Author Topic: Saint Vernier  (Read 1795 times)

Offline Salilah

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Saint Vernier
« on: April 05, 2013, 12:24:29 PM »
Has anyone done a Saint Vernier?

http://www.gourmet-food.com/french-cheese/saint-vernier-cheese-102861.aspx

I bought one from Waitrose (John Lewis Food Hall) as I was looking for a cabecou but couldn't find any (wrong season?)

http://www.waitrose.com/shop/ProductView-10317-10001-151932-Waitrose+Saint+Vernier+Wine+Washed+Cheese,+France

I'd quite like to try it - but can't find a recipe!  I plan to use Caldwell P206 washed rind cheese, but using (maybe) MA4002 rather than FD (only because I have finally got some!) and I don't have any SR3.  I do however have the Saint Vernier bought version, so I thought I'd try a slurry? or use a bit of the rind to add to the wine & salt wash mix?

Any suggestions much appreciated!!
thanks
S


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 12:49:39 PM »
As far as I recall this is a semi-lactic cheese that is made like Langres or Epoisses.  I would not use MA4000 series for this because it would render it too stiff and stable. MM100 or Fl-Dn, or Aroma B, or Probat 222 will work better.  A slurry will work fine, but if you run out of the cheese by now... use Danisco Choozit ARN. It will give you the right aroma and body development and correct coloring.  The only thing I am not sure about is whether or not the wash sequence introduces the wine gradually (such as the Marc liqueur in Epoisses) or is all-at-once. It may be worth it to play around with both types of washes and see which one you like better.

Offline Salilah

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 07:18:29 AM »
Thanks for the comments!!
I didn't do semi-lactic (I don't think - Caldwell is in the other house!) - I do remember the curds being more mixed and at a higher temperature than the camembert I "usually" (!) do...

I did use the MA4002 at the time (excitement from having a second culture!) - I'll see how it comes out, but good to know (PS is there a good source of what the different cultures do?  Caldwell tends just to list them as alternatives, but I don't think she says how you would decide which to use).  The cheeses (4 round, 2 pyramid) were then put in a heavy brine for 30mins each (they were light, the timing suggested was 2h for a 1kg cheese, these were 200-250g I think)

I started off spraying on the slurry of wine (white) with 5% salt and a good scraping of the Saint Vernier rind - left for a few days quite humid, around 12C (it's finally started to warm up here a bit!).  Yesterday I turned them for a 2nd time - sprayer wasn't happy, so without a brush I just used a finger and smeared the slurry over them all...  Thanks for the suggestion of the ARN - I'll have to try finding some...

My cheesemaking is still rather improvised - I know I really should stick with one type until I get it close to right, but I like experimenting!!  On the positive side, went to see my brother & family on Sunday - took one of my thin raw-milk camemberts and a somewhat overripe chabichou - and they liked both!  The camembert disappeared completely and quickly, and my 9 year old niece also loved it  ;D

So - last weekend was anotehr 2 camemberts (think I have 7 in total now) - I can do 2-3L of milk at a time - so this weekend, hmmm - not sure! <grin>

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 01:27:45 PM »
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?

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.

Caldwell's book is a very good source, as well as this forum.  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?

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).

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).

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. 

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...

Offline Salilah

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 11:10:48 AM »
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...)

Quote
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...

Quote
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...

Quote
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!!  ;D

Quote
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?

Quote
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...

Quote
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!

Quote
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
Sali


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 10:14:06 PM »
I think this cheese is like Epoisses or Langres, washed rind but semi-lactic.  Have you been using raw milk? If it's pasteurized, adding calcium will resolve your collapsed curd issues. Sometimes it's okay to boost up your raw mil with calcium as well (sometime in the lactation cycle it runs low on calcium).  Love Chabichou, and REALLY love Cabecou de Perigord. People always think I am looking for Chabichou when I ask them for Cabecou, really annoying! A few years ago I was in France and every time I asked for Cabicou the monger handed me something called Rocamadour - as it turns out, I didn't know at the time they were the same exact cheese. Don't know any other cheese that has two names.

I ship to the UK all the time, no problems. I have taken a tremendous amount of time and got lots of help in putting together a system for international logistics. It's not just some Willy-nilly drop it in the mail; there are some consideration with the packaging and customs compliance. If you opt for a faster shipping class (makes sense for bigger orders), I have a setup where FedEx international shipments are hassle-free: Your customs are already included in the shipping and are pre-paid to UK customs. With my brokarage release arrangement, the package spend usually 60-120 seconds at customs and it arrives at your front door with a FedEx person, no need to ever pay anything else or go down to the post office. Logistics are very important to me because I work with many creameries now. When you have 1000 Lbs of perishable raw milk sitting in a vat, you don't have time to deal with the post...
I am negotiating rates now and I hope that the "Europe Economy" class will be available in the coming days. It is more affordable.

the site is ArtisanGeek. Most of the bugs are resolved now (with exception of a few CSS things, mainly with Firefox). The products are just not loaded up all the way. Missing tons of photos, descriptions and items still, but whatever is there can be purchased already.  If you are trying to use it and it gives you unreasonable shipping charges, let me know as I am trying to adjust it to be more accurate.

