Author Topic: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....  (Read 1176 times)

Offline Flound

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2014, 02:58:41 PM »
Okay, here's today's growth.

To smooth or not to smooth, that is the question;

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Offline GlabrousD

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2014, 10:53:53 PM »
That cheese is looking great Flound!

Cheers, GD.

Online JeffHamm

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2014, 12:22:55 AM »
Hi Flound,

My inclination is to say smooth now.  The blue on the inside will slow down, but re-start once you pierce.  You won't "kill it" (it's blue mould for Pete's sake, it grows everywhere when you don't even try).  The outside sometimes will stall, for some reason, but it will be fine.  And slower development will give you a better result in the end. 

-Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline H-K-J

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2014, 08:55:53 AM »
I am with you Jeff, smooth it now if the blue you have is anything like what I used this last time, it is gonna get real scary soon enough. :o
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Offline Flound

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2014, 09:53:38 AM »
Ask and ye shall receive...

It advanced in blueness whilst the hours ticked away, so I took the first opportunity to smooth.

First two pictures are pre-smooth; the rest post-smooth. I did notice it had developed a wee bit of rind. Next make, I'm going to make sure it's kept at higher humidity while in the mold.
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Offline Scott Wallen

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2014, 12:34:42 PM »
I have cheese envy....great looking cheese!
I've never met a cheese I dident like

Online JeffHamm

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2014, 08:59:32 PM »
Yah, that's looking really good.  Pierce it, top to bottom and through the sides, in 2 weeks.  Then, again 2 weeks after that (through the same holes if possible).  The piercing let's the oxygen back into the centre, which will get the internal blue going again.  The holes often plug up, hence the re-pierce later.  You want the paste to develop at this stage, in a couple weeks you want the blue to kick in and do it's thing.

Make sure you take this out for 30 minutes each day to breath.  Also, put the cheese on the cover of the ripening box, and then put the box on top like a lid.  That way, when you prop it open a bit the opening is along the bottom of the container.  Ammonia is heavier than air, so if the cheese produces some (and it will) it won't settle around your cheese but "fall away".  If the cheese starts to produce an ammonia smell, air it out a bit more, and lower the humidity. 

You're now entering the tricky phase of mouldy cheese production.  You need to monitor how it's going and adjust things to correct any deviations.  That, my friend, is where experience comes in, so just try things, write them down (and write down why you did it) and then later write down if it worked (being vague here on purpose as it's a general strategy).  Anyway, ask lots of questions here if you're unsure as there are some very experienced blue cheese makers here who will have some good advice.  Mine is, you are probably better to cut earlier, around 30 days, rather than try and take it out to 90 days.  The form factor is short and wide, and stiltons are usually tall and thin, but also much heavier.  Aging the full duration will overdo it for the smaller size.  And, if you are a bit early, you can age it longer, but it's harder going the other way.

- Jeff
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Offline Matthewcraig

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2014, 11:35:10 AM »
wow that looks great, wish i could get a blue looking like that
If cheese was as easy as boiling an egg 8)

Offline Flound

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2014, 07:48:12 AM »
Alright, April 7th. Six days after the smooth...

Okay, noticeable ammonia smell, granted you have to get nose to cheese so it's not strong, but there all the same.

I gotta say, this is a make that has 'Tude. It's like ornery cheese - all smelly and ugly looking. ;)

Which is my way of saying, is this normal for a blue?
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Offline H-K-J

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2014, 08:49:53 AM »
Quote
Which is my way of saying, is this normal for a blue?
YUP, scary ain't they :o
The smell is normal as long as the ammonia aroma doesn't get to unpleasant.
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2014, 01:35:34 PM »
Take it out to air, 30 minutes a day.  Put it on the lid of the ripening box and use the box as the "lid" (like a cake display plate).  Amonia is heavier than air, so if you leave the "box cum lid a jar" then you won't get any build up around the cheese, which can produce off flavours (unless you like amonia of course).  I think its the white moulds that produce the amonia. 

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Flound

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2014, 01:52:52 PM »
You're repeating yourself, Jeff. You've said all those things three posts up and a week ago. ;)

Seriously, all those things have been done since it's been smoothed which is why, if you look at the pictures, you'll see the cheese sitting on its lid. I listen....lol.

As mentioned, the ammonia isn't strong...you literally pretty much have to put nose on the cheese to get it. I fully expected some smell, as everyone seems to mention it as a byproduct.

Frankly, it looks less hideous than others and I'm wondering if my monster is proceeding apace or is developing too nice of a personality.
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Online JeffHamm

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2014, 06:14:11 PM »
I say everything three times, that's right, three times, I say everything three times.

- Jeff
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Offline Flound

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2014, 06:51:26 PM »
'Gimp' Calhoun Tubbs is very cross with you...
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Offline GlabrousD

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Re: The Blues ain't about feeling bad....
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2014, 05:54:41 AM »
A slight amonia smell would be an advantage with my current Stilton.

The FLW announced at various times last night:
  • What is that stink?
  • Has something died in here?
  • Move that away from the clean laundry it'll make the clothes smell
  • You're not really going to eat that?
  • Oh my God what are you doing?

A glass of wine soon distracted her - like me she's a person of simple pleasures :)

Cheers, GD.