Author Topic: Help. Hairy Blue!!!  (Read 2262 times)

Offline TAMARA

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Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« on: August 29, 2012, 08:01:36 AM »
Hi Cheesemakers,

I've been having trouble getting any blue to grow on my cheese and bought some new roquefort, just in case mine was inactive and now, 9 days post the 'make', i checked the cheese to find one or two tiny spots of blue (yay!!) but lots of ugly, grey brown furry stuff.

This doesn't seem to me to look right. I've washed them off and sprayed with brine to try and kill these spores but would welcome any advice. I think i probably should have been turning them more often but just wondered... doesn't blue grow in nice flat spreading splotches and if so, is this hairy mould 'mucor'?

I've attached photos and would welcome any advice, thoughts or suggestions.

Thanks in advance,

TAMARA


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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 10:27:44 AM »
How high is your R/H in the ageing container?
act as if it were impossible to fail.

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 11:41:57 AM »
Turning them daily is highly suggested....

Have never made blue cheese, so I cant say one way or another if that is just the blue growing unrestricted or not, but I suspect not. Have never seen a blue with such long "fuzz" on it before.

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 06:18:25 PM »
Lol--as I scrolled down to look at the pictures, I could have sworn I was about to see a baby's face.  Then, it was cheese.  I have absolutely no helpful comment to make, I just wanted to thank you for a good laugh.  My wife came in and said, "That was a real laugh.  What's so funny?"  Good luck with the cheese.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline TAMARA

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 07:06:01 PM »
RH in the fridge is about 80%... can't seem to get it higher than that. In the aging container it is about 95% which is a little high for blue but have wondered if my blues didn't grow coz it was too dry... so kept the box closed rather than open a little.

Yes.. humorous photos... if it were a baby!!

Thanks for the replies,

TAMARA


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Offline Bob

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 08:27:59 PM »
Hi Tamara, that really does not look appetising  :(  it looks to me like you have a stray mould contamination, and it does not look edible! I would be checking your entire cheese making environment - make room, cave, refrigerators etc. Look at possible contaminants in each area, including any cooling/heating coils and other plant based materials stored in these rooms. Looks like an airborne mould to me that has entered via the room atmosphere.  Have you had any similar mould problems in the past?
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 10:57:29 PM »
Now that you mention airborne contamination Bob, it looks like something I have seen on hay.

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 01:06:44 AM »
It's mucor.  You didn't salt the cheese enough and the humidity is too high.  Salt them well with dry salt.  In general don't brine a blue, unless you want a clean rind.  It also tends to run down into the pierce holes and inhibit blue growth.  After you are done cleaning the cheese it may be wise to repierce.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 01:13:50 AM »
Okay:
- First off, you have way too much moisture in these cheeses. They need to be firm and straight.
- Secondly, your aging container is problematic. I see the surface you are using to lay them on and even though it lets air in, it has lots of plastic in between the air openings. This suffocates these areas in the rind and that's where the mold begins to grow. It needs to rest on an airy mesh or grille.
- Thirdly, you may have way too much moisture in your aging environment. Take it down, A LOT.

One more tip: Blues use twice as much salt than other cheeses. Most of these moulds cannot grow (or grow very weakly) at cheese with 3% salt. P.Roqueforti however can grow with all that salt. In other words, salt will kill everything but your blue.  When other stuff out-competes your blue it may indicate insufficient salting.

And also
Turning them daily is highly suggested....

Actually, forget my second point. Roquefort doesn't age on the bottom/top surfaces. It is supposed to be laid on its side to have as little surface contact as possible and to allow air to flow freely through the piercings.

See:

Offline Bob

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 04:12:50 AM »
Hi Francios, thanks for identifying the mould. Can you tell me where it comes from and how it ends up in the cheese? I understand that it is commonly found in the outside environment, soil, rotten vegetables etc. Thanks
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 01:38:02 PM »
Mucor is a generic name that describes many species of fungi that grow typically in nutrient-rich, low-temperature, high-moisture environment. While on some cheeses they can be a serious defect and nuisance, they are generally not dangerous and are considered beneficial for the rind formation of many natural-rind cheeses such as Tomme de Savoie.  As they grow, you would flatten then and brush them back to a robust gray rind with cellar-like, mushroomy or earthy aromas. You can also prevent them or tone them down by using ripening cultures with anti-mucor properties (SAM-3 or MVA for example), or cheese protectants such as natamycin.

Here are some Tommes I made with intentional controlled mucor development:

Offline Bob

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2012, 04:50:39 PM »
Thanks for the info iratherfly! Love that so many people are happy to share their knowledge on this forum, which in turn helps me and others learn.

Those Tommes look terrific!
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 08:59:11 PM »
Thank you, thank you! Can't wait to eat them all in one bite! :P

Offline mnmaxg

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 02:27:19 PM »
Although I'm not anywhere near making blues, I wanted to second the sentiment that this thread has been super helpful!

Offline BobE102330

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Re: Help. Hairy Blue!!!
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 03:40:49 PM »
Don't be afraid, just do make blue cheese.