Author Topic: Help with camembert please  (Read 716 times)

Offline bev

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Help with camembert please
« on: June 06, 2014, 10:30:34 AM »
I know there are already several threads that address various issues with camembert but I am hoping for advice for my situation.

Twice I have made the recipe from "200 cheeses".  I used 1 gallon milk (from store, P&H), and divided other ingredients in half also.  I DID add just a pinch of geo as I have read it helps prevent slip skin.

Both makes came along as expected and I drained and flipped as directed  (I used proper camembert molds).  I sprinkled with the recommended amount of salt and also used some activated charcoal.  I then put the cheeses (2 each time) on a rack in a covered container in my wine fridge at 50ºF.  I flipped them twice a day and wiped up any moisture that accumulated.

The first batch took quite some time to develop it's white mold, probably about 10 days.  I then wrapped it in parchment and foil and left it again in the covered container in the wine fridge.  After 3-4 days I noted that it was getting very soft on the edges so I moved it to a regular fridge.  It succumbed completely to slip skin after a few days.

2nd batch was done the same (except a different brand of milk).  The cheeses seemed firmer and "better" coming from the molds.  I treated them in an identical manner but the white mold developed much faster - maybe 5 days - at which time I wrapped in parchment and foil and immediately put them in a regular fridge.  After about a week I checked them and again they had a very thick, loose rind and had liquefied under the rind.  Both times it started on the sides of the cheese (less salt applied there perhaps?)

I am trying to figure out what changes to make.  I intend to win this.

Firstly, should I use the geo at all?

Should these cheeses be dried for awhile before putting in wine fridge?  The recipe seems to indicate putting them in the ripening container immediately and NOT letting them dry out?

Brining... somewhere I read that some people brine the cheese for awhile instead of dry salting?

Is it TOO moist in my ripening container?

Is the parchment and foil retaining too much moisture?

Should mention that at the time of the PC mould developing both sets of cheeses looked perfect.  Also, I never detected any odor of ammonia with either set.  After the cheese obviously had slip skin I cut into them - the rinds were thick, inside the rind was very liquid, the inner part of the cheese was crumbly and tasted very strong - almost like a blue cheese.

Any suggestions appreciated.  I am determined to get this right so am willing to take it one step at a time and see what happens. 






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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 01:45:36 PM »
Hi bev,

I've had camembert and brie turn out very nice a couple times, and I've had them turn into white bags of liquid cheese as often.  I think the issue is the curds retaining too much moisture.  My last attempt had the paste just right, and had it not picked up wild blue mould, whould have been a very good cheese.  I think you need to cut and stirr the curds for about 15 minutes, to help expell the whey.  Otherwise, when just putting the curds in without stirring, make sure you aren't filling the mould with "curd soup".  Curds swimming in whey don't really drain all that well.  You can pull off thin layers of curd (no cutting) but this takes a long time to load your moulds because you have to take really really think layers and let it drain as you go. Pour off whey that expells in the pot, etc. 

Check my thread (A brie of sorts) below.  I think if you follow that make, just make sure you've cleaned your ripening containers (I forgot to clean the mats the cheese sat on, which is the source of my blue mould contamination) and see if that works for you.  If it does, you know the issue is whey retention. 

- Jeff
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Offline bev

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 09:54:41 PM »
Thank you.  I do think there may have been too much moisture in the curd as my cheeses weighed in at about 340 gm, and according to the recipe they should be 300 gm.  So I shall start there and stir the curd a little longer.  And perhaps I should omit the geo and ash (both of which I have read help prevent slipskin but maybe one can't believe everything they read, and, they were not in the recipe).

It will likely be about a week before I get a chance to try this again so any further suggestions will be considered.  The next make I will post pictures so it may be more obvious what is going wrong.

Thanks.

Offline andreark

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 10:29:19 AM »
Bev,

I have made Bries and Cams for some years now.  They turn out well.  This is a clip from the recipe I use.
This part is done after the curd is at a 'clean cut' stage.

_________________________________________________ ________________________
Cut into 3 inch pieces and rest 5 minutes
Cut smaller and let rest
Stirred Gently with large wisk.
Ladled into molds

Turned every few hours 3 times
Let Drain overnight
Removed from molds and salted. Moved to 50 degree Cave
Let age for 7 days in Plastic Box w/lid slightly ajar until covered with mold
_________________________________________________ _________________________________

The curds are handled gently and not for long.  Just enough time to get them to release whey.  I
should also mention that I use raw Jersey milk.  But this shouldn't make much difference for slip
skin. 

Hope this helps.

