Author Topic: Chimay style, Belgian abbey cheese  (Read 11602 times)

Offline Boofer

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Re: Chimay style, Belgian abbey cheese
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2012, 07:01:59 PM »
Yeah, Dave, I had looked at that before but when I too another look...really nice rind.

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Offline Boofer

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Re: Chimay style, Belgian abbey cheese
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2012, 12:29:44 AM »
Ok, time to give this another try!

Armed with basically no knowledge about cheese chemistry, making or natural rind maintenance, no pH meter, a dodgy meat thermometer and a very unstable stack of weights, my first try was pretty much a failure.  Well I don't really like that word since the final cheese melted well and was used in a quiche.  More like happy accident...ha!

I used buttermilk as a starter as well as yogurt.  Of course can't remember the amounts (another fault, didn't keep a record!).  After only 4 weeks of aging I cut into the cheese.  It was very dry, chalky both symptoms of a rapid acidification.  Probably too much culture.  During the aging process I didn't do any washing, just scrubbed off the odd mold with dry salt.  What I described as a 'white mold' was, I'm pretty sure now, Geo.  Especially since it developed to a stage where I got some rind wrinkling, which I've read here is a result of the Geo getting out of hand?  By the way, I didn't add any to the milk either so the Geo was 'wild'.

I also think I should give you guys an actual name of the cheese I'm trying to make.  It's called Chimay, you might know the beer(s) :p

Sooo, time for some reverse engineering!!  I won't be able to make the cheese till this w-e, and I would also like to build a press first and cut some decent followers, but I thought I would describe the cheese to you and put up a recipe I've come up with for making it to get some of your input.

So for the paste, it's basically like a raclette, only slightly softer.  Maybe somewhere between a reblochon and a raclette.  It's elastic (high calcium retention?) and creamy.  You can really taste the milk in the cheese, if that makes any sense.

As for the rind, it's orange with a dusting of white so I'm thinking B.linens and Geo.  The rind is dry though.

Here's a pic:

There are different types.  I'm aiming for the one on the far right.

So what I thought I would do is start out with a raclette recipe and aim for a higher moisture content by increasing flocc time, decreasing the cookin temp a bit and aim for larger curd pieces.  Also, washed curd for slower acidification, washed rind and press-under-whey.  The result is a cheese with a 'sweeter' curd, good calcium retention, and a good taste and stink from the b.linens.  Now all I have to do is determine the amounts of starter, cooking temps, and different pH markers.

I think what I want is a high drain pH, right?  Above 6.2?

Here's what I've come up with so far based on Sue's raclette recipe with looks just like linuxboy's Gouda recipe.

Style: Chimay

Starting pH: around 6.60   Drain pH: 6.3   Flocc multiplier: 4
Rennet pH:??   Brine pH: 5.4   Cut size: ½ in

Whole raw cow’s milk from a local farmer
Mother-culture =  ??%=??ml / pH of Mother-culture
Rennet: Need to check rennet strength
I don’t have Geo or DH or KL71.  Haven’t found a place where I can get them yet.  I’ve already asked Linuxboy this question, but I was hoping to be able to wash with a brine made from my dad’s beer.  About 3% (at first at least to encourage Geo growth) and a pinch of linens.  From looking at my first attempt, it seems like I didn’t have any trouble getting wild Geo to establish itself.

Add Mother-culture to milk.   --:--      

Add Rennet. Stir up-down. Flocc time=10-15min.  Multiplier=4  Total time=40-75min (Although I probably want to aim for a shorter flocc time in order to drain sooner, right?) .  Target pH at time of addition=6.55   --:--      
Cut curd into 1/2 in curds   --:--      

Stir for 15 min (aim for pH 6.4)         
Wash curds with warm water:  130-135°F
•   Replace about 1/3 whey in 3 additions
•   Final temp target=95°F
•   Length of time to achieve Tf=30 min   --:--      
Cook curds to: °C
•   Final temp target=N/A°F
•   Length of time to achieve Tf=N/A min         
Final pH   --:--      

Drain.  Target drain pH=6.3   --:--      
Press under whey for 10min   --:--      

Press at 3-4 PSI.    --:--      
Target pH out of press=5.4    --:--      

Brine: 24%   --:--      


So I guess my main questions are:
  - Can I wash with my dad's beer?
  - How much mother culture?
  - Ideal pH markers?
  - How to achieve higher moisture?

Sorry for the rambling post. I have soooo many questions, but I think this will do for now.  I'll leave the rind washing regimen for later.


P.S. I attached the word document for the recipe in case it isn't clear here.  I bascially just copied and pasted it over so the formatting was lost.
Did you ever get any feedback to your proposed recipe? I'm interested...I have 4 gallons of raw Jersey milk ready for tomorrow.  8)

Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine,'s all good.

Offline TheRonald

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Re: Chimay style, Belgian abbey cheese
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2012, 10:40:00 PM »
I'm also curious if you ever got a good imitation of the Chimay. I was thinking of attempting a Belgian style beer to pair with a somewhat local Belgian style brewery. I've had a bit of a hard time finding any information on Belgian style recipes.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Chimay style, Belgian abbey cheese
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2012, 10:29:02 PM »
I would do it as a classic Reblochon but wash it with the Belgian ale + coarse salt instead of morge mix.  See what you get and adjust it from there. The Chimay recipe is very close to Reblochon. There may be a bit more thermophilic on it or cooler aging and more washing, but these are the adjustments you should make once you test your first ale-washed Reblochon until you get it right.  Heck, you may not even want to adjust it as it may come out perfectly on the first try (especially if you made Reblochon before)