Author Topic: Goat's milk Valençay  (Read 754 times)

Offline Geo

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Goat's milk Valençay
« on: December 05, 2013, 01:20:07 AM »
Two batches actually, to compare two sources of milk. The makes were identical, one week apart, with the first being made with supermarket P&H goat's milk (Paul's). and the other pasteurised, unhomogenised from a small local producer (Yondover, 3.1% protein, 2.6% fat).

2 l (2.25 for the second batch) goat's milk
1/16 tsp Flora Danica
1.16 tsp MM101.
1 skewer tip P.candidum
1 skewer tip Geo
3 drop rennet in 1 tbsp water
1/64 tsp CaCl (for the homogenised milk only)

Heat milk to 22C, add cultures, culture 15 minutes
Add rennet. Put lid on pot, wrap in towel, set 36 hours (24 for the non-hom).
Drain in cheesecloth 24 hours
Mould, turning, 48 hours
Ash with 1/4 tsp ash and 2 tsp salt, put into cave at 11C.

After 24 hours of culturing, the curd is supposed to be sitting under 1/2" of whey and have shrunk from the sides of the pot, as the first photo shows. The homogenised milk never did this, despite the addition of CaCl. Instead, it developed a yoghurt-like texture so I gave it a bit more draining time.  The first 2-litre batch filled one small pyramid mould to the very brim (with a bit of stuffing!) and the curd was so soft I had to move it very gently.

The second batch, with non-hom milk and 12.5% more milk, made a week later, curded much more readily and yielded a bit more curd with only 24 hours draining. I 3/4-filled two moulds.

The second pic is of the two smaller Valençay in the foreground at 1 week in the cave, with the first at 2 weeks old in the background. I opened the first at the 2-week mark, which is a bit on the young side for what I'm looking for, and there was a bit to much ash on the top from my clumsy attempts at getting even coverage of ash on the sides without picking up a very delicate cheese. It's delicious on fresh sourdough baguette though, or on quinoa salad, which was tonight's dinner!

The two younger are now completely covered in white and still aging.




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Offline Geo

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 03:30:51 PM »
I cracked the younger Valençays open the other night, and was disappointed. I'd let them age a little too long, and they went from "mmm...mushroomy" when I opened their box to slipskin in a couple of days. They'd just been allowed to age too long before being put into paper and into the normal fridge, I think. Slipskin ooze under the rind and a very pungent paste. Not bitter, but I guess it's what people mean when they say a cheese tastes of goat. And not enough salt I think.

The first one is still going and tastes deliciously lemony and lacticy so I'm hoping the problem is just aging length. I also think I prefer these young.

Still, next-door's chickens seem to have approved.

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 01:18:24 AM »
I had the same experience, the window for aging time seems to be very narrow... But indeed, young they are also quite good.
- Herman -

Offline cheeseslovesu

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 04:32:16 AM »
I have the same problem although when they are young they are delicious.

When I was in the UK recently I was buying them quite aged and they appeared a lot dryer. I would love to know how this is done. I don't think they had white mould on them, just the ash...

Offline Geo

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 03:06:54 PM »
I've been experimenting with Crottin lately, and I've been finding that they age quite well when left in the cave at a lower than 95% humidity. I have recently discovered that none of the hygrometers I have measure accurately, so I don't actually know what my RH is. Once they've dried a little, they hold their age quite well.

The first Valençay I made was put into cheese paper after two weeks of aging, and lasted a further four weeks in the regular fridge before it slipped past desirable, so that may also be a way. If the ones you were buying in the UK just had ash and were drier, perhaps they'd been pre-drained before moulding and then sold very young?

I've been thinking through the affinage of these ever since reading that RawPrawn ages camembert at 6C. I aged these and the camembert at 10-11C, and wonder whether a cooler temp might be beneficial to slow the mould development.


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Offline Spellogue

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 04:22:45 PM »
I age Valencay at about 45F and 75-80% RH.  Takes a bit longer, but around 8-10 weeks I get a large marble of chalkiness with a fat layer of firm translucency under the rind.  that's the way I like my Valencays and Selles Sur Chers.  I can raise the temp an RH a tad in the last week for a thin bit of goo under the ash if I choose.  I don't usually wrap them at all.

Not the best photo, but here's the only one I could find.
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Offline Geo

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 08:07:16 PM »
Those are the results I'm after. It sounds like that's the way to go, and achievable with my cave. Thanks Spellogue, I'll definitely try that with my next make, whenever that may be.

Offline cheeseslovesu

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2014, 08:12:05 PM »
I think your right, they need less humidity so they dry out more. As I only have a wine fridge to mature my cheeses I think I might make a little batch and let them loose in the wine fridge rather than keep them in a contained box like I usually do.
This photo was taken at Neals Yard Dairy in London. They only purchase cheese made in the UK, I was so surprised at how many cheese is made with animal rennet and that's what I will be doing from now on. The flavour is soooo delicious.

Offline Geo

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2014, 09:04:32 PM »
And here I was maturing them in a box thinking in all my naivety that they were white bloomies and needed high humidity. The crottin of similar vintage which is running free in my wine fridge is completely happy and while firm, a charming little cheese.

Lovely photo.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Goat's milk Valençay
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 08:12:37 PM »
I always matured mine in boxes with the lid a bit ajar to allow some air flow.  It worked well for me.  I did have to sop up whey in the bottom of the containers each day for a while but when I left the lid off entirely the cheeses dried out too much.... probably because I wasn't pay enough attention to the humidity.


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