Author Topic: So What's in the Wash?  (Read 2204 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2012, 11:50:31 AM »
Thank you for your storm wishes, Herman!  I think we'll be okay here.  We do have trees close enough to hit the house if they fall just the right way but the wind is going a different direction.  I'll attach a photo of the view out our kitchen window a couple of days ago.
 
A question for you:  how do you keep your cheeses mold-free.  I think it was you who made a really great and beautiful Vaca de Vino  (maybe I spelled that wrong?) and it was PERFECT looking!  I don't want to wax this cheese  (I have beeswax only)  because I don't want mold to regrow under the wax.  I'd like to keep it mold free......some wild blues got to it and I tried patting it down and rubbing it but it wasn't working.  I finally did a complete wash over the sink and if I remember correctly I finally oiled it with olive oil in desperation.  What do YOU do? 


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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 03:52:05 PM »
I'm not the one you asked the question but,

I would wash the cheese with alcohol. ya, I'm all about alcohol with my cheeses I know (don't hardly ever drink any, so I need to use it for something:P

One thought I had, for a future honey cheese, might you consider instead of using straight honey to use mead? Mead is fermented honey, after all.

Rubbing the cheese with something with a mild alcohol content will kill just about anything growing on it (except, apparently, b. linens and geo)

My whole washing approach is to wash the cheese surface with something that will more or less disinfect the surface, and kill off anything but what I want to grow (b. linens) and maybe add some flavor tones while I am at it. The theory here is actually kind of like pickling -you could say I am almost pickling my cheese. With pickling, you suspend the food in a solution that is inhospitable to all but a few select organisms, and those organisms that survive are the ones that grow and preserve the food (the vinegar doesn't do anything to preserve the food, pickling is actually a fermentation process)

I have been toying around with the idea of washes that will encourage other native organisms and discourage the ones I don't want. I'd like to find a wash practice that lets white mold grow but won't let blue (because I would like to make molded surface cheeses without introducing a mold culture, just work with what is wild) unfortunately the only things I have found that do this also encourage yeast, which I don't want. But I don't know a whole lot about getting mold to grow, just how to stop it.
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline Tiarella

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 04:44:31 PM »
I coated my honey/leaf cheese with olive oil after a few days.  I think I've done olive oil twice on it now.  I am just going to muddle through it and see what I can do with it.  I don't want to ruin the leaves and whatever impact they create.  I like the idea though of using alcohol for washes to keep mold off.  I didn't have much luck with salt/vinegar/water washes and I buy brandy by the case as preservative for my flower essences so I always have it around.  How often do you wash.......

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 05:02:51 PM »
I wash daily for 10 days, then once or twice a week for a few months, then not at all.

The first 10 days is to harden and preserve the rind so that it can dry out without cracking, as well as to condition it against the growth of mold.

The weakly washings after this are light maintenance to keep molds off while it is drying out.

After the washing cycle is over, the rind should be an inhospitable place for mold to grow and you should not have to worry about it.

During the first washing stage, you should get a slimy, pasty cheese that's really kind of nasty if you are not used to it. Here B. linens are developing, and the paste is serving to seal off the inside of the cheese from the rest of the world.

After the washing is over and done with, you might eventually get some geo dusting going on. This all depends on your environment. I don't know of any way to stop geo once it gets started, but I really wouldn't fret it personally.

The leaves, however, throw me for a bit of a loop. I Can't say exactly how they will act with washing, but I am just assuming they will act just about like an herb rub.

Another thing you could try is a dry salt rub. Just take some pure salt (like canning salt) and rub it all over with your hands very thoroughly, and then take a brush and brush it well in the surface. This will pretty pretty hard on anything trying to live on the surface. Some Alpkäse is made like this, rubbing with salt and then rubbing with some b. linens. instead of washing with the wine brine.
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline Tiarella

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2012, 08:18:27 PM »
Hmmm.  That is a lot of useful things to think about, thank you.  So how does the first series of washings harden the rind ifnit's creating a kind of nasty, slippery mess?   :-\   Or does the hardening start once there is more drying time after the first series of washes?  Have you tried a nut flavored Liquer?  Or is fruit usually best in your opinion?


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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2012, 09:07:12 PM »
I am after fruity or herbal flavors. No need to add nuttiness, as my cheeses have that flavor naturally. Although a hazelnut Raclette could have a certain appeal...

It's kind of hard to explain how the first washing works, you just have to do it and you will see. A slime forms on the surface, but at the same time the rind underneath is developing as it absorbs salt and herbs and as the b. linens do their work. It seems to me that the cream doesn't really dry off as much as it is absorbed back into the cheese.

What is really nice is during the aging period when the rind really develops in its more or less dry state and turns a wonderful deep golden brown color (or deep orange, depending on what you wash it with) An aged loaf with a mature washed rind is to me the best looking cheese there is.
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2012, 08:05:54 PM »
Can anyone tell me what they are using to wash with?  Cheesecloth, a brush?  Do you throw away the cheesecloth or clean it?  I wish I could just use paper towel, but that leaves paper fibers.  I was just spraying on the wash and now I realize that was the wrong technique since it is called "washing" and not "glazing" or whatever I was doing.  ;)

Any tips would be appreciated!

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2012, 08:33:49 PM »
A very soft brush, check out Alp's recommendations, very informative
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Offline Boofer

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2012, 04:31:23 PM »
Can anyone tell me what they are using to wash with?  Cheesecloth, a brush?  Do you throw away the cheesecloth or clean it?  I wish I could just use paper towel, but that leaves paper fibers.  I was just spraying on the wash and now I realize that was the wrong technique since it is called "washing" and not "glazing" or whatever I was doing.  ;)

Any tips would be appreciated!
Here's what member anutcanfly steered me to. Cosmetic wipes. They work well and don't shed. Before that, I was using 2" x 2" gauze pads (as in bandages). The wipe is thrown away after use.

If I have a lot of actual cleaning to do, I'll use a soft, dedicated (only used for cheese) brush. I keep the brush, but wash it. ;)

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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2012, 06:03:52 PM »
H-K-J: I went back and he does mention the soft brush, but it wasn't too obvious for me.  ;)  I will pick up one along with a harder brush and some cosmetic wipes.  I can see the need for all three depending on whether developing a "Schmier", doing chemical warfare with mold, or just straight out going nuclear on it.  ;)

Boofer: Thanks, you are a fountain of info.  Love your cheeses! 


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: So What's in the Wash?
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2012, 08:49:32 PM »
Andreas,  I got a dozen of these surgical brushes.  They have soft bristles and I think you can boil them to sterilize.  Good for washing hands before cheese making too!  I also have a stiff bamboo bristle brush that I use on cheeses that I want to dry brush to rid of mold.