Ripening at home. Possible or not?

Have you mastered the art of fresh cheese and are looking for new challenges? Ripening is tailor-made for you.

Ripening is definitely the most complex step when you create a cheese. It is at this stage that the flavors and qualities of a cheese develop. It is a complex biochemical process that transforms delicate fresh cheeses into delicious cheeses with deep and complex flavors.

Let's see together what are the main obstacles to avoid and the parameters to master to get the best cheese possible.

Time, temperature and everything else

There is two main parameters, the ripening time and the temperature of the ripening room. To these main factors are added a multitude of details to watch. Air circulation, humidity level, manufacturing, care during ripening, hygiene, packaging, etc.

A matter of taste

Time and temperature of ripening is expected to change depending on the type of cheese desired. Do you prefer a dry cheese or on the contrary rather creamy? You will have to adjust your way of doing things. As a general rule, ripening at home can be done at temperatures between 10°C and 12°C.

From a few days to several months, the ripening time can vary greatly depending on the desired finished product.

In-house ripening yes, but...

Ripening at home is perfectly possible, but for it to be a fruitful experience you must be patient and know how to control several well-defined factors.

Temperature and air circulation

To make sure to control the temperature, you need to get a closed box/room in which you can control and maintain the temperature accurately and consistently. A cellar or a wine cooler will suit perfectly.

Depending on the need for aeration, you can open the cellar door and turn the cheeses once a day to ensure good air circulation.


For moisture management, a hygrometer should be installed to measure humidity continuously. Then, to make sure you keep the humidity level at an optimal level, you need to provide a way to create moisture.

A few options are available to you to maintain a high humidity level:

Option 1, simple and cheap : place large and shallow containers of water in the bottom of the cellars.
Option 2, more expensive and requires a bit of DIY : get a home humidifier, filled with sterile water, that has a regulation with the desired degree of humidity. You can connect it to your cellar using a flexible hose by making an incision inside the door seal.

Care during ripening

Your cheeses will need several treatments to ensure optimal ripening. Turning of your cheeses promotes better air flow as well as an increased distribution of moisture on the surface of the cheese.

You can also wash and brush your cheeses, which will make you to get beautiful crusts faster. Washing and washing solution are an integral part of your cheese recipe, several combinations are possible here.

For brushing, which can help remove unwanted mold. A toothbrush, used only for this purpose and sterilized before and after use, will do the job perfectly.


Here it's not rocket science, everything you use should be used only for your cheeses. You need to sanitize and sterilize everything to make sure only the right bacteria grow. Hygiene is essential throughout the (many) stages of cheese making.

This is a good start if you want to get into the wonderful world of ripening.

Good luck!
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