Author Topic: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????  (Read 1685 times)

Offline rattman

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Hi folks,

Have not been on for awhile as I had a full cheese cave and decided to let things age a bit before trying.

This was my first year trying cheese making. Generally it was a disaster... but I'm stubborn and determined to master this.

I'm not going to dive to deep into specifics... so if you feel more info is needed let me know.

So bottom line here are the cheeses I made:
Farmhouse Cheddar (found on you tube)
Cheshire - Rikki's Website
Traditional Swiss - Rikki's Book
Gouda - Rikki's book
Cantal - 200 Easy cheese Recepie Book
Lancashire - 200 cheese book

I purchased all molds, cultures, rennet, etc from Rikki.
The mono and thermo cultures were all the "individual serving" packets: Direct set C101 and C201 versions.

Bottom line is this.... I followed all directions from preparation to regular cleaning to humidity/temp in the cave (a new wine cooler). No cheese was touched until at least the 3 month mark and many I waited longer. I take that back... the Lancashire was supposed to be a short age cheese of less than 2 months I believe.

At the end of the day the only cheese that I used the Thermo culture on was the  swiss and after 4 months it was amazing. After 6 months it was even better!

Unfortunately every other cheese tasted exactly the same. Nasty! My girlfriend and I have been trying to determine the best descriptive words for the taste. I thought there was some kind of overpowering almost amonia taste. She thought they just basically tasted rancid.

Note.... I had several discussions with folks including Sailor and decided to vacuum seal after about 60 + days of aging as opposed to wax. I know some folks have claimed that the vac sealing can impart a amonia taste but I let all cheeses sit for at least an hour after opening before trying...... Funny thing is though, I vac sealed the swiss too and it tasted delicious. No amonia or rancid taste at all.

So what the heck happened? The only common denominator is the mono culture. could it have been bad?

By the way for ALL cheeses I was sure not to use ultra pasteurized... but we don't have much access to raw milk around here in Chicago.

I have notes on each cheese, so if you need more detail regarding process just let me know and I will gladly provide more info.

It's gtg cooler out and I'm getting the bug to start another batch of cheeses.

Also... should I throw out all of the 1 year old cultures in my freezer and start fresh? Does anyone buy from the guy near Milwaukee? his name escapes me at the moment.

Thanks all in advance for your valuable advice!!

Regards,
John


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 12:20:55 PM »
Tell us more about the maturation conditions. were they waxed?  at what temp were they aged?  Did they develope moisture\mold\yeast under the wax?  did they taste sour?
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Offline rattman

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 01:32:35 PM »
Thanks for the reply Tomer,

I think you missed a section of my post above. Per Sailor Con Queso's advice I used a foodsaver to seal all of my cheeses... including the swiss which was delicious.

The only other difference between the swiss and the monophilic cheeses was that the directions had the swiss sitting out in 70 degree temps for 2-3 weeks outside of the cheese cave after the first week. All other cheeses were in about 50 degrees and in large tubberware containers in the cheese cave with the lids cracked which got the humidity up well over 75%.

Offline rattman

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2012, 01:34:26 PM »
A few of the cheeses did get moisture in the foodsaver bag so I cleaaned them off and let them dry for an hour and reseaaled them in fresh foodsaver bags.

Maybe I should ditch the foodsaver bags and go to wax this time.

Do you think the culture could have been bad?

Offline rattman

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 05:17:32 PM »
Hold the phone!!! I have a positive report for everyone!!!

I found the Cheshire from back on 12-19-11 in the back of my fridge. Totally forgot about it.
Just opened it and it's delicious!
One big difference with the Cheshire and the other meso cheeses that were a failure was actually an error that might have worked in my favor. The Cheshire was my first real attempt at cheddaring and at the end of the day I was unable to get the squares t knit totether in the mold. The two pound molded cheese looked like a bunch of pieces jammed together with litttle crevaces and cracks all around.

I threw up a post here and it was suggested that I immediately vacseal the cheese to keep mold from getting into those cracks. So I guess the cheese might have been more dry that the other cheeses when i sealed it. I never saw a drop of condensation in any of the cheshire bag throughout the months so maybe your theory on moisture and mold is accurate Tomer!

Wonder how I can overcompensate next time to get the moisture in the middle down without having the outside crack and get too hard? Do you think the idea of making "mini-caves- inside my wine cooler with tupperware is a bad idea? I thought I read about doing that here in the past. The reason for the mini-caves is that I was never able to get the humidity in the cave hich enough.


