Author Topic: First Blue  (Read 2273 times)

Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: First Blue Latest Photo
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2013, 07:34:51 PM »
Looks like the blue is starting to come along on the outside along with some other interesting things.  Hoping the blue wins the day though and makes a nice rind.  I'll probably pierce it again in 10 days or so.  Should I repierce it in the same spots or pick new ones?


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Offline Boofer

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2013, 02:10:48 PM »
Try to reopen the holes you made initially to give the inside blues some air.

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Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: First Blue - Getting Gnarlier
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2013, 02:31:18 PM »
Here's the cheese at 2.5 weeks.  Smells pretty good and the rind seems to be coming along.  Trying to keep it at 90% rh or so.  Getting that same golden color as H-K-J's stilton.  Not totally sure what that means but at least it is consistent with other folks results.  I think I'll probably pierce again in two weeks to encourage the blue veining.  The current holes don't appear clogged yet.


Offline Vina

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2013, 05:49:48 AM »
yours looking great! it looks like .. real cheese

I also just (May 10th) tried my first blue, it really looks different ;-) as my tial started with onlu 2 gals of milk, so I have a liitle square to experiment.

Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2013, 08:44:01 PM »
Here's the latest look at the cheese.  Interesting golden color but its got a coating of white mold.  It isn't fuzzy so I'm assuming it's GC.  Question - it's starting to get a slight ammonia smell.  My understanding is that is caused by the white mold not getting enough oxygen.  I was rather hoping for the typical stilton appearance after the blue dies back but it doesn't seem to be doing much in the way of blue on the outside.  Would it work to either wash the cheese with a mild brine and then make up a PR spray and reinnoculate the outside with blue?  It's probably running about 90-95 on the RH inside its enclosure.  I've also thought about a salt rubdown to remove the white mold before reinnoculating with blue.

thoughts?  Advice?

thanks

Also - for the eagle eyed among you - the RH on the hygrometer is the ambient in my kitchen not what is in the mini cave.  San Diego is pretty much a desert so the RH runs very low all the time.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 08:51:01 PM by Smurfmacaw »


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Offline jwalker

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2013, 09:23:56 AM »
I read thru your make , but I didn't see if you said you brined or dry salted this one , I may have just missed it if you did.

I find the blues that I dry salt seem to create a much more hospitable environment for the PR , the brined ones tend to favor the white mold.

That's just my experience so far , so washing with a salt brine may be a good idea , maybe even applying some dry salt afterward , then some more PR.

Just a thought , but I've had a lot of trouble with the whites taking over as well.

Looks good though , good luck.
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Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2013, 11:47:29 AM »
I dry salted it with 2 tsp per gallon (total of 6 tsp).  I'm thinking I'm going to go ahead and wash it down just as you mentioned and give it a good salt rub down and then reinnoculate it with PR on the outside.  I've got an oxygen concentrator and am thinking of rigging it to provide more oxygen inside the cave.  I've still got to figure out a way to increase the RH in the fridges.  In my kitchen it was 35% yesterday.

Offline Smurfmacaw

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Cleaned it up and repierced it
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2013, 05:42:37 PM »
Well,

I got tired of the white mold so I used a piece of cheesecloth in strong brine and wiped it down.  Used a bit of cheese salt and gave it a nice salt exfoliation and then reinoculated it with PR spray.  Pierced it with innoculated needle but I don't think I really needed that.  I can tell it's much creamier than the last time I pierced it and if the oozy bits are any indication I'm going to like this cheese.  It already has a nice mild blue flavor and once the white mold was gone it smells right too.

I've got a couple of days off so I need to decide what to make next.  Spent the morning making mother cultures.  Now I have a half gallon each of TA-61, MA-4002 and Flora Danica cooking.

Here's the latest cheesy photo.


Offline John@PC

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2013, 06:50:02 PM »
Curious as to what you used to pierce.  Those holes are a lot bigger than my skewers make.  Begs the question is there an optimum hole size?  I love the blue veining and would go to a larger piercing (or more holes) if it resulted in more "blue".

Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2013, 07:01:27 PM »
I used the sanitized probe of my largest thermometer.  Holes are .125 or so.  The first time I pierced it I used stainless skewers like everyone talks about but I didn't notice they were flat instead of round until I started.  Those holes were sub-optimal in my opinion.  I watched a video on the commercial production of stilton and their "piercers" were pretty fierce (large) so I though I'd let plenty of oxygen in on this one since I'm pretty much a fan of in your face blue cheese.  My wife is slowly coming around and is beginning to like more challenging cheeses though I think getting her to try Casu Marzu is a lost cause (look at me talking all big....I don't know if I could do it either ::)

I'm going to let it go another two weeks before I break out the cheese trier and take a core sample.

I would be interested in hearing from the pro's on their opinion of piercing size and it's effect on the cheese and veining.

I was intrigued by the change in texture already.  I thought it would take longer for the PR to do it's thing.  I guess the PV strain has high lipolytic and proteolytic activity but still I didn't expect it to make that much of a difference that fast.  I've got high hopes for this one......now I just gotta decide what to make on Friday..............


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Offline Boofer

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2013, 01:35:25 AM »
Curious as to what you used to pierce.  Those holes are a lot bigger than my skewers make.  Begs the question is there an optimum hole size?  I love the blue veining and would go to a larger piercing (or more holes) if it resulted in more "blue".
I'm no expert, especially on blues, but I read somewhere about a knitting needle being something close to an optimum piercing tool. A large enough diameter without being excessive, long enough to pierce a 7-8-inch Tomme, and inexpensive. I tried other meat skewers and such, but the hole made is flattened (to keep the meat from rotating on the skewer) so it closes up pretty easily.

I've attached pics of what I use.

Edited: Well, I recall them being there. No idea where the pics went to while I was dozing. ::)

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« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 04:09:41 PM by Boofer »
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2013, 05:47:43 AM »
aah Boofer, not a knitter I see.  Knitting needles come in a wide range of diameters and lengths.  I think I've seen 4 mm suggested but I may be remembering incorrectly.  I didn't have what was suggested so I used a larger diameter also but I can't be part of the testing of the impacts of differing diameters because I'm such a hack at cheese in general and blues even more so.   ??? 

I think you forgot to attach the photo of what you use and you know me, curious to a fault.   :o. So I'd love to see.......

Offline meyerandray

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2013, 08:43:58 AM »
Gianaclis Caldwell suggests a 4mm knitting needle, as Kathrin said.  I have been using just that.  My first blue was not very blue inside, a lot less than what I had hoped, although I had only pierced once on the top and once on the bottom 7 days later, never re-opened holes and never did horizontal piercing.  There was a great blue flavor, smell and the cheese was very much softened by the PR.  With my second blue, which is still aging (about 45 days old now) I have pierced tope, bottom and sides 3 times now, still using that 4 mm needle, but considering using a chopstick-sized piercer.  I have a young blue (about 10 days old) who also got its first piercing with the 4mm however when I crack open the older blue toma if it lacks in blue inside, I am going to up the diameter for the new guy.

Offline jwalker

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Re: First Blue
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2013, 07:45:41 AM »
I have been using bamboo chopsticks , the big end first , they're about the same size as the knitting kneedles  ;D.

I like them , I'll probably keep using them as I don't know where the knitting kneedles  ;D are , I know we have some somewhere though.
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Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: First Blue - Washing Paid Off
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2013, 11:56:29 AM »
As I flipped the cheese and snorted sampled the aroma from inside the inverted bowl, washing the white mold off the rind paid big dividends.  Now it has that nice blue cheese aroma again instead of the funky ammonia smell.  No major blooming on the outer rind though the inside of the newly pierced holes seem to be darkening up nicely.

Does anyone know which type of mold will win the day if I upped the oxygen content of the mini cave?  I actually have an oxygen concentrator and could easily give the cheese a nicely oxygen enhanced atmosphere if it would help.....or I could do it periodically, say for 30 min per day (that would be the easiest) or should I stop overthinking and let the cheese do it's thing?

cheers

Mike