Author Topic: Stilton rind development?  (Read 1868 times)

Offline KurtBJC

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Stilton rind development?
« on: November 10, 2012, 03:14:34 PM »
Two weeks ago I started a Stiton-type cheese, using the Washington Cheese Guild Stilton Approximation recipe.  I used eight gallons of milk (this is the largest single cheese I've ever made) so as to get a cheese large enough to make the rind bear a reasonable proportion to the interior and to allow me to make it in as traditional a method as possible--minimal pressing, just enough to make up for the fact that it's small for a Stilton. 

The cheese has been looking and smelling great, and I'm optimistic that this is going well.  I'm seeking some tips regarding maintenance/development of the rind.

The environment for the cheese is just about perfect--55 degrees or so, humidity about 90% and highly consistent.  The rind has dried up somewhat and is partially covered in a very low, non-fuzzy blue mold; in other places it is whitish, and I'm not sure whether there's mold in those places or whether that's just the natural color of the cheese in its dry-rind condition.  When smoothing the curd after removing the cheese from the mold I wasn't quite able to seal up all of the cracks, especially up at the corners, but on the large flats of the ends and the main body of the wheel I was quite successful with that. 

The Stilton recipe from Washington Cheese Guild makes no mention of needing to do anything to the rind as it ages.  The Ricki Carroll recipe talks about scraping "mold and slime" off once a week.  It's fair to say that this cheese is not generating, and probably isn't likely to generate, anything one would call "slime" but the mold could, of course, be scraped or washed with brine, or what-have-you, if that's a good idea.

My inclination is to just do nothing to the rind at all.  But I really don't know what the best course is here and would much appreciate any guidance anyone can offer.   


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Online H-K-J

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 03:44:30 PM »
It looks fine I would just leave it alone, Stiltons are scary lookin at first especially your first one, temp and RH are right on.
I think it looks great :P
as long as your not getting any ammonia smells just keep doin what yer doin ^-^
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Offline KurtBJC

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 04:58:12 PM »
Thanks--that's what I've been figuring, but this is my first blue-mold-ripened cheese so I'm always glad to hear the voice of experience...have read some of your threads and it looks like you have had some very nice blues to be proud of.

The smell is still good.  Before the rind started to form up, the whole fridge (I've dedicated this one to blue-mold cheese aging only) smelled like a fresh chunk of Stilton.  Now that the rind has sealed it up a bit, it still smells like that but milder.  No ammonia smell or any other off-aroma, so far. 

I had a bear of a time, by the way, finding a mold for this cheese.  Ultimately I wound up buying an HDPE lab carboy and sawing the top and bottom off to make a cylinder.  Just about all the cheese molds I could find were too small for an 8-pound cheese, and food-grade buckets tend to be tapered (so that they can be stacked) which didn't seem like a good idea for a cheese that's got to be flipped repeatedly while still in the mold. 

Kurt

Offline KurtBJC

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2012, 03:15:11 PM »
Nine weeks or so in, an update:

The cheese is seemingly coming along well, and I am predicting a high level of general deliciousness.  I have one concern, which is, again, the rind.  I've kept it continuously in a 90% RH, 55 F environment, and for the last few weeks the exterior of the cheese has been nearly 100% covered with blue mold.  My expectation had been that this was going to die out a bit as the rind hardened up, and that I'd be left with something like the yellow/brown rind of a commercial Stilton, but I see no sign of that happening.  Is there something I should be doing for rind development, like washing this with a bit of salt solution or some such thing?  Looking at film of Stilton in commercial production, I see something like the finished rind condition by this age, and am wondering whether there's something I'm missing--some culture to be applied to the surface, or some change to the aging conditions to dry out the rind, or some such thing.

Thoughts?

Kurt
 

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2012, 03:18:09 PM »
Not having much experience with Stiltons, I do not really know what to tell you, other than if you want to blue to die off, perhaps decrease the hunidity level?

