We ship cheesemaking supplies worldwide.

We will be closed Thursday, Nov. 27th and Friday, Nov 28th for the Thanksgiving holiday.
We will re-open on Monday, Dec 1st.

 

Search Our Site:


Join Our Free Monthly Moosletter

For Email Newsletters
you can trust

Red Cheese Wax

Item #:RW1 

   Our Price: $5.50
Quantity
Availability: In Stock
Usually ships In 2-3 Business Days

Size Choice:


Update price


Cheese Wax is especially made for coating cheeses. It helps prevent unwanted mold growth while retaining moisture in the aging cheese. This wax is pliable and will not become brittle as will pure paraffin wax.
 
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. If you are waxing all the time, 10 pounds will save you some money. We also offer a box of 40 pounds that is unwrapped and in bulk form.

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. 

CLICK HERE to view a copy of the kosher certification for the bulk form of this product.

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.

After all cheese is a living breathing food, ENJOY!

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.

 

  • Why Wax?
    Waxing is perhaps the most convenient way to protect the cheese during aging and keep the cheese moisture in the desired range.
  • Can I save time using wax?
    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.
  • What about mold?
    If the mold is removed prior to waxing and the waxing is done properly, mold development under the wax will not be a problem.
  • The right wax temperature?
    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.
  • Which Wax to use?
    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.

Click on any image for a closer view
Clean the Cheese before waxing
Once the cheese is formed and pressed, it will need to dry off for a few days at a cool temp with good circulation.
A loose pice of cheesecloth laid over the cheese should keep dust and debris off the cheese but mold may develop as seen here after a week.
Before the cheese can be waxed, the mold needs to be removed. This can be done with a brine wash or vinegar wash. Both high acid and high salt will discourage mold from growing. I prefer the brine wash with ~ 1 tsp salt to a cup of cool water. As you can see in the photos, the mold wipes away easily. Photo at left shows the clean cheese ready for waxing.
The cheese will dry and be ready for waxing in an hour or two.


Waxing at lower (safer) temperature

We begin here by heating the wax in a pan of water on the stove. This will work if you work quickly and have a very clean cheese surface, but many of our customers do come to us with questions on mold developing under the wax, when it is done this way.
This is the safest method (especially with small children around).

Using this method, the wax will never reach much more than 198-204F since boiling water can only reach 212F and some heat is lost in transfer. This may not be enough to kill the mold spores if they find their way to the cheese surface.

Once the wax is hot, you may begin applying wax with a brush. It is a good idea to put a piece of aluminum foil down to catch the drips between wax pot and cheese. The key here is to work quickly and use plenty of wax on the brush to get a good cover coat. Do not over brush. Do the top surface and as much of one side as you can get, then allow this to harden before doing the remaining cheese surface. Give it at least a second coat to make sure a good protective layer is created.

This method will allow a smaller quantity of wax to be used since only a container large enough to dip the brush in is needed. It is, however, a bit messier since the brush is difficult to clean.

Cleaning the Brush:
Immediately after waxing scrape brush accumulation of wax on the edge of the melting pot and while still very hot wipe as much wax from brush as possible with rags or paper towels. Discard these papers/rags when done. The brush will still be stiff but can be easily softened in hot wax for next waxing.

Store the wax covered and the brush in a bag to keep dust out between waxings.

Pros: This method usually requires less wax to be heated (just enough to dip the brush and coat the cheese) and it is safer since the wax is never heated to a dangerous temperature.

Cons: The temperature is not hot enough to kill the mold spores and mold may develop under the wax. If the cheese is dried in a clean environment covered with a sanitized dry cloth this may not be a problem.






Waxing at a higher temp
While the cheese dries you can begin heating the wax.
Please look at our CAUTION STATEMENT below on direct heating of wax on the stove.

In the pictures above I have heated my wax to 224-236F. At this temperature the wax is extremely hot and remember, it is not like boiling water since it is much hotter and the wax will stick and retain that heat. Work cautiously and make sure you have a good grip on the cheese before dipping.

The first thing to do after heating the wax is to turn the burner off and place a piece of foil on the stove or work surface to catch the drips (MUCH easier to clean up). Dip the top of the cheese, let that cool, then dip the bottom. Once these surfaces are cool rotate one half of the cheese edge in the wax, let that cool, and then wax the other half.

I always do a double dip when waxing - dip - cool - dip again.

When finished, simply allow the wax to cool and then store it covered on the shelf to keep dust out.

Pros: This method will kill the mold spores on the cheese surface so that you should have little trouble with mold growing under the wax. Also, there is no messy brush to clean.

Cons: You MUST use CAUTION when heating wax directly on the burner. This also uses more wax then the first method since the entire cheese surface needs to be dipped into the wax.


In the Cave

Once waxed, the cheese can be stored in your aging area, but the proper temperature and moisture levels (usually 52-56F and 85% moisture) need to be maintained.

You should continue to turn the cheese weekly and check for any mold growing under the wax.


What to do if mold develops under the wax

If you find mold has started to grow on a waxed cheese, either the surface was not heated hot enough during the waxing to kill off the mold (wax too cold) or a small pinhole was left for mold to enter. If very serious, this mold should be taken care of ASAP by removing the wax, brushing or scraping the mold from the surface, and giving the cheese a good wiping/scrubbing (depending on how serious) with a cloth soaked in saturated brine.
The cheese should be allowed to dry and then re-waxed.

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.

 

Yes 

No 

Allergens 

Description of Components 


 X Wheat  
   X Other Cereals containing gluten  
   X Crustaceans   
   X Eggs  
   X Fish  
   X Peanuts   
   X

Soybeans

 
   X Milk (including lactose)
   X Nuts  
   X Celery  
   X Mustard  
   X Sesame Seeds  
   X Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphits (> 10 mg/kg)  
   X Lupin  
   X Molluscs  

 

You might also like...
Cheese Wax Brush

Price: $7.95

Mesophilic(DS) - 5pack

Price: $5.95

Featured Items


What are people saying about us? Check it out here.



The Cheese Queen is in Food and Wine and Barbara Kingsolver's
book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle!

Thanks for joining our cheese making family, keep those stories & photos coming. We love to hear from you!

In Peace,
Ricki, the cheese queen

SHARE THIS PAGE

  SecurityMetrics for PCI Compliance, QSA, IDS, Penetration Testing, Forensics, and Vulnerability Assessment

©2013 New England Cheesemaking Supply, Inc. All Rights Reserved

New England Cheesemaking Supply Company
54B Whately Rd, South Deerfield, MA 01373
E-mail info@cheesemaking.com

Phone (413) 397-2012  Fax (413) 397-2014
Monday-Friday 9am-4pm EST
We are out for lunch from 12:00pm-12:30pm EST

   

Click here for our Return/Exchange Form

Many of our products are assembled by American Veterans in Leeds Massachusetts, for more information please click here.