• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Steve Thorn
  • r ranson
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • Carla Burke
  • Nancy Reading
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Mike Barkley
  • Liv Smith

Root cellar and cheese cave - together or separate?

 
gardener & author
Posts: 2373
Location: Tasmania
1286
3
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Reading about these, it looks like both root cellars and cheese caves need the same conditions for humidity and temperature. I’d like to build both and was wondering if it’s a bad idea to just build one structure for both purposes?

One issue I can see is that in cheeses I’m trying to encourage certain moulds, but I don’t want those moulds on the vegetables. I also wonder if the vegetables and the soil on them introduce unwanted bacteria and moulds to the cheeses? Or would the smell of cabbages get into the cheeses? Could these issues be avoided by having a dividing wall between two different sections? Maybe with two separate vent pipes?
 
master gardener
Posts: 3351
1419
2
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kate Downham wrote:Reading about these, it looks like both root cellars and cheese caves need the same conditions for humidity and temperature. I’d like to build both and was wondering if it’s a bad idea to just build one structure for both purposes?

One issue I can see is that in cheeses I’m trying to encourage certain moulds, but I don’t want those moulds on the vegetables. I also wonder if the vegetables and the soil on them introduce unwanted bacteria and moulds to the cheeses? Or would the smell of cabbages get into the cheeses? Could these issues be avoided by having a dividing wall between two different sections? Maybe with two separate vent pipes?



They used to often be in the same space. I'd imagine, if you have many very strongly items, it wouldn't be a bad idea to separate them, with a dividing wall. However, this is also one of the purposes of covering the aging cheeses in several layers of wax, so I'm not sure how necessary it would really be.
 
Kate Downham
gardener & author
Posts: 2373
Location: Tasmania
1286
3
homeschooling goat forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation pig wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I prefer to make natural rinded cheeses, where I just rub salt on the rinds, age them on wood, and they get eaten, rind included. Thinking about it, there's lots of smelly stuff in the room where I age them now and the cheeses have tasted good, so maybe it isn't much of an issue?
 
Carla Burke
master gardener
Posts: 3351
1419
2
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lol - You're probably right!
 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have often wondered this same question. I think the humidity needs could be different for cheeses and vegetables but I’m not sure. Anyone on here have experience building a root cellar in Northern Arizona?
 
gardener
Posts: 2217
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
563
trees food preservation solar greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I haven't actually made cheese, but I remember a cheese maker telling us that for aging, the temperature should be around 13-14C. Whereas root cellars, I do know, should be in the 1 to 4C range. Once the cheese is aged properly, I guess the colder temperature would be good for long storage. What temperature do you want for aging your cheese?
 
Posts: 52
Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
15
duck forest garden foraging trees medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a cool idea. I have an old root cellar on my property also needing a bit of restoration and we'd also like to use it for cheese aging.

I think the differing temperature needs could be solved by observing for varying "microclimates" within the root cellar.

A bit of humidity and temperature monitoring in the "front" vs "back" of the cellar might help answer the query. I think a partial divider of lime-washed cob or similar non-structural, non-mold-prone building material could also help nurture the best conditions for different food stuffs. Vent pipe could be added to facilitate, and the area near it might also have a slightly different microclimate. Upper shelves vs lower shelves might also differ in the conditions they provide.

I'm going to set up monitoring in our cellar this week and see what we can find. Has anyone else already done this?
 
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, I made cheers in the Swiss Alps for the last four years. For cheese agi g you want a cellar that has a temperature somewhere between 10 to 14 Celsius and a humidity between 85 and 95%. You don't want all kinds of mold in your basement, therefore if you have walks that are easy to clean the better. You will never have the exact same climate throughout the entire basement, therefore it is good practice to move the cheese around when you flip and clean it. For the ground gravel is great. You might also want the area you walk on to be solid. It is usually concrete or tiles. The better the cellars climate the less high tech climatizer, etc you need. The toughest part is to get started and to create the right environment. You want certain bacteria and not others. The more of the favorable you have the less chance for undesired bacteria to develope. What you don't want is coli, staphylococcus, or worse lysteria. The later are extremely hard to eradicate and very dangerous for our health if they get on the food. Therefore I would not place vegetables and cheese in the same room. It is also important to keep flies and mice away. I hope that helps. Cheers, Dietmar
 
master gardener
Posts: 3619
Location: southern Illinois.
1049
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Dietmar,

Welcome to Permies
 
"How many licks ..." - I think all of this dog's research starts with these words. Tasty tiny ad:
The Wheaton Eco Scale
https://permies.com/t/scale
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic