Author Topic: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream  (Read 3043 times)

Offline mako

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2009, 07:41:44 PM »
Storebought pasteurized/homogenized milk and Ultra-Pasteurized cream.
Storebought cultured buttermilk, left out in a covered, sterlized jar to thicken further.
~1 Week old store bought stilton cheese, blended with boiled/cooled water.

None of those are the culprit, I feel 99% confident in saying.

Recipe says little about temperature. Video says warm/moist environment, but gives no time. Various accounts I've read here have said 3-5 days at room temp (around 70 degrees). I had it a little higher temp (~75), no particular attention paid to moisture (cheap hygrometer says 60% RH, now that I test).

Somewhere herein lies the issue, I am confident. As I look closer, it looks like the only spots that are affected were on the top and bottom, where it was sitting on the plastic craft mats. I feel imagine that if I'd been aging on bamboo, it would've wicked away moisture, and the rest would have dried down to more of a rind already, keeping this at bay.

Worlock, I'd say it's likely that the wetness was a factor. (and don't worry about accusations -- It's all experiments, and the more feedback, the better. I've got a pretty thick skin. Unlike this &%#@ing cheese.)

I know I should just toss this, but I've put so much thought and effort in already...

I cut off all the weird looking spots, and will see if badness keeps popping up. If it looks clean, I'll let it age a little longer and see what happens (what's the harm? Aside from allowing blue-cheese loving flies to infest my home...). If it doesn't, I'll bite the bullet and toss it out.


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Offline Worlock

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2009, 07:52:24 PM »
Cool Makk, I wasn't sure how to ask someone about their "challenges" that they come across on the forum...

I've thought about temp before hand in my house.  I have mine set to 77 degrees.  I also have a digital clock with temp right next to my thermometer and it reads 75-76 most times.

The reason I say that is because the thermostat doesn't kick on my air until it goes below that, and if I were to lay a block of cheese below that elevation it would be a significantly different temperature than what I read on my thermostat.

It's interesting to me because I have been maintaining temperature equipment for the US Air Force for the last 20 years.  And since hotter air rises, I can assume that if my thermostat reads 77 then bottom at the floor can be up to 5 degrees difference.

The reason I ask is if you wanted to keep your cheese at a specific temp, unless you have a gauge at it's exact spot, it might not be what you're expecting (if your reading say a house thermostat)

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2009, 07:59:09 PM »
Mak, thanks for update and picture.

OK, so ingredients all sound good and agree, the source of the maggots was not from there, are they from an external to the cheese source? Is it possible a fly could have laid eggs on your cheese? I assume they are just on the bottom surface . . . and not inside the cheese. If so you could slice off a layer and keep on going. If the maggots are throughout then I'd say you are toast.

It sounds like you have a second problem of wrong colour mold? Your higher temp will certainly accelerate the process and could be a cause of this. Have you smoothed the rind yet, if not I'd do so and then cool it in your cheese cave as I think it has already had enough warmth.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2009, 09:58:55 PM »
Oh gosh I nearly lost my dinner on that one .... I'm so sorry for you that looked so very promising!

Offline mako

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2009, 01:50:14 AM »
Worlock: I have a cheap thermometer/hygrometer ($6 at wal-mart, I think) that I put right beside the cheeses to keep track of temp and humidity. Highly recommended. It's especially neat to see how the humidity shifts when I go from having my plastic shoebox cracked open .5" (about 85%) to 1.5" (about 75%).

John: I'm fairly sure a fly just got in and landed on the cheese and laid some eggs. Unfortunately, a little light reading on the internet says that once they hatch, maggots will start to burrow. Which means I think I'm hosed. On the advice of the internet, I washed down the top and bottom (both affected) with vinegar, and then rubbed them with salt, and I'm gonna give it a day in the cave and see how it looks.

The mold isn't wrong (maybe it just didn't come through very well in that picture)... it actually looks great. More greenish-blue than blue (not sure if this is due to conditions or a different strain of the mold), a little crinkly, really beautiful.

The rind was smoothed already. I think if it wasn't, I'd already have given up.

Debi: Sorry. It was never my intention to disgust anyone.  :)


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2009, 07:37:00 PM »
Mak....
I've made several Stilton style cheese and I feel really confident in saying that you did nothing wrong that caused this and that your ingredients/aging environment is not at fault.
The simple fact of the matter is that at some point a fly either landed on your cheese and laid eggs, or it landed on your mat and laid eggs.
This is the main reason that I've been so concerned about trying to make cheese during the summer months.
I have three kids that love to "fan" the doors of our house in the summer. Because of that there are always flying critters in the house and I'm not sure I could handle seeing one of my beloved Stiltons with little white "wigglies" on it.
I'm sure that if you give this recipe a try in the winter months you will be more  than happy with the results.
My blues usually spend the first week of their lives at 70 degree room temp and then another 10 - 12 weeks in a 48 degree fridge at approx. 90% humidity.
I would really like to make one more swiss before summer sets in but since we are having a lot of 70 degree days now I worry about the month spent at room temperature. We can't be long at all before the flies start coming out in a big way and I don't want to risk it.
Honestly, your cheese looked perfect before the mishap. As I said, I'd wait until the fall or winter and give it another try. In the meantime, try several other varieties that go directly into the cave upon completion.
Just my two cents.

Dave

Offline mako

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2009, 08:26:24 PM »
Dave: Thanks. Nice to have someone telling me it's not my fault, and just a twist of fate. Puts me at ease a bit.  :)

Now I've gotta figure out what to do next. I'd like to know if my camemberts are aging well; if I did, I'd scratch that blue itch with a cambozola. Aiming high.

Offline newbie001

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2009, 12:47:14 PM »
I don't know why you guys don't use fly covers over your cheeses. Here in Thailand we put them over all of our food dishes that stay on the table.  They are either plastic with small slits that allow the air to breathe but flies cannot fit through, or sometimes they are made with plastic window screen in the shape and size of cake covers.

Though I haven't used them to make cheese, I think that would solve the problem for the temptation of a warm moist environment for larvae to grow.

Offline mako

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2009, 01:13:49 PM »
Yeah, I'd never heard of anyone having trouble, so I never considered it. If I have to make something that'll sit out for that long again, I will definitely use some sort of covering, even if only a big piece of cheesecloth or plastic mesh.

Just a quick post-mortem on this cheese. I cut one up to see if the maggots had gotten in, and saw no evidence. Let the other one ripen after cutting off the top and bottom, more out of curiosity than hope for a good cheese. After about 8 weeks, I cut it open. Mostly too dried out, both due to the ridiculously small size and neglecting humidity at a few points during the aging. Good bluing, but even in the moist parts, the flavor was a bit off. Started nice, ended not-so-nice. Threw most of it away (fear of maggots kept me from trying too hard to salvage any of it). Not too much good information to be gleaned from this one -- too many mistakes all around.

Offline Baby Chee

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Re: Stilton #1: Baby Size, Double Cream
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2009, 07:26:06 PM »
What a shame!

I would have loved to heard positive things about a double cream Stilton like I plan on starting this Friday.
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