Author Topic: Wow, camembert  (Read 1198 times)

Offline Hansadutta

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Wow, camembert
« on: May 02, 2013, 09:52:42 AM »
Since it is only my 5th cheese I considered it a bit arrogant to try my luck on camembert. However I  enjoy seeing pictures of massive failures so no matter how it would turn out it would always be a success.
After reading lots of stories I considered myself expert enough to try it with the recipe in the wiki. Lack of proper equipment also cannot be an excuse not to go for it.
Place a cube meso culture in a glass of milk so everything can wake up and leave them for a few hours.



Clean everything with sulphite and some citric acid. (I originated in wine making country.) Do not forget hands.



Warm up the milk (4L) and add 60 gram of the culture and a pinch of pencillium candidum.



Leave it and sort out how the molds should be placed.





Put 2 ml rennet in a small glass of water and add it to the milk.
Leave it and think about the molds again.





Cut the curds and stir slowly for a while. I have no idea if this looks ok.



Let the curds drain in a cheese cloth for 15 minutes. Saw that somewhere on the internet and it seemed a good idea.
Place the curds in the molds and put the whey in a plastic bottle.



Don’t panic. Stay cool. Place the curds back in the pan and drill holes in the molds as fast as you can. (If you like you can do this step at a more convenient moment.)
Open a bottle of champagne and have a glass. Do not omit this step because it can be a great factor in the outcome.
Place the curds in the molds. I think I prefer to use cheese cloth inside the molds to avoid curds coming out underneath.



I left them for 3 hours so the cheeses would be less fragile and easier to turn. Saw that somewhere on the internet and it seemed a good idea.



Add salt. The cheeses feel very fragile and wet and look as if Frankenstein made them.



After a few days the cheeses seem very spongy, still fragile and feel fatty and moist. Or should I say wet?



Another few days later the cheeses start smelling great, however after turning them my hands smell like feet. And not just like feet; like feet that have been trapped in socks while travelling through the Burmese jungle for 2 weeks, tracking the world’s largest anaconda. Unfortunately the snake always remains one step ahead of you.
They still seem a little wet so I dried them with a paper towel.
A few days later I think I see a tiny white spot.



Which seems to be an accurate observation. The feet odor is not as strong as it was. The cheese is much firmer and drier. I add a few drops of water in the box to make it a bit more moist.



So far this has been very rewarding. Unfortunately the pictures are not very spectacular because the anticipated train wreck was avoided. (Sorry about that)
Hans








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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 11:25:48 AM »
Excellent presentation of the make!  A cheese for your pictures and for the nice looking Cams!

I can sympathize with your feelings about trying a cam this early in your cheesemaking hobby. I started off making a mozz and then a couple of fetas and then just jumped in and made some camemberts. My first make went pretty well except for the final taste test. I feel I aged them too long and too cold. I also tried to make a triple cream which I think added issues to which I was not capable of addressing. The flavor was not quite right...some off flavors that I felt were due to aging too long (due to too low temps).

At any rate, it was a wonderful experience! I learned a ton about cheese just from that one make....since then I have made camemberts successfully several times. I can heartily recommend the experience!!

Most important is the affinage: too warm and you will have slipskin issues as well as high ammonia (related) development. Too dry and you do not get the wonderful coating you need to develop the paste.  I recommend something approximating 95% humidity (a practically closed up container) and 48-52F temperatures. I feel that 55F is a bit too high and lower than 48F (or thereabouts) you delay ripening and may wind up with some off flavors, although others have reported success at the lower temps. 

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013, 01:53:09 PM »
Those look very good, a cheese to you.  I've only made a few batches of cams / brie myself.  One thing I've had occur is if the cheese remains "wet" when you turn it each day (so flip it and find the downside is sitting in moisture), then often blue will grow as well as the white mould.  You seem to have avoided that.  Well done.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2013, 02:51:37 PM »
Bbracken,

Thanks for the cheese. I was planning to age them for a longer time. I added really little pc for that purpose but I will try not to overdo it. I am also not too fond of the runny cheeses.
At this time I keep the container closed because the cheeses feel more or less dry and firm. (I have no idea of how it should feel but I guess it looks ok.) Maybe I will add the wett paper towel. (Never thought of saying something like that. When does one need these set of words?) When the whole cheese is covered I will put them in the normal refrigerator.
I took a lot of pictures and now I take a picture each morning. It is really great to see the development. Without the pictures you miss some things. They are a lot less ugly now. I was also surprised by the change in texture and smells.

Jeff you really are too modest. I have read a lot of your comments and you are partially credited for the succes so far. I actually tried to avoid them being too wet because of the handling issues. I can't understand how you can manage your brie. Maybe that will accomplish my second goal: Pictures of disaster!

P.S. I read a lot these days but I don't feel like I'm capable of adding anything usefull. But I enjoy the show.

Online JeffHamm

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 07:11:40 PM »
The brie isn't that hard to handle really, as the cheese drains down and becomes firm.  If it is slumping, or loosing shape, it's too wet and needs to drain more.  To store it in the cave I put the lid of the box down, put chopsticks on the lid, then lay a mat (cross stitch matting), then put the cheese on that, and finally put the box on top as if it is a very high ceiling lid.  To flip, I put another mat on top of the cheese, pick up the two mats, and flip, easy as pie!  Once it's wrapped and in the cold fridge, it's even easier to flip of course. 

