Author Topic: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????  (Read 1737 times)

Offline Boofer

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2012, 12:49:59 AM »
HEY!!!!  Who says he's the better half????????   ::)  Isn't that rather rude?   ;)  I like to think of different but equal, personally.   :D
Yow! Sorry, didn't mean to slight you.  :-[ Just a figure of speech.

Yeah, sounds like you're livin' large. Good on ya'.

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Offline MrsKK

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2012, 07:36:58 AM »
Rattman - You don't say how long you dried your cheeses before putting them in the mini-cave containers.  If you didn't air dry them first, that could be a part of the issue.    You say they all aged at least three months - which is about how long, tops, Lancashire should be aged.  You also say that you vac sealed at two months.  I vac seal most of my cheeses and make the decision regarding the timing of it based on the feel of the cheese.

My method for ageing cheese:  Air dry  on a mat at room temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, turning the cheese twice daily, until it is no longer wet.  A good description I read once was that it should feel like a damp handshake.  At that point, I put the cheese into a ripening container in my mini fridge, which is set to between 49-52 degrees Fahrenheit, variation due to room temperature variation.  Some cheeses are meant to stay in the ripening container for their entire ageing process, others only for a short time.  With Gouda, the recommended time is a week and I've noticed that it develops an almost-leathery thin rind during that time frame. 

While in the ripening container, the cheese should be turned daily for a week, then weekly thereafter.  Brush off any molds that develop and wipe out any accumulated moisture in the container.  If it beads up on the sides, try leaving the container open just a crack for better air circulation.

For cheeses that have been removed from the ripening container, watch for signs of too rapid drying, such as getting a thicker rind or cracks.  A light coating of butter or lard or a light brushing of olive oil will help slow down the drying.  Continue to remove unwanted mold growth.

I make the decision to vac seal based on the status of the cheese.  When I'm turning on a weekly basis and there's no difference in dampness between the bottom and top of the cheese, it is ready to be sealed.  If I have cut into a cheese, I vac seal it, as long as it doesn't seem to be damp in the middle.  With Lancashire, I cut it and vac seal at around the 2-3 month mark because it has hit its flavor peak by then.  At that point, Lancashire gets stored in the regular refrigerator and the colder temps slow down the degradation of the flavor.

Cheeses that seep whey inside vac seal pacs are not ready to be vac sealed.  Remove them ASAP and allow to dry at room temperature, then return to the ripening cave.  Vac sealing while they have that much moisture in them results in sour, nasty flavored cheese.

Boofer gives great advice on hammering away at one variety of cheese until you get the make down and are understanding the why's and wherefore's of the process.  It sounds boring, but in reality, it is the best way to learn cheesemaking without a lot of wasted product.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2012, 12:44:56 PM »
MrsKK,  Thank you!  I was just wishing that one of the experienced cheeses would put all together a bunch of suggestions to help newbies make those decisions.  Your post is very helpful.

  I was envisioning a feature almost like keying out a plant to ID it.  you know, it'd kind of be like this: Is this cheese a soft cheese?  If yes, go on to question_______.  If no, go to the hard cheese section at question ________.  And in my vision there would be sections that could help a new person assess options when the cheese they pull out of their cave has mold on it; generic suggestions but also a list of the tradition for particular varieties such as, The following cheeses are oiled, see timing after each variety.  Or, the following cheeses are traditionally allowed to develop a natural hard rind with a mix of opportunistic local molds.  if you wish to avoid this here are some suggestions with notes about how each might impact flavor, texture and maturation timing.

Anyway...... I really appreciate how you put that info!

Offline Boofer

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2012, 10:02:21 PM »
I think I've read somewhere in the forum that you shouldn't vacuum-seal cheeses like Reblochon or maybe Camembert. I just wanted to throw in that I have successfully sealed wedges of Reblochon to prevent further loss of moisture once they've matured. That makes it easier to pull out a precut portion of soft-ripened cheese. Yum!

-Boofer-
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Offline MrsKK

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2012, 12:19:17 PM »
MrsKK,  Thank you!  I was just wishing that one of the experienced cheeses would put all together a bunch of suggestions to help newbies make those decisions.  Your post is very helpful.

  I was envisioning a feature almost like keying out a plant to ID it.  you know, it'd kind of be like this: Is this cheese a soft cheese?  If yes, go on to question_______.  If no, go to the hard cheese section at question ________.  And in my vision there would be sections that could help a new person assess options when the cheese they pull out of their cave has mold on it; generic suggestions but also a list of the tradition for particular varieties such as, The following cheeses are oiled, see timing after each variety.  Or, the following cheeses are traditionally allowed to develop a natural hard rind with a mix of opportunistic local molds.  if you wish to avoid this here are some suggestions with notes about how each might impact flavor, texture and maturation timing.

Anyway...... I really appreciate how you put that info!

Yeah, it would be nice, but there are so many varieties of cheese and so many variables that I think it would be a massive task and could probably never cover all of the bases.

Just keep asking questions, we're a pretty helpful group.


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2012, 02:43:26 PM »
You all are an EXTREMELY helpful group!  Maybe someday during some blizzards I'll try to glean a bunch of that info and put it together into some form that people can add to and/or edit for correctness and it can be posted somewhere.  I appreciate the sprouted fodder leads you posted on that other thread.  I've been reading through those. 

Offline Susie

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Re: 5 Monophilic cheeses all horrible... one thermophilic cheese delicious????
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2012, 10:08:56 PM »
I'm sorry you've had such a terrible time getting started in cheesemaking. I'm new to it myself, but have had some success and little failure. I think I've been lucky. (knocking on wood as I type) I did have one cheese with a bad aftertaste, and I think it was from too much rennet. I've had a few instances where the curd was too dry. Are you taking detailed notes when you make a cheese? I'm using the flocculation method and that has allowed me to see that my curd sets up too quickly. As a result, I have slowly lowered both cultures and rennet in effort to achieve a normal set time. As I do this, things are improving with each make. And, as some have suggested, I am now focused on one type of cheese until I get it the way I want it. I'm almost there and plan to branch out this winter.

I have tried waxing and I have tried vacuum sealing. I'm currently trying some with a natural rind. I definitely smelled a "sour" smell with a couple of vacuum sealed cheeses but it improved after letting them air for a couple of hours. Haven't had that problem with waxed cheeses, although I had mold under the wax on one. The natural rind seems to be the easiest to maintain (for me) so far, but I haven't had a chance to taste that one yet. It looks and smells great though!

Keep your chin up and keep making cheese. Take tons of notes, including notes on when you tasted what and how you perceive the taste and texture. Believe me, it's helpful in the long run to be able to look back at all that info.