Author Topic: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!  (Read 1355 times)

Offline meyerandray

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first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« on: March 23, 2013, 12:04:36 PM »
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.


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Offline BobE102330

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 12:26:25 PM »
If you are getting light condensation on the inside of the ripening box you are in the right humidity ballpark. 

The PR will soften the cheese.  Hard to say how soft it will get.  My Stilton attempts have started out pretty rubbery and barely knit, but after 6-8 weeks were nice and creamy.  They also pretty much stopped weeping whey in a couple of days, so your experience sounds reasonable. 

The cultures used will affect the final taste, but if you like the result it is fine, whether it is a "true" Flor Azul or not.  That you used mostly meso and a pinch of thermo should make it pretty close - not a completely different cheese.  What strains are in your meso? 

You should start seeing some blue in a day or two.  The transformation is fun to watch.  Enjoy, and let us know how it turns out. 

Offline meyerandray

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 12:56:19 PM »
Yes, I have a light condensation in the box, attached is a photo.  I can't wait to see some blue!  I'll keep you posted.
Celine

Offline shotski

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 01:28:23 PM »
If it is a Stilton all the recipes Ihave seen say to let stand 5 days at room temperature to promote the blue and for draining.

Offline BobE102330

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 01:35:58 PM »
Looks like your humidity is spot on!


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Online george (MaryJ)

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 05:57:17 AM »
Shotski, per the original post, it's not a Stilton.  C'mon guys, lots of other blues out there besides Stilton - although you wouldn't know it from the thread list on this particular board.   ;D 

Meyerandray, I agree with Bob on the humdity, it looks good, just don't let it get higher than than (if you start find lots MORE condensation than what you have now.  The cultures probably won't matter much either, although you'll probably be missing extra buttery notes that the FD would have brought.  (Mind you, I'm not a culture expert, so I may be wrong on that, I don't know what's in the cultures you used, maybe they also have that FD-ishness.)  Don't stress - it looks like you're on the right track, and besides, there's always plenty of cheese to make!!  In 100+ cheeses, I think I've only had 3 or 4 that were complete losses.  Everything else that didn't come out quite right just got "re-purposed" - there have been a lot of grilled cheeses and cheese sauce around here over the years.   8) 
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 06:47:21 AM »
With blues, is it important to wipe out the condensation each day like it is with other cheeses?  Haven't done blues so I don't know.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 06:19:22 PM by Tiarella »

Offline H-K-J

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 09:56:25 AM »
C'mon guys, lots of other blues out there besides Stilton - although you wouldn't know it from the thread list on this particular board.   ;D 
You are so right about the other blues, lots of them to be made, maybe when I finely perfect a Stilton type I will move on to perhaps a Gorgonzola, I have been contemplating that one.
as an answer to the thread if you make a blue cheese expect to get a lot of different molds, blue,s green's, wight, brown, orange.
just watch out for the cat hairs and the puffy white, and nasty blacks :o
never had a bad Stilton, have one that has a blue bite that bites back, yet oh sooo nummy :P
act as if it were impossible to fail.

Offline meyerandray

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 12:12:15 PM »
Tiarella: thanks for the tip, I am going to assume that I do have to wipe the condensation every day, which I haven't been doing. 
George (Mary J): Thanks for the reassurance!  I can't wait to finally taste one of my creations. 
As of today, still no blue in sight, but I am feeling much more tranquil with all of your comments, I will be patient and accept whatever the outcome is!  I have tons of potatoes, so I can always make gnocchi with 4 cheese sauce!! 
As far as branching out on blues- there is a local cheese producer here that makes the best toma blue I have ever tasted!!  I wish I could send you all a piece to taste, and your beloved Stilton would have some competition ;)  I am going to hunt him down in the alps in June and see if he'll give me his recipe, which I would be happy to share if he does.

Offline Boofer

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 05:36:22 PM »
Shotski, per the original post, it's not a Stilton.  C'mon guys, lots of other blues out there besides Stilton - although you wouldn't know it from the thread list on this particular board.   ;D 
Yeah, george, crack the whip! Hooyah!! Get some! ;)

I do have a non-Stiltonesque cheese developing off-stage right now. Let's bring her out and make her feel welcome...give her a round of applause! Sorry, not ready yet. :-[

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Offline Tiarella

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 06:22:07 PM »
Shotski, per the original post, it's not a Stilton.  C'mon guys, lots of other blues out there besides Stilton - although you wouldn't know it from the thread list on this particular board.   ;D 
Yeah, george, crack the whip! Hooyah!! Get some! ;)

I do have a non-Stiltonesque cheese developing off-stage right now. Let's bring her out and make her feel welcome...give her a round of applause! Sorry, not ready yet. :-[

-Boofer-

Oooh, I want to see!!!!  Please?  Don't make me start the photo chant again!. Oh, I'll be good.   :-X




Offline jwalker

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 09:21:35 AM »
I don't know what to expect from yours , but I will share some pics of my first blue , just now a week or so old.

My recipe is a two pounder , pressed lightly at 5lbs. for a few hours , salted and turned at room temp for the first four days.

Nothing happened in those first four days , but after one day in the tupperware , in the cheese cave and it turned blue overnight , here it is now.

It is kind of exciting.

Cheers , Jim.

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Offline Boofer

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 09:37:26 AM »
Ah, there's the proud Papa! :)

Nice shade of blue, Jim. Now we wait to see how the inner paste develops. Have you pierced yet?

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Offline jwalker

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 10:09:36 AM »
The recipe called for piercing in 7-10 days , so will be doing it this Sunday at 7 days.

Then aging for 90 days.

Cheers , Jim.
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Offline meyerandray

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Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 12:09:03 PM »
Well despite you guys showing me up, I will still share my "blue" which I pierced today (day 7).  I took a picture because I was so excited to finally see some blue, then I see your pictures, and, well,  my blue is much less exciting ;).  I am feeling reassured that it is starting though. 
I have noticed my humidity is not high enough now though, what should I do?  Add more wet paper towels?