I've been playing with (semi)lactic bloomy goat cheeses recently and taking Iratherfly's advice about putting the pH meter away (from a post several years ago). My latest batch ripened at a higher than expected room temperature and had a nice curd set at 11 hours. After ladling into a bag for pre-draining my curiosity got the best of me and I tested the pH of the whey which was 4.25. I would have expected it to be around 4.5-ish
I've seen multiple comments about milk "acidifying too fast" and wondered how this would affect an aged, bloomy rind ash-coated cheese (valencay, st maure, etc)?
The high acidity has certainly made the pre-drained curds pretty sour tasting after an overnight hang (kind of flavorless, yet bitter). So I understand what it would do to a fresh chevre. But as more moisture is removed during drying and aging, what can I expect?
Generally, does a longer ripening (eg taking 18-24hrs for the curd to set (or to get to a desired pH)) result in a more flavorful product than something that ripens faster?
If I hadn't measured, I would have said the ripened curd was one of the best i've made, based on visuals and smell. Pulling away from the sides, one crack, only 1/2 inch of whey on top. Other batches tend to have more when floating on top, for example. This curd may have felt a little more "solid" than others, but in the right general ballpark based on my experience.
I think I have a pretty clear picture on how to rectify the environmental problems for the next try (lower milk temp and/or less starter, draining part of the time in lower temp environment), but I'm going to put this one in my "cave" (wine fridge) and see what happens. I'm still struggling with getting the humidty issues sorted out, so this is a good test subject.