Author Topic: Vacherin Fribourgeois  (Read 2877 times)

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2012, 08:11:46 AM »
Looks nice at least!  I know I have been making mistakes too, but I figure we all make them in the beginning.  I just wish I could figure out which mistakes I am making!  I want to try a Reblochon too, but would like to try something other than a washed rind for the next couple cheeses. 


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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2013, 02:48:27 PM »
I went to wash this cheese last night and the rind on both sides looked good in color, but I have splits all over the rind from the wide spaced grid.  ...and I was going to put the finer mesh down last night!  In fact, the rind stuck to the grid and came off in a couple of spots. 

From what Alp said, I thought the rind was supposed to get tougher with the washing, but mine just got softer.  I wonder if my was too wet -- especially this last wash. 

I ended up vac bagging it because I didn't feel the rind would repair itself and I will be on vacation for 10 days in another week.  I didn't wash the b linens off like I did with my Raclette because it doesn't look contaminated at all.  I also want the b linens flavor.  I hope it turns out ok.  I have another 40 days of ripening.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2013, 04:28:34 PM »
I have 2 washed rind cheeses that I was attempting Alp's idea with and those first two I didn't really have the full picture yet of what he was suggesting so I messed those up and had some rind dry out and pull away on the grid area similar to yours.  The last washed rind I did  (#3) I did the washing from the beginning and kept doing it and a lovely pastey and stinky cream resulted that turned a lovely peach color.  Sometimes it almost smells like cured meat when I open the box. I'm not sure what to do next.......I've been letting it dry a bit and I'm not sure if that's correct or not.  There has never been even a hint of mold on it and I love that aspect of this method.  Everything else is a battle of the wild blue stuff.  I'll attach photo.  It's a slippery cheese but somehow a nice tactile sensation to rub it.  The photos shows it on day 64  (even though title says day 34.  got confused.)

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2013, 04:45:51 PM »
Tiarella:  Similar to you, I made two Raclettes that were failures on the washed rind aspect (and others!).  This VR looked really quite good and like you I had no problem keeping it from contamination.  I think at some point you are supposed to stop washing it and it is supposed to dry out.  When that is depends on how strong a flavor from the b linens you want and the rind thickness.  I wonder about the cured meat smell -- I had a smell of meat and a slimey pink rind on my last Raclette and I think it was yeast.  Check out this thread: http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10515.msg81038.html#msg81038

I think a little of that yeast might be ok, but mine was off-putting. 

I think some of my problem was that I have been keeping the ripening container completely closed.  I think this is a good thing early on since the b linens needs high humidity to get established, but it seems to get the rind too soft after a while.  So, while a good gooey schmier is great when it will dry out a bit in a moderate humidity, but a drier schmier might be better if aged in higher humidity.  Of course, I'm just making hypotheses on my limited experience!  :)

Yours looks great though, Tiarella!

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2013, 10:08:18 PM »
I will repeat the advice here I posted elsewhere.

Discard the box, it will only do more harm than good.
Get a piece of wood, and keep the cheese on it. You must rely on the washing to maintain the proper surface moisture of the cheese, not air humidity. It is best to have an RH of around 85%, yes, however the methods for a washed rind will work anywhere above say 65-70% RH.

It is imperative that the cheese be allowed to breathe. Your cheese is not breathing, that is why you get whatever is producing a meat smell (yeast, maybe?) It should smell like wet socks, not old meat. This is also why your rind is so weak, it never has a chance to develop properly. It needs air for this. The rind-forming bacteria are aerobic, and by keeping them in a box like this your are limiting their oxygen supply and also trapping any gasses that might harm them (like ammonia, and co2)

Remember that as a rind form and as the cheese develops in general it produces heat and gasses as a result of the various chemical changes occurring. This is why I don't like to see cheeses in a box.
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser


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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2013, 10:26:01 PM »
Alp: I hear you.  It is a little late now, though.  :)  I do appreciate your expertise!  I will definitely do the next washed rind differently.  Maybe I'll only have to do 6 cheeses do start doing it close to right...?  If so, that's probably not that bad considering how long it takes an apprentice to be a cheese master.  Not that I'll be a master....

My mini fridge is at a low RH right now because of the Winter season.  If I remember correctly it is around 50%.  So, I do need a box or something to raise RH.  I can certainly put wood inside the box.  This cheese does not smell meaty.  The last Raclette did.  The rind on this cheese is pretty darn soft though and obviously doesn't have a robust rind.  I think the flavors might be ok, but the consistency will very definitely be off. 

I'm slowly learning as I go.  I'm hoping my Caerphilly turns out ok, but we will see.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2013, 10:32:52 PM »
I can try it without a box in the wine fridge.  My basement air is not clean enough to leave cheese out and is also extremely dry.  I can't humidify the entire basement without other impacts that would be negative.  Too much is stored down there and we sometimes can have mildew problems already so I'm not going to add moisture.  The air everywhere is dry but I can put it in the fridge without box and open the door daily to exchange air.

Thanks for you continued support and trouble shooting as we learn the alpine methods, Alp!


Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2013, 08:42:43 PM »
Well, let's put this one in the failure column.  It had a good start, at least.  I came back from vacation and the cheese had mostly turned to mush with a lot of liquid and air in the vac bag.  I'm not sure how that happened.  It was a little wet when I put it in the vac bag.  I should have dried it.  Heck, it should have been drier in the first place.  I am pretty excited to try yet one more washed rind to see if I can do it right. 

My co-op finally got the VR in, so I bought some.  Even inside the plastic wrap I can safely say it is one of the stinkiest cheeses I have ever smelled (aside from Limburger).  The cheese guy said that this wheel was funkier than any he had received before, but that people liked the taste of the paste.  (They are always giving out samples of cheeses when you go there.)  I have not braved to open it yet, but probably this weekend. 

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2013, 07:02:57 AM »
Please do post your taste impressions!  maybe include photos?   :). One of my washed curd with this rubbed rind treatment came out very nice!  Another was a bit under salted.  The pink one is still waiting.

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2013, 01:27:22 PM »
Photos...oops.  :-/  I still have half of it left.  It was delicious.  I had a few bites plain and it is soft, smooth, slightly creamy and flavorful.  I don't know how to describe the taste, but super nutty?  Just nutty in the beginning through end and then it lingers a long while.  Similar to a Gruyere, but it is a softer cheese than any Gruyere I've eaten.  Then, I used it to make fondue.  I tasted just it and some wine and it was ridiculously good (or maybe I was just hungry).  It doesn't have any thickness when it is melted as it just makes the wine creamy.  I added tiny bit of garlic, Jarlsberg (I meant to grab Emmentaler  at the store), fresh ground nutmeg, and a little corn starch.  The corn starch makes the two cheeses meld into a thick sauce whereas without it you have a runny sauce and a thick melted cheese.  I had it with some crusty french bread.  Adding the Jarlsberg improved the texture but diluted the VF flavor.  It was still quite tasty. 

I'd love to take another stab at this cheese down the road.  I'm not sure how close I could get to this flavor.  The nice thing is that it probably ripens faster than Gruyere since it is more moist.


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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2013, 02:31:39 PM »
Oh, and I wanted to mention that it wasn't that stinky when I opened it up.  In the plastic wrap it had a really strong funky smell.  I had a friend smell it (before I opened it) and he said it smelled like....err, a "satchel"....  A)