I have 3 wheels of A2 cheddar aging in the back of our fridge. Each week I would flip the wheels. This morning when I went to flip I discovered that my gouda shaped cheese #2 had a large crack , further inspection showed that my 3rd wheel also had a small crack. My first wheel was fine. I then remembered that I had added olive oil to my wax for the first wheel , but by the next two wheels i had added more wax but forgot to add more olive oil! Lesson learned ADD olive oil to your bees wax ! After re waxing I was in a quandary as to where to keep my cheese... being in the fridge worked well accept... they were constantly getting banged around in a futile american attempt to keep more science projects in the fridge than it could hold... My cheese being softer than the other things was losing the battle! I fretted over different possibility's using a Styrofoam cooler. None were really good choices. I asked the wife what she thought (should have done this sooner)... Of course my first ideas seemed no better to her than me . Her response after a few minutes was.... DIG A HOLE..... OK.. that helps. Rather than state the thoughts I had upon hearing that , I pondered my options . Dig a hole meant a root cellar right !!! Nope ....definitely does not mean I get to rent a track hoe and spend money ... DARN ! So I kept thinking.... (light bulb illuminates ) 30 years ago when I built my auto shop I did a trade with a guy , I fixed his truck and he gave me a hyd shop hoist... even loaned me his back hoe to dig a hole 9' deep in the center of one bay... where i welded 3 , 55 gal barrels end to end to create a nine foot deep "HOLE IN THE GROUND !" This is where the hoist would have sat ... IF I had ever installed it.... instead I cover the hole with an old stop sign ... throw a board and an old carpet piece over top and for 30 years I haven't looked at or thought of until TODAY ( Thankful for my wife) ! After opening, a quick check with my digital temp gun showed 55-57 F !!! This will work ! My cheese goes in a Styrofoam cooler and I lowered it down with a long piece of #9 wire WALA one very deep forgotten hole in the ground becomes my new cheese cave ! This is not a convenient cheese cave but it is a cheese cave ! I will still look for better options down the road ... but until then "I GOT A CHEESE CAVE !!!"
OMG , I still can't believe how perfect this is! Rodent proof , bug proof, 55 degrees, not sure what the humidity is down there,but its exposed to the ground so it should be 50% or more. Its like i knew i would need this 30 years later... LOL. I have the Styrofoam container at the bottom, i'm thinking one of those hanging 3 tier metal baskets for fruit will hold another half dozen wheels suspended above. Or I can just stack coolers ! Lots of room with 9' to play with. Sadly I leave this morning to go out of town to work for the next month or more.... dang! Work always seems to get in the way of fun stuff ! Had to take my 2 gallons of warm milk and instead of making cheese I took one quart of cream off the top and have it sitting on the counter for the wife to make our first batch of cultured butter! Lots of skimmed milk to drink , give away or just pour on the garden.
With a 9 ft. hole, you will have a temperature variation at different levels - and be able to experiment on the effects of storing different cheeses for different times at different levels.
You could even build two 9 ft high shelf supports on two 'sides' of the hole every 1.5 ft or so, and lower the cheeses on planks or in coolers, then turn them so the ends sit on the supports at that height.
THAT sounds like a fun, long project!
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