Author Topic: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process  (Read 3956 times)

Offline kdttocs

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Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« on: January 15, 2013, 06:06:43 PM »
I haven't seen this video linked to yet in my quest to crack the Humboldt Fog *secret* - well not really secret. You'll see half-way through the video them hand forming the molds with what looks like very dry, pre-drained curd. It also shows them ashing and the approximate amount of ash being used. It also appears both in the inside layer and outside ash does not contain salt.

There's obviously quite a few steps left out but thought this could be helpful to those like myself who are intrigued by this cheese.

A Day in the Life of Humboldt Fog - Cypress Grove Chevre Video


« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 12:01:24 PM by kdttocs »


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Offline dirigoma

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 03:43:26 PM »
Hi Kdttocs,

I finally bought some Humboldt Fog, loved it, and since I've been making Valencay pretty successfully, thought I'd piece together an attempt at making one. Plus you posted the video and it motivated me!  I've only been making cheese a year or so though, so am still very much a beginner.

I based the recipe on one from this site, Peter Dixon’s Lactic recipe, the new Gianaclis Caldwell book and the 200 Easy Cheeses Valencay I've been making and may have altered too many variables.

My recipe:

3/4 gallon fresh raw Nubian goats milk (my own -- all I had)
Did not pasteurize. 
Heated to 78 degrees
Added 1/4 tsp+ MM100, pinch Geo 17 and pinch PC Sam. 
I also added ¼ tsp CaCl which I haven't been using in my cheeses as the yield is so high, but thought would help create a more dense cheese.

After 25 mins, added 4 drops rennet to 1/4c water.

Ripened overnight at 70 degrees for 17 hours.  Curd pulled away and cracked, golden whey pooled on top.

Predrained for 10 hours, same temp.

"Milled curd" like the video-- thought mine felt softer than theirs looked!  I have a new PH meter and haven't calibrated it yet, but the reading was 4.35 which seemed low? 

Used a large pressing mold (no holes) lined with cheesecloth and kneaded curd in place for first layer, ashed the surface, molded the second layer into place.  In this video they seem to scrape off the top but my mold was taller, and you can’t tell if they drain or immediately unmold?  I left mine to drain on a cheese mat overnight, redressed and flipped at 18 hours (very little whey).  Very delicate curd :(


After 38 hours draining in the mold, no more whey seen, but PH is now 4.14 and I had thought it would go up (I'm new to using PH).  Now it's in an 18% brine for ??  It's a large cheese, so figuring about an hour v. Crottins for 20 mins a side?

Plan is to drain on cheese mat until damp to touch, then ash fully (no more salt) and move to 55 degree 85 % RH fridge and see what happens.

Would appreciate if you or anyone else would weigh in about aging conditions/timing, or things I should already have done differently.  Will be a shame if it's a big soft Valencay that collapses, but would still taste good!

Thank you!
Milking Nubian Goats in western MA and trying my hand at fresh and aged cheeses

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 10:14:23 PM »
Hi there, Dirigo!  Nice to see you.  I love Humboldt Fog cheese too but it's hard to imagine brining it!  Whose recipes said to do that?  And how is it doing so far?  I sure hope it works because you'll probably share some next time we get together!!!   :D.   Hey, maybe you should bring your pH meter over and we'll stumble through a make with it together!  Two brains have got to better than one.

Offline dirigoma

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 10:35:55 PM »
Hey Tiarella, thanks for weighing in.  I salt brined instead of dry salting so it would be more even, and hoped more acid, to help the curd be more stiff and hold its shape rather than softening like the Valencay.  All this insight gained from a very long exchange about 'DeejayDebi's FIRST Goats Cheese and Soft Cheese Crottin de Chavignol,' here:  http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,2019.60.html . The thread included a Humboldt Fog recipe and words of wisdom from Francois about acidity.

Just coated it with ash and will leave room temp overnight, then put in the wine fridge tomorrow.  The curd looks fairly crumbly and shows some cracking after the brine.  Hopefully none of the moldies from the other cheeses in my fridge will cross over.

