Author Topic: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina  (Read 1694 times)

Offline jbuczek

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Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« on: August 09, 2013, 05:07:29 PM »
Hi all!

First post after being on this site on and off for the last six months gleaning TONS of great info while I set up my cheese cave.

I have a quick question and I've trawled this forum and the wider internet for answers but I keep coming up short. It has to do with my very first semi-hard cheese. Here are the specifics of what I've made:

Alpine Tomme: Recipe from Mary Karlin's wonderful book.
Milk Used: Two gallons raw whole from Organic Pastures http://www.organicpastures.com/.
Aging So Far: Five days at 38°; 10 days (so far) at 50-55° and RH 85%

My cheese, while not the prettiest, looks to be setting up real nice. Rind is forming. I used a salt brine solution to remove a couple dark mold spots after the the first few days in the cave. I've been flipping it daily. Around three days ago I decided I'd brush it for the first time using a standard nail brush from Walgreens. Next morning I got up and there were patches of bright fluorescent/neon yellow on one side. Next day it was on the other side. I used another damp cloth with a salt brine and really gave the thing a good scrub. The yellow has subsided a bit but it's still there.

I've attached pics. The yellow in person actually looks much more vivid, close to a highlighter pen yellow.

Can any of you experts tell me what the yellow stuff is and whether I should be concerned and, if so, what steps I might take to remove it?

Thanks for any info!


« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 06:05:28 PM by jbuczek »


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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2013, 05:32:26 AM »
Looks like baby b. linens to me.  It gets darker/more orange-y later.
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Offline jbuczek

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2013, 08:44:05 AM »
Thanks for the response!I will continue to monitor and see how it changes.

Offline High Altitude

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 04:33:42 PM »
How is your tomme coming along, now a month later?  I'm about to make this one tomorrow, also using Karlin's recipe.  So nervous about developing the natural rind, but I really want to do this (get over my fear of cheese mold!).

Please post updated pics :-)!
Have some (homemade) wine with that cheese!

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 05:22:08 PM »
It looks like fusarium to me. Best way to control is to outcompete and inoculate with a good rind mix. Barring that, it's classic scrape, wash with vinegar/salt mix or go more aggressive and use natamycin.
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 05:58:43 AM »
It looks like fusarium to me. Best way to control is to outcompete and inoculate with a good rind mix. Barring that, it's classic scrape, wash with vinegar/salt mix or go more aggressive and use natamycin.

Is fusarium dangerous to consume?  I think I've seen it here and there for a brief period on various cheeses I've made.  it does seem to get outcompeted.  I have a natural rind " tomme de neglectte" happening now at room temps as dthelmers did with his Caerphilly.  it's just an experiment and we've had a sudden spell of about six days of heat and humidity but it smells great.  I wish I hadn't brushed it down once......I should have patted it I think.  Not a lot growing on it now.  it has a few yellow-stained splotches but the yellow hasn't regrown. 

is there a place somewhere with photos of molds to be concerned and proactive about?    :o

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2013, 08:29:05 AM »
Quote

is there a place somewhere with photos of molds to be concerned and proactive about?    :o
Generally, everything that grows on cheese is not going to contain enough mycotoxins to cause harm. Cheese grows mold well but does not support secondary metabolism processes necessary for extensive mycotoxin production. But mycotoxins are a real concern with some strains even for common species such as p candidum and roqueforti. There's not enough data out there to tell whether the risks are significant... but the many centuries of cheese consumption leads me to say it's not a significant enough risk to be concerned about. Incidence rates of illness from pathogenic bacteria are higher.
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Offline jbuczek

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2013, 03:12:16 PM »
Hi guys,

Finally checked back on this topic and was happy to see more responses! Sept 29th is officially two months. The neon yellow stuff subsided -- or certainly didn't get worse after I last posted - and the wheel has a wonderful yeasty smell. About two weeks back it started getting green mold more regularly. I've brushed it routinely and done the salt/vinegar thing and it's helped.

