I've been making mostly fresh cheeses over the last year but decided to dive in and attempt my first moldy, a Valencay, using the cute little pyramid forms I bought from getculture.com. I used the recipe from Karlin's book and followed the techniques in Caldwell's book.
I used 2 quarts non-homogenized vat pasteurized whole jersey and 2 quarts raw whole jersey milk. I used Flora Danica, Geo 15 and the penicillium all from getculture. I didn't have ash, so I made them without it. It was a very warm week so they drained in higher temps than ideal, the whey that drained was less clear and green than I would have preferred. Instead of salting them, I brined them in heavy brine as suggested by Caldwell, although I was on the phone and they ended up being brined closer to 45 minutes rather than the intended 20.
I put them in a Storeables clear plastic container on the top shelf of my regular fridge, a crappy small apartment fridge that actually is about the right temperature at that spot, from 48-52 degrees depending on which thermometer I use. I stuck a small cheap hygrometer I got on amazon inside the box. It shows -- when above 95% so that is what I saw and figured it was good enough lol;) I carefully rotated and moved them about the box every day.
The fuzzy white mold took longer to show up, 8 days rather than the 5 I expected, perhaps because of the colder temperature, but it did eventually. Once fully covered and almost fluffy, which took abou 16 days (lost my sheet with all the details dang it lol) I wrapped them in the expensive papers I bought from getculture and stuck them in a smaller box and put them at the bottom of the fridge where it is coldest. I opened and ate one after one week, two weeks, and then ate the final two pyramids after three weeks in wrappers. All were excellent but the last week they were truly fantastic, gooey and lemony in the middle, a wonderful chalky layer on the outside, and I really enjoyed the flavor of the rind as well. They were perhaps a bit saltier than ideal, but not so much as to spoil the wonderful flavor.
Its been a while since I had a real Valencay so I can't say if they were exactly as they were supposed to be, but compared to the store-bought brie's and camembert's I've had lately, they were far far superior. I had just splurged on a Dinah's Cheese from Kurtwood Farms I bought at the farmer's market, $14 for a small round and well worth it, but my little pyramids were almost just as tasty, I couldn't have hoped for more.
I've loved reading the many threads here at the forum, plus all the helpful posts at the wiki, thank you to all who have shared your knowledge and experience. I'm happy to be able to post a success story as my first post and I owe much of that to all the info here, as well as luck;)
Edit: the pic is of the first pyramid I opened after one week wrapped, it was the most firm while still having the two textures I hoped for, firm along the rind and creamy in the middle; the final two pyramids oozed sensually and slowly out of their rinds after being cut in half, I ate them before taking any pics lol:)
Edit 2: Just realized I'd put this in the wrong section, my apologies, I thought I'd started it in the right one! Perhaps the mods could move it to the correct one, thank you, noobie embarrassment here!