And yes, you will be tasting!
Milking Nubian Goats in western MA and trying my hand at fresh and aged cheeses

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 06:32:13 AM »
Oh, good news that I get to taste!!!!   ;D  I did watch that video you emailed me and posted and now I want to try it.  Still have less milk than I'd like but I can do a small batch.  I'll have to think on this.  Have a batch of 9 small Brie going right now but I'll save up the next 3 day's milk and try a "Sovereign Fog".   ;)


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Offline dirigoma

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Re: Humboldt Fog 1st Attempt, Input on aging?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 05:03:17 PM »
I'm just updating my progress with the Humboldt Fog type cheese I'm attempting, hoping folks that often weigh in on bloomy rinds might be able to advise aging time?

I salt brined for 40 mins then dried overnight and applied Ash to all surfaces.  It was quite wet, so I left at room temp overnight again and was just seeing some white mold starting -- new box and into the 55 degree wine fridge at 85 RH.

Now 3 days later, the white mold has grown over the ash, and I'm flipping it daily.  It's about 2.5 lbs so much larger than the Valencay's I've been making -- would love some feedback on how long to let the white mold grow and when to drop the temperature? 

My slice of real Humboldt Fog has grown drier (and is so good!) and almost crumbly rather than softer ... can't imagine this will do the same?

Thank you!
Milking Nubian Goats in western MA and trying my hand at fresh and aged cheeses

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 06:08:18 PM »
Looking great!  I don't have experience with this cheese (except tasting the piece I bought years ago) so hopefully folks who have done this cheese or type of cheese will chime in.  Still can't believe it's possible to brine a soft cheese!  Mind reeling still.   :o

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 05:48:52 PM »
.  All this insight gained from a very long exchange about 'DeejayDebi's FIRST Goats Cheese and Soft Cheese Crottin de Chavignol,' here:  http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,2019.60.html . The thread included a Humboldt Fog recipe and words of wisdom from Francois about acidity.
 


From the video the cheese is a lactic type, obviously predrained for extended amount of time (see how they use a dough cutter to spread it).
The curd is likely salted after draining.
so... basically this is cream cheese turned into a mold ripened cheese with some ash.
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Offline dirigoma

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 08:26:19 AM »
Thanks for getting in on this Tomer,

You described the steps I took and it's looking great all nicely PC molded and appropriately dry in 85% RH.  It's still very firm and if a tiny Valencay would go another week or so at 55 degrees ... but I'm not sure how to retain the firmness in a lactic cheese instead of it aging into lovely ooze? 

I'm working my way through Caldwell's new book and was beginning to wonder if the Humboldt Fog was a stabilized curd, which I've never made?

Do you think I should just cut into this one when it just starts to soften at the edge?  It's the waning days of milk as we approach kidding season so I'm protective of my cheeses!

Dirigoma
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Offline kdttocs

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 11:56:06 AM »
I had an HF in the works when I originally posted the video here. Attached are some photos of my batch. I've learned a lot more about the HF process including a bit on the TV show Big Cheese.

Some things to note:
-1 gallon raw goat milk from a friend's alpine goat in a Camembert mold (yes I've since learned the risk of unaged, unpasteurized milks... but I didn't get sick this time)
-I briefly predrained curds in cheesecloth for about 1 hour
-Drained in two halves in to Cam molds for about  4 hours, flipping a couple times
-Dusted 1 half in the Cam mold and dropped other half on top, sandwiching the ash. Added about 1lb for an hour to press to halves together.
-Let drain for another 16 hours flipping every 4 or so
-Salted, it was a lot wetter than I was expecting
-After ashing it sat in 51F for 1 week flipping daily until white mold completely covered (had to pat dry first couple days to remove visible moisture)
-Wraped in cheesepaper and aged 13 more days at ~35F (home refrigerator temp) at which I cut open as you see in the picture
-Internal moisture seeped through ash and rind turning rind grey. This concerned me at first until I bough real HF and it had similar. Mine was more saturated though

At tasting I bought some real HF. The real HF was a lot drier. I actually preferred mine over the real one. Mine was more spreadable which the real HF was crumbly. I would by no means say mine was *better* as a whole since this cheese really defines it's own style and is the only example to compare to.

