Author Topic: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?  (Read 2897 times)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2013, 02:49:13 PM »
If you are going au naturale with the rind, it is imperative that it is protected. Alpkaserei posted about this, and if I can summarize again one of my posts from a few years ago. Here's what you need to focus on for rind management:
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  • Protect the cheese inside. Rinds are not exactly throw-away because many times, they can be better than the cheese (parmigiano-reggiano), but you're nurturing the cheese inside.
  • To protect it, this starts immediately during/post press, as I detail in the tomme thread for how to create an inclusion-free rind and how to use cloth. There are many options here, detailed below.

To protect the rind, you must focus on the physical barrier that you can create between the outer world and the inner cheese (that'd be a great book title: finding your inner cheese). To create this barrier, here's the comprehensive list of options:
  • Chemically and persistently remove. PITA, I think, but your options are to use natamycin, sorbate, acids, salt, etc
  • Dehydrate the outer "shell". Usually, this is a precursor that complements other methods, but it is possible to do nothing more than to salt cheese and create a low surface Aw where little grows. Parmigiano-reggiano does this, in addition to natural loss of fat during aging to condition the rind.
  • Protect with some natural or synthetic material. This is the full range of all wraps... using leaves, using lard and linen, using bags, using wax, painting with PVA, etc.
  • Create predominantly mold shellsuch as done in bloomy types. But soft bloomies are not the only application. You can use a low MFFB cheese and spray it with p candidum and bloom it up. Some tommes are like this. The mold creates a whole other barrier membrane that protects the cheese and flavors it.
  • Create predominantly bacterial shell These are your lightweight smears like limburger. The mechanism here is that bacteria form slime (aka biofilm). Strep family, brevibacteria, many others form slime. This slime is a barrier, it goes in all the gaps and cracks and will protect the cheese, provided the smear is done well. Of course, the consequence is proteolysis, so for a soft cheese with high MFFB, it won't last long.
  • Create mixed/morge shell Most of the great cheeses out there rely on a ecosystem and ripening cascade of yeast, bacteria, and mold. This is the most complex style, and most varied. But the premise here is that you craft a custom cascade based on the cheese. It has to make sense, though. If you're doing a soft cheese and then age it out with a bloomy rind, you can't just start washing it in b linens for too long. The premise, though, is that you create a barrier same as with the simpler rinds, but it just happens to be more complex. This relies on a physical "shell" formed by the organisms themselves and their biofilm.

How you manage the cheese after press is up to you. For mold-only styles (meaning candidum and geo), they coat so heavily, that nooks and crannies and cracks are not an issue. But whenever you get into mixed variations where you start with naked cheese, or have ambient flora that are undesirable, inclusions are not that great. If ambient mold flora are tasty, mold in inclusions can be amazing (see british cheddar types with blue infections).

For anyone starting out, I would start with one of the easier rind management options (wax, bag, straight bloomy, etc) than trying to manage anything morge-like.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 03:07:39 PM by linuxboy »
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Offline margaretsmall

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2013, 03:03:47 PM »
Great summary LB, thank you. Cheese to you.
Margaret

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2013, 06:07:22 PM »
LB: amazing.  You should write a book....unless there is a book out there already that explains some of the how and why as opposed to just recipes....? 

I was considering just vac bagging it, but supposedly I would get more flavor from a natural type rind...?  Do you have any insight on that for me?  :)

Offline Boofer

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2013, 08:59:14 AM »
Thank you, Pav. Another excellent addition to my Process folder in my Cheese directory.

I hope you don't mind. I grabbed it and plunked it into a Word document for easy access. :)

How is your book coming along?

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2013, 12:47:27 PM »
There are some better books out there now that are more accessible. Gianaclis did a decent job with her latest one, although on the really technical answers to whys, some key considerations are not examined in great depth. There are some decent books in French, too. But overall, it's hard to find good information that is spot on and clear. There's also a lack of consensus in important aspects of cheese, such as merchandising.

