Author Topic: Question on first hard cheese (blue)  (Read 315 times)

Offline ninintothevoid

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Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:32:01 AM »
I have a beginner question on a blue cheese I started about a week ago. I had no problems with creating a basic farmers cheese from the curds, last sunday I very very lightly pressed the cheese overnight and made holes in the cheese per the instructions outlined in this link:
It is sitting in a wine cooler in my basement at 50F and roughly 70% humidity. I've been turning it daily, but the cheese appears to be very dry. I placed a small container of water in the cooler to raise the humidity, but I am worried that it may be too late and the mold will be unable to grow. Anyone  who has had experience with blue cheese, should the cheese appear moist or is drying out and slightly crumbly ok? Thanks!


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Offline ninintothevoid

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 12:18:27 PM »
You can see how its completely dried out on top and cracking.   Humidity is slightly raised, now 74%, but it doesn't seem to be high enough even with the container of water.  Any suggestions?  Should I toss it?


Offline H-K-J

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 12:37:57 PM »
Please re-post pix :-\
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Offline ninintothevoid

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2014, 12:46:17 PM »


Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2014, 01:58:32 PM »
The blue should have developed before it ever went into the cheese cave.  Next time try using this recipe/procedure.  http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/26-Making-Cheese.html


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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 02:03:55 PM »
you may want to try vacuum bagging it and let the cheese age out for a few weeks, this may help keep what moisture you have left in the cheese.
It may suprise you in a couple of week's :o
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Offline ninintothevoid

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 03:00:30 PM »
Thanks for the response,  I was trying to follow this link:

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/blue_cheese/blue_cheese.htm

It really didn't mention anything about mold formation prior to adding it to the cheese cave.  Just for advice, where in this process did I go wrong?  The curds seemed to form properly.  I drained the curds in a cheese cloth in a wine fridge in my garage.  Unfortunately, it coincided with the polar vortex, so my garage went down to 15F and the fridge must have been below freezing.  I brought the (half frozen) curds inside, moved the wine fridge to the basement, and salted the curds and inoculated with the penicillium roqueforti culture.  they went into a mold and were lightly pressed(5lb) to allow air holes overnight.  These cheese mostly pressed together, but as you can see from the photos above, it was crumbly.  From that point I set the wine cooler to 50F and the humidity pretty much remained at 70%.  Once it appeared that the cheese was dried out, I added a container of water.  For next time, should I keep the cheese in a tupperware container to keep the moisture in?

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 03:20:25 PM »
YUP thats where I started and then I found the forum ;D
then I went crazy :o
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Offline John@PC

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 04:57:16 PM »
Unfortunately, it coincided with the polar vortex, so my garage went down to 15F and the fridge must have been below freezing.  I brought the (half frozen) curds inside ...
Yep, fridges "fridge" but don't do a very good job going the other way. Since you must be in the northern climes I would suggest if you want to age cheese during the winter months that you get a two-stage temperature control.  Ranco is a popular one that home brewers use.   There have two relays, one for the fridge and one to connect to a heater (usually a light bulb) in the fridge.  Our company makes a single-stage temperature controller and will have one available in early February if your interested.  Good luck and stay warm .  I heard there was another polar vortex coming through later this week :o.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 11:38:42 AM »
Thanks for the response,  I was trying to follow this link:

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/blue_cheese/blue_cheese.htm

It really didn't mention anything about mold formation prior to adding it to the cheese cave.  Just for advice, where in this process did I go wrong?  The curds seemed to form properly.  I drained the curds in a cheese cloth in a wine fridge in my garage.  Unfortunately, it coincided with the polar vortex, so my garage went down to 15F and the fridge must have been below freezing.  I brought the (half frozen) curds inside, moved the wine fridge to the basement, and salted the curds and inoculated with the penicillium roqueforti culture.  they went into a mold and were lightly pressed(5lb) to allow air holes overnight.  These cheese mostly pressed together, but as you can see from the photos above, it was crumbly.  From that point I set the wine cooler to 50F and the humidity pretty much remained at 70%.  Once it appeared that the cheese was dried out, I added a container of water.  For next time, should I keep the cheese in a tupperware container to keep the moisture in?



This guy is not making the Stilton most of us here are making.  His procedure appears to be entirely different.  I would try the New England Cheesemaking recipe if I were you. I think you'll find it works much better. ;)


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Offline ninintothevoid

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Re: Question on first hard cheese (blue)
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 09:18:01 AM »
I'm letting it ride for the moment.  When I get a chance, I'll take a picture, but the blue mold has completely covered and filled in the cracks on the cheese.  It might be terrible, but it should taste something like blue cheese.  When I have a chance (maybe friday) I'll start a new blue and try making it using the method outlined above.