Author Topic: Castle Blue -- 2nd Failure?  (Read 500 times)

Offline dirigoma

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Castle Blue -- 2nd Failure?
« on: November 30, 2012, 09:46:15 AM »
I've tried the Castle Blue in '200 cheese's' twice, using my Nubian Goat's milk and heavy cream with Flora D, PV Roqueforte and single strength calf rennet. 

The first round set up beautifully, but the blue was slow to grow and then I had some temp fluctuations due to a new (old) wine fridge and it developed a slipskin feel.  The rind was very golden -- almost Geo like.  This cheese matures pretty quickly and I tasted one a week before it was ripe -- the inside tasted like Camembert, but was pleasant.  At full ripeness it was strong ammonia flavored (even after airing out) and my chickens ate it up.  I figured there was a moisture problem at the stirring the curds point, waiting for them to clump on the spoon.

The 2nd batch I was very careful to watch the curd clumping stage (see photos). The blue mold grew well, stayed firm (really watching temp and humidity).  After the 2nd piercing I noticed some bright yellow mold, which I hadn't seen before, and overall the rinds started turning more tan.  The only thing I found on bright yellow mold was issues around milk handling, but I've been making Camembert, Chevre and several aged cheeses, so think I have the cleanliness down.

Today at full ripening, they're tan, soft and sticky and smell strongly of ammonia (lids were ajar and aging boxes were wiped dry religiously with time to air out each day.)  The taste is good, but barely blue -- more like Camembert.  And the yellow rind coloring appears to be 'bleeding' into the interior after I cut it open.

I'd really like to succeed at this cheese, and I know folks have liked this recipe.  Any suggestions?

PS: my last batch of Camembert did have an issue with a damp gold rind as well but only common element was Flora D, which isn't expired and has been bagged separately from other cultures?
Milking Nubian Goats in western MA and trying my hand at fresh and aged cheeses


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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Castle Blue -- 2nd Failure?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 10:03:48 AM »
I am guessing that the one you mentioned that had a slipskin feel and had a problem with the cave temp experienced higher than nominal ripening temps?  If so, that could explain the ammonia.

What temps are you ripening your cheeses? Given that they are experiencing the ammonia issues, perhaps lowering the temp a few degrees would be good. I try to keep my cams ripening around 48F.

As far as the yellow mould...have never seen that, so I have no idea, nor what the effect on the cheese would be. Perhaps that is leading to the ammonia smell..?? Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can chime in here.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Castle Blue -- 2nd Failure?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 06:43:45 PM »
You could perhaps switch to a faster growing PR culture.
Also it looks like PC is growing on the rind and working on your paste making it very liquid (which is great if you can nail the blue veining and moisture)
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Offline dirigoma

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Re: Castle Blue -- 2nd Failure?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 09:12:22 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. 

My wine fridge tends to like 48 degrees, so if anything the cheese has been a bit cool, and I agree Tomer1, it looks like PC, but there is none in the recipe --  unless if could have picked up the white mold from the Valencay that went in with it midway, but I use those plastic shoe boxes and at that stage they were all closed to avoid cross contamination?  Now looking at the calendar, the gold rind started about the time I added Valencay and then Chaource to the fridge, though those cheeses didn't turn blue!

Do other folks mix blue and white molds (and B linens?) in the same refrigerator environment with success?

Thanks!
Milking Nubian Goats in western MA and trying my hand at fresh and aged cheeses

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Castle Blue -- 2nd Failure?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 05:38:56 AM »
I think there are too many factors at play to say.  air circulation,volume of the fridge, how sealed each mini cave containers are, the microbial enviroment of the fridge.
avoiding cross contamination is more a thing of luck in a small wine fridge IMO.
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