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.