Andreark


Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 11:41:26 AM »
Bev, not sure if you are shortening the steps for ease of typing or actually doing it in the make.  Here's my advice, for what it's worth.  Sounds like the second milk was better so stay with that.  That "pinch" of geo only needs to be a few specs.  It will grow fast.  After your white mold develops you should be petting it down and flipping the cheeses every day for about 5 days.  Then you wrap in "cheese paper" and allow them to soften flipping them daily.  This usually takes about another 5 days.  Then you can move them to the fridge.  Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 06:32:22 PM by Al Lewis »


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Offline andreark

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 12:40:22 PM »
 Al,  were your remarks aimed at my recipe?  First, as I said, this is just a clip from my recipe, copied and pasted.  And secondly, the patting down I have found unnecessary.  It is supposed to make a thinner rind, but I have never noticed a lot of difference.  And third, I do flip my cheeses every day. But I didn't think I needed to add that since all cheeses of this type  need to be flipped daily.

I was primarily addressing the cutting and stirring, which I have found necessary.  Ladling in the very thin layers makes a great and moist cheese.  But if not done perfectly will end up in slip skin.

I am attaching a photo of a Brie type that was made with my recipe.

Good Luck Bev,

andreark

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 06:30:58 PM »
No, my reply was directly at Bev.  Seemed, in her remarks, she wasn't allowing the proper times between steps.

Offline bev

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2014, 11:05:23 PM »
No, my reply was directly at Bev.  Seemed, in her remarks, she wasn't allowing the proper times between steps.

I am not sure what you mean... I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter.  Please let me know where I may not have allowed enough time; if I did indeed do that it may be my problem. 

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2014, 01:55:49 PM »
If you follow the steps I outlined above on petting down the mold and flipping for about 4-5 days and then wrap in cheese paper, not parchment and foil, you should be good.  After wrapping flip daily in the cave until you notice a softening.  Usually takes about 5 days.

Offline OzzieCheese

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 05:14:54 AM »
This is how I do it
Malembert 18 April 2014
This was such a success I’m doing it again to 8 litres to 600ml of cream
This is my own cheese, it may have a slight resemblance to a triple cream mold ripened cheese by another name but as I can’t find a recipe then I feel that ‘Malembert’ is appropriate.
I'm still using Tim Smith's basic recipe but have changed 7 litres of Milk and 600ml of pure cream and 1/4 tsp Calcium Chloride.  There is no way I can get milk of the cream content of a nice Jersey so I must add Calcium Chloride to get the fat molecules as fat as possible.  This will also affect the draining time and therefore will have an all-night drain as well as a prolonged ‘flipping’ program.

8 litres of 3.8 % Fat non-homogenised Milk
600 ml Pure Cream
1/4 tsp Calcium Chloride - CaCl2
Flora Danica – A good full dose(pinch measure) of GLA FL.D
1/32 tsp of PC and half a 1/64 tsp of the G.C
3.5 mls of  200ICU  Liquid rennet.
Heat the milk over 50 minutes to 32 Deg C.

11:25 Initial ripening stage pre-activate the Flora Danica 10 minutes before hand and add to the rest at 32oC.
11:30 Add the P.C and a small mini smidge of G.C at the same time as the culture.
11:30 Add the P.C and G.C and stir together.  Keep the temperature at 32oC.
Ripening for 90 minutes.
@90 minutes add CaCl2 and mix gently.
No brine or Salt additions apart from the direct salting of the outside.

13:06 Add 3.5 mls Rennet.  Flocculation time:-  9:00 * 6 = 54 minutes 14:15 cut curds
Flocculation time 9:30 minutes flocculation time 5.5 Multiplier giving 54 minutes.  This time is from the time you add the rennet not from the flocculation time. Watch for the Flocculation point and multiply it by 5.5 – 6.  Test at 5.5 and determine whether the break to good enough.  It should be clean and not mushy.

14:15 Cut curds to ½ inch and maintaining 32oC stir for 15 minutes.  And then let settle for 15 minutes.  Although the recipe normally uses 4 moulds the addition of cream will provide enough curds for 6.  I have found that stuffing 4 moulds (100mm) wastes quite a bit and the final shapes tend to be too thick to ripen properly.
Set up the moulds and the cheese mats and boards getting ready to fill and eventually flip.
Drain the whey to the level of the curds.

Using a ladle, scoop the curds, one ladle at a time, into the moulds. Flip once an hour for 6 hours. Let sit overnight.  In the morning remove from the moulds and use ½ tbls cheese salt to rub over the outside.
Place in the ripening containers and follow the ripening schedule.
Ripening schedule to follow

« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 05:31:33 AM by OzzieCheese »
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Offline OzzieCheese

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2014, 05:26:51 AM »
My Ripening Schedule:
The Ripening Schedule.

Based on the comments and teachings from the cheese forum this schedule is really a ‘It Depends’.  Theoretically once the cheeses are placed in the ripening containers it is a daily inspection and smell. For the first 3-4 days there won’t be much activity and the cheese will smell slightly sweet and will continue to drain whey.  For this period I empty the liquid that collects in the container, wipe the container dry, flip the cheeses and place back into the Cheese fridge.  I have mine set at 10 Degrees C. 

