Author Topic: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"  (Read 1629 times)

Offline Brandnetel

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Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« on: January 04, 2013, 05:19:13 PM »
I was able to score some nice raw milk in the Berkshires of western Mass. earlier in the week, so I am planning a make for tomorrow. Got the milk from these folks, looks to be a blend of Brown Swiss and Jersey:

http://cricketcreekfarm.com/

My thought is to go back to Yoav's Cam/Brie recipe. I tried this twice in the past and got some decent-tasting cheeses, but semi-hard ones rather than real Cam-like texture. Recently I tried a blend of this recipe with a washed-rind aging and had some interesting results, including the desired paste softening. So I am going back to the original again with high hopes. The major change was using separate ripening boxes for the cheeses within my 'cave' fridge, which kept moisture nice and high.

Here is my plan for milk and cultures. In particular, my past cheeses have been generally over-acidy. Cutting back the Meso starter to only one packet for 3.5 gal of milk, hope that will help.

Milk
3.50 gal raw cow's milk (Brown Swiss and Jersey from Cricket Creek Farm, MA)

Cultures/Other
1 pkt C101 Mesophilic starter (From N.E.C.) reduced from prior efforts
1/8 tsp C8 Penicillum Candidum (1/16 tsp per 2 gal scaled up) (From N.E.C.)
1/16 tsp C7 Geotrichum Candidum (1/64 tsp per 2 gal scaled up even more) (From N.E.C.)
1/8 tsp Flora Danica
1 tsp Liquid Rennet (animal), diluted in 1/2 cup water



Wish me luck, will post more info here when I am in progress!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 11:37:43 AM by Brandnetel »
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 07:39:23 PM »
What is the pricing on their milk?  I live in Albany, NY so it is not too far to visit. 

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 09:30:02 PM »
Sounds like a fun plan with sme high quality milk!  Shouldn't need any Calcium Chloride for a raw milk batch.  That's just for processed milk. 

With the dry winter heating season air you may even want to provide some protection against premature drying while they are draining at room temp.  Draping bags loosely over the draining cheeses might be a good idea.  I noticed my latest batches of similar cheese are having some drying of any exposed parts (while in the mold that is the top and the drain holes) that impacts the continuation of draining.

Do keep us posted.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 06:53:34 AM by Tiarella »

Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 10:24:01 PM »
What is the pricing on their milk?  I live in Albany, NY so it is not too far to visit.

AM, my recollection is that it is $7.00/gal, and $3.50/half gal - same rate for both sizes. They also have more expensive glass bottled milk for like an additional 2 or 3 bucks.

If you do go by there, I would highly recommend buying some of their own (legally aged) raw milk cheeses as well. I am enjoying their semi-hard 'Maggie's Round' and have their bloomy and washed rind cheeses waiting to be opened - very curious!
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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 11:51:14 AM »
Sounds like a fun plan with sme high quality milk!  Shouldn't need any Calcium Chloride for a raw milk batch.  That's just for processed milk. 

With the dry winter heating season air you may even want to provide some protection against premature drying while they are draining at room temp.  Draping bags loosely over the draining cheeses might be a good idea.  I noticed my latest batches of similar cheese are having some drying of any exposed parts (while in the mold that is the top and the drain holes) that impacts the continuation of draining.

Do keep us posted.

Thanks for the recomendations, Ms. T. I've amended my recipe to reflect the omission of the Calcium Chloride and also I am going to use some Flora Danica.

Make day is today! Tasted a little of the raw milk, it's very nice, rich and quite flavorful. It is perceptibly different than raw milk we have bought from Byebrook Farms in the Catskills before - seems grassier and slightly minerally, with a perceptible 'barnyardy' quality like hay. Very pleasant.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 12:12:11 PM by Brandnetel »
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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 12:14:04 PM »
About a week in on these and they are looking pretty OK. It has taken a couple of days to get all of the cheese surfaces dry, and I ended up putting a paper towel below the plastic grid pads to soak up some moisture, seemed to work OK. Here are some pics from today, ripening boxes are keeping these in 54-59 deg F and 85-90% RH generally.





« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 12:50:34 PM by Brandnetel »
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2013, 03:31:55 PM »
From appearance, you may want to drop the temp a few degrees...50F would be better.

Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2013, 12:52:48 PM »
After the first 10 days or so, I dropped these to 44-48 degrees pretty consistently and kept the RH in the 85-90% range. I was able to get all 3 ripening boxes on the same shelf in my cheese fridge so they were at a more consistent temperature together.

I think they are looking good, maybe two or three of the five total cheeses are a little stinky, I guess from cross-contamination with residual B. Linens in there from the prior batch . . .

As of tomorrow they will be 4 weeks in, and they all feel perceptibly squishy beneath the firmer rind surface. I think I will take the softest one and try it. These pics are from 2 weeks back, but they do not look very different today, except that any remaining fluffy mold has been long-since patted down.












« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 01:21:02 PM by Brandnetel »
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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 12:58:02 PM »
So, I have been trying these now after about 4 weeks of aging and am very pleased with the results. Degree of ripening varies a little for each cheese, particularly by size. But finally I am happy to have achieve the right runny textrure, and the flavor is very nice, rich with a hint of mushroomy/earthy character and a pleasant-tasting thin white rind. I couldn't be happier. Here are some pics:


You can just see the runny bits starting to weep out. This is at like 3.5 weeks in.


Brought some for co-workers at 4 weeks in. Disappeared very quickly...


Spreads very nicely on crackers or a small slice of crusty bread!


After sitting out at room temp for a couple of hours, the runny part of the paste can clearly be seen slumping out around the firmer core.


One last morsel of squishy goodness.
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 04:58:17 PM »
Nice job!  Well done and a cheese for your success!  Camemberts are probably my favorite cheese to make...very fun watching them develop and then fairly quick feedback on your effort.


Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 05:18:44 PM »
Thanks, bb. It has been a rewarding, if long journey.

I have 3 cheeses left from this batch - two smaller ones, of which the riper/squishier one is just now starting to give off the tinies hint of ammonia at about 6 weeks in. Will be eaten with friends this w/e. I am hoping the other one, feeling slightly firmer, will go another week or so before getting to that point.

And the third cheese somehow ended up at about twice the volume of the others (maybe I kept refilling curds more as it drained?) This one still feels a little firm in spots and given the large size I am hoping it will take even more time to get to optimal ripeness, but we'll see.

It's actually a lot of cheese at this point and I have not been as pro-active as I should be in roping in friends and family to consume it. So I am also looking at some interesting cooking recipes with Cam to work it into other things, maybe . . .
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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 12:18:49 AM »
So, I am down to 2 cheeses left, and trying to find opportunities to consume them over the next week before they get too overripe. We found a great pasta recipe and made pappardelle tonight with Crimini mushrooms and shallots, finished off with 4 oz of Cam (less the rind) and some Romano. Very nice indeed.

Here's an updated shot of the most recent opened cheese from sharing with friends yesterday. The paste softening seems to be right at its peak, and you can only see the slightest bit of firmer pasts in the very middle. It does have a little bit of a stink on it, which comes out a little in the finish particularly when swallowing, somehow. It paired very well with walnuts.

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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 08:47:54 PM »
Second-to-last cheese upon consumption a week ago. Ripened all except for the very middle in a like oatmeal cookie sized area. Stinky, rind a little gritty, creamy and rich with ripe Cam taste, but a bit intense in the finish with the sort of salty edge that stinkiness can give a cheese, if that makes sense?









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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2013, 06:38:38 PM »
So, time to bring this story to a close. We ate the last (and largest) cheese at the beginning of March, at almost exactly two months from the make. It had gotten fairly stinky, and the rind was starting to look moist, more similar in some ways to my earlier washed-rind attempt. A bit of ammonia, but not much.

I was surprised how firm the center still was, although the paste overall was very ripe, borderline overwhelming with the strong stinkiness. Enjoyable for me and some strong cheese friends, but beyond edibility for many. We caught this just in time, I'd say. It did spread beautifully, and it was very rich and creamy and funkified. There was so much in this last large cheese that I wished I had a good recipe that called for a lot of stinky cheese in it . . . farewell to my best batch to date in 2.5 yrs of cheesemaking so far!













« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 07:14:50 PM by Brandnetel »
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Brandnetel's White Mold Cheese #4 / "Camembert"
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2013, 07:14:19 PM »
Congratulations!  I know what you mean by that stinky flavor........mine sure got funkified (like that word and will use it all evening now) too.   :)