under the wax. We would suggest you buy whole wheels or make your own cheeses and after waxing them, turn over at least once a week to prevent problems. We also suggest you air dry your cheese for 2-3 days prior to waxing.
| Q. I bought some red cheese wax and last November, I melted it over a double boiler as instructed to wax some cheese. I cut my mild cheese into 5-one lb portions and dipped it into vinegar to kill any mold or germs, and wiped it off, before dipping it into the melted wax, using a sterile fork to dip it on that one side. Once dried on that side, I dipped the other side so that all areas, including the holes from the fork's tines were covered with wax. Once dipped 5 or 6 times, I placed the waxed cheese on parchment to dry, then I put each little waxed packet either into cheese cloth or the legs of old nylons and hung up to mature. Now, six months later, I went back to check on my little cheese balls, and a few were a bit swollen and drippy. I took one of the swollen ones and opened it, and there was NO mold. Is that drippy liquid just oil from the cheese? Is the cheese still good? Why are only some dripping? How do I stop that? Should I remove all the wax on the few swollen cheese portions and revinegar and rewax them? |
A. If the cheese were kept too warm that could just be the butterfat coming out. However the swollen tells me that there is some gas production and usually what I see with that is more whey being released from inside the cheese after waxing. If you did perhaps mold some of these cheese before they were dry enough then they would leak and swell like that. Its called "late acid" and the cheese tends to be sour/acid and crumbly. In the final stages of cheese making it is important to watch the temp and time of stirring. If the curds are "mushy" they are not ready to mold. They need to form individual curds and when squeezed in the hand they should be dry enough to separate with little effort. The general test for this is to gather a small clump of curds in the hand and compress it. Then with a little thumb pressure, see if the mass breaks apart easily into separate curds. If it does the curd is ready to place in the mold and press.
Waxing is perhaps the most convenient way to protect the cheese during aging and keep the cheese moisture in the desired range.
Yes, if done properly the cheese will be much easier to keep mold free after waxing and the moisture loss will be reduced. Very little needs to be done to a waxed cheese other than maintaining the proper temperature/moisture levels and turning it over on the shelf every week or so. Less time brushing, rubbing and turning cheese.
If the mold is removed prior to waxing and the waxing is done properly, mold development under the wax will not be a problem.
As explained below, the wax temperature really needs to reach 224-236F (Please see wax temperature warning below) then held in the wax for at least 6 seconds to "flash" the mold spores. However, some folks do choose to take the safer route and use wax melted in a water bath (as described in Ricki's book) and have great results with that. See below for more details on the two methods.
This is a frequent question here. Our cheese wax is a special microcrystalline wax that will resist cracking and hold up to the daily bumps and bruises of aging cheese. The color of the wax makes no difference, but our "yellow" wax contains no colorant. Paraffin is much too soft and will readily crack during aging, allowing molds to enter and grow on the cheese surface. Bees wax is nice but does not have the strength to survive aging unless handled carefully.
Information on heating wax
Wax when heated will reach a point where vapors accumulate and may ignite with life threatening results.
A wax fire is extremely dangerous and cannot be put out with water.
never let your wax exceed 250F. never leave the wax unattended on the stove.
To be most successful at preventing mold, wax needs to reach a temp of 225-240F and cheeses should be dipped for 6 seconds. Temperature control is important, if the wax gets too hot it might reach it's flash point and catch on fire. Do not exceed 250F when heating your wax.
To limit the potential danger here, use a heavy pot with a candy thermometer, heat slowly and control the wax temps carefully. It may seem to take a long time to get the wax to go from solid to liquid, but once it has liquefied, the temperature will rise sharply. Make it a habit to constantly monitor the temperature of your wax. If that wax reaches the flash point, then the vapors produced are extremely flammable. The flash point of wax is typically above 300° F.