Author Topic: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again  (Read 829 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« on: December 23, 2012, 07:24:08 AM »
Up late making holiday presents so started this cheese at 1:11 a.m. 12/16/2012

2 gallons of raw Nigerian Dwarf goat milk at 73.5 F
3/32 tsp  MM101
1/8 tsp Geo
1/16 tsp MD88
1/32 tsp PC VB  (much less than usual.  trying to slow PC growth)

1:41 a.m. added 1/8 + 1/16 tsp calf rennet

5:30 p.m. put in molds after 15 1/2 hours (approx)
flipped at about 9 p.m.
12/17 pyramids taken out of molds, ash/salt applied and adorned with leaves.  Put in ripening boxes with lids ajar for several hours in cold room in basement.  lids moved closer to closed to raise humidity.

PC grew too fast even with lessened amount!  I'll leave it out of the make next time and spray it on only afterwards.  I think I'll also use a bit more salt perhaps.  I'm loving how this makes turns out but I'd also like to try a make that results in a thinner rind more like a traditional Valencay and to do that I need the PC kept in check until the Geo can do it's thing.  As I joked to Herman, I have a "white thumb".  PC just grows crazy for me!  Like the plants in my garden.   ;D

I'm attaching photos of the make from molding to wrapping. The curd was VERY solid despite a short ripening.  I ladled it into molds almost as soon as it pulled away from the sides and still it was so solid that I felt I needed to use a knife to slice the chunks in the molds and gently press the curd into all the corners of the mold because I didn't trust that it would settle down into all parts of the mold.

 The leaves are the same Scented Cranesbill that I've been using for most of my cheese adornment.  Also experimenting with some Star Anise seed pods as decoration.  They are adding a nice scent that is discernible when I opened the ripening boxes.  One of the pyramids cracked as I was moving it during adorning so I did a bit of birch bark...my usual fix for things that need holding together.  The pyramids are wetter than the others and I'm not sure how well they'll do.  Also, this batch perhaps needed a bit more salt in the mix....at least on the pyramids to help them drain perhaps?  I hope to somehow slow down the PC growth next time......and I hope these are as tasty as the last batch.


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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 07:48:54 AM »
Once again, very nicely done, very artistically done! 

A cheese for you, Tia!  (specially for starting those at 1AM...sheesh!)   :)

Offline Boofer

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2012, 12:44:24 AM »
My goodness, when do you sleep? Get some melatonin or chamomile.

Very nice photo essay. Also, very artful. Kudos.

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Offline sofusryge

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2012, 12:57:52 AM »
Beautifull cheeses . You have got quite a trademark-thing running with the cranesbill-leaves i think  8)

A cheese for you (if i can figure out how?)

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2012, 07:14:19 AM »
@ BBracken,  Thank you!  And I only started at 1a.m. because I had to clear the fridge of milk and hadn't managed to find time during the day AND I was up playing elf making holiday presents AND it's one of the those cheeses that you heat milk, put cultures in and then leave sit for many hours.  I hate it when I wait too late in the afternoon to start a make that needs pressing and it keeps me up with the press flipping. 

@ Boofer, I sleep every night and usually almost 8 hours, honest.  There's just stretches of getting caught up in activities I'm passionate about and going to bed way late.  I don't notice I'm tired until I get horizontal, kind of like a 3 year old who says she doesn't need a nap!   ;D  And I'm really good at sleeping....I could be on an olympic sleeping team so I don't need anything to help me.  I actually work hard to not get to bed before Joseph because if it takes him a minute longer to brush his teeth and get to bed I'm already asleep without having a chance to say good night.    :(  About cheese photo essays, my xmass present from Joseph is a (or a couple of) rustic little slab of wood, hand split and worked, to use as a rustic prop for photographing cheeses with woodland notes such as the shitake Brie.  I'm thinking xmass morning will be exciting!  Next round of photos may be more artful!  Thank you for your kind words, as always.  (Your box is going out today, by the way!)

@sofusryge -  Thank you.  Yes, I like those leaves.....they are a good size, beautiful and they are still being grown on the plant out in the garden despite temps in the 20's F  (-6 to -1 C) and ice, snow, freezing rain.  Plus they are evergreen and quite resilient.  I'll likely try some other leaves in the spring and summer.  I've used nettles and will use them again but they are all dead now.


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Offline rosawoodsii

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2012, 09:26:39 AM »
Tiarella, do you think the higher fat content of the ND milk encourages the PC growth?  Definitely makes for a richer cheese, no doubt.  I'll have to try this with my Saanen milk and see how it goes.

Beautiful cheeses, and I noticed that you use assorted sizes and shapes as well. ^-^
Joy

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2012, 02:56:49 PM »
Again a bunch of beauties!
Which PC are you using? I had PC Neige for both my Valencay as my Cambozola, but I'm going to use another and hopefully slower one. My Valencay is now 24 days but are having signs of slipping skin. But the taste is jammy!
- Herman -

Online Al Lewis

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2012, 04:16:50 PM »
My goodness young lady.  Every tree in your area must be leafless by now!  LOL  Beautiful job!!

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2012, 06:02:30 PM »
@Rosewoodii - I like having different sizes because they ripen at different times.  Otherwise I can't keep up with eating the cheese.  And I don't know if the richer milk and other differences impact the PC growth.  I bet someone on this forum knows that but not me.

@Herman - Thank you!  I have some PC SAM that I used on Valencay batch #3 and on this one I used PC VB.  I notice it doesn't grow as fast on the cheeses that are wetter such as the pyramid forms.  Next time I'll just spray with PC after the Geo shows up.  What kind are you thinking might be slower?

@Al - Thank you!  Are the trees denuded?  Nope.  These leaves all come from a small patch of Scented Cranesbill in one of my gardens.  I have two more patches that haven't even been touched.  All the trees are safe and with over a hundred acres of forest I couldn't run out anyway.  I think it's all fine.   ;)

Offline rosawoodsii

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 06:44:13 PM »
Scented Cranesbill is a geranium, isn't it (Geraniaceae, not Pelargonium)?  I'm surprised it's still growing this late in the year.
Joy


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valencay Batch #4 Leaf Adorned Again
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 09:50:34 PM »
Yes, it is a true Geranium and it's evergreen until the worst of winter.  Pelargoniums (annual "Geraniums" ) would certainly be dead by now.