I'm getting ready to inventory, sort and package the cheeses I'm mailing tomorrow, so thought I'd finally contribute (rather than just
pilfer use) others' contributions. Hopefully, I'll get around to more contributions over the next few days. I'd like to start with...
Cheese #1 Humbolt Fog-esque ala Brie and FRANCOIS
Dec 7: My first attempt at a 'Humbolt Fog' type, which is from Brie's recipe with FRANCOIS' recommendation of MA 4000/1, followed the recipe using 1/4 teaspoon MA 4001 per gallon of goat milk (I made a 2 gallon batch). After trying the ash shaker I bought with the ash (way too much comes out at once!), I put the ash/salt mix into a tiny strainer that looks like it should be for small cups of tea. Tapping that over the cheese worked to produce a thin layer of ash where needed. Sprayed 3 times over Days 2-3 with PC Sam3 + Geo C7.
The cheeses were in varying temperatures, everything from 38F to 55F, once put into 'caves'. My small refrigerator/cave is poorly insulated and is greatly affected by ambient temperatures, sitting in an uninsulated shed. Once it got too cold there, the cheese was moved to my 'dead freezer/cave', which is somewhat less-affected by ambient temperatures. On hot days it won't cool down to much below 65-68F, but right now it runs around 48-55F. With the small air conditioner mounted inside, the fan can do a pretty good job of moving air so in a slightly opened box, drying can be readily accomplished. The cheeses were turned daily, PC started blooming about Day 6 and then really took off. I haven't seen the need to pat it down at all.
Dec 16 -- really too early to try this cheese because it hasn't had enough time to ripen for that soft inner layer, but if I'm going to gift it, I have to be sure it's gift-able and get some idea of what to tell recipients of the cheese. So, we had it for breakfast, along with prosciutto, my smoked montasio and my mystery stinker--on freshly baked crusty loaf. Alongside we had freshly pressed, unfiltered olive oil (pressed yesterday) from our neighbor's trees. In the photo is a small shot glass with a little of the oil to see the color of it. My neighbor brought us the milk bottle (how appropriate!) full of oil shown in the back. Last year's oil was what I used for my marinated cabecou that won Best of Show in the ADGA (amateur division) cheese competition in October. My neighbor was thanked with farm fresh eggs, one of these cheeses, a crottin and a chevré.
Opinion of this 9-10 day old cheese: good flavor (doesn't just taste like my chevré), firm paste, needs aging (duh!)
My milkers are drying themselves up as they are almost 2.5 months pregnant, so I don't have many more days to make cheese until next year's crop of babies is weaned. After having to make cheese virtually every day since early August--except when we were traveling--I am looking forward to not making cheese, not milking, not getting up at 5:30 am. But, I'd better make this one again before they turn off the taps completely! Speaking of which, the first photo is the 'requisite container' photo, corresponding to the pix of creamline bottles of milk others post.