Author Topic: Cheddar texture and camembert texture and flavour  (Read 28 times)

Offline kleokat

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Hi All

I've fairly new to cheesemaking - started in Feb this year. I've got some questions related to texture that I'm hoping to get some help with:

Q - I understand that the more the curds are stirred the more moisture is lost, leading to a drier cheddar. I've tried to stir less to get a creamier / more moist texture but this leads to sourness as not enough moisture has been drained. Anyone know how I can get a moist creamy textured cheddar?

I've been making solid efforts with my camemberts. My first attempt had a great mushroomy flavour but never got really soft and gooey (I think it might have been a stabilised paste). I read that this can occur from use of the camembert starter so upped my FD starter and reduced my Cam starter (cam starter is a thermophilic (as advised in the starting kit) - perhaps switch it to a meso, maybe a MM together with the FD?). This improved the paste a little bit but I've still not been able to get that soft paste - plus the mushroomy flavour left (this is to do with the mould though isn't it? I'm using ABL and Geo 17 and using a lot more of the Camembert white mould spores (ABL) than the Geo - I'm worried I'm using too much Geo and this is minimising the proteolysis).

Perhaps it's to do with the ripening temperature? I drain for up to 24 hours until the pH reaches 4.7.  Then dry salt and let the cheese dry up a little before putting into my cheese cave at 11 degrees (humidity 80 - 90%) until it's covered in white mould (turning daily). After 12 days or so it gets wrapped moved to cooler temperature - 3 to 4 degrees. 

Q - how do I get a soft, slightly gooey paste and how to increase the mushroomy flavour?

« Last Edit: Today at 01:41:40 AM by kleokat »

Offline awakephd

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Re: Cheddar texture and camembert texture and flavour
« Reply #1 on: Today at 08:37:27 AM »
kleokat, welcome to the forum! This is a great place with friendly folks and a wealth of information.

I'll take a stab at answering your questions, and others will no doubt chime in with more (and quite possibly correct my mistakes -- I've only been doing this for 18 months or so, and still have a ton to learn!) -- and please forgive me if I tell you things you already know!

1) For the cheddar, what sort of milk did you start with? How much butterfat? One simple answer to your question: to get a creamier cheddar, add more cream! While there are cheddar-type recipes that have greater moisture (and consequently shorter ripening), I wouldn't describe them as creamy in texture ... unless there is added cream in the milk.

It sounds like you are using a stirred-curd recipe? I tried that early on in my cheese-making, and wasn't thrilled with the result. But I don't know how much of my less-than-thrilling result was due to my relative inexperience, and how much to the recipe. My most recent cheddar that has reached maturity (and alas, has now all been consumed) followed Rikki Carroll's "traditional cheddar" recipe, except that I used whole milk + added cream. I aged for 9 months before opening it, and recently finished the last quarter at about the 12 month mark. It was, if I do say so myself, exceptional -- good sharp cheddar flavor, but not overwhelming, and a very firm but incredibly creamy texture. I've got two more ripening in the cave now ... but the first of these won't be ready until Christmas at the earliest. :(

2) On the cams, I think we need more information. Once again, percentage of butterfat makes a big difference -- the more cream, the more stabilized the paste will be, and therefore the longer it will take to ripen. Speaking of which, how long did you ripen? If your white mould (PC/ABL) is mostly covering over the cheese, I wouldn't worry about having too much geo -- the geo forms the first layer, and prepares the way for the PC. Both, however, will contribute to the proteolysis. What type of paper are you using to wrap the cheeses when moving to the cold fridge? Make sure it is "breathable"; otherwise, the mold will stop doing its thing. FWIW, I've never seen the use of a thermo culture in a camembert make, but again, I am still relatively new to this hobby.

One of the most successful camembert makers on this forum is OzzieCheese, aka Mal. Do a search on "Malembert" for his camembert makes. Note that he is using a high proportion of cream, and consequently it takes about 6-8 weeks for his to ripen. I've made three sets of cams following his guidelines, one of which is currently ripening; the first two were out of this world good! His recipe, and my attempts to follow it, uses only FD or equivalent, no thermo.

Once again, welcome! Keep in mind that everyone loves to see pictures! (Especially if they are sized to about 1024x768 or thereabouts, so they don't take too long to load.)
-- Andy