I'm writing a page a day, only have a half hour for writing most mornings. It's slow work, slowest book I've ever written.

I am doing something else to facilitate clear authoritative info this year. Working with ACS on the Body of Knowledge project so we have peer-vetted, authoritative guidance on hundreds of topics, plus two retailer-oriented guides on best practices. That should start coming online in 3-5 months. There's a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes in the industry right now to progress with information maturity.

Quote
I was considering just vac bagging it, but supposedly I would get more flavor from a natural type rind...?  Do you have any insight on that for me?  :)
Well, yes, a natural rind will give you more flavor. Not sure what your question is. They're different rind approaches and make for very different cheeses. Are you asking which one to choose? Up to you, it depends on what you want. Possible to make excellent cheese both ways.
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2013, 07:00:08 PM »
Will be looking forward to hearing more about the online info as it comes out. 

Thanks for the answer on the natural rind vs vac bag.  I guess my question was how the tastes were different.  Maybe I should try making a wheel, cutting it in half and bagging only one. 

I cut into the Caerphilly tonight since I just got home.



Well, it was not bad as a table cheese, but not great either.  It has a very slight lingering bitterness.  It also doesn't taste as salty and as acidic as some were describing it.  It melts well.  I give it about a 6/10 overall right now.  I took out 1/6th of it and the rest is vag bagged and will age out at least until this small piece is eaten. 

I am using rennet tablets that I have read can cause bitterness if aged too long.  Not sure if that is part of my problem or not...?

Offline bbracken677

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2013, 07:49:56 PM »
Nice looking cheese though! 

And yeah...I noticed a difference once I switched to liquid rennet. Using the flocculation method you can also control and standardize your rennet quantity so that there is no chance you are using too much...highly recommended.

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2013, 07:57:23 PM »
I'll have to go to liquid rennet then.  I have a couple of vegetarian friends who were interested in cheese, but I would rather it taste good to me.  I'll have to order some along with a few other things.

I have been using the floc method.  I already cut down to 1/4 of a tablet for a 4 gallon batch to get 10-15 minutes floc time. 

Offline sofusryge

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2013, 03:52:31 AM »
If you age it out 3-4 weeks more, the taste will improve. My first Caerphilly did have a slight bitterness in the aftertaste at the 4 weeks mark, but it diminished in the half wheel that i re-waxed and aged for another month. I've got a couple of Caerphillys aging in the cave at the moment, i will age these at least 6 weeks before cutting into them.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2013, 11:31:14 AM »
Hi Andreas,

You can get liquid rennet that is vegetarian as well.

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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2013, 06:03:08 AM »
I look forward to trying it again in a few weeks. I'm sure it will improve, but wonder how much. Only time will tell! We have a party and I will be putting a small piece of this out. I'm always curious to hear what others think.

I'll have to look into the liquid veg rennet.  So, it is the tablet itself that gives the bitterness - interesting.

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2013, 06:54:09 AM »
No, the liquid veggie rennet can cause bitterness too.  Actually, I believe it's more like the veggie has a higher likelihood of doing it (been a while since I read those threads here - somewhere there is an excellent (no surprise!) post by LB about it) - and most especially if you use too much.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2013, 11:27:04 AM »
I believe all rennet, animal or vegetable, can, if used in excess, lead to bitterness.  The powdered tablets are just more variable, and harder to control the amounts, so excess is easier to achieve.  Also, too much starter culture can result in bitterness as well.  Check out the floc method (search the board, there are lots of explanations for it).  One of the benefits of using it is that it will get you to the point where you know you aren't using too much rennet (a floc point of 10-15 minutes is good, really fast would mean too much - really fast with an amount of rennet that normally is sweet probably indicates too much culture, etc).

- Jeff
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: First Caerphilly, final pH too low?
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2013, 01:41:17 PM »
This cheese had a floc time of 15 minutes, so excess rennet is not the issue.   I may have put too much starter culture in as I, errr, don't measure it.  Ahem.  Mind you, it is a very small amount sprinkled on the top, but next cheese I will do that differently.