Author Topic: Washing cheese with pla  (Read 997 times)

Offline tnbquilt

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Washing cheese with pla
« on: January 25, 2014, 12:49:55 PM »
I bought some PLA to use on my Swiss cheese to grow that lovely rind with, but I did not put it in the milk. I forgot I had bought it. So now I want to spray it on the cheese, tomorrow. Does anyone know how to mix it up for spraying? Choozit says a little PLA and a little water and a little sugar. Do you have anything more specific than that?
Tammy


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Offline tnbquilt

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 08:37:24 PM »
I have a little spray bottle that I bought from a cheese supplier somewhere, a little bitty thing. So I filled it with water, and a smidgen of PLA and a pinch of sugar. I then sprayed my cheese. I don't know how often I would have to do this, but I did it once anyway.
Tammy

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 08:53:28 PM »
Do you want to keep it for a while, or spray what you have and make up more. If spray quickly and make more, what you did fine. If you want to keep it, suspend in deionized water and store in fridge in between applications.
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Offline tnbquilt

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 08:12:02 PM »
I sprayed it all on the cheese, over a few days of application. It wasn't a very large container. Next time I will remember to put it in the milk. So far, no mold growth at all. It's a week old
Tammy

Offline Bear and Bunny cheese

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 05:50:13 PM »
  If I could  revive this topic for a moment to anyone who could help; Question: Is PLA ever used during the make of an Alpine cheese?  I've thought about this particularly with Appenzeller.  I would think that the rise in pH would make for a potentially runny paste but the paste of Appenzeller seems to exude washed rind aromas, seemingly more than just from the rind.  Could this possibly be from vat inoculation or is it solely from the morge?
  I am wrangling with a German friend to get a bottle of Appenzeller Alpenbitters and preparing an uber morge recipe for when it arrives but wanted to get my ducks in a row for the make.  Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.
  -Nathan
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Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 07:28:15 PM »
Nathan, PLA is commonly used as a kind of Savoie blend.  A noted US maker of a Beaufort-style cheese told me once, "PLA is fine," advice I of course promptly ignored as I went nuts devising all sorts of my own alpine blends.  It's a great blend, imo, especially if working to understand affinage - eliminates one thing to think about.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 07:34:10 PM by ArnaudForestier »
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Offline Bear and Bunny cheese

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 07:45:56 AM »
  Understood.  By Savoie blend I assume you mean Tommes and Epoisse and the like.
  So then is it strictly an affinage mix with concern to alpines?  Would it be uncharted territory if I was to use it along with PAB, LH and TA 60, as a DVI culture for an Appenzeller style alpine?
  I`ve been washing my alpines with only B Linens with great orangy success, but saw LB mention that it is not enough and to use PLA first followed by B L. after.  Fair enough, I will.  But say I feel like sneaking some in to my DVI blend for tomorrow`s Appenzeller, just wondering if the high cook will kill it off or, assuming it survives, will it make for a runny paste alpine with the pH rise it gives?   
Nathan

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 09:11:04 AM »
Epoisse is actually a Burgundian thing.  Napoleon I went nuts for it about the same time he discovered Chambertin.  Nice choices, Nappy; man after my own heart. 

It's a morge blend.  I've done a lot of tommes with it, but in all honesty don't feel it's well-suited to Savoie tommes, as these are mold-centric, not linens-centric.  I'd deign to Alp on Appenzeller (I deign to him a lot on a lot of stuff), but as a morge blend for washed rind, hard alpine cheeses (Beaufort, Abondance, etc.), yes, it's fine.  It contains DH, so no need to add that separately.  It will not survive thermophilic temps, so you'd use it during affinage.  LB mentions linens isn't enough because your yeast (DH), geo that is in the PLA deaminate the rind and raise the ph, setting you up for your linens.  Likely, if you use only linens, it will eventually populate but won't take off until natural yeast and geo populate and deaminate the rind.  PLA also contains another coryneform, Arthrobacter nicotianae. 

