This is my first make for a Fourme d'Ambert, which I have been chomping at the bit to make for some time ever since I tasted one. Will post pics tomorrow. Such a delicious aroma!
Fourme d’ Ambert
Starting milk pH: 6.7
P/F ratio: .89
Rennet: 6.6 pH
Brine or salt: 4.5 - 4.7
Flocc multiplier: 4.5
2 gallon whole milk, pasteurized at 145F, non-homogenized.
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4th tsp. Flora Danica
1/16th tsp. PRB 6
3/8th tsp. CACL (if pasteurized)
1/4th tsp. liquid veal rennet (18 drops)
Heat milk to 90°F, stir in cultures. Let ripen, maintaining temperature, for an hour or until pH drops by .1
Stir in CACL and then rennet.
Flocculation time: 20 minutes...seems the difference between raw and the creamline I am using results in a flocc difference of about 5 minutes. I typically get 15 min. with raw.
Using a 4.5x factor, calculate amount of time to wait before cutting: 90 mins.
Cut curds to ½ inch. Curds seemed a bit delicate, so I cut them to 1 inch initially, and while stirring reduced them in size.
Maintain 90°F, occasionally stirring gently for 1 hour 20 minutes until curds are small and firm and pH reaches 6.2. Took about an hour...slightly less
Remove whey down to surface of curds, reserving 1 gallon whey for brine.
Ladle curds into a prepared sterilized mold.
Mold sits on a small needlepoint mat which is placed in a small kettle for pressing. Pressing will be done in the kettle using the Dutch press at 2 psi. Once all curds are in the mold, press for 1 hour, redress, and press for 8 additional hours.
After pressing, remove the cheese from the mold and brine it for 4 hours, flip it, and brine for 4 more hours. Or, alternatively, weigh sufficient salt to provide 50 g of salt per kg of cheese. Salt the cheese by rubbing the salt on all surfaces.
Dry the cheese at 85% RH and 75F for 24 hours, or place the cheese on plastic mats in plastic tubs with the lids partially open to allow some drying off of the cheese, and store at 75F for 24 hr. Had to put mine in a mini cave to get the appropriate RH.
Pierce it with a skewer (I use a wooden one, about 3/16” diameter) every inch or so. I will be piercing less for a milder blue flavor.
Store the cheese at 90- 95% RH and 50F for 6 - 8 weeks in ripening containers. Turn every day for several days and then turn once a week. The pH should increase to 6.0 - 6.25 after 8 weeks.