I'm making small (~3oz.) geo-ripened goat cheeses, semi-lactic coagulated and I'm having trouble controlling unwanted mucor (poil du chat) mold growth. My process is as follows:
- inoculate freshly pasteurized milk with minimum amount of MM100, dash Geo15; dash KL, dash CUM - 69ºF; pH 6.65
- after 30 minutes add 2x microbial rennet @ 1ml per 50lbs milk
- after 18 or so hours, ladle curd into forms - 69ºF; pH 6.65
- drain in forms for 24 hours - 60-65ºF
- remove from forms, hand salt with shaker - pH 6.25
- allow to dry for 48 hours - 60-65ºF
- move into aging for ten days to two weeks - 52ºF; 92% RH
I'm using the KL and CUM yeasts to deacidify the surface and set the stage for the geo to come in. I'm looking for a rumply, brainy appearance with as little other mold growth as possible.
Sometimes the geo rind comes in beautifully by day 10 and I can wrap and move them to cold storage before any blue or gray starts to grow. Other times, though, the mucor starts in before the geo can really take off and by the time the rumply rind is in, I have unsightly gray/black smudges from patting down the mucor.
The attached photo shows cheeses started on 5/13 (ladled 5/14; into aging 5/17). As you can see, the geo isn't fully in yet and I have a bunch of mucor growing. I patted these down yesterday and this patch sprang back up overnight.
Is there anything I can change to speed up my geo growth and slow down / eliminate the mucor growth? I am aging these in a floral refrigerator with hanging wet towels to keep up humidity. As such, I have precise control over aging temp, but less over the humidity.
Any thoughts on the use of KL and CUM to control mucor and encourage geo? It seemed to work last season, but not so well this season.