Author Topic: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!  (Read 858 times)

Offline meyerandray

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So ever since my cheesemaking adventure began, my goal in life is to perfect a consistently delicious crottin de chavignol.  From my very first attempt, I have never had anything less than delicious, but all results have been less than perfect.  My problem?  Molds!  I innoculate geo in the milk, but for some reason get PC on my forms.  After the first time that happened, I re-sanitized EVERYTHING, thinking I maybe had a PC contamination somewhere in my kithcen and/or aging space (I had made camembert once, so that was a possibility).  After sanitizing, the next batch developed PC anyway  >:(
The following batch I took the crottin out of their own aging box (I had been aging them around 85% humidity as recommended on cheesemaking.com) and put them directly in the cave mini-fridge, which was probably more like 70-75% humidity.  That batch did not get overrun by PC, but my geo development was still not like a beautiful crottin de chavignol.  I had a little of the "wormy" texture but it wasn't distributed evenly, and as they aged a bit more, I did notice a little PC that seemed to sneak in there, but remained contained.
My friend is opening a bar/osteria/gourmet food shop and has asked me to make her 25 crottin for the inauguration.  I said yes of course, and now have 33 crottin in my cave, along with my other cheeses, and the humidity in there has gone through the roof!  There is condensation on the outside of the fridge door everyday (although that may be due to the fact that it is hotter than hell and super humid here lately??). 
Either way I am worried that I will get a PC growth before the geo gets a foothold.  I am starting to doubt my hygrometers.  I have two, that I have always kept in my cave, but they are now reading pretty different results, and with all that condensation on the outside of the fridge door, I am just wondering if they work at all. 
I put a bowl of rock salt and baking soda in the cave today, hoping that that could absorb extra humidity, and hoping that that was not a horrible and stupid thing to do??
Any thoughts/advice?
Thanks, Celine


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 03:37:18 PM »
Not sure I can be of help.....but I'll see.  Don't Crottin have PC anyway?  I thought they had both PC and Geo.  About the humidity...do you have another fridge that is larger and usually has a drying action on the cheeses?  With so many moist cheeses I think you need some help dehumidifying it.  Here one can buy those little netting bags of whatever rocks that absorb humidity. Not sure if that'd be enough for you but you know what I mean, right?  Do you have them there?  They're also for deodorizing I think.  I always have PC on all my moist cheeses but usually Geo comes too and makes for nice brainy wrinkles. 

I'm impressed that you can make cheese in an uninspected facility and serve it to the public.  Must be more sane in Italy than here......sigh.  I barely share my cheese with close friends!    Oh, and I did take my cheeses down to the cheese shop yesterday.  Can't remember which thread I should be sharing about that so let me know if you remember.  Off to pick the strawberries.  Better make some soft cheese soon to cover with berries.   ;D

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2013, 04:56:34 PM »
Which geo are you using?

Offline jwalker

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2013, 09:05:52 AM »
I've found PC to be the most invasive of all the molds , since aging one Brie in my cave , virtually every cheese I put in there have become inoculated with it.

Even my blues , which all became more like Cambozolas , which isn't so bad because it's one of my favorites anyway.

I finally had to coat all my cheeses , and then wax them as well , because the PC would even grow on the outside of the cream coating.

Then I cleaned the cave , disinfected it with vinegar and then straight alcohol , and moved all my PC cheeses to a different cave , now I'm finally rid of it , and I keep my cheeses separate now.

That's what worked for me anyway , good luck with yours.

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

Offline Spellogue

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2013, 06:16:35 PM »
My problem is I have a tougher time getting PC to grow, but b. linens shows up on nearly everything given enough time.  Then again, I'm using cooler temps in microcaves inside the food fridge.  I'll put together a proper cave one of these days.  At what temp are you keeping your cave?
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Offline meyerandray