That said, like all single-strain cultures or single-strain blends, it is nowhere near as complex as true morge processes, involving the transfer of cellar rind cultures from one wheel to another (I can send you some interesting research on rind flora in alpines - insanely complex populations and wonderfully interesting cascades).  That's why I devised my own blends....a kind of jury-rig attempt to bring some of the wonderful complexity of indigenous washes to my Madison, Wisconsin hard alpines (note the talk on mucor, from the same post).  Worked reasonably well.  Because of my readings in these styles, wanted as much variety in coryneforms as I could buy, as well as micrococci, l. casei, etc. - all of which are found on native rinds...hence my kitchen sink approach in the post cited above.  There was a method to my madness.     

But it's ultimately doomed to failure.  You'll never achieve a rind as found in the Savoie - or any given alp in the Savoie, at that.  So I personally think one is better off creating a good cave one can work in, and nurse one's cheeses using indigenous flora found in the region.  It will be an alpine style, with the taste of the terroir you come from.  That's my approach (for now...I'm sure I'll change a million times) anyway.  Or you could start, as I did, by simply grabbing some wonderful cheese (in my case, "back then," L'Etivaz), washing your rind with 3% saline, then using a rind chunk of that cheese that you keep as sterile in transfer as you can (ultimately, I don't think it matters much - your cheese will develop the blend that is optimally suited to your environment), use that to wash your cheese surface.  ( In my case, good, pasty flora, and given the mottled/rather rough rind of the mature L'Etivaz, it worked great).

You're a talented maker, so you know you can do whatever you'd like - go engineering/cocktail, or go simple and use what's there on rinds you like.  Both produce wonderful cheese, IMHO.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 09:21:55 AM by ArnaudForestier »
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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 11:19:50 AM »
If you are trying to replicate Appenzeller, you need to discard packaged rind cultures. You won't get Appenzeller that way. You might get some Appenzellery cheese, but not Appenzeller

I can't tell you exactly how to get Appenzeller either, because that's a closely guarded secret. I don't know.

But this should get you close,
Wash your rind not with salt brine, but with either hard cider or wine of some sort. This is also infused with the bitters. There is salt in the brine, yes.
Or another way is to rub with 'Kräuttersalz' which is a salt rub mixed with the herbs.
The stinkiness of the interior is more or less a result of a strongly developed rind on a cheese that is not overly dense. Appenzeller is 'Halb-hart' with a relatively soft interior and not too big size. If they are too big, the rind flavor can't penetrate.

The rind will develop its own cultures that are optimized to your climate. Don't try to force the issue, let it do what comes natural. The alcohol will develop the ideal cultures for you. Let it do the work.
Guät git's dr schwiizer Chäser

Offline Bear and Bunny cheese

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2014, 10:30:49 PM »
Gentlemen,
  Firstly let me express my gratitude for your attention to my questions. Humble cheeses to you both from me.
  From what I see from both of your posts, the idea of copying a complex cheese that is a product of a particular environment is an impossible task for the very reason that it is made elsewhere.  Terroir!  Ah to have been born in Switzerland! 
  But I won't give up!
  I have done enough cheese makes lately to be able to experiment with both prepared cultures as well as allowing my own environment to endow my cheeses.  I do live in a secluded area of Montreal that has forest and an active natural microflora.  Geo has formed naturally on my cheeses despite my pure B. Linens washes so we'll see, there may be hope yet!
  I must admit Paul, that the "kitchen sink" list of cultures you referred to blew my mind!  I am able to get many but not all of them from Glengarry.  I am somewhat overwhelmed with it's varied complexity but equally intrigued and eager to learn about all of them.  I would love to read any literature you could send me, especially about mycodore type cultures you've mentioned in other posts.
  Alp, I will take your advice for tomorrow's make. Being a "Halb-hart" cheese as you say, I will cook to about 124F in 40- 50 minutes.  For affinage, cider sounds great, I make it all the time for my wife.  What do you think about beer though?  I brewed a very pleasant (unfiltered) Weizenbock recently that I would love to incorporate into a cheese wash.   Would this and a 3% salt solution sound good or is live brewer's yeast and a rich sweet beer not a good idea?   
  Enough for now. Must sleep for tomorrows make!
  Thanks again for your help Paul and Alp.  It's a real thrill for me!
Nathan
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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2014, 10:53:20 PM »
Appenzeller is cooked to between 40 and 42 degrees Celsius , 102 to 107 F, in o about 25 or 30 minutes. 124 degrees F will yield a proper hard cheese.

