Author Topic: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking  (Read 1170 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« on: December 02, 2012, 09:33:04 PM »
This is a goat version of a sort of Reblochon that had some make issues.  All has been going well. but perhaps I'm not being so good with noticing how dry winter air is around here.  This one has cracked suddenly.  One of it's mates from the same make has some peeling of the outer bit of rind.....the thin part that formed as part of the wash.  It is NOT the whole thickness of rind....more like paint peeling.  I'm sure it's my fault and all about moisture.  (although I've been sure and wrong before!)   The boxes do have a bit of moisture in the bottom but not much. I've been giving them too much ventilation to air out because they were getting a bit too stinky and one box even had some ammonia smell.  These are aging in a small cold room in my cellar.  I've been opening and closing the window to control temps.  Airing these out just gave them too much dry air I guess. 

What should I do?  I can wash them again with a brine mix and close the box.  I can vacuum seal although one of them is pretty big and I'm not sure it'll fit in a bag without cutting in half.  I could do a very experimental thing and coat with raw honey to draw moisture in.  P.S.  check out those colors!  Not sure what they are but they look pretty to me.


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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 01:50:36 PM »
Colors are very nice! As far as I can see a mix of Geo and BL. How old is the cheese? I suggest the best thing that you can do is: Eat it !
- Herman -

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 08:43:43 PM »
Oh Herman, I am SO tempted.  It was made 11/1 so it is not old yet but the middle feels nicely a bit soft when I palpate it.  The edges have been hard but maybe that isn't a sign of not being ripe but rather a sign of dry air.   Do you think 33 days is too young?  I did a wild choice and put honey/water mix on it last night and put a teaspoon of water in the bottom of the box.  The honey wash has helped rehydrate the cheese.  Yes, the cracks are still visible but it is much better and wouldn't those wild growths of Geo and BL out compete almost anything.  In fact, it smells a bit strong and if I was wild mold I'd look for somewhere else to call home! ;D  I think I will cut it open......I have 3 from that batch.  I may cut open a smaller one also.  That one I wrapped in birch bark when the sides began to soften.  I was concerned it might soften too much. 

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 10:36:07 AM »
Not too young to trie it, I tried the first after about 4 weeks. I noticed with the Cabra al Vino's I made that goat cheeses seem to end up dryer than cheeses from cow milk. I just lowered the temperature of my cave because the Reblochon and Cambozola's are getting softer and I want to keep some for Christmas (:> = Santa smiley
- Herman -

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 10:42:24 AM »
Okay!   ;D  I have my marching orders it appears!  I will put them at room temp for a few hours  (still in their boxes because the house air is dry due to heating with wood) and then I will cut 1 or 2 or 3 of the rebs open.  They are all different sizes so opening one will not tell me about the others.  Next make I have molds of the same size so I can open one for testing, knowing that the others are at the same stage. 

I promise to post photos.  By the way, the honey idea to rehydrate the rind worked really well!  I highly recommend it! 


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 07:21:35 PM »
Oh, honey!

You're so sweet... :)

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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 07:45:36 PM »
Boof!  Thanks for helping me find my thread to post photos!!!   ;D  Here are photos of the small and medium Reb style.  Remember, this is loosely a make of Reb.  I don't remember what went wrong but there were some circumstances....sigh.  The sad thing is I'm not yet sure if I like this.  Don't have anything to put it on and I like some aspects of the taste when eaten straight up but I'm just not sure.  I think I'm going to like it.....it has to talk it over a bit more with my taste buds.  Okay, onto the pics.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 02:59:09 PM »
That orange-colored rind may be keeping you from enjoying the cheese. Perhaps this is one that needed to be washed under cool tap water to remove the linens. Either that, or just slice off the rind when eating.

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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 06:41:38 AM »
Hi Boof,  It's strange.....the rind is rather nice.  The taste of the rind is fine....it's the overall taste when I eat this cheese plain.  I like it okay on a cracker and will probably love it on sourdough bread also.  The smell isn't strong but it's not wonderful and I do like wonderful!   ;)  It might do well ripened some more.  I did try cutting the rind off the first day but it's the overall flavor that although mild, is not my favorite. 

On another note, I opened a smallish wheel from a batch of Brie and it's a lovely Camambrie, just like I used to buy at the local coop.  A New England dairy  (can't remember which one) sells "Camambrie" and it was always my favorite cheese.  IN fact, when I started making cheese I thought, "it's too bad I won't ever be able to do anything as complicated as that Camembrie" and lo and behold.....it's the first cheese I started making after soft cheeses.  I'll create another thread and post photos of that. 

All-in-all, I'm not unhappy with this make of goat Reb.  (which Yoav says is Chevrotin)  He's going to dig out the proper recipe for me and maybe I'll do it right next time.   ;)  In the meantime, even with fluctuating temps and make irregularities, I have a very nice interesting outcome that others may like a lot.  Oh, and I better get that Tarteflette or whatever recipe.  I saw it once but don't remember where.

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 01:57:11 AM »
Again, I love the colors and I'm glad they are not a disappointment to you. I'll keep an eye on this thread because I'm also interested in a recipe for Chevrotin, Goatochon or whatever Yoav calls it  ^-^
- Herman -


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 06:45:06 AM »
Herman, I like your idea for the name.  Goatochon!!!!  Yes!  That's great!   ;D

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 09:56:21 PM »
I find cracking to be an issue when there is a large moisture change often due to excessive washing, and of course, on the other end excessive dryness. Are you having a hard time keeping your humidity up? What's your washing schedule?
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Help! Reb style suddenly cracking
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2012, 06:44:43 AM »
Hi SmilingCalico,  I wanted to air these cheeses out and left the cover open too long.  They were in a chilled room but the air was too dry.  I did come up with a good fix though.  The light honey/water smear and a teaspoon of water in each mini cave worked great.  Rinds remoistened fine.  I decided to cut them open but didn't really need to.  I have one more waiting....   Oh, and my washing schedule was a bit haphazard on these.  :-\