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2013, 05:57:08 AM »
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Don't Crottin have PC anyway?  I thought they had both PC and Geo
They should just be coated with a nice, powdery, wormy/veiny looking geo
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Here one can buy those little netting bags of whatever rocks that absorb humidity. Not sure if that'd be enough for you but you know what I mean, right?
Those are exactly what I was thinking of when I put the bowl of rock salt and baking soda in the fride, I thought those are probably scented mineral salts, and baking soda seems to be a standard for odor absorption in refrigerators, so I thought that must mean they absorb moisture too. 
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I'm impressed that you can make cheese in an uninspected facility and serve it to the public.  Must be more sane in Italy than here......sigh.
Definitely NOT legal to serve my cheese to the public.  The inauguration will mostly be family and friends, it is open to the public so strangers can come in, but my friend asked me to make them, and she is going to serve them, but we all know that it is illegal and I am assuming she won't serve it to the public?  I don't know what her plans are.  I pasteurized the milk though, which I normally don't do, so it should be "safer"
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Oh, and I did take my cheeses down to the cheese shop yesterday.  Can't remember which thread I should be sharing about that so let me know if you remember.
I can't remember the thread...but still want to hear the wonderful compliments he showered you with!

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Which geo are you using?
It is made by a company called Colombo S.R.L. in Lombardia, Italy, they only sell one strain, and on the package they only indicade "geotrichum candidum" for 50 L
I have just found a source that sells Choozit cultures, which geo would be best for my crottin??  They have Geo Candidum M2 and Geo Candidum L5, I have no idea what the difference is....

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At what temp are you keeping your cave?
My cave is between 10 and 11 degrees celcius (50-52 degrees fahrenheit)

I don't think I have an infestation problem because after the one camembert that I made, I sterilized inside and out of my workspace and cave, including hygrometers, outside of ripening boxes, EVERYTHING with bleach solution.  I have never had PC grow on any other make, so I don't really get it.  Maybe it is just the strain of geo I have, that grows too quickly and tends to grow thick? 


Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 03:37:42 PM »
I use blue moulds from Colombo.  For Crottin you should be using Geo 15 from Danisco.  The strains are very different, so you could be using the all mould version perhaps.

Offline meyerandray

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 05:37:18 PM »
Thank you francois! I am going to order some this week. I am very excited, i hope I was just using the wrong strain!

Offline meyerandray

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 03:55:42 PM »
Francois, are you in Europe?  I ask because you said you are using PR from Colombo, and I thought they are a pretty small company?  If you are, where do you order your cultures from?
Thanks, Celine

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 07:33:08 PM »
Sorry, no.  I am in the Asia Pacific region.  I use their blue mould because of it's efficacy on white covered blues.  It's completely finished growing and digesting by the time the white has grown in on stabilised cheeses.

I have it sent on ice.


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 05:32:57 AM »
Francois, I'm going to start a Geo thread on whichever board seems best and I hope you will respond.  Geo info has been very hard to find.

Offline meyerandray

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 03:18:02 PM »
Well the cheesemaking supply shop that has Danisco doesn't carry Geo 15 anymore, they say not enough people were buying it, they could order it for me if I want to order a lot (which means for like 1,000 liters of milk) and I don't want that much!  I can't believe how tough it is to find a supplier, Danisco is European, and I have only found foreign suppliers that will ship worldwide, but that extra trip seems like a waste to me.  I will continue my search.  In September there is "Cheese" a huge cheese festival in the town of Bra (the home of Slow Food) and there will most definitely be some producers of crottin de chavignol, and maybe someone there can tell me of a culture/mold supplier in Europe, unless someone here doesn't have that kind of advice on hand??  I am going to write an e-mail to Danisco tomorrow and see if they can't tell me who their distributors are.

Offline Back 2 The Frotture

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 02:40:10 PM »
Coquard has an online site (english version).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 03:05:07 PM by Back 2 The Frotture »

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 03:11:16 PM »
I second Croquard.  I have purchased form them in the past.  They are very helpful.  They also used to sell premade mixtures for various traditional cheeses, which may go some way in helping you understand the different Geos and when they are used.

Offline meyerandray

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Re: I'm getting annoyed with this damn PC on my crottin!! Please advise!
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 01:07:39 AM »
I wrote to Coquard, to ask about shipping to Italy and no one got back to me  :(
I have been super busy and haven't been able to dedicate much time to this, but really liked their selection of cultures!  Thanks for the great advice everyone  :)