Author Topic: Crottin de Chavignol - help  (Read 858 times)

Offline douglas

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Crottin de Chavignol - help
« on: May 13, 2013, 02:11:40 PM »
Ok, so I've been making brie since the start of the year, and I think I finally getting good at it.  So, I wanted to branch out, and also give a try at cheese using raw milk.  I have the mold cultures for brie, so I though I would give it a try with raw goats milk, and make Crottin de Chavignol, using this make:

http://www.cheesemaking.com/Crottin.html

So, I got the chevre cultures from them in the mail, and I went to the local store that carries the raw goats milk, and found out when the new shipment comes in each week, and got the stuff pretty much right off the truck.  I get it home, warm it up to room temp, and add in the chevre culture and the Geotrictum.  Then the make says, just leave it for 18-24 hours.  That seemed a bit long, but then again, I think this cheese is supposed to be lactic coagulated, so it needs to get to very high (low?) acid levels?  Anyway, I shrugged, and went with it.  Just before going to bed, I saw the milk was quite well coagulated, solid, but no extra whey on top.  So, I checked it in the morning, and ooops, not like it says in the instructions.  The curd is contracted and small, and there is like 4 inches of whey on top, not the 1/2inch on top it suggests.  So, I stopped it, and put the curd into the strainer after 12 hours.  And the curd was kinda hard, rather solid, and left it in the muslin to drain for about 8 hours, also less than the instruction say.  Then put it into the crottin molds, and here the molds only half full, or less.  Hard to break up the curd to get it in there, and just formed rather lose chunks.  I just decide to push the curd down into the mold with a spoon, to really form the shape.

Well, a day later, and the forms really didn't change at all, the curd isn't settling into the crottin forms, so I just salted the cheese, and I'm just going for it.  But I wonder is it ruined already?  Why did it seem to acidify so quickly?  And the curd get so hard?  I'd hate to see this not work, since it was $28 for the gallon of raw goats milk.  Much more expensive than I've been putting into making cheese so far.  And in any case, that gallon makes 4 crottins, and those are like $7-8 a crottin the materials, for a hand made home cheese, that also seem a little expensive too...


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Offline bbracken677

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Re: Crottin de Chavignol - help
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 04:49:57 PM »
I have no experience with chevre, but I do have a little with lactic coagulated.  You will still have a cheese, but likely drier than what your target is... place it in a container with the top on loosely to preserve the humidity.

How much culture did you use in how much milk?  It sounds like your make went farther than intended which means that more than likely the acidity is higher than desired. Also your moisture level in the curd coming out of the vat will likely be lower than target.

Too much culture may be responsible....when making a lactic with raw milk it wont take as long to coagulate as it would with HP milk from the store and that may be what happened. More than likely the recipe was for store bought milk.

Offline meyerandray

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Re: Crottin de Chavignol - help
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 04:19:26 AM »
This happened to me once, but I had accidentally let the temperature get away from me, it went up to 40 C, and instead of cooling it quickly in an ice water bath, I just let it slowly drop back down, and added the cultures at 23C.  I then let it slowly acidify, but when I went to dry the curd, it was similar to what you described.  I dried it and hooped it the next day anyway, and brought a sample to my cheesemaker friend, who told me to expect a completely different outcome, but to let it age a little anyway.  Mine ended up being sort of a rock, but we grated it on pasta instead of parmigiano and it was pretty good.  I know this is not helpful in explaining what went wrong with YOUR make, but just thought I would share.
I have made this recipe a couple of times now, and other than that first time with the temp mishap, I have never had any problems, in fact it has always come out pretty much the same (consistent results) and delicious.  I don't know if you work with a pHmeter, but I can tell you some pH guidelines if you want. 
I add the starter at about 26.5-27 C, and let it rehydrate, stir for 5 minutes, let sit a couple of minutes, then put about 3 drops of rennet (I use flora danica instead of the cheesemaking.com blends, I live in europe and don't want to order from overseas, I'd rather make do with what I have available here).  My starting pH of the milk (before culture) is about 6.4, last time it was 6.54 (I measure pH around 26.5/27 celcius, before adding the flora danica.
I allow it to drop to 4.31 (my goal pH for when I will hang to drain) this takes about 18-24 hours (for me it has always been more or less 20 hours).
I think I let it hang to dry too long, I think next time I will try to hoop after about 6 hrs of draining.
Post some pictures of your crottin if you have any, and if worst comes to worst, grate them on your pasta, it is delicious!

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Crottin de Chavignol - help
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 05:52:50 AM »
I imagine it went so quickly because of the raw milk.  I only use raw goat's milk and it's very quick to form curd.

Offline douglas

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Re: Crottin de Chavignol - help
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 11:08:18 AM »
Well, I've got it in the cave now, I put it in a plastic container on a bamboo mat.  I'm leaving it on one side for over a day, to hopefully flatten out that side.  There was one side of the cheese that was flat from the crottin mold, and the other side is rough from where I pushed down the curd with a spoon.  The cheese is really crumbly, and I keep having to push back on small pieces that crumble off if I handle it.  Ah, well, but those small pieces, if I taste those, they are pretty good.  I'll have to see if the mold blooms by the end of the week on these, and how that goes.


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Offline douglas

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Re: Crottin de Chavignol - help
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 02:28:14 PM »
Well, it has been 10 days now, and the cheese seem to be proceeding?  They are small, rather hard-ish?  A little lumpy... but they are getting a moldy surface, and just now starting to show the wrinkly surface of the Geotrictum mold.  But I wonder with the surface just starting to dev. now after 10days, are they maturing rather slowly?  I made some brie the day before, and those are really wrinkly and starting to shrink a bit after 11 days. 

Not much to so now, just let it go.  I think I'm going to try the first one this weekend and see what it is like after 2 weeks of age.  And then one crottin a week for the next month...  Hope it was worth the $28 for a gallon of goats milk...

Offline douglas

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Re: Crottin de Chavignol - help
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2013, 04:21:59 PM »
Ok, well, tried one just yesterday, after 16 days of aging.  There is a nice wrinkly crust on the cheese, lightly white fuzzy.  The paste inside was rather firm and a bit crumbly, not much of the smoothness from the mold, and everything is very white.  It tastes just fine, but it is rather mild, surprisingly so.  When I packed the curd into the mold, I tasted the whey, and it was very tart.  More tart than other times I've made cheese.  I expected the cheese to be tart, or sharp tasting, but it is rather mild.  I'm going to let the others go for another two weeks before trying again. 

I guess a success from the first time trying goat's milk, and first time trying raw milk.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Crottin de Chavignol - help
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2013, 06:37:29 PM »
Sounds like Crottin de Douglas was tasty!  Congratulations!   ;D