What I am not clear on is the order next. Either they leave it to dry for 24 hours, flipping 4 times, then into the brine for 48 hours, or else the two are reversed?

For 5 to 7 weeks the wheels are washed.

Beer probably will not give you a right appenzeller flavor. You need fruit tones. Apple or other wine is best. Just remember anything red will turn your cheese black.

Appenzell bitters actually often contain yeast, believe it or not, so I wouldn't worry about that too much.
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Offline Bear and Bunny cheese

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2014, 08:02:05 AM »
Thanks for the tips Alp.
  I have a cider batch on the go now and will use that for the wash. 
  Also I'm very glad I spoke to you about cook temps.  What kind of aging limit would you expect for a cheese cooked to 42 C?  Seems like it would mature quite soon at such a low cooking temperature.
Nathan

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2014, 09:52:29 AM »
At least 3 months, up to 6 or 7

Do not age less than 60 days. These cook temps will not kill off pathogenic bacteria, so you have to let the aging process take care of that.

The whole recipe is basically the same as Bernese Mutschli
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Offline Bear and Bunny cheese

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2014, 07:55:14 AM »
Been washing my alpine with PLA for almost two weeks now in my ripening box at 10 degrees C.  I`m noticing a nice sharp acidic aroma in the box but definitely no sliminess or colour change.  It`s my fist time using PLA so not sure what I should expect.  My straight B. Linens washes made a good slime and a nice orange colour within a few days.  Is it possible that the PLA just didn`t propogate in my wash jar or should I just be more patient?

On the bright side the cheese swelled very nicely two weeks ago in the warm room.  Pics of this to follow.
Nathan

Offline ArnaudForestier

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Re: Washing cheese with pla
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2014, 09:58:58 AM »
Nathan, it's been my experience that at least for hard cheeses, PLA takes awhile to get going on the linens cascade.  Reblochons and similar, no, takes off quickly, as you've probably experienced.  Haven't really done too much with PLA in awhile (except the little wheel, see below), so I don't know if it was something about the blend, or my affinage at the time - these were new tommes and "Beauforts", in a new cave system a couple years ago and I really knew nothing about affinage at the time (OK, I still don't  ;D)...eventually I  bagged PLA and went with my own blend, then simply went to using existing rinds to seed my cheeses, and my cave.  The latter morge method was by far the most successful, and I think so long as my inspectors are OK with the process, it will be my method on all linens-heavy, hard cheeses from now on. 

I used to fear rind rot, so didn't keep my rinds wet enough, I believe.  With these hard rinds, the Aw is already so low, and linens love the moisture, so for instance on this little mini-alpine (really mini - about a pound - just used a gallon of raw to make whey culture, and didn't want to toss the curds so made this little dude), I keep it fairly well drenched, and linens is slow but sure.  Which is what you want on an alpine, at least the ones I'm more familiar with.  It's a kind of layering of live cells, and lysis, over time.  Nothing like the soft washed cheeses, in my experience. 

Here's this little mini-alpine, a little over 2 months.  92% RH, 55F:



What the hell, a couple more.  A tomme that got no drying off period after brining....I just wanted to experiment, haven't even cared about managing blues...just wanted to see what happens with such a wet wheel in a wet (92% RH) environment.  About 2 months:



And finally, a raw milk tomme that got 24 hours only of drying off, then into a 95% RH cave.  It's at about 6 weeks:



You can see little flecks of blue here and there.  Honestly, I think part of a blue management scheme, is to just load the hell out of one's cave.   Outcompete, not eradicate.  I'm sure you know this.  Anyway, this one is prone to lots of little spots, the reed-basket webbing are great little crevices for minor blues infestations.  I vinegar and salt them, as they come up.

Lot of words, hope there was something helpful there. 

I am moving to a new location and have an entire basement, with different spaces (including a root cellar) for me to build out.  My main cave will be kept at about 94% RH and 55F; it's where I'll be putting my Abondance trials.  These will all be investigations of linens-heavy rinds, Nathan and if it helps, I'll post stuff here as it comes up. 

BTW, I love my (concave, Abondance) hoop, harp and baguette, the flexible piece of spring stainless used to dive into the vat, and sweep up the curd in one fell swoop!:






« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 12:00:10 PM by ArnaudForestier »
- Paul