Author Topic: Crottin - 2nd attempt  (Read 1555 times)

Offline kairos

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Crottin - 2nd attempt
« on: October 10, 2012, 10:23:38 AM »
Hi everyone,

This is my first post so please be gentle with me!  ;)
I started making cheese for the first time back in the summer.
After a couple of batches of (dull) fresh cheese I started to be a bit more adventurous.
I made some Camembert and then some crottins.
I am now on my second batch of crottins, trying to incorporate the lessons I've learned from before and reading these boards.

I would be grateful if you could check my 'learning':

1) My camemberts were delicious but the outside was very ripe and the inside only just. The white fluff was very thick. I had ripened them at around 12 Deg and I now think this was two warm. I should have waited until they were just covered in mould and then moved them to cooler place for the remainder of ripening. Is that right?

2) My crottins were too wet and never really dried out. This time I predrained the curds and they seem just right. HOWEVER (and this is where I would really value some advice)...They developed a creamy mould (yeast, I know) after about 5-6 days in my 12 deg ripening box. I could see that things were getting runny under the surface so i moved them to my fridge (6 degs roughly). The PC has now began to grow a little in those areas BUT for some reason, one end of the crottin has not been touched by mould at all. Looks like pure white cream cheese! I salted them all over and they have been turned and patted regularly. Any thoughts?

I would be grateful for any advice as I have come to realise that the quality of advice from these boards is way more useful than anything in any of the books!

Many thanks,

Stuart.



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Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 06:37:56 PM »
Quote
1) My camemberts were delicious but the outside was very ripe and the inside only just. The white fluff was very thick. I had ripened them at around 12 Deg and I now think this was two warm. I should have waited until they were just covered in mould and then moved them to cooler place for the remainder of ripening. Is that right?
Generally I think this means that you had too much acid development when you were making the cheese and/or you didn't get enough moisture out before hooping.  Try stirring a bit more before hooping and maybe hoop a little earlier.  Ideally you don't want to hoop less than a curd pH of ~6.2 if you don't want a runny cam.
Quote
2) My crottins were too wet and never really dried out. This time I predrained the curds and they seem just right. HOWEVER (and this is where I would really value some advice)...They developed a creamy mould (yeast, I know) after about 5-6 days in my 12 deg ripening box. I could see that things were getting runny under the surface so i moved them to my fridge (6 degs roughly). The PC has now began to grow a little in those areas BUT for some reason, one end of the crottin has not been touched by mould at all. Looks like pure white cream cheese! I salted them all over and they have been turned and patted regularly. Any thoughts?
I struggle with this cheese too.  Again runny cheese = too much acid and/or not enough moisture removed from curd prior to hooping.  PC doesn't like wetness so I guess that is why it won't be growing.  Put your cheeses in the cold room for a couple of days first to try and dry them out then put in the maturing room, and again for 48 hours before wrapping.  These are just my suggestions so if anyone else has ideas please throw them in.  NV.

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 07:23:55 PM »

Generally I think this means that you had too much acid development when you were making the cheese and/or you didn't get enough moisture out before hooping.  Try stirring a bit more before hooping and maybe hoop a little earlier.  Ideally you don't want to hoop less than a curd pH of ~6.2 if you don't want a runny cam.


Actually....the traditional method doesn't involve the removal of whey prior to hooping. The curds are uncut and simply ladled into the forms.

If too acidic then perhaps too much starter culture or perhaps too long a ripening period.

At what temperature did you age your cams, kairos?

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 07:44:09 PM »
Predrain in a warm room, dry salt to 2-2.2% of the weight , hoop and transfer to your cave without covering to allow the cheese to firm\dry up some more. turn daily, after 3-4 days you can usually unmold it and put in a high humidity ripening box to fuzz up. 

Some do geo alone and get this cool worm like skin.  it suppose to taste really good in the Geo only version too. 
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Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 08:50:17 PM »
How do you predrain?  In a cloth bag?  And when you say 'hoop' do you really mean to push the curd into the form to give it shape, then knock it back out again?  Thanks.  NV.


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 09:29:35 PM »
Quote
1) My camemberts were delicious but the outside was very ripe and the inside only just. The white fluff was very thick. I had ripened them at around 12 Deg and I now think this was two warm. I should have waited until they were just covered in mould and then moved them to cooler place for the remainder of ripening. Is that right?
Generally I think this means that you had too much acid development when you were making the cheese and/or you didn't get enough moisture out before hooping.  Try stirring a bit more before hooping and maybe hoop a little earlier.  Ideally you don't want to hoop less than a curd pH of ~6.2 if you don't want a runny cam.

How do you figure NimbinValleyDairy? I would think if anything it's not acidic enough so the surface is too close to neutral from the beginning and the geo grows too fast. Why would you hoop at 6.2pH? It's very neutral and would miss some of that deeper tang flavor. The early acidity in Camembert is very important for texture development because it detaches calcium which releases the whey.

I think Kairos has a good conclusion actually.  My suggestion it to pat the cheese often, reduce moisture a tad (92%) and refrigerate it earlier. What Kairos is describing sounds like a typical overpromotion of geo which often ends with ammonia, slipping skin and receding PC. I often compare it to frying a thick piece of chicken on very high heat only to end up with a charred piece on the outside that is still bloody red in the center.  Cooking common sense would tell us that if we lower the heat a bit the chicken wouldn't burn outside and the inside will cook through while still remaining moist. Applying this principle to surface-ripened cheese makes sense because just like that chicken -it "cooks" from the outside inwards.   

