Author Topic: Ammonia in Blue cheese.  (Read 305 times)

Offline T-Bird

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Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« on: December 17, 2013, 06:11:07 PM »
Just opened a 2 gal blue that I caved at 50 deg. Oct 22. I pierced on Nov.22 and cut today. Internal blue was VERY good Looks just like the last one that I posted here last year. It has a faint odor and taste of ammonia. Last years cheese did too. No one complains about it but me. I cut this one a week earlier that last years to try to alleviate the taste. I have read that most of the ammonia  taste can come from the rind from dying mold etc. The cheese was never overly moist, never got too warm, etc. I let it sit on a bamboo mat that was sterilized before this cheese. covered with a plastic hood turned daily and in a small wine type fridge that I can set the temp on. I set it and checked it for 3 days before putting the cheese in. My first blue I made (several years ago now) I scraped the rind about once a week as it aged  as per a recipe I used then. Should I go back to scraping the rind? My cheese didnot blue nearly as well internally with the other recipe and method but that once I had no ammonia taste.
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Offline Geo

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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 06:48:24 PM »
I find airing the cheeses for 45 minutes or so each day helps them to mature without ammonia buildup.

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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 07:17:26 PM »
Most of the time on my blues I have a slight ammonia aroma when I bring the cheese out for it's daily walk (airing) more dirty feet than anything.
and I air it for 30 to 60 minutes a day, I haven't had one that was so bad with ammonia that it stayed in the cheese after cutting or infected the taste (knock on wood).
I did have a problem when I was using  bamboo mats, that was a long time ago.
act as if it were impossible to fail.

Offline T-Bird

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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 06:56:49 AM »
I haven't aired my cheeses because I thought they could breathe thru the mat. I did age the 1st cheese in a plastic bag, I did air it. I have cut the pieces now. Will unwrapping and airing do any good now? The taste is not strong. My wife doesn't notice. She says it is "just the cheese"
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Offline Geo

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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2013, 02:58:42 PM »
Airing now will help your cheeses. The ammonia smell doesn't always affect the cheese. We tried a stilton-type that had been closed a little too long last night, and which I thought smelled quite ammoniated. The flavour was a very subtle stilton, with no trace of ammonia at all.


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Offline T-Bird

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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2013, 06:47:20 PM »
Ok, I''ll open all the little packs and let them air. The cheese LOOKS wonderful. But I can't stand the "off" taste.Now that I've gotten the internal bluing thing down, I may have to alter my aging techniques. This learning curve for cheese is quite gradual. Guess I should make more than 1 a year for a while. Thanks for the help.
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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 09:06:11 AM »
Absolutely, air them for awhile. my first one had a very strong ammonia smell, I thought I had another fail, I started to air it twice a day and after 4 or 5 day's it was all but gone.
when we cut it, it turned out wonderful :)
act as if it were impossible to fail.

Offline T-Bird

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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2013, 04:53:10 PM »
would it be effective to air them after refrigerating them? My only choice now is to take them in and out of the fridge- which I can do.
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Offline T-Bird

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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2013, 04:54:58 PM »
for future reference, this ammonia thing is usually related to lack of air circulation?
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Offline Geo

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Re: Ammonia in Blue cheese.
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2013, 06:16:46 PM »
That's my understanding. Without air circulation, the natural ammonia gas has a chance to build up. It's fine to take them in and out of the fridge, that's what I do.


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