Homemade Cheese Cave
We have an old, white freezer that we picked up along with an old green freezer a couple years ago. I think we paid $50 each for them. The green freezer we have filled with veggies and beef right now (along with several more freezers) but the white one is sitting empty and has not been used recently.
Needing a place to properly age my cheese and not wanting to spend a lot of money for a cheese cave, I have decided to buy an external over-riding thermostat. The thermostat will plug into the outlet and the freezer will plug into the thermostat. Then, I will be able to set the temp in the freezer to the correct aging temperature for whatever cheese I am making. I did a search online for one, and found one for $80 through a cheese making supply site, but after researching a little further, I found one through a brewing store that does the same thing for $58.99 plus shipping.
I made a number of cheeses last winter but did not have a good place to age them so I used my refrigerator where the temperature setting was actually too low. I have since read that it is better to age cheese at a higher temperature (such as a cool room in the basement) rather than to age them at too low of a temperature where the flavors won't develop properly. (Caution: Temps that are much too warm will cause the cheese to have an off flavor and not be pleasant to eat. It's a delicate balance and thus the importance of having a cheese cave!)
On a side note, I stopped to consider with the nine to ten gallons of milk that I am now getting a day, I have around 63 - 70 gallons of milk going through my kitchen in one week! And, it's still not enough! I am still not to the point where I have enough to feed the hens the several gallons a day of clabbered milk that I was feeding them. They are lucky to get the buttermilk left over after I finish making butter!