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Icefever
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At last.... today I would take my first steps with smoking cheese.  Started at 07.20 there are 12 slabs of mature Cheddar,   2kg in total  that we bought from Costco (I think)  there or Booker   ?

I'm running a trial for ourselves,  timed sections,  I will take the first look at 1st hour.  Then every hour after as there seems to be a lot of disagreement on how long it should be smoked for???.

Notes will be taken, slabs numbered, all of the cheese will be wrapped and stored the same.   

Left...    Ice from the defrost..

Right.....Ready for smoke

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What are you using as a smoke generator? Often the disagreement on the length of time required is down to the different generators that are being used. For instance a ProQ sawdust generator will produce less smoke than something like an AMNPS and so will usually need longer. 

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The ProQ also produces less heat though and so is often better when used in the smaller spaces. You are not looking for thick plumes of smoke in the smoker so don't be discouraged if it seems quite thin. It will flavour the cheese fine but it may take a little longer.

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2 minutes ago, Icefever said:

Just looked up AMNPS ..........Bugger I've got one!!!! bought along with the gasser that we got 5/6 years.....am I correct they work better with pellets??

Yes they work with pellets. I use one in my commercial cold smoker - mostly with hickory pellets.

1068733522_MailboxMod2.thumb.jpg.4ef285d8081766e87067cd05fd04b677.jpgAMNPS.thumb.jpg.a4e63a18a5e0600ca4aa0ac03a216a02.jpg

Here is a comparison of the smoke generated by two types of smoke generator

415107252_AMNPSandProQ.thumb.jpg.a5b6828c763ebb61ed3e98f492c1a574.jpg

If I need more smoke (for things like smoked salt or nuts) I will often use one of my tube generators - but this produces far too much smoke for things like cheese.

769375865_Tubesmokegenerators.thumb.jpg.45a03b442358cb56ffa502008f6c4484.jpg260798286_tubesmoker.thumb.jpg.88d996d7e0a62930fcf20245cde788d0.jpg

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As you say trial and error, you will find the right combo for yourself.

I personally use the Proq smoke generator myself, with my Proq Exel. My general rule of thumb for my tastes is 2½ hours to 3 (if temp is a little colder for most cheeses) No reason for it but I turn them over ½ way through smoking. Never bothered with ice personally, as I only do it when the early morning temperature is in single figures. The lower the better, I find the different dusts have a greater effect than anything on the finished flavour. I personally like the milder smoke flavours from woods like Apple or Silver Birch with my cheese. The stronger ones like Hickory or Maple just don't suit my tastebuds and find it gives the cheese a bitter smoke flavour.. But I am sure there are plenty of other people do enjoy those wood dusts. Never tried a AMPNS but that quantity of smoke generated for cheese, would be a bit much by the looks of it for my taste. I prefer more cheese flavour and the smoke in the background. But everybody is different. Certainly for Bacon those AMPNS look ideal though for me

Once smoked I just leave them for 2-3 weeks in an airtight vacuum sealed bag or ziploc bag.

Just finished of some Wykes Farm mature and a really nice Gouda I smoked for the first time about 5 weeks ago. I thought the smoke really worked well with the Gouda.

Got some Manchego, Cheddar, Gouda and hopefully some Pecorino (never smoked sheeps milk cheese before) but I like it grated over my pasta dishes, if the forecasted night time temps drop as forecast for the bank holiday.

 

Edited by sotv
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The outside temp is so-so at the moment hence the ice,  the wind has a tendency to whistle down the side of the cottage...so hopefully will help hold the temp back a little,  I may take a brewing tip and throw a wet T-shirt/old towel over the top/sides of the smoker to help cool it.

Update...

Just been and checked and there's a marked difference in the colour from the first shot.....    :yahoo:20180819_082442.thumb.jpg.7761b10d2efb7a8a8f8bfcf2952916f5.jpg

Ice

Edited by Icefever
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Well, it's all done...we started taking two blocks at a time out at 1.5hrs then every 30 mins after that.  Until we got down to two, these Rosie wanted to leave in longer,  so they stayed in and clocked up 5 hrs.   The burn went around 4  channels and was just turning the corner,  I stopped the burn and saved about maybe 2 hrs of dust....   :thumb1:

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Just tasted mild cheese I smoked 10 days ago,  pretty good milky smoky flavour.  

Not my favourite but nice job all the same, mature will surely taste better  but I am leaving that  until the bank holiday.

Will bring a Mature block  and Red Leicester block to the 1st northern tailgate for taste test

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Nice an cool last night, put 6 blocks, 2kg in total of mature cheddar, along with some French Comte, Pecarino and Manchego in just after 5am this morning. Taking it out about 0830 and will put a nice piece of Cod Loin in to lightly cold smoke for tea tonight afterwards  before cooking it  later.

Edited by sotv
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good call, mine is too strong on smoke I think. Just tasted the mature after 2 weeks of mellowing.  I am going to ditch it and try again.

 

UPDATE,  found one bit of mature left in fridge, week 3.  Tasted and it is nice.  So i should have left it longer. than 2 weeks  

Edited by Justin
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How long did you smoke it for and what type of wood dust? Seems a shame to have to throw it away, cant you at least grate it nad grill it and use it in pasta, pizza or cheese on toast etc if too much smoke in its raw form, to enjoy? I'd certainly give it another 2 weeks anyway at least, it just may need a bit longer.

Mine was in 3 hours 40 minutes normally do slightly under 3 hours but due to the quantity gave it an extra 40 minutes as Apple wood dust is a very mellow smoking dust I find.and I have yet to overpower any type of cheese with it yet. There is always a first time though...?

Edited by sotv
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It was the wood that came with the pro q cardboard smoker.  It was not labelled so who knows what  it is.  Apple wood next time.  It is a journey no problem. the cheese smelt like a bonfire when it came out. I was hoping for something mire like Wades cheese that he gave me at Wooodsmoke18.  Next time. Still to  hot here in Essex

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4 minutes ago, Justin said:

10 hours too per the pro q video.  

I have never smoked my cheese that long tbh and never would! 2.5 hours usually and up to 4 hours is the max, I would ever consider for my tastes. But everybody is different and strong smoke may well suit them.  still like to taste the cheese though ?

2 minutes ago, Justin said:

I notice Wade uses hickory

I have tried Hickory, I find it a bit bitter for my tastes on its own, but have added it as a 1:4 ratio with Apple or Silver Birch in the past. As with anything, I found it to be a bit of trial and error, with the different woods but I have 3 definites now that  I am confident in the finished flavour it will give for me and others I smoke cheese for. I intend to experiment with a few other wood dusts like Orange and maybe Walnut or Alder dust later this winter.

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