The only tricky time there is in handling are the flips during the make, but again, I make them in one mould and put the other mould on top to make a sort of container.  This makes it easy to flip while draining.  Cam's are a bit harder because the moulds are open ended, but basically, put a cutting board down, a mesh on that, then the mould, fill it.  To flip, put a mesh on top, then a cutting board on top, pick up the "mould sandwich", flip quickly, and if you avoid disaster, you're ready to risk it again in a couple hours! :)

- Jeff
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 10:22:05 AM »
Hans, another cheese for you as reward for being such an entertaining cheese story teller.  I appreciate your humor in the telling and I'm glad you had champagne to help ease any anxiety you might have been feeling.
 ;D.

 Did you use Geo in your make?  I think someone once told me that using Geo AND PC rather than just PC (this is for the rind mold portion of the culture choices) helps to avoid a "runny all over the place" style of cheese.

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2013, 04:02:23 AM »
Hello Tiarella,

When I realized that the moulds would probably not work I did experience some stress symptoms.  ^-^ The shop where I shop does not sell Geo so I "choose" not to use it. I will try to find it for the next time.

Here are some pictures of the cheeses and the end result. It is very creamy and over all the taste is ok but in the background there is a stable flavour which I find not very nice. I am wondering if I should heat the milk to kill the stable bacteria next time.
I will try to eat the second cheese directly from the refridgerator because I am not a big fan of too runny cheese and maybe the stable flavour will be hidden.

Hans








Offline Tiarella

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2013, 05:41:31 AM »
Ooooh, sorry you have stable flavor.  I'm not sure what that is from.  Does the farmer milk into an open bucket in a smelly stable?  and then does the milk sit in a bucket open to the air for a while to absorb the flavor?  Hope it tastes good when cold.  Maybe you could start a thread in the Problems/Questions area titled something like, "What makes milk/cheese have stable odor/taste?" and see if some experienced forum members have answers.  I'd be curious too although the milk I have is never stable flavored......my goats would never dream of giving me anything less than totally yummy milk!   ;D

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 06:22:29 AM »
Hi Hans, first of all: I apologize for my late reaction, we Dutch cheese-heads should support each other  ^-^.
Second: A cheese of course for your brave effort which as far as I can see, came out real fine, especially for a first try.
Have you ever tried the real "farmers Brie"? It has a stable flavor as well. When you don't like runny cheese, look on the forum for President Brie. I think it was Linuxboy who explained how to stabilize (nothing to do with stables) Brie, which will work for Cams as well.
When you need more types of cultures, you can take a look at Leidinger.
Some people may consider the use of PVC-tubes unhealthy, because they are not approved for food. I use them myself, for Cams, Reblochon, Cambozola etc. and I like them.....
- Herman -

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2013, 07:49:01 AM »
Hi Tiarella,
The milk is fine. It is the best I ever drank. Strangely there is no smell now. During the making the cheeses had a period that they smelled like socks. (In a nice way) At some stage the smell disappeared.
The taste is not really bad. It is nice but totally unexpected. The cheese taste different from everything I know. So maybe it is more my problem than a cheese problem.

Hi Herman,

I actually feel some pressure from being Dutch. How can I fail with all these cheese genes?
Making the cheese was lots of fun. I took a picture each day and it is great to see, feel and smell all the changes happening in such a short period. And I am happy with the result.
Thanks for all the tips. I will try to find a farmers brie and see if the taste is similar. It is very possible that my taste is ruined by bland supermarket cheeses.
I will try to find the post you are referring to. I still have many hours of reading to do. I guess that is a nice thing about making cheese; you can make a cheese with very little knowledge but if you like you can read about it for years.
I find the PVC tubes also very handy. And they are very easy to modify if neccesary. I did not want to invest a lot before knowing if I would enjoy the hobby. (Yes.. Dutch.)


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Online JeffHamm

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2013, 01:22:53 PM »
A cheese to you for what appears to be a very nice outcome.  Far better than my most recent attempt.  Well done. 

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2013, 05:12:30 AM »
Thanks a lot Jeff, I guess that I am good at not showing initiative and just do as it is written.  ??? It was a lot of fun and I'm very happy with the outcome.

First I was not so sure about the taste but I tried a piece a bit colder and for me that was much nicer. No stable taste and firmer. (I will probably go to cheese hell for saying this.)

Offline CheeWilly

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2013, 08:25:46 AM »
Hans,
Looks like you are off and running.  Those cheese morsels look great!  I am wondering if the cheese may have pulled in a champagne smell around the time the drilling of the moulds took place......LOL.
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Offline jwalker

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2013, 08:59:37 AM »
I can't taste them , so I will have to take your word for it.

But they sure do LOOK good !

A well deserved cheese to you.

Cheers , Jim.
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Wow, camembert
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2013, 09:12:50 AM »
I will try to find the post you are referring to.


I found it again, you can read it here.
It's a bit technical but when you need explanation, just ask....
Below are the once I made earlier...
- Herman -