From another thread, Pav's help there:
High 80s means b linens will grow, but slowly. Other molds easily outcompete with it. when you're at 90-92%, the b linens and geotrichum go back and forth in the first 10 days, fighting for dominance. But at 85-88%, b linens will be slow and spotty, makes for a mottled kind of look.
Here's a good rule of thumb... in the mid to high 80s, yeasts, mycodore, and mycoderm can compete with molds. When you get to 90-95, they don't compete as well. When you get to 95, they can hardly compete with b linens and geo. When you get to 98, even geo can't compete well with b linens.
So that's why I usually will start at 85, and watch for growth. if b linens/geo balance is too slow, I move the wheels to a more humid part or put a box over some wheels to help the growth. If they are too fast, I'll let them slow down in a less humid part. This is for the first week. After that, a steady 85-88 RH makes for a good rind, and then brush back depending on how you want it to come out. More brushing = thinner rind because of less mold growth.
Revisiting this, Pav and others. My recent tommes have been kept at 85F. Washed for about a week, or until a tacky skin is evident, then the plan was to leave alone; I'm seeking a thick, powerful rind and strong flavors.
I'm disappointed in the development. Tomme 1, at 2 weeks post-washing, has an almost
of white, which I presume to be either geo or frail mycodore, can't tell which. But it really is a mere dusting, and nothing like "hair" or anything else that needs to be brushed back. Ideally, I'd like a very strong mould coating, with hair that necessitates panking down (choosing this, over brushing, I think).
So I'm upping the cave to 90%; but I think what I'll end up with is the very mottled after-battle effect of many organisms duking it out, as you've taught, Pav, and nothing like the very smooth, even coating of grey/white mould, as seen in French Cheeses
for Tomme de Lullin and other tommes. Yet many of the sources suggest an RH of 90-92%.
Secondly, presuming I do develop evidence of good mould; my plan was to ignore it until strongly developed. What I mean by that is literally, leave it totally alone, unturned
, though it's on wood planking. I can't see how they get that long-hair development, unless
they do this, ignore the cheeses for some period of time. As you've mentioned, Pav, turning will tend to yield a thinner rind.
That said, leaving a wheel unturned, it seems to me, will give you strong development on 3 sides, but the side underneath against the planking, is basically getting continually "panked" by the planking, so you'll have a thin rind on one side.
In a word, how do the traditional makers get:
-thick mould rinds, of even
coating (suggesting mould dominance) and not a mottled look (suggesting a battle between mould, geo, linens, perhaps);
-we've talked about 85%. Given the above paragraph, is there a true sweet spot that allows this even coating of hair, while discouraging geo and linens? In other words, is 90% perhaps "better" in this way? The Lullin material mentions 90-92%. And the rind is anything but mottled, it's like a matte, grey blanket.
letting a wheel develop unmolested, to allow a "thick, mushroomy rind" for strong flavors, how do traditional
makers using wooden
planking manage an even development on all 4 sides?