Next time I'm going to predrain and mill curds before molding as shown in the video. I wouldn't drain 2 separate halves as I did this time as predraining more will allow me to follow process more accurately.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 01:07:36 PM by kdttocs »


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 12:03:05 PM »
That looks beautiful!!!  A cheese to you for such a lovely make.  Looks like it has a bit of slipskin.....my ashed cheeses do also.  I haven't yet mastered how to avoid that but the flavor has not suffered.   :D

Offline kdttocs

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 12:43:57 PM »
Thanks!!

I've done a few batches of Cams dealt with that but my last had no slip. Of the things I did different, reducing the internal moisture content and lower aging temp helped eliminate the slip. I had everything from complete liquefaction on my first batch to a perfect pate on my last.

When I do my next HF my hope is a more thorough predrain and a bit of milling, the reduced internal moisture will help with a better pate just under the ash.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 01:06:13 PM »
you wrote:
"Of the things I did different, reducing the internal moisture content and lower aging temp helped eliminate the slip."

How are you reducing the internal moisture?  A predrain?  Longer wait to cutting?  Enquiring mind wants to know!   ;)

Offline kdttocs

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 01:51:23 PM »
you wrote:
"Of the things I did different, reducing the internal moisture content and lower aging temp helped eliminate the slip."

How are you reducing the internal moisture?  A predrain?  Longer wait to cutting?  Enquiring mind wants to know!   ;)

Preface: This diverges a bit from the topic of Humboldt Fog but response to slipskin issue I was having.

I did my first Cam by ladling whole curds into molds as the traditional processes generally is. This resulted in the complete liquefaction. It wasn't until my last batch that I predrained in cheesecloth for about 4 hours, massaging about every hours. My thinking was I wasn't able to really drain the curd well enough in the cam molds and with air drying. I got surface moisutre that I had to pat dry during the mold growing phase. I don't know if it's related to the humidity in the air as I am a near the ocean. Once that mold grows and rind forms, whatever moisture is in the curd is trapped throughout the aging process. I figured a drier curd would create a firmer pate. I realize this is hotly debated on the board but it appeared to work for me. I would agree with someone more experience that I may be changing one part of the process to make up for not doing an early part properly.

I always want to stick to the traditional processes as much as possible but I realize when doing such small batches in less controlled environments, individualized adjustments are needed. I'm entering cheesemaking with a pretty extensive background in homebrewing beer. Nothing translates directly but there's a familiarity with the process be it time and temp control, etc. An important point I learned early on in homebrewing is consistency is far more important than accuracy. It allows you to adjust parts of the process to understand its effect and ultimately improve the end result.

Offline dirigoma

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Re: Humboldt Fog video - small snippets of their process
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 02:19:12 PM »
Hi Kdttocs,
Thanks for getting back in on this discussion -- your cheese looks great!  I did the predraining step and then "milled" but didn't add salt.  I used a large pressing mold (no holes) and cheesecloth to shape mine which was a bit clunky.   And I tried the salt brine since it was so fragile I didn't want to rotate it while salting (and I wondered if it would just dissolve, but it didn't).

At this point it's been at 55 in my wine fridge for a week and has grown a nice thick white mold all over -- actually patted it down a little last night.  For my Valencay I'd leave them at 55 for about 10 days watching that the white doesn't look too dry -- sounds like you went ahead and wrapped once it was covered?   Then can hold at 35 in my milk fridge for another weeks if I can stand it.  Figure worse case it would be too firm, but once I cut a wedge, the aging would stop?

Will post pics when I cut into it.  If you were closer you could join Kathrin and I for a taste test!

dirigoma
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