Author Topic: Traditional Washing -The hows, whys, whens, whats, and what not (by request)  (Read 11024 times)

Offline tnbquilt

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I would like to thank Al for this post on washing the cheese. My rinds on my Swiss, and Gruyere have improved a lot since I started following his advice. I have very little trouble with unwanted mold now.
Tammy

Offline KatKooks

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Thank you, Alpkäserei, very much for this post.  The information has changed how I look at the rind on my cheeses.

I think I gave you a cheese.
Trying to make cheese...

Offline ArnaudForestier

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are you always dipping your brush into the same brine, and storing it in there? it helps to get the cheese slime in there to help incubate your linens. our wash water gets really smelly afte a few cheeses, its full of bacteria. the salt and alcohol content keep the good bac around and kill the bad

Alp, when do you actually wash your brush?  I.e., I keep the same brine for a given cheese or batches run close together (I've a 6# hard alpine, and 2 20# Abondance forms...they all get the same brine), and yes, I, too, let it go stinky.  But at some point, I'd presume you risk some things by re-using the same brine, and same brush.  Much like morge, using old rind peelings - I've yet to decide where the cutoff is, in terms of using older cheeses.  So, what's your protocol - when, and how do you wash your horsehair brush, if ever?

Also, I know you like horsehair.  Care to go into this more - why horsehair, as opposed to nylon brushes of approximately the same stiffness (Glengarry's are both currently $99).  And why not say, their surgical brushes?  I've brushes, but as of yet, haven't sunk the money into one of the large, horsehair or nylon brush.  Pav and I have discussed this, and I understand some things now especially on the larger wheels, but curious on why you prefer the horsehair brush.  Many thanks.
- Paul

Offline ijsbiertje

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Maybe a dumb question but i wonder, does the rind of parmesan gets washed with b. Linens?

Offline Alpkäserei

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I like horsehair because of the suppleness, and it's ability to hold more liquid than a plastic fiber brush. Also I like it because I like it.

As for how often to wash the brush, I'd say it is good practice to do say maybe monthly. I'm personally tweaking with this.
On the Alp you would not wash it during the entire Alp season, which is somewhere around 100 days.

You will also be happier with a large, round brush. Really the bigger the better (up to a certain point, of course) bigger brushes will give you a better texture on your cheese. Small brushes don't seem to work as well and tend to leave lines. I don't like lines.

Offline sprocket

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Here are some pics. Thought it might be helpful



Alp - How do you get the stamps on some of your cheeses?  We're looking at easier ways of being able to identify which date/batch our cheese are from.  Are these all food grade inks you're using with a custom stamp?


Offline Alpkäserei

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Those are cassein labels, in this case special made for Berner Alpkäse.
Cassein of course is one of the primary cheese proteins. So these are edible labels made of similar substance to the cheese.

Then there are cassein markers to use to write on the sides things like the date, etc. But these will disappear if you wash heavily

I hope to make special 'stamps' which are just reusable numbers I can put into the side of the form when pressing and create an imprint for the date the cheese was made, similar to the stamps used to make imprints on gruyere cheese. This is a mark that does not go away, and looks nice on a finished wheel.

Offline awakephd

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Alp, I'm intrigued by the idea of making a label in the form of an imprint in the cheese. I wonder if it could be as simple as a strip of thin stainless sheet that has the label embossed (or out-bossed) in it -- ??
-- Andy

Offline sprocket

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Alp, I'm intrigued by the idea of making a label in the form of an imprint in the cheese. I wonder if it could be as simple as a strip of thin stainless sheet that has the label embossed (or out-bossed) in it -- ??

I'd thought about that as well - I'd planned on finding someone with a CNC machine and having our logo carved into a disc of food grade plastic (similar to the plastic used in the molds) that we'd drop into the bottom of the mold on the final pressing.

Offline Alpkäserei

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Usually I think you would use some kind of plastic.

You can have positive or negative markers. Positives ate just letter cutouts, and they will of course create an indented symbol in the cheese.
Negatives are solid strips with letter cut out of them. This will make a rectangular indentation with protruding symbols.

