2/28/09 - Started another raw milk batch of Camembert. My previous batch
with store bought milk and cream just doesn't smell quite right and the first batch with raw milk was/is absolutely Divine. Well I ended up with a 3 gallons of raw milk to burn and so there was not better way to utilize I could think of but Camemberts. I really wanted to check the numbers and times posted in many of the recipes and see how well they correlated to the pH numbers in the CHR Hansen Soft Cheese Guide
Well I'm pretty happy to report they are pretty close. I started with my raw milk coming to about 56 degrees over 3.5 hours on the counter at room temp. From there I put it in the water bath at 110 degrees and in 45 minutes my milk temp was 89.5 degrees with a pH of 6.63. I added my cultures:
1/2 tsp MM101
1/16 tsp P.Candidum - Choozit SAM3
1/16 tsp Geo. Cand - Choozit GEO17
According to the CHR guide renneting should occur at a pH of 6.1-6.3 or 6.25-6.35 depending on what part of the document you are reading. My recipe calls for a 90 minute ripening period. After 90 minutes my pH was 6.37. I added another 15 minutes for the pH to reach 6.26 which was within the margins of both CHR numbers.
1/2 tsp of liquid veggie rennet was added and allowed to set. Recipe called for 60 minutes, however after 45 I had a very good (probably one of my better) clean break.
I cut the curd in 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubes. The vertical cuts went well buy you could tell the set was really good. When I utilized my curd knife for the horizontal cuts, it just about didn't work. You really had to force it through to get the curd to cut.
Curd was allowed to rest/cook for 10 minutes to allow whey to separate. pH was now 6.12.
I removed as much whey as I could ladle off. Then transferred to my 6-pack of recently made Camembert hoops for thin walled 4 inch PVC pipe. A lot more whey drained while hooping. In the hoops the pH was 6.11
Here is the mold sandwich made with 2 cookie sheets and my draining mats for ease of flipping.
Molds were turned after 1.5 hours and then every hour for a total of 5 times.
After an overnight rest roughly 10 hours pH was 4.85. According to the CHR guide the pH of the curd at demolding should be 4.6-4.8. I allowed them to rest another 3 hours. I removed from the molds at a pH of 4.79 and lightly salted the cheeses with flaked salt on all surfaces.
Couple of observations:
From the 3 gallons of raw whole milk these 6 cheeses ended up a little on the tall side, about 2 inches. Next time I do this with raw milk I will make 8 cheeses and should end up with an average height/thickness of about 1.5 inches. Hopefully they will age gracefully but I'm assuming they will take a little longer to fully ripen to the core.
This particular recipe was pretty close to the numbers. Some minor adjustments made to accommodate the numbers in the CHR guide but otherwise pretty close. The CHR guide does however indicate a 7-8 hour renneting period. Of course that guide is also for 10,000 L of milk!