Author Topic: My first blue  (Read 352 times)

Offline Pirri

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My first blue
« on: July 09, 2014, 03:02:08 AM »
Hi all,

I started my first blue on the 15 June. 

After hooping the cheese and flipping it a number of times and then leaving it overnight I dry salted the cheese.  I then let them stand for 3 days at room temperature (it is winter here so room temp is approx 15C), salting each day as I turned them.

After 3 days the cheese was spiked (I got carried away 40-50 holes for each cheese) and one cheese was wrapped with blanched late growth fig leaves (because why not).

The three cheese were then moved to my aging fridge at 10-11C approx 90%RH.

All seemed to be going well (it was turning blue!)

My recipe says to turn them every 4 days and for the next 30 days before scraping away the mold and smear and leaving for a further 20-30 days. After 90 days they are to be wrapped and then aged in a fridge at 1-3C for a further 60days.

But now just over 25 days in I have some misgivings.

As you will see in the pictures below my blue is still releasing yellow coloured whey.  The blue mold is soft, slimy and easy to rub off.  Is this the smear referred to above?  I have made washed rind cheeses before and with those cheese I expect a slimy surface as the proteins break down.  I expected this cheese to be a bit drier.  Maybe I am mistaken.

I suspect that the size of my aging container is not helping matters, but I have been restricted by the available height of the shelves in my fridge and the size of the containers I can get to fit.  I suspect that this has either caused the cheese to be crowded or is causing too much humidity to develop.  At the moment I have a number of pristine looking Bries in the same aging fridge and I have been reluctant to open the blue container more as I don't want any foreign invaders colonising my beautiful white fields.

I was wondering if the slimy texture I am getting is a problem?  If so what should I do to fix this situation?
Would vac sealing these be of any help?  I have been in two minds, as vac'ing them will cut of the oxygen and I always through the P Roqueforti needed the oxygen to colonise.

I would really appreciated peoples opinions and assistance on this issue.  I currently have moved the blues out of the fridge to help them dry out.  I am hoping this is the right move.
 


Offline Raw Prawn

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Re: My first blue
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 03:35:15 AM »
My two couple of attempts at blues both turned slimy, I think because of an invasion of B. Linens or something similar. They both turned a yellowish colour on the outside as well. I removed them from the fridge and let the surface dry out. The results were not good to look at but, the good news is, they were both really nice cheeses.
This could be something similar and I wil be interested to hear what some of our more experienced colleagues think.

   - Andrew
- Andrew

Offline Boofer

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Re: My first blue
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 08:14:02 AM »
Wow, that's a wet cheese! ???  Is the cheese being dripped on by condensation from above?

I would wick away some of that moisture with a paper towel.  B. linens likes a moist surface so it makes sense that you might be seeing some of that show up.

Seems like you have another problem as well. Check your sanitation process. A mosquito seems to like your cheese. :o

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline Pirri

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Re: My first blue
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 11:42:30 PM »
So I am guessing that this isn't the smear that is being referred to in my recipe. No B. Linens were added to the recipe but I guess it could have easily been transferred from my hands or from a washed rind I had in there for a little while.  Becasue I haven't made a blue before I didn't really know what to expect from the surface as it aged.  Does the P.R. cause a smear like B. Linens or is it a dry mold like Geo or PC?

As to the bug, ha I was hoping you wouldn't have noticed that :-[, it was a little fruit fly thing that landed as I was taking the piccy. I saw it just after I took the picture and it was quickly expelled.

This dampness is forming on the underside of the cheese. I took the photo just after turning them. The cheeses are sitting on a raised plastic mat and during the 4 days between turning the standing moisture leaves the top and collects on the bottom. It is quite thick almost like a syrup. I check this cheese daily when I turn the other cheeses in my cave and there is no water collecting and dripping from the top of the container (there are some small beads of condensation though).  I suspect that the size of the container I have it in has not allowed the air to circulate properly, which hasn't helped matters. 

I've been thinking of moving my bries out to a normal fridge this would let me completely open up the blues container.  I have the container completely open at the moment at room temp (15C) to help it dry. If I was to pat the surface down and remove all surface moisture before moving it back to the fridge should it start to dry out?   Should I expect it to dry out?

The other thing I was thinking, do you think I should bring forward the first surface scraping, do it now to clear the surface and start on the next round or should I let it dry before starting that?

I know a lot of question, I guess I am just second guessing what I expected the surface to be like and I'm not sure if my assumptions were correct.

Offline jwalker

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Re: My first blue
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 10:04:43 AM »
Pr will not create a shmeir , nor should  B.Linens when it's on a properly formed blue rind , in fact the two together make for a really nice rind on most blues , in my opinion.

I usually get a nice orange/brown/blue rind on my blues.

You probably have too high humidity in your aging environment , or the curds have retained too much whey , or both.

Try stirring the curds a little more next time to release more whey , and maybe let the cheese dry a little longer before putting in cave.

Definitely don't vac bag them at this point , the moisture problem will only worsen , in my experience , don't let them get too dry too fast either as they will crack , (been there , done that !!! ::) ).

Good luck.

Just editing this to add: The problem was very possibly from retaining too much whey ,in my opinion , it's kind of hard to completely fix at this point , a little more stirring of the curd next time will hopefully solve the problem.

It should still be a good cheese.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 10:10:42 AM by jwalker »
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline Pirri

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Re: My first blue
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 09:02:18 PM »
Thanks J

I think you might be right about retaining too much whey.  I noticed when I left them the three days to dry out before moving it into my aging fridge that the sides of the cheese which had started as vertical, bulged out (a lot!).  You can see it in the photo.  I was aware that too much whey could cause problems but as I am new to cheese making I wasn't fully aware of what those problems could be. Now I know.

I have left the cheeses out all yesterday and overnight to dry out a bit.  I also patted them down with a paper towel.  They are now slightly tacky to the touch so not so dry that they will crack.  I moved all the brie's out (probably should have done that a couple of days earlier) so now these moldy guys can have free run of the space (except for a lone mini Jack that is about to get cracked into on the weekend >:D).  I am a little apprehensive about the PR infecting my cave :-\ but I really think they could do with I good breath, at a much lower humidity.

I'll let you guys know how I go