On Tuesday I made my first attempt at a blue, using the recipe (unfortunately modified) from "Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking" by G. Caldwell. It is now in the cave, and I don't really know what to expect. The recipe I sort of followed is "Pablo Battro's Flor Azul-Natural Rind Blue Cheese" In the introduction to the recipe she talks about gorgonzola and roquefort, so I was expecting a softish cheese, but now at day 3 in the cave it seems pretty hard. I saw in another post that that could still change in a few days.
My recipe was 9 liters raw milk mesophilic starter, with a pinch of "Toma ST" which is a culture I was able to find here, used to make the traditional tomme, and P.R., 3/4 tsp rennet in 1/4 c water. I ripened at 32 C for 30 minutes, added rennet, cut at 30 minutesacross in one direction, waited 10 minutes (maintained 32 C the whole time) cut across in opposing direction (cuts about 5cm apart), waited 10 minutes, and cut horizontally, rest another 10 min.
held at 32 C for 45 min, stirring occasionally, drained whey on an inclined tray for an hour (trying to maintain 22C). PUt the curd in its form, turned after 1 hour, then turned after 4 hours, went to bed, turned in the morning, and turned every 4 hrs after that until 24 hrs passed from when I had put it in the form.
Unmolded, salted all sides and put it in the cave at 11 C with a whet paper towel in its tupperware.
I have been turning once a day every day, there was whey on the bottom of the tupperware the second day in the cave, then it seemed to dry out. I will post pics later, but I am wondering:
I salted outside, and G. Caldwell says this will encourage the mold to begin its growth in the middle of the cheese, and work its way outward, so when should I expect to see some mold?
Will this be a soft cheese? A hard cheese? Did my modifications to the recipe (I used mesophilic and toma st instead of Flora Danica, and ST) change what my result will be completely (I imagine the answer to that is yes).
If I did make a completely different cheese as a result, should aging time and process change (she advises 60-75 days at 11 C 90% rh).
Oh, and I haven't gotten a hygrometer yet, so I am guessing the RH...hope i won't ruin any cheeses as a result.