Author Topic: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?  (Read 5686 times)

Offline Al Lewis

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Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« on: January 29, 2013, 09:34:59 PM »
Okay, I've already messaged a couple of the experts on this and got one great reply from Alp.  Does anyone know of a really good cheese recipe for a washed rind cheese that I can wash with cognac?  Preferably a, short aging, hard cheese.  Also, does anyone have a recipe for Langres or Époisses de Bourgogne?  I saw the picture of the cheese Boofer posted and decided this would be a very tasty treatment for a cheese indeed. :P
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 11:22:17 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 10:19:04 PM »
Another question!  They never end…which of these B Linens would be best suited to a Langres or Époisses?  http://www.getculture.com/search.php?mode=search&page=1
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 10:25:25 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 10:24:51 PM »
Alright, I found a recipe for Époisses. Nothing on here or in my books about Langres though.

2 gallons raw milk
30°C (86F)
¼ tsp Meso II
1/8 tsp geo
Ripen two to three hours
Add 4 drops rennet (in 2 oz H2O)
16-24 hours lactic ripening
Cut curds in 2 in cubes.
Put into molds at pH 4.5
Drain 24-48 hours; flip 2x
Unmold at pH 4.3
Dry salt 1-2% (1 Tbl)
Spray with B linens, and/or put it in brine (raises pH to 5.5!)
Wash every two days for 6 weeks, first with brine, then with ever increasing amount of grappa diluted in water.
Note:  Alternatively, one could add 1/8 tsp B. lines to milk with starter & geotrichum.

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 10:48:41 PM »
Al,
perhaps you could copy the information I sent you here for the benefit of others as well. I don't see that I have access to it (maybe I just don't understand how the message setup works)
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 11:08:27 PM »
Great idea Alp!!  And thank you again!!

Quote
Al
I don't know much about Cognac, or liquor at all for that matter. But this I could say,

A lot of the non-wine washed alcohol washed cheeses (I hope that makes sense) seem to be either a washed curd type of cheese, use a Raclette base for example, or a lower cooked cheese, like Appenzeller. I can't say much for how true this is across the border into Germany or over in Austria.

What I would recommend is a Mutschli base. Mutschli is a simple cheese and easy to make and very forgiving. And it is not so strict that minor variations in the make disqualify it as Mutschli. You could say that Mutschli is more of a class of cheeses than a single variety. It is dispersed throughout the German speaking part of Switzerland in one form or another. I have a thread with a recipe somewhere around here.

Furthermore, Mutschli seems to me to be the basic pattern upon which many local varieties are based, and is perhaps the ancestor of many of the modern Alpine type cheeses, or a modern derivative of that ancestor. (I say this, because its recipe has a lot in common with the way we made goat cheeses, and the alpine cheese tradition began with goats a few thousand years ago)

But here is the Basic pattern for a mutschli, I have a more concise recipe listed elsewhere with the exact targets we used but you can vary freely from that all you wish. Just keep in mind how variations will change the final product. (Higher temperatures result in harder cheeses, longer cooking times result in higher acid and shorter times in sweeter paste)
Incubating temperature about 90 degrees. If using powdered culture, you probably want to let it incubate for 20 or 30 minutes first.
Add the Rennet at incubating temperature. It needs proper temp to work right. Keep the milk at this temp during the setting time. (the practice we use in a large vat is to heat 1 or 2 degrees warmer if the air is cold, but this probably wont work on a small vat)
Coagulate 30 minutes. When you do this, you should have a curd that is like a thick gel. I am convinced that most over-set their curds before beginning the slow cutting process.
Cut slowly according to the methods I have described elsewhere.
After the cutting period (timing of the cutting is important)stir the curd for 30 minutes, then heat up the curd slowly over a 20-40 minute period (exact time depending on the level of acidity you desire) to a temp of about 105-110 degrees. Remove from heat and continue to stir up to 5 minutes.
Let settle, and remove the curd as quickly as you can into the cloth-lined form and press at the ratio of 8 pounds of force to every pound of cheese. Flip at least 7 times during the proceeding day
schedule:
5 min, 10 min, 20 min, 40 min, 1 hour, 2 hour, 4 hour.
Leave in press overnight and place into brine. I have the specs for brine somewhere but don't feel like digging them up. But it should be very salty. I usually just start off with full salt brine when it is first made, and throw in a handful of salt with every cheese after that.
You can turn the cheese while in the brine, or it works just as well to spread a handful of salt over the top and leave it. The salt will draw water up onto the top of the cheese and it should brine evenly (it always does for us at least)
Then wash to your heart's desire.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 06:37:03 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline mgasparotto

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 12:33:18 PM »
Al-
I'm washing my epoisses style in cognac, and using the recipe from Mary Karlin's book. It's coming out really well so far. http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10889.0.html
Melissa

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 01:36:02 PM »
Looks great Melissa!  Which B Linens did you use?  I plan on making Alps Mutschli and this will probably be the soft cheese I make.  Problem is I have to order B. Linens and am not sure which one is best for this application.  Here are my choices...

Offline mgasparotto

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 04:39:57 PM »
I used PLA because I wanted the geo in there, as well. Good luck!

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 04:54:22 PM »
Why buy linens, if you are doing an alcohol wash? You will get wild ones as long as you keep the cheese hospitable to them.

Also, the Mutschli is not a 'soft' cheese like brie and such other 'pasty' cheeses. It is a solid cheese, amybe you would call it Semi-hard.
I am not always sure of the classifications, they are often arbitrary and besides, the classifications in the Swiss traditional are completely different.