Also in the fridge are two mini manchegos (used two Reblochon molds) and the chive cheddar. Former uses The Beverage People recipe. Latter from Karlin's book. The both look lovely.

I'll will post pics of the Tomme tonight!

Offline jbuczek

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 10:38:48 PM »
Here's the above Alpine Tomme at ~57 days.




Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 01:16:00 AM »
Nice looking rind.  The wrinkles suggest geo has developed and dominated at some stage.  This might be a bit thinner in profile than is typical, so it will ripen more quickly.  By 90 days I would think this will be ready, even now might be good, but I bet another month will do it.  A cheese to you.

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Offline jbuczek

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 10:41:06 PM »
So I cut the thing open today and it's got a lovely paste, but, honestly, the taste is musty and fusty. Clearly the molds on the surface have been operating in weird ways with whatever was in the raw milk to make an...interesting cheese. I see glimpes of a tomme. Will try again. Learned a ton.

Thanks for the cheese!


Offline jwalker

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2013, 10:09:12 AM »
I haven't quite figured out what it is about raw milk , but so far , all my cheeses made with pasteurized milk have turned out pretty good , or at least edible.

But all the cheeses I have attempted with raw milk , have been tossed in the bin , totally inedible , they taste like musty barnyard crap ! >:(

And yet most serious cheese makers swear by raw milk. ???

It must just be the way the milk was kept or handled before I got it , as I use it right away.

For now , I'm sticking with Pasteurized milk.

Better luck next time.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2013, 10:53:26 AM »
the taste is musty and fusty.
I found that to be one of the hallmarks of rustic Tomme rinds. Very earthy and mushroomy, especially if mycodore is involved.

I might suggest more milk in that mould for the next make, or select a different, taller & narrower form factor so that you don't end up making a Brie-Tomme. The rind ripens towards the center of the cheese and a thinner form factor allows the rind community to really affect the paste.

I haven't quite figured out what it is about raw milk , but so far , all my cheeses made with pasteurized milk have turned out pretty good , or at least edible.

But all the cheeses I have attempted with raw milk , have been tossed in the bin , totally inedible , they taste like musty barnyard crap ! >:(

And yet most serious cheese makers swear by raw milk. ???

It must just be the way the milk was kept or handled before I got it , as I use it right away.

For now , I'm sticking with Pasteurized milk.

Better luck next time.
Sorry to hear this about the raw milk you have access to. My experience has been just the opposite. I started out with P&H milk from the supermarket and had some okay (marginally acceptable) cheese makes. When I located a local raw milk retailer and then a retailer that sold creamline milk, I haven't looked back at P&H milk. It's a little more money, but Pav made it quite clear that quality milk produces quality cheeses. I couldn't agree more heartily. The cream is very evident in both cases...that's why I occasionally post pics of the milk I use for that cheese with the level of cream clearly marked on the container.

There are nuances in creamline and raw milk that affect the product down the affinage road and work to create amazing cheeses. There are also the added nutritional components in less manipulated milks.

It is important to know that the dairy from where you get your milk is trusted and above doubt and suspicion. I am fortunate where I live that the retailer stocks raw milk from three local Puget Sound creameries. They have all been key players in my cheese makes and I'm very confident that they are operating their creameries properly.

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Offline jbuczek

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2013, 07:40:16 PM »
I am totally going to try it again and double the milk to 4 gallons, pasteurized (I'll be using Straus, since I am in San Francisco). But Oct. 1st is the start of my bloomy rinds, so the tomme will have to wait six months.

True for me on pasteurized milk as well. I made a lovely young manchego which turned out great. And I've a cheddar under vacuum that I'll be opening Oct 5th, but if the curd I tasted on day one was anything to go by, I don't think the cheddar will be anything other then yummy.

Thanks for all the great feedback. :D

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Alpine Tomme -- mysterious neon yellow patina
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 04:28:05 PM »
I think you should inoculate with a rind culture to get a more predictable flavor\aroma. 
And yes, one of the great things about tomme de savoie is the mushroomy earthy smell of the rind.
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