Look up on google, 'Greyerzer'

Offline Stinky

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So in your Emmental recipe, you say to wash. What would your guidelines be for doing this so it's not super linensy? Replace the brine more often?
It's probably a pathogen.

Offline mnml

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So in your Emmental recipe, you say to wash. What would your guidelines be for doing this so it's not super linensy? Replace the brine more often?

For our non cloth-bound, natural-rind, Asiago-style wheels, we use a basic salt solution with no b. linens, and rarely, if ever, get any linens growth. Even in the same room as our washed-rind cheeses, it does not carry over.

...


Well, it certainly has been a long time since I've been on!

Anyway, I was hoping to gain some wisdom about preventing blue mold growth on my non cloth-bound, natural-rind, Asiago-style wheels.

The cheese will come out of the brine (brine pH < 4.0, 100% salinity) and is wiped dry before going into the aging room. First, it sits horizontally on wooden boards for a week or so, and flipped every other day. Then, it is transferred onto wooden racks to support them vertically. They are washed daily with a simple cloth and saltwater (2 Tbs per 500ml) solution for the first few months, but after about one month, the wave of blue hits. To attempt to counter, we have mixed about 125ml of Delvocid (industry-grade anti-microbial) per 500ml water, but the blue mold STILL shows up the next day. I have heard that blue mold enjoys acidic environments, which leads me to believe washing our <4.0 pH brine off the wheel before wiping dry might play a role. But, we also get white (penicillium) fuzz growth in small amounts, even after washing with delvocid.

I have used Delvocid in another cheese plant and it was highly successful. We were also vacuum sealing in that operation, though. As expensive as it is, we are severely disappointed in its results.
“This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” - Alan Wilson Watts

Offline sprocket

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Well, it certainly has been a long time since I've been on!

Anyway, I was hoping to gain some wisdom about preventing blue mold growth on my non cloth-bound, natural-rind, Asiago-style wheels.

The cheese will come out of the brine (brine pH < 4.0, 100% salinity) and is wiped dry before going into the aging room. First, it sits horizontally on wooden boards for a week or so, and flipped every other day. Then, it is transferred onto wooden racks to support them vertically. They are washed daily with a simple cloth and saltwater (2 Tbs per 500ml) solution for the first few months, but after about one month, the wave of blue hits. To attempt to counter, we have mixed about 125ml of Delvocid (industry-grade anti-microbial) per 500ml water, but the blue mold STILL shows up the next day. I have heard that blue mold enjoys acidic environments, which leads me to believe washing our <4.0 pH brine off the wheel before wiping dry might play a role. But, we also get white (penicillium) fuzz growth in small amounts, even after washing with delvocid.

I have used Delvocid in another cheese plant and it was highly successful. We were also vacuum sealing in that operation, though. As expensive as it is, we are severely disappointed in its results.

I don't know what concentration 2Tb/500ml works out to percentage-wise, but from my reading, blue moulds are prevented at salt concentrations of 10%+.  Would a stronger brine work better, perhaps?

Offline mnml

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I don't know what concentration 2Tb/500ml works out to percentage-wise, but from my reading, blue moulds are prevented at salt concentrations of 10%+.  Would a stronger brine work better, perhaps?

If your reading is correct, then I suppose we could try it. Though, Delvocid already has NaCl plus a few other ingredients/salts. Plus, it is an industrial-grade anti-microbial... so unless we have some strain of super blue, it should be working with the concentration that the manufacturer provided.
“This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” - Alan Wilson Watts

Offline Stinky

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So in your Emmental recipe, you say to wash. What would your guidelines be for doing this so it's not super linensy? Replace the brine more often?

For our non cloth-bound, natural-rind, Asiago-style wheels, we use a basic salt solution with no b. linens, and rarely, if ever, get any linens growth. Even in the same room as our washed-rind cheeses, it does not carry over.

Hmm. I've never added linens, and we get it every time.
It's probably a pathogen.