I didn't do semi-lactic (I don't think - Caldwell is in the other house!)I don't remember a recipe for this cheese in her book. Am I wrong?
Nope - I couldn't find a recipe for this one anywhere! (part of the problem of buying a cheese then hoping I can match it!). The Saint Vernier wrapping said it was a washed rind, so I just used the washed rind recipe (can't remember which one...)
MA4000 series is a farmstead culture, containing both mesophilic and themophilic strains. Beneficial when you are making a semi-hard or stabilized soft cheese. that extra kick of thermophilic in your otherwise-mesophilic cheese fabrication will make the texture more stable, stiff maybe even rubbery. This is how you prevent ammonia and aging from destroying a Camembert, but the cost is that you lose the suppleness of it. I would keep the MA4000 series more for Tommee style of cheese and use MM100, Flora Danica, Probat 222, Aroma B or MW30T for this type of cheese. More aromatic and more supple.
Thank you so much for this! Very helpful... I've also got aroma B (I think) so I might use that for the softer cheeses and keep the MA4002 for a semi-hard...
Caldwell's book is a very good source, as well as this forum.
I love the book - it was an accidental present, but I do think it is excellent! I really like the technical side of it...
I am putting together some visual aids that can compare the different cultures. There are lots of cultures out there in different blends, mixes and strains, but the most important thing to know is what species are in the blend. There are only 4 commonly used mesophilic species and 5 thermophilic strains for cheesemaking, so if you know what each one does, you will understand instantly what a blend does or what is its purpose. Secondary to that the main differences between similar blends would be the strains. Some are faster than others, some are more resistant to salt and acid than others, etc. It's a bit like knowing that you like paprika and incorporate it in your cooking. Then you find out that Spanish Paprika has different qualities than Hungarian Paprika. Then you find out that Spanish paprika is available as sweet, semi-sweet and smoked, and hungarian is available as sweet ot spicy. All of a sudden, the spice you like is 5 different spices. And you didn't even get to your favorite brand of each one... Know what I mean?
Makes total sense!! What makes me a bit nervous <grin> is that I think I'm still at the stage of not quite really knowing that paprika and chilli are related but different!!
I wouldn't bother putting this cheese in a brine. (well, if you are doing it semi-lactic than it would fall apart anyway). For such small cheese and small batch, you can certainly hand-salt it. Calculate about 1.5% salt by weight and coat each cheese with it. Osmosis will do the rest. Brine for this small quantity is a hassle and quite a waste of salt and time (and you will need to ajust its acidity and calcium too. No need to do that with dry-salting which is just as effective).
Hmmm - good point. So another thing I need to learn is when you brine and when you hand-salt! I hand-salt the camemberts and goats, I guess the recipe for the washed rind was for a bigger cheese, whereas mine are quite small?
Yes, atomizers are not fond of the slurry! Use a small brush. Turn it every day. If it has yeasted already (coated with creamy color slippery-soft geo) than now it's time to wash each size once every 2 days. Do that for a week and reduce frequency on the second week. Then wrap and refrigerate to let it intensify (the color will intensify at this stage too).
The atomiser worked OK with the chabichou - but not so good this time! I don't (yet) have a small brush - at least, I have a very small watercolour brush, and I reckon it would take me several hours!! I'll find a better one... I think it started just about yeasting on Monday - I'm back Friday so I'll turn and give it another go...
Not to plug in my website too much (I am still soft-launching for the next week or so) but I do offer ARN and I ship worldwide. Send me a private message if you want to know more.
Thank you! I've got your details from a PM. I'm a bit hesitant as Steve sent me a parcel, and the *bleep* UK Royal Mail firstly charged me customs fees, then lost the parcel, then charged me customs fees for the replacement parcel, and are refusing to consider any compensation for the lost first parcel!! If you want a tester for your website, let me know the URL, I'm a "bug-finder" in software if that is useful!
Love your inmprovised cheesemaking. It's the best way to learn and to be a creative cheesemaker rather than following formulas of other cheesemakers.
Why not use your Camembert milk to give a semi-lactic a try this weekend? Ahh... reminded my I have 16 liters of raw milk in my fridge right now waiting for some love. Off I go...
16 litres?? that would cost me £54!! <sigh> This weekend we'll be tasting rather than making, as we have some friends coming - so lots of thought about what I do with sous vide and/or wood-fired oven
I was a bit nervous about the semi-lactics as I tried a home-designed random goat and it was very soggy - my rennet (from a UK supplier) I think I was under-using, so I had real problems with any sort of set. But the chabichou were semi-lactic, and worked well!! Now I just need cabecou (rocamadour) to come back in season, to try those (though not sure how I would improvise the mould...)
All good fun!
Thank you so much for your suggestions and support - really appreciated