Someone made the comparison of ripening this style of this cheese to cooking chicken, Cook too fast and it gets burnt on the outside and raw in the middle.  Same with these, getting too much mold growth too fast on the cheese is like cooking it too fast.  The end result will be a thick rind, runny on the outside just underneath the rind and chalky in the middle. Also there is a distinct Ammonia smell and the cheese will not taste very nice.
After about 5 days – could be 7 (it all depends) there will be a covering of very fine white fuzzy covering.  The mold is very fragile at this stage so try and touch it a little as possible while still cleaning the container and flipping the cheese until the cheese is fully covered.  The sweet smell will have gone and been replaced with a not unpleasant earthy, Mushroomy smell.   So you see it all depends.  I like to move the cheeses into the 4 Degree C fridge at this stage.  Don’t wait too long or the outside will run away with you and ripen too quickly. 
While in the 4 deg. C fridge I still wipe out the container and flip the cheese when there is evidence of condensation on the lid.  Apparently, this a good indication that the GC and PC are still hard at work turning the middle into that prized gooeyness.  This might be every day still for the next week or two but will decrease in frequency. 
When is the cheese ready? That also is a ‘It depends’.  Some people like the centre a little firm and some like the gooeyness all through the cheese. The cheese will ripen from the outside in to the centre, which is why the initial fuzzy covering needs to be treated carefully.  If the outside is patchy and mold is not uniform, then the cheese won’t ripen uniformly, but hey this is Artisan cheese and it can be a little rustic.  After about 4-5 weeks in the 4 Deg. C fridge you will notice the outside getting a little wrinkly and soft to touch.  There should be no ammonia smell.  What does that smell like ?  Well, all I can say is when you smell it you’ll know you will know when it smells like old used and sweaty jock straps and socks.  The cheese won’t get better from that and I’d try one but I would suggest that they are not very nice. 
To wrap or Not !
I personally don’t wrap this cheese unless I am giving it to someone and then only to keep fingers off the cheese until it is ready to be eaten.  I see the whole maturing process in the ripening containers (unless my lovely wife needs the fridge space). My preference is for a slightly firm centre and has the first 1 inch being soft, check it by pressing the top of the cheese checking from the outside in. With this recipe is about 8 weeks due to the amount of cream, but the last batch went all the way to 12 weeks – very oozy and very creamy and with a little bite but was still popular when shared with colleagues at work – So really - It all depends.
This works ... and it will be the most talked about cheese  - ever
 
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2014, 08:22:49 AM »
Hey, Ozzie, it's been a while since we've heard from you. And then you come back and post this treatise on Camembert...most excellent guidance, sir. A cheese to you for your "Malembert" recipe.

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Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2014, 02:10:27 PM »
Yes, good to see you posting again Ozzie!  And a great return post. 

- Jeff
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Offline OzzieCheese

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2014, 10:46:14 PM »
Oh this like comming home !!  I've been away too long - thanks for the welcome back.  I have plans for the weekend - something I havent done before, a Gouda I'm thinking or a Blue Wensleydale - yes I found a recipe for a 5 litre and I'm going to ramp it to a 10 litre batch. I'll see what happens.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 10:58:57 PM by OzzieCheese »
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Offline OzzieCheese

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Re: Help with camembert please
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2014, 10:36:24 PM »
Hey Bev.. Did my post help or confuse ??  There are couple of things I wouldn't do with camemberts just yet.  First I wouldn't use Charcoal on the outside as it will neutralise the acid. You need the pH of the outside to be acidic to help the PC and GC to establish. Which is necessary for the first part of the ripening. The skin slip is caused by the culture and mould creating to much ammonification (is that a word ?) which is exacerbated be the foil. Basically you cooked it too fast - like cooking chicken on a red hot BBQ - it ends up burnt on the outside, raw in the middle. This gas needs to escape.. As soon as they have a just a covering of white mold I move them still in their ripening containers to the 4 DegC fridge. I still wipe out when there is condensation on the top and flip them once a week. I don't wrap mine unless I'm going to give it to someone or wrapping to store, when my lovely wife wants the bottom of the fridge back   :-*  , I also use a specific two part cheese paper that has micro-pores shiny paper that goes next to the cheese and a waxed paper outer that allows the gases to escape but retains the moisture. 

Hope that helps.  A cheese for encouragement.  If you read though my Camembert logs you will see it took me quite a few goes to 'Get it' - but once you do . . . wahoo - you will NEVER buy a mass produced one of these again. Even the imported mass produced stuff is rubbery and tasteless and it always the last on the cheese plate. Where with these, they will be scraping the scraps of with their fingers.

     
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