Otherwise, it might be ready for a taste test (core sample)  :)


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Online H-K-J

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2012, 04:04:50 PM »
If you wash the rind it is no longer a Stilton type, I have read this somewhere just don't remember where.
I have never washed any of my Stilton rinds, most of them stayed prity blue and green and white and grey and some brown, I never have hit the perfect Stilton rind But the cheese still turns out very very tasty tasty   :o
I did get some different white fuzzy lookin mold and just dabbed it with a little vinegar which took care of it.
I do think you might want to take a taste, My last one went ohmymmmmmmmgoood to holey crap is that buulloooie :o
It has toned down and sharpened up since we cut it up Now it is just MMMMmmmmmMMmmMmmMmGGOOOOOOD!!!!
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2012, 04:08:17 PM »
If you wash the rind it is no longer a Stilton type, I have read this somewhere just don't remember where.
I have never washed any of my Stilton rinds, most of them stayed prity blue and green and white and grey and some brown, I never have hit the perfect Stilton rind But the cheese still turns out very very tasty tasty   :o
I did get some different white fuzzy lookin mold and just dabbed it with a little vinegar which took care of it.
I do think you might want to take a taste, My last one went ohmymmmmmmmgoood to holey crap is that buulloooie :o
It has toned down and sharpened up since we cut it up Now it is just MMMMmmmmmMMmmMmmMmGGOOOOOOD!!!!



hahaha  now...I really HAVE to make one this coming week!  Thanks H-K-J for the inspiration  :)

Offline KurtBJC

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 11:38:39 PM »
Well, the rind never did change.  It stayed a low, fuzzy-looking (but not actually very fuzzy--very low-lying) blue mold color on the outside.  I did get a few spots of white mold a week ago, and wiped those off. 

Today we cut into it, and it's excellent cheese.  The veining looks great, the blue mold flavor is just right--not too mild, not too much.  The only issue at all is that I was aiming at a Stilton type and this is just a little bit (a LITTLE bit, really) too dry and crumbly.  Not dried out, by any means, but it isn't quite so creamy as a Stilton.  I had a bit of a mishap with an errant pH reading when making it, which caused me to rennet one vat (there were two four-gallon vats) of my milk quite early, and although the curd from that pot was fine, it was a bit drier than the pot that I renneted right on time.  Next time I do this, I'll avoid that little mishap, which should result in a moister curd, and I may tweak the salt slightly lower, too. 

But those are "detail" criticisms.  The cheese is great, and I'm very happy that this first run was a success.  Here's a photo--as soon as this was cut I knew this was going to be good...

Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 01:33:48 AM »
Very nice looking cheese and veins. Well done!
-Bill
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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 09:27:42 AM »
Good job, looks great :P
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 09:29:51 AM »
I am rather curious. Why wait to pierce the cheese? Why could you not pierce it, say, after air drying and right before placing it into your cave after a couple of days of airdrying? 

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 09:38:37 AM »
bb,
I did that on one of my first one's and then I read a bunch of stuff and started the wait time because of the information I had read.
It still turned out wonderful.
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2013, 09:45:51 AM »
It just seems to me that it should work and result in a more/better developed interior blue, since the interior and the exterior would develop at the same time, as opposed to waiting. I think I waited too long to pierce on one of my 2 blues in the cave. I cut small wedges for sampling the other day and one of them had that brown from the rind in it...not very tasty. Otherwise they were pretty decent, but both needed a bit more aging I felt. Thankfully in the wedge I cut, the brown was minimal.

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2013, 01:45:08 PM »
I think if you wait longer to pierce it, it buys you some time for the paste to mature before being "on the clock" with the blue flavor ever increasing.  I think mine might have been pierced too early bc it tastes a bit rough (paste maybe not as mature) with a strong blue flavor.  I can't really age it any more or else the blue taste will be too much.  I think piercing it earlier will get you a cheese with blue flavor quicker, but may not give you a better tasting cheese.  That is my theory which is heavily backed up by the experience of one blue make.  Ha ha!  :)

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Stilton rind development?
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2013, 06:47:24 AM »
That is my theory which is heavily backed up by the experience of one blue make.  Ha ha!  :)

haha  I am right there with ya, with the experience of 2 makes done a week or 2 apart.  :)

What you say does make sense...I think I pierced one of mine too late though and wound up with a few brown-mold-looking places in the piercings that have a distinct off flavor (looks kind of like the rind after all the blue and other molds have pretty much run their course)  The areas with just the blue veins tastes fine, although a bit youngish tasting.

I think the next blue I make will be pierced relatively soon after the exterior blue shows with good coverage and then no follow up piercings.