Author Topic: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please  (Read 796 times)

Offline Kirkbybil

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Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« on: September 17, 2013, 11:01:25 AM »
Hi,

I made a couple of 2lb Emmentals last weekend which have been in my cool cave for 7 days.

I want to bring them into the house now so they can ripen at around 70 degrees, hopefully to get the holes forming.

However, it's a cool week here in the UK and at night the temperature will drop (it was 50 degrees last night in the kitchen) so my question is, could I keep them in a ripening box for this phase and perhaps put it next to some warmer like a hot bottle or microwavable gel packs and cover the lot with towels to keep the temperature up or is this going to cause problems due to poor circulation or something else?

If this isn't a good idea, then any advice as to how to keep the temperature up for a week is appreciated.

I have also been following Alpkäserei's excellent instructions on washing - still no schmier but didn't have any starter bacteria so started from scratch - it's starting to feel sticky so fingers crossed but do I keep up the washing during the warm phase?


Thanks,

Kirkbybil.


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Offline gsager18

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2013, 12:19:58 AM »
I think you'd want to keep it in some kind of container to keep the humidity up. If it dries out at this stage the rind can crack and all the CO2 responsible for the eyes will leak out and the cheese can deflate :( I think opening it up once a day when you wash and flip it (or, like me, just check on it to see how it's feeling today) should provide enough air circulation.
As for heat, your setup sounds like it would definitely work but it also sounds like it'll require a bit of babysitting to make sure it stays on target. What if you left it in a turned-off oven overnight (or an oven turned on for like 5 minutes to the lowest setting and then turned off before adding the cheese)? I've heard of a lot of people using ovens for keeping the temp consistent since they're usually so well insulated.

Offline steffb503

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 05:10:10 AM »
I have used a plastic storage container, upside down, on the counter to keep the warm in. I place it just an inch off the counter on one side so the is some air flow.

Offline Kirkbybil

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 10:22:50 AM »
Thanks for your advice - I have a follow-up post here:

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,11989.0.html

...so you can see the cheeses in the container.

I wrapped the whole thing in that silver foil (the type they put on marathon runners!) and left it in the boiler room.
The temp is fluctuating between 70-80 degrees and all seems to be well, although the first morning it was nearer 90 so I was worried I'd cooked them, but I noticed another posting where it seemed to say this high a temperature is still okay.

I keep washing them every day and I've been leaving the lid slightly off with a half inch gap so circulation and humidity seems on target.

Really is going to need that babysitting for the next few weeks!


Offline Boofer

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 10:48:39 AM »
What if you left it in a turned-off oven overnight
...with the oven light on. If it has an oven light, that bulb will maintain significant heat to permit the Warm Phase to proceed successfully without excessively overheating. The contained heat can be regulated somewhat by cracking the oven door open.

the first morning it was nearer 90 so I was worried I'd cooked them, but I noticed another posting where it seemed to say this high a temperature is still okay.
Really, 90? :o

You want to avoid anything probably beyond 75F. Excessive temps tend to develop off flavors. Plus which, at those higher temps the cheeses will sweat out a lot of butterfat and moisture.

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Offline Kirkbybil

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2013, 01:07:21 PM »
Thanks Boofer, I read what  thought was the definitive Emmental thread:

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,11069.0.html  and someone posted this:

Typically though Propionic needs at least 62F to do its thing. The sweet spot for optimal growth is usually between 77F and 95F. Homemade Swiss can easily fail to produce eyes or much propionic flavor because of a warm room ripening that is too cool.

Is this incorrect? -

Offline Boofer

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 09:21:39 AM »
You have presented two different but equally qualified opinions on the issue. Alp says up to 75F is good. Ed says up to 95F is good. Alp's qualifications are Swiss heritage and on-the-ground-training & education. Ed has established his micro-creamery with defined methods for producing quality cheeses for the commercial market. How would anyone argue against their positions?

Danisco's Maasdam recipe calls for a Winter Warm Phase of 64F for 4 weeks, and Summer Warm Phase of 68-72F for 4-5 weeks.
Mooblogger's Maasdam recipe calls for 20C/68F for 4 weeks.

My guidance from the forum has been to maintain a Warm Phase of between 68-75F for about 4 weeks.

As with everything, take in all available data and develop a consensus that works for you. ;)

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 11:49:31 AM »
Just a clarification. The temperatures that I quoted with up to 95F was for optimal lab growth of Propionic, NOT for use during the warm phase of Swiss style cheeses. My warm phase for Swiss, Gruyeres, and similar cheeses is 72-73F. With lower temperatures, you may not get proper gas and/or eye formation. 62F is NOT warm enough.
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Offline Kirkbybil

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 02:21:58 PM »
Hmmmm, a little information is indeed a dangerous thing!   I've only been trying to make cheese for a few months, a few successes, Cearphilly, fourme d'ambert (twice) , Colby, and a few failures, Gouda, Cheddar & Farmhouse though those were my first attempts so maybe I'm running before I can walk.

I really am a novice and the only thing I know for sure about swiss cheese is that my wife loves it, hence the attempt, so I hope I haven't killed these with the high temperature . - Still, it'll give me an excuse to try again!

Thanks for all your advice, I'll keep reading all the great postings and hopefully a tiny bit of your expertise will gradually rub off on me.  :D

Offline Boofer

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Re: Emmental Ripening container - Advice please
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 05:19:14 PM »
Thanks for that, Ed. I feel better already. :)

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