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http://rivervalleycheese.com/

 Ideal weather for aging cheese

Temperature:
Optimal range of temperature is between 45º and 55º F. and should remain as constant as possible.
To obtain this consider:
• Location of cave … On the North side will exclude solar gain problems
• Frost line … Building below grade will use cooler earth temps for cooling
• Insulation of walls and ceiling … To isolate from other heated space
• Opening of doors … How much traffic in and out of the cave
• Heat generated from motors, lights, etc.
• Heat is released from cheese as it ages … The more cheese you are ripening the greater this consideration becomes
• Use of artificial heating and cooling units
• Artificial heating and cooling back-ups
 
Relative Humidity (RH%):
Optimal range of humidity is between 85% and 95%.
To obtain the above consider:
• Permeability of walls
• Humidifiers that do not produce steam as well as a proper hygrometer to monitor this
• Availability of clean cold water … A source for increasing humidity
Cannibal Island Creamery – Capt. Crottin

 

Weather for Cannibal Island

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High 55° 57° 57° 58° 62° 65° 68° 68° 70° 66° 58° 54°
Avg. Low 38° 40° 41° 44° 46° 50° 52° 52° 50° 47° 44° 38°
Mean 47° 48° 50° 51° 54° 58° 60° 61° 60° 57° 52° 47°
Avg. Precip. 8.3 in 6.7 in 7.1 in 3.5 in 1.3 in 0.4 in 0.1 in 0.4 in 0.9 in 3.1 in 7.7 in 8.5 in

This is exciting as our proximity to the ocean and the constant on-shore breeze the temps could easily be two degrees lower on Island meaning very little artificial cooling (smaller carbon footprint) will be needed for aging in the cave.  We will have it covered and located to maximize the sunlight conditions for the warmest months of the year.  Humidity will need to be closely controlled.  We are fortunate to get on average 8.5″ of rainfall per year.  Add the river and ocean and we are very humid.  Ventilation and circulation will be required to maintain optimal conditions for aging.

Table Bluff fun…

Crazy flying man!

     Went to table bluff down the road from the creamery to take some sunset beach pictures and found a bunch of thrill seekers having fun in the thermals.  Both motorized and free fall versions were in attendance.  Did not get a chance to meet the motorized bunch but hopefully today.  The motor heads were ah well, crazy!  Watched one guy buzz me at full speed bank hard right into the bluff and skim the trees, and tall grass before hurling himself at mach 5 right over my head!  The other motor head took his to 1000 feet and cut the motor off and did what they call a death fall backwards in a downward reverse spiral.  He started the engine and sailed by me with a grin!  The motorless group enjoy the peace and quiet of gently manuvering the bluff and wind sailing their kite wings effortlessly back and forth.  The good ones can come back to the same spot as the launch.  The beginners land on the south ghetty sand below the bluff.  This is an unregulated site that requires no certifications to fly or fall.  I will be back!  Maybe arial photography?  Curious about the conditions right now?  http://www.soarcast.com./conditions.php?recordid=25&timespandropdown=all  Thanks Don!

The stork delivered a baby pig this week.  His name is No-Whey!  His job is to eat all the unused whey that is the by-product from cheesemaking.  Whey pork is simply the best pork you can buy.  Right now he is asleep in the dogs bed curled up in the blanket by the wood stove.  He eats goats milk and half and half.  He is loud when hungry…which is all the time.

Cheese room will be 16′ x 16′ with a 7′ sliding glass door and three 6′ x 6′ windows in the front.  We have the 16′ x 22′ Kolpak Refrig unit for our aging room.  Restroom and boiler, return tank and hot water heater room.  All said, 32 x 32 building.  We need to find a propane tank and propane hot water heater with a 100 gallon capacity.  Dropped off bid specs yesterday to contractors.  Spec’s are with the State for approval.  Still need to find local help for removing and installing boiler and return unit with water filtration!  Picked up the balance of the windows today from the Craigslist seller.   Now I need to find propane fridge, hot water heater, toilet, sink, exhaust fans, and a metal exterior door for the bathroom.  I’m sure there is more…

***Tsunami Warning***

Living below sea level next to the Pacific Ocean and the Eel River during heavy rains and high tides is one problem.  Now take all that and add a Tsunami?  Water is already in most of the fields and the rain is heavy here and in the mountains.  High tides for the next few days means tons of surface water and flooding.  At the end of the driveway the State of California has place a sign that warns of Tsunami Danger.  It is standing in a huge puddle of water.  Our “Tax Dollars” at work.

Version 54 of the plan.  Located 16 x 20 modular freezer unit for dry storage aging (cave).  Will fit perfect into the facility.  Plenty of room and modular to grow!  Craiglsit is awesome!   Met with contractors Monday to discuss flooring and drainage.  Decided to go smaller on the Vat/Make room and go larger with storage and refrig space.  Window’s for the new facility have been secured!  (Craigslist).  Our building is 30′ x 32′.  We plan to put an upstairs in the unit to make an office and testing area with a beautiful view of the valley and pacific ocean!  We spent all day in the unit cleaning and making improvements Monday and Tuesday.  Building contractor is coming back today.  We secured permission to run underground line to fill from the milk barn!  This will save many hours and $.  Boiler needs a conversion unit from Natural Gas to Propane.  Also would be nice to have onboard heat exchanger for hot water usage.  Vat needs thermometers new and digital.  (Remember to place vat in middle of room to access from all sides.  One drain in the room only!.

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