Finally getting around to posting photos and notes from my epoisses batch started at the beginning of the month. I don't want to jinx it, but everything is going very well so far! PLA was added to the wash brine, not the make. They'll continue to get twice weekly washes in brandy until the beginning of Feb, when they should be ready.
1 gal whole pasteurized organic milk from trader joes
1/4 tsp calc chloride
1/8 tsp MM100
1/16 rennet tablet
Followed recipe in artisan cheesemaking book by Mary Karlin, omitting b linens (added to wash)
86 degrees ripen 30 min, add rennet and calc chloride, clean break at 3 hours (Should have waited overnight at least. Oh well!)
Cut into 1/2" cubes, spoon into 2 Camembert molds
Turn in mold every 2 hr after curd sinks to half orig level. Continue turning for 24 hours
Salt 1 tsp each cheese
Dry 18 hours
Ripening box, age 55 degrees (my fridge is usually 50) Flip daily
After 3 days, turn and begin 3% brine washing schedule
-Started 1/9/13 - -> 1/2c water, 1tsp salt, pinch of PLA, sprayed on
Again on 1/12/13. Also spot cleaned a couple blue mold growths (very tiny) w mix of water, salt and vinegar before spraying w brine and PLA. Washed ripening containers and returned cheeses to cave.
Again on 1/16
After 1 week of brining, begin washing schedyle w 50/50 brandy/water solution.
First cognac wash on 1/19 (cheese smells soooo good. Sweet, fruity and stinky) cognac is French made from champagne grapes. Cheeses are sticky with good growth of linens and spots of geo. geo spots prone to blue growths, so some were removed, many spot cleaned with vinegar/salt/water. Portions of cheese under geo are gooey. Cheeses feeling soft under rind.
Next wash on 1/22. Very little blue growth, light vinegar, salt, water solution as needed, followed by generous 50/50 cognac/water wash.
1/25 Washed w 75/25 cognac/water. One very small blue spot on one cheese, nothing else. One cheese looking like it might have small case of slip skin on one 1/2" portion of top rind edge. Otherwise fine.
1/26 wiped moisture from insides of both ripening boxes. Cheeses no longer sticky, nice crinkly
Geo surface, great linens color and aroma. Interior starting to soften.