Offline Salilah

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 08:19:50 AM »
Yeah, I didn;t realise the "cabecou = rocamadour" - though we have visited Rocamadour itself - not a particularly pretty place!

re UK, it wasn't Steve's fault - it's the first time he's ever had customs problems!  I think perhaps Cambridge area is over-zealous on the customs side (but as incompetent as other parts of Royal Mail when it comes to losing parcels  :(  ).  Home delivery by the Post Office though is easy - they are next door! <grin>

re site - don't have a link - will check out soon and will let you know if any issues
cheers!
Sali

Offline Salilah

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 01:40:49 PM »
Went down to give the cheeses another rub (I don't have a brush)
Not a particularly pleasant smell - think maybe they are
a) too warm - the baby barn is up to 20C now
b) too humid - little dusting of moisture on the lid of the container

I rubbed them all with the wine+salt+slurry mix and turned them - then left the lid off to reduce moisture

I think I need to get them into the fridge - 20C is way too warm I reckon - they are definitely softening!
If anyone is reading and has any ideas so far
? should I wrap them before fridging, or
? should I just put them into a tupperware container in the fridge?
? should I keep rubbing with the mix, or let them settle now?

thanks!!
S

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 09:43:37 PM »
Don't wrap! They are too moist! You will get a skin slip and ammonia.  Open the lid further, reduce temperature dramatically. Keep washing.

You are lucky with the post office and UK is one of the smoother customs I've had the pleasure to work with. Some countries like Canada and Italy are a nightmare.  Still, there is no overzealousy with the inspectors if the custom deceleration is in compliance with correct Harmonized Codes for the destination country. Obviously having pre-paid and pre-released customs can really speed up things. It's more expensive but I am also dealing with many creameries that buy expensive shipments of perishable cultures for commercial production, and that stuff needs to be shipped cold and arrive promptly, so I had to find a way that works for them...

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 05:52:35 AM »
Salilah, Keep improvising!!!!  I am of that style of chesemaking too!  I am making cheese the way I cook, garden, live, etc which is to improvise, using recipes as suggestions, inspiration, or starting points.  Some amazing results are likely, once in a while a dud, but mostly lovely outcomes.  Of course I'm still at the stage of accumulating experience so that it all becomes instinctive.   :D

Oh, and I have brined semi lactic acid bloomy cheeses.  There was a Humboldt Fog thread in which quite a few people participated and brining was done by several of us.  I've done two batches that way and they do not dissolve in the brine although I was nervous the first time.  The nice thing about brining versus salting the exterior is that it feels like more control over the salt because I'm not wondering how much fell off, dripped off with whey, etc.  Of course, there's still guessing how much time to leave in the brine but I'll probably come across a good rule of thumb sometime. 

So, rock on and improvise!  I imagine all cheeses started that way.   :)


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Offline Dibbs

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 07:29:07 AM »
... 16 litres??  that would cost me £54!!  <sigh> ...


That's a ridiculous price.  The people who make Lincolnshire poacher cheese sell raw milk at farmer's markets all over the country for £1.40 a litre. 

http://www.lincolnshirepoachercheese.com/products/

They are fairly near you, in Ely on Friday.

http://www.lincolnshirepoachercheese.com/markets-and-events/


Offline Tiarella

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 09:32:52 AM »
Salilah,  you mention ripening the cheese in the baby barn?  What is that?  if it's truly a barn I'm not sure it's a good idea to leave the lid off your ripening container.  There are all kinds of things floating in the air everywhere but a LOT more in the barn including parasite eggs, etc. I believe.  Good luck with this cheese.  I have a number of extremely stinky cheeses that while I loved their rosy colors, I did not appreciate their taste.   :-\

Offline Salilah

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 12:44:33 PM »
Don't wrap! They are too moist! You will get a skin slip and ammonia.  Open the lid further, reduce temperature dramatically. Keep washing.

Thanks for the advice!
I haven't wrapped - once a week (only there at weekends) they get another stroke of the liquid - and they are now in the wine fridge so at 12C, still in a big tupperware container (cake store officially)
May try one this weekend - we are off on holiday for a week on 5 May so won't have much time...
Will report back!
thanks
S

Offline Salilah

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 12:47:04 PM »
That's a ridiculous price.  The people who make Lincolnshire poacher cheese sell raw milk at farmer's markets all over the country for £1.40 a litre. 
They are fairly near you, in Ely on Friday.

thanks for that!  I'm usually travelling up from London to Cambridge on a Friday - but it is worth thinking about this, definitely a much better price!
Also - though it is probably me - I find my yield from the raw milk is much lower than from supermarket pasteurised (both homogenised and non-h)
So it makes it even more ridiculous!
thanks again

Offline Salilah

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Re: Saint Vernier
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 12:49:57 PM »
Salilah,  you mention ripening the cheese in the baby barn?  What is that?  if it's truly a barn I'm not sure it's a good idea to leave the lid off your ripening container.  There are all kinds of things floating in the air everywhere but a LOT more in the barn including parasite eggs, etc. I believe.  Good luck with this cheese.  I have a number of extremely stinky cheeses that while I loved their rosy colors, I did not appreciate their taste.   :-\

Hey Tiarella
No - no panic - we live in a fairly recently built house (about 7 years) which is modelled on a barn (and called Fairlight Barn) - and we had a hobbies building built in the back garden, which follows the same model (big beam, black wood clad etc) which we call the baby barn - but it's not a real barn - though I do do my gardening there (sowing seeds, potting on) so I think I still need to be careful of hygiene!!

Not sure re the cheese yet - may try this weekend - and keep some for longer (I've 4 small round ones and 2 larger pyramids!!)

Holiday first - Sicily - can't wait!!!
S