Author Topic: Gruyere  (Read 1989 times)

Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2013, 09:14:39 PM »
Yeah,

I got a late start washing the rind (and it's my first washed rind cheese) so I'm not sure what to expect.  Since I started washing it I haven't had any fuzzies growing on it at all and I'm starting to get a fair amount of goo but it dries out between washings even in 85% RH.  I suppose I could wash it twice a day to encourage the Linens which doesn't seem to be exactly exploding on it (I even put a pinch of linens in the wash water just in case).  I'm trying to leave it out to breath for a while each day just in case the O2 level in the "cave" is getting low between openings.

Next Wed I'll have a little time and I'll do a Mutchsli and do the washing right.  My youngest daughter will be home from college and will be able to babysit the cheese for a quick weekend away with my wife.  I think I'll try Alp's technique for adding in two stages.  I can get raw milk only on Sundays so that's difficult for me and I'm not sure about letting it sit in the fridge for a week until I have time for practicing cheese making techniques.  I'm going to continue to wash it daily until Sunday and then drop to two or three times per week.

I'll keep the pics coming as it matures.  I plan on aging it for at least three months though after reading the treatise on the significant change that occurs at the six month point I'm tempted to let go for a while.  I think I'll tide myself over with the Mutschli to keep me from eating it.


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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2013, 09:05:19 PM »
I would recommend more alcohol  :P

When I have spots like that or problem with molds that don't go away, some times I just wash with straight wine for a few days. That will take care of things.

I'm also beginning to lean toward a heavier wine concentration in general. I like the deeper color tones you get by doing that.
Really what convinced me was a 3 year old Alpkäse I received in the mail, with its beautiful golden brown rind.
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2013, 09:18:15 AM »
How aggressively do you brush the rind?  I'm trying to hit a happy medium between merely swooshing the morge around and exfoliating the darned thing.  I'm trying to brush just hard enough to get some gooiness worked up each time.  I haven't found a brush I really like yet.  Natural bristle brushes seem to be either really stiff and I'd remove cheese or too soft and I'd just tickle it.  I did see one somewhere on line that looked like the one you were using in your picture but it was 6 inches in diameter.  Great if I were making 20kg cheeses but not for my little 1.5kg cheeses.

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2013, 11:06:38 AM »
you dont 'dig in" at all. i just wash the goop around, and let the bacteria, alcohol, and weak acid of the wine do all the hard work. the goal is to create as smooth a rind as possible, and when you scrub to hard you can sometimes get grainy.
i definitely prefer a natural bristle brush. id go for the soft just tickle it brush. thats what i look for. i just want to smaer around the goop without digging in
i know most leave the nubbins. i use solid forms. aits a spring form open on bottom and top we call a Järb. i have never seen forms with holes used by Swiss cheesemakers. those who make smaller cheeses use a tall form thats like a tube, no holes. these we call Vätterli or Vätteren. but we trim off any flash, like around the edge of the form. we like our cheese perfect. which is actually good for practical reasons. it makes washing easier and more consistent .
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 10:19:11 AM »
Straight wine wash and it's getting more golden.  I'll get a pic in a couple of days.  Getting some white powder but not sure if it's salt or mold.  Since this is fairly thin, only 2 inches thick, should I wax it eventually or will the rind keep the moisture in well enough I don't end up with a solid piece of rind in 7 months?


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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2013, 11:41:00 AM »
2 inches is quite thin, it won't get a solid rind but it would get rather hard.

But right now I am eating away at a 3 year old Hobelkäse, which you would think is terribly hard I'm sure.

I've never waxed. I don't really know what to say honestly. I'm afraid to say 'wax it' because I don't like wax, but I'm afraid if you don't do something, it will be harder than you want it.

I would say if you keep it in the proper high humidity -like not under 85%- for the duration, it should still be good, just maybe harder than you might be used to.

White powder happens. At this point, hard telling what it is but just pay it no mind. Keep washing like normal. If it is geo, it is OK. If it is salt, it will go away eventually. If it is PC it will die. If you are washing with straight wine, I don't see how PC could survive anyway. Even geo in that kind of environment doesn't tend to do so well. I had a cheese that had a nice geo coating, but someone left the light on  >:( and it got PC on it so I had to wash with pure wine to disinfect. The geo all died from that.
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2013, 12:46:06 PM »
It was more of a learning batch to begin with but in all honesty I like harder cheeses so I'll just play it by ear.  I saw some pictures of a Hobelkase on the internet somewhere and it looked quite good.  Planed into nice thin curls.

The white dust went away with the wine wash and it's still fairly supple so it hasn't dried out yet.  I'll continue washing twice a week for a while and see what happens.  If it seems like it's loosing too much moisture then I'll cream coat it or even wax it for a while.  I'd really like to let it go for at least six months before I try it.

My humidity stays around 85% normally so it should be pretty good to go.  As I put more and more cheese in there the humidity should remain stable.  I'm going to make another one soon with three gallons of raw milk.  With a 7.5 inch mold that come out to a really nice form factor (I think anyway).

cheers

Mike

I'll post another pic to show the rind development.  Haven't had any new invaders for a while now.  I'm hoping the Mutschli benefits from not have a week's delay between finish and start of wash.

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2013, 02:23:20 PM »
Another tactic for Gruyere is to make a salt rind. This is probably how most of the larger producers in Switzerland do it.

I have had much more luck with a salt rub, rather than a brine wash. When you rub with dry salt, moisture is drawn from the cheese and the air around it to the rind, so you do still develop a schmier. This is what I would do if I wanted a lighter, thinner rind without the b. linen flavor.
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Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2013, 04:24:35 PM »
Latest pics for rind development.  I gave it a couple of days of washing with a nice Pinot Grigio so I guess it'll speak Swiss German with an Italian accent.  The B. Linens isn't exactly exploding across the surfaces but nothing else is volunteering either.  It is getting more golden in color and still feels fairly supple so I don't think it's in danger of drying out just yet.  I'm going back to a twice weekly wash with this one with an increased wine ratio.  Once I get my pH meter debacle sorted out, don't get me going about Extech customer service, I'll see what the pH of the surface is.  If it turns out to be too low to make the linens happy do you think I should innoculate it with PLA to raise the pH a little or just let it do its thing for a while to see what happens.  Currently it smells a little fruity from the wine but no major sweatsocks smell or other aromas to speak of.  Still not sure if the white on the edges is salt or GC.  I guess I could use my organic salt detector but that might introduce other, less desirable, flora  ::)


Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2013, 09:50:49 PM »
Well, in a fit of playing with my new cheese tryer I sampled the cheese even though I know it's very immature.  The texture is right on already....I was kind of shocked.  The flavor is very mild but it is indicative of what's to come.  7 or 8 months it will be really good......if I wait longer then it will be awesome.  Right now I've got "issues" with RH in the cave.  I may either wax this one or maybe use cheese coating to keep it from drying out too much although I really like the really hard alpine cheeses.  I just got in a Beaufort d' Alpage and a Gruyere d' Alpage and they were awesome......I think I need to salt my cheeses more though....I seem to really like really really salty cheeses.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 11:16:39 AM by Smurfmacaw »


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Gruyere
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2013, 05:42:06 AM »
You could rub a couple coatings of pure coconut oil on it.  just check a few days to make sure all surfaces have a thick enough coating and that will slow/stop moisture loss.  That's what I've been doing because my cave is pretty dry and I'm out of room to do stuff like pans of water, fans, etc.  Coconut oil melts at a warm room temp or in a pan of hot water and is solid at aging temps.  I haven't yet seen any mold grow under it.  It does need to be redone as needed during longer agings.