For example, Emmentaler is classified as a hard cheese is America, yet the Swiss label it as 'Halb-hard' or half hard. And what they would call hard we would call extra hard. They would classify Mutschli as Halbhard, but it is not as hard as an Emmentaler. Maybe it should be closer to the hardness of a Jarlsberg (though not the texture, because Jarlsberg is washed curd)

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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 04:58:32 PM »
I knew that the Mutschli was a semi-hard cheese.  I wanted to do at least one solid one and one soft cheese so I'll be doing both.  Not sure I'm experienced enough to depend on wild linens showing up in my cheese cave. LOL  Figured I'd get some PLA and spray it. :o

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 07:30:36 PM »
Hi Al,

Linens are everywhere naturally.  They're on your hands, etc, so if you get the cheese in the mood, they will show up.  But, it is comforting to supply them directly as you have a bit more control over their characteristics. 

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 07:32:44 PM »
Hell Jeff, I can't even get the wife in the mood.  I better buy extra!! LOL
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 08:54:26 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2013, 10:03:31 PM »
Found this little gem while reading some about different practices of Mutschli,

„Je höher der Käsebruch gebrannt wird, desto mehr Flüssigkeit wird den Käsekörner entzogen, weil die sich mehr und mehr zusammenziehen. Das wirkt sich dann auf die Lagerung aus: Trockenere Käse können viel länger gelagert und ausgereift werden.“

That is to say,
The higher the curd is cooked, more liquid is expelled from the curd, because they [the curds] draw themselves more and more together. That works thus in the aging: Drier cheese can be aged much longer and become riper.

Before this it explained a good general rule for the Alpine cheeses:
40 degree C cooking temperature will yield a soft cheese
45 degree C cooking temperature will yield a 'halbhard' Alpkäse
50 Degree C cooking temp will yield a 'Hartkäse' or hard cheese.

all in all, this is the biggest variable among the procedures for the Swiss and many Austrian Alpine cheeses. The other variable is milk quality and wild flora used as culture.

I suppose the point I am trying to make is that by understanding this part of the process, we can tailor our Alpine style cheeses to our desires.

Want a hard cheese, cook it higher,
want a soft cheese, barely cook it at all.

Want to age a cheese for a long time? Cook it harder.
Want a cheese that's ready to eat in a month? Cook it less.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 10:18:45 PM by Alpkäserei »
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2013, 10:45:45 PM »
Very enlightening!  I had planned on cooking the curd at the temperatures you state in your recipe.  I'm assuming you are using a thermo culture based on the temps stated.  I was looking for a semi-hard cheese to do with a relatively short aging time.  Perhaps 3-4 months.  I think your recipe fits the bill perfectly.  Especially the part where i can't screw it up. LOL  I really can't tell you how much I appreciate your time in helping me with this project.   A cheese to you for your relentless help for a newbee!!

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Cognac Washed Rind Cheese?
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2013, 11:57:31 PM »
If aging for more than 3 months, than you want to cook it a little more.
From the same document:
"Nach bereits zwei Wochen ist das Mutschli genussreif, allerdings noch sehr mild im Geschmack. Nach drei Monaten ist ein Mutschli dann endgültig ausgereift, von diesem Moment an wird es nur noch schärfer im Geschmack und irgendwann ungeniessbar."

After just 2 weeks the Mutschli is suitably ripe, though very mild in flavor. After 3 months is a Mutschli then completely ripened, from this moment on it only becomes sharper in flavor and sometimes inedible.

That is to say, 3 months is about as far as you want to go.
The sharpness described here is not the same thing we mean when we in America talk about sharpness of a cheese (in German, the word reif, meaning ripe, is generally used)  This is a bad quality. Remember that the Swiss like their cheeses in general far far stronger (Reifer, or sharper in American terminology) than Americans typically are accustomed to. If you don't believe me, eat an 18 month Emmentaler some time.

So if you want a 4 month cheese, you have to dry the mass out a little bit more, maybe cook up to the 110 to 115 F range.

Note one thing, with hard cooked cheeses, undesirable bacteria are most generally killed off. But the temperature ranges of this cheese are far too low for that. You will want to be sure and be very sanitary and have a good culture. And yes, the culture is thermo.

More specifically, you will want to use an Alpine type culture with Streptococcus Thermophilus and some form of Lactobacillus. (likey going to be either l. delbrueckii or l. helveticus)

Regarding the dynamics of the alpine cheeses there is one more thing that should be said.

The lower cooked cheeses ripen much faster than the harder cheeses, but the harder cheeses ripen better. The biggest reason for this is that the softer cheeses have a much more diversified bacteria population, whereas the harder cheeses have had their bacteria reduced by cooking to a small number of cultures.
Also, the higher moisture content is a little more hospitable to bacteria growth so they multiply slightly faster. Also, a moister cheese is more inviting to secondary population by bacteria post-make.

Part of the reason why a Mutschli becomes inedible once it is too old is because undesirable bacteria will produce much more pronounced false flavors past this point. This is much less of a concern if you start of with pasteurized milk. However, the principle still stands that a 4 month Mutschli is past its prime.

I should also note that the difference between the production an Emmentaler and an Alpkäse is 3 degrees (F) that is, Emmentaler may be cooked to about 122, while Alpkäse would be cooked to 124 or 125. This slight difference has a tremendous effect on the texture and hardness of the cheese (also, yes ps has an effect on texture as well) This is only here to point out how important it is to be precise with temperature and time on these cheeses. Slight errors can make a huge difference.
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