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Offline Boofer

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2012, 09:10:33 AM »
"Monophilic", huh? Let's start there. You may be thinking of mesophilic.

One suggestion might be to focus on a single cheese style and gain some confidence in creating a consistently edible & tasty cheese product. You may read in the forum that there are some inconsistencies and inaccuracies with regard to Ricki's book and recipes. Her cultures may also be a question mark as to origin and freshness. The cheese with the crevices and separations between the curds indicates inadequate pressing.

I use minicaves all the time in my caves. The cheeses that are not sealed all have their devoted minicave space which keeps them at the optimum humidity and protected from their neighbors' cultures, which may be contagious (think: PR, PC, Geo, linens, mycodore).

I might recommend that you search on a particular cheese style on the forum that you want to make and read the different threads about what other folks have done, both good and bad. That's how a lot of us here learn to craft a special cheese.

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Offline rattman

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 05:06:28 PM »
To answer Tomer's question about them tasting "sour"..... I'd say "maybe". It's so hard to describe the taste/smell. Almost more ammonia or rancid. I'm sorry I don't have a better adjective.

Boofer... yeah you got me with the "monophilic". :) Sorry, it's been awhile since I made these cheeses and wanted to give them ample time to mature. I meant mesophilic. :)

I just had my brother over who tried the Cheshire and agreed it tasted great. He tried the Lancashire and had to brush his teeth twice to get the taste out. When I asked him if it tasted sour, an ammonia aftertaste, or rancid, he immediately said rancid.

So Boofer... I'd be fine just mastering a few cheeses if that is your recommendation. The Swiss turned out so I'll keep doing that one and maybe I'll try the Cheshire again. I don't think I'm going to color it orange this time. Just gonna leave it natural color.

My gut is telling me that tomer was onto something with regards to moisture playing a factor in the process. I know the middle of the cheese dries much more slowly than the outside which tends to get brittle and crack.... hence the mini caves. Maybe I'll just leave the lids open a little wider and let them dry for a good 90 days in the cave before I even consider foodsaver or wax.

Any additional comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

You people are so nice!!!! :) Thank you!

Regards,
John

Offline Tiarella

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 06:02:20 PM »
@ Boofer.......what do you mean that your cheeses can't contaminate each other because they are in mini-caves?  Everyone seems to crack open the lid to control moisture and I can't imagine that spores aren't flowing around every time you open the cave door or move a box.  Help me with my confusion here please....... :-\.   I've seen this referred to often and just don't get it.  basically, I imagine the room your cave is in has all those molds living in the atmosphere waiting for a conducive bio-terrain to invite them to stay and build community.  Hopefully each cheese only appears inviting to the ones you want to colonize it (and have likely inoculated with) but that's a big hope!  Please enlighten me......  8)

Offline Boofer

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 08:23:09 PM »
It's so hard to describe the taste/smell. Almost more ammonia or rancid. I'm sorry I don't have a better adjective.

I just had my brother over who tried the Cheshire and agreed it tasted great. He tried the Lancashire and had to brush his teeth twice to get the taste out. When I asked him if it tasted sour, an ammonia aftertaste, or rancid, he immediately said rancid.
Boy, I'm sure there are more than a few folks here wondering how/why your cheese is characterized as rancid. Did I miss it, or was there a mention of your milk quality, freshness, source? Perhaps something just wafted in on a breeze while you were in-progress?

@ Boofer.......what do you mean that your cheeses can't contaminate each other because they are in mini-caves?  Everyone seems to crack open the lid to control moisture and I can't imagine that spores aren't flowing around every time you open the cave door or move a box.  Help me with my confusion here please....... :-\.   I've seen this referred to often and just don't get it.  basically, I imagine the room your cave is in has all those molds living in the atmosphere waiting for a conducive bio-terrain to invite them to stay and build community.  Hopefully each cheese only appears inviting to the ones you want to colonize it (and have likely inoculated with) but that's a big hope!  Please enlighten me......  8)
Perhaps I should rephrase....

Of course, given the optimal conditions, my cheeses could "cross-pollinate". Maybe I've just been fortunate ::). I've been vigilant in checking my cheeses, always use gloves when handling the cheeses, wash the gloves I'm wearing to reduce/remove Geo or linens before handling another cheese, close the windows, and do not allow movement (by the wife or the Yorkie) in the kitchen when I'm tending my cheeses and especially during the cheese making.

The neat thing about the cheese tending is that, at a certain point in a young cheese's life, the rind protects it very well and there really isn't significant worry that a foreign incursion will corrupt the cheese.