2) My crottins were too wet and never really dried out. This time I predrained the curds and they seem just right. HOWEVER (and this is where I would really value some advice)...They developed a creamy mould (yeast, I know) after about 5-6 days in my 12 deg ripening box. I could see that things were getting runny under the surface so i moved them to my fridge (6 degs roughly). The PC has now began to grow a little in those areas BUT for some reason, one end of the crottin has not been touched by mould at all. Looks like pure white cream cheese! I salted them all over and they have been turned and patted regularly. Any thoughts?
This happens sometimes. Best advice is to rub more vigorously to rind particles from other areas in the cheese will plant themselves in the bold spot.  Sometimes salting the area helps dry and rind it too but be careful because too much salt could deter the Geo from developing. Some Geo strains can resist salt better than others.
But really, the most important thing is to get them VERY acidic, and then dry them A LOT!!! They always seem drier than they really are. Pre-drain for at least 6 hours and begin the aging period in the aging container without a lid. This will help the slow  development of a nice thin ideal rind and prevent these bold spots.

A good crottin is rustic and the rind is often not very homogenous. PC can be spotty while the Geo is more dominant, but it's dry enough not to be gooey or ammoniated. Opposite of Camembert, as Crottin gets older it shouldn't become more gooey/ripe/ammoniated but instead turn drier and harder. This could only happen if it's dry enough in the beginning.

Great to have you here Stuart!  Usually posting photos when troubleshooting can give you much better answers from people.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 03:50:48 PM by iratherfly »

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 06:23:37 AM »
How do you predrain?  In a cloth bag?  And when you say 'hoop' do you really mean to push the curd into the form to give it shape, then knock it back out again?  Thanks.  NV.
Yep.  I drain at about 4.7-4.8 into a cloth.  when dry enough as yoav said I compact it into a form. 
I leave it there for a few more days as its still too wet to hold its shape and it makes it easier to handle. 
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 06:36:25 AM »
Tomer, are you saying that you predrain Camambert?  Every recipe I've read has the curd ladled directly into forms.  If you predrain, don't you end up with a solid dense brick?  That is what happened to me when I pre drained a Valencay and they feel like I could build something with them!   :D. Not totally hard but very dense and it's difficult for me to believe that they will ripen/ soften.

@ iratherfly, how do I know how long to predrain if I don't have pH meter?  I'm thinking of Valencay and Crottin on this question.  remember I'm using raw milk from Nigerian Dwarf goats and the solids percentage is higher than most milks......not sure if that makes a difference. 

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2012, 08:30:55 AM »
Arent we talking about crotin? (semi lactic).   With camambert I usually cut, not ladle directly but I dont use CAM molds so it works for me.

Quote
how do I know how long to predrain if I don't have pH meter?
What culture are you using? Usually It reachs tartget after 16-24 hours, depending on temp when a layer of whay apears on top of the curd mass.   Predrain for about 10-12 hours untill it has the consistancy of cream cheese (you need to mix it from time to time as drain holes clug if you use a tight weave bag).
You can drain in your cheese cave if you fear it will over acidify. (reach below 4.40)
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2012, 10:37:10 AM »
Hi Tomer,  Camembert was mentioned so that is why I got confused.  So, about the pre draining....I did that for one Valencay style and then it feels weird to be packing that cream cheese texture into molds.  Is that really what it's like?  And do the cheeses firm up and hold together with structural integrity?  I was unsure about that part when I did it.

I forget which culture I was using and I'm finally sitting down with my tea so I'm not getting up to find my make notes....  :).  With my raw goat milk it was looking done long before I expected it to.  Curd pulled away from sides of pot, cracks in top of curd, inch of whey on top......I was shocked how fast it went. 


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2012, 04:42:55 PM »
Quote
And do the cheeses firm up and hold together with structural integrity?  I was unsure about that part when I did it.
Yes, it begins to form a rind aswell which hold all that soft paste together and later you mold development.
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 09:54:06 PM »
How fast was it?  What did you use for starter culture? Use less and let it take its time.

Offline kairos

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 01:37:02 AM »
Well here is the last of my Crottins.
It is now 7 weeks old and if it is anything like the others it will be delicious.
The paste at the centre is still a tad on the 'fudgy' side to be considered perfect - I guess the curds could have drained even longer.
Today i'm having a second go at St Marcellin.
Thanks for advice and help!

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 04:40:29 AM »
Let us have a look on the inside :)
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Crottin - 2nd attempt
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 04:16:04 PM »
By the looks of it - seems like the PC has receded and Geo took over so you may have strong ammonia in it (especially at 7 weeks).

This should typically be ripened with Geo (little or no PC) but it must be drier to keep the Geo in check.  Eventually it shrinks more and more and becomes harder and darker.  If it keeps the same shape and size and the changes you see are receding PC and bloom that is primarily darker creamy color, and the cheese is getting softer - chances are your humidity is too high. Avoid aging them like a Camembert; instead aim that at 7 weeks they would be small, dark, hard grating cheeses.  If you follow that path, your 2, 3 and 4 week old examples will also feel, look and taste better.