Right now, a typical session communing with my young cheeses consists of taking them all out of their caves for a walk...into the kitchen. In the first pic, the Blueberry Delight at the bottom and the Tilsit at the top both get rubbed and inspected separately (washing the gloves between). Boofer's Fancy, the one with the nubbins and second from the bottom, gets washed with PLA & 3% brine. The two cheese wannabes in the smaller round containers are a quiet Port du Salut effort and they get soaked in Vouvray wine with a touch of salt (second pic).

Except for the Blueberry Delight, all of the others share a love of linens, either SR3 or from PLA. The Delight is just Geo and KL71. In another week or so, it will get sampled and possibly moved to the big fridge.

They all play well together because they have all had their rinds developed (except for the Fancy which I touch last).

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Offline rattman

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 12:19:44 PM »
Boofer... perhaps rancid is not the correct word... but 4 of the 6 cheeses that I made all had a very unpleasant taste. Only the Cheshire and the Swiss tasted as they were supposed to. I wish I could have you taste it and tell me what the corect adjective is to describe the taste.

All milk was purchased at the local grocery stores here in Illinois and all were pasturized... never ultra pasturized.

What typically contributes to an off/nasty aftertaste?

Obviously time is a huge factor, but no cheeses were tested until at least the 3 month mark, but most were tested between 4--6 months. So they all had a chance to develop.

Does anyone every have problems with cheeses with a strong unpleasant aftertaste that was not intended? Was moisture an issue or was it something else.. bad culture etc??


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 01:12:46 PM »
@ Boofer
Thanks!  That helps explain it to me.  Always love looking at photos anyway.....   Um, now all I need is someone to take over the cheese washing/brushing/fondling part of the cheesemaking job.  I seem to get too busy at the milk producing end of the process (for example, barn chores, cleaning barn, animal care, pasture work, fencing, brush hogging fields, etc.) to have a lot left over for after-make care of cheeses.  Maybe I should see if my honey is interested in that end of it.  I think I'll ask him.  He'd be a natural at it.......he's careful, meticulous and focused.  And.....he's not so involved with the animal end of the system so it should be a natural fit.  They say a sign of civilization is division of labor, right?

Offline bbracken677

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 01:39:33 PM »
Hmm...I thought a sign of civilization was fast food?  Or wait...was it sliced bread?  No! It's mass produced beer!  No...wait...

Offline Tiarella

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2012, 01:43:49 PM »
Hmm...I thought a sign of civilization was fast food?  Or wait...was it sliced bread?  No! It's mass produced beer!  No...wait...

Um, not being a beer drinker I still can't imagine it's civilized to mass produce beer. It must be the sliced bread.

Offline Boofer

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2012, 01:58:51 AM »
@ Boofer
Thanks!  That helps explain it to me.  Always love looking at photos anyway.....   Um, now all I need is someone to take over the cheese washing/brushing/fondling part of the cheesemaking job.  I seem to get too busy at the milk producing end of the process (for example, barn chores, cleaning barn, animal care, pasture work, fencing, brush hogging fields, etc.) to have a lot left over for after-make care of cheeses.  Maybe I should see if my honey is interested in that end of it.  I think I'll ask him.  He'd be a natural at it.......he's careful, meticulous and focused.  And.....he's not so involved with the animal end of the system so it should be a natural fit.  They say a sign of civilization is division of labor, right?
Yeesh, I got tired out just reading all of that!  :P

I tip my hat (wait a minute while I put one on!) to you, Tiarella. A great many folks like you don't have the luxury of time that I seem to have to post. I would say getting your better half to assist would be a good thing (for you!).

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Offline Tiarella

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2012, 07:17:02 AM »

I tip my hat (wait a minute while I put one on!) to you, Tiarella. A great many folks like you don't have the luxury of time that I seem to have to post. I would say getting your better half to assist would be a good thing (for you!).
-Boofer-


HEY!!!!  Who says he's the better half????????   ::)  Isn't that rather rude?   ;)  I like to think of different but equal, personally.   :D

The payoff of to all the work is having lovely fresh raw milk that I can trust because I'm right there knowing the health of the herd, making all the decisions, health testing, etc.  It's a pretty sweet place to be and hard to leave the barn many days.  If you want to see some of it you can check out my little blog (not kept up to the minute with news at all but lots of glorious photos)  here:  http://foxmountainfarm.blogspot.com/  You'll see the sheep  (no, I won't milk them), goats, food, gardens, barn, adorable baby goats, my "other" half holding cute goats, my livestock guardian dogs, etc.  Do I love it all?  Yup!