Author Topic: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....  (Read 2136 times)

Offline Likesspace

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The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« on: March 26, 2009, 08:24:02 PM »
For those of you that remember my alien Camembert cheese, this is an update.
Of the five cheeses that came from that batch I threw away four of them because they simply looked (and smelled) too nasty to save.
Well the final wheel did look good and did not have the nasty smell of the others, so I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge and settled back for a nice long waiting period.
Well guys and gals, I'm certainly happy that I did so......
Below are a couple of pics of this cheese before, (sort of), and after cutting.
I say sort of because I did cut the wheel in half before realizing that I hadn't taken a photo. I then put the pieces back together and snapped the before photo.
In my opinion the texture is perfect and the taste is as well. My only hope is that I'll be able to duplicate this cheese in the future.
I would really love to hear from the Camembert experts on this cheese. As I said, in my opinion, I'm more than thrilled with how this one turned out, but I'm far from an expert on this style of cheese.

Dave


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 08:28:16 PM »
Btw...
The "cut" photos were taken after the cheese had sat at room temperature for 45 minutes and they did not "run". Yeah!

Dave

Offline FineWino

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 09:21:51 PM »
Dave, that cheese looks darned near perfect.
 
I have a couple left from a batch that I started in November.  They were not yet ready at the beginning of February but they are terrific now.  They got a little dry on the outside while we were in Hawaii but are very good.  I will see if I can get a pic.
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.  -John Kenneth Galbraith

Offline John (CH)

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 04:23:50 AM »
Dave, looks great, I am very envious, any ideas why this one turned out so great while you composted the other four? Just trying to learn.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 07:37:06 PM »
Tom: Thanks for the compliment. Knowing your degree of understanding of Camembert, I take it as a very high compliment.
Also, thanks for all of the advice you've given me concerning this variety. As you can see, it did help. :-)

John: I think the main difference was in moisture content.
The first curds that I ladled into the molds were wet...not just moist, but wet to the point that it was almost impossible to flip the molds and get the cheese to hold together.
Even after 24 hours in the molds 4 of the cheeses wanted to fall apart. The only one that went into the mold with what I consider to be the proper moisture content is the one I saved.
I still don't know what caused this curd to not drain properly but it is the first curd that I cut, instead of just ladeling into the mold. I still can't believe this to be the problem since cutting should expel more whey than using a ladle.
Anyway, now I have something to shoot for on my next batch.
I have no doubt that the reason this one did turn out is because I followed Tom's advice and put it in our household fridge and basically forgot about it.
I haven't checked my records to see how old this cheese is, but it's by far the longest I've tried aging a Camembert.
Thanks again for the compliments guys...

Dave


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2009, 08:00:16 AM »
Thanks Dave for learning.

So are you saying that you filled all your hoops sequentially with moister curds first, ie first hoop was full of highest whey content curds and last was least as presumably your cut curds in stockpot had released more whey by time they were ladled?

I find some of my Cams even after overnight in hoops are very fragile such that if I turn them too slowly and they get caught a little sideways, they will break an edge.

I couldn't find my long bread knife to cut my curds with my batch #7 yesterday so just ladled, but as no whey released, too much curds for hoops. Second problem was as curds very moist, and I waited 1 hour for them to drain/drop in height, they had glued to my mats, at least on initial turn.

My question is how moist should resulting Camembert be when when wrapped? And even if knew that %, how measure, volume? If I knew that then I could tailor size of cuts, time after cutting to release whey, and time in hoops.

Offline Tea

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2009, 05:43:28 PM »
Dave congratulations that looks excellent.

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2009, 07:18:21 PM »
Looks AWESOME!
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Likesspace

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2009, 09:38:39 PM »
First of all,thanks to everyone for their comments on this cheese....I really am happy with it.
Secondly...
John, I truly wish that I had answers to the questions you've asked.
I know that with previous batches of this cheese, my wheels were somewhat fragile upon removing from the mold but I could still hold them in my hand and turn them while salting.
The wheels from this batch still contained so much moisture, that when trying to turn them they were literally trying to fall apart. All except this one wheel which was from the last mold I filled.
As for when to wrap...
Well I pretty much just wait until I have a good coating of white mold covering the wheel.
Since I grow the mold at 48 - 50 degrees (according to Tom's advice), and since it takes up to 12 days to get the covering I want....... the wheels are usually nice and firm and are no longer expelling any whey.
As I said, I wish I had the answers to your question but I'm as much of a beginner to this type of cheese as you are (maybe moreso).
I just hope I can duplicate this particular wheel. :-)

Dave

Offline mako

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 06:06:38 AM »
Huh. Surprising to me that the last hoop you filled was the one that came out right. I usually refrain from pre-cutting the curd, and just ladle the whole matrix into the hoops. So my first one filled has the nice large pieces, and by the last one I'm scooping up nothing but the last pathetic dregs, which have all been beaten to a pulp.

I guess since you're probably cutting the curd first (?), you might experience the opposite effect, where the last ones you ladle out have sat longer in the whey and acidified/firmed up a bit more. That seems like a stretch to be the actual culprit, but it's food for thought, anyway.

I'll chime in with the rest in saying that's a gorgeous looking wheel, whatever the path to get to it. Makes me wish I could will mine to ripen faster.


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Offline Cartierusm

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2009, 02:43:17 AM »
Dave looks good.

Tom, how's the press?
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline FineWino

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2009, 02:49:26 PM »
Hi Carter,
 
Hopefully Dave won't mind this minor "threadjack."
 
I played with the press a lot for the first day or so, but as  mentioned my schedule has been pretty packed and I hope to have an opportunity to start putting it through its paces next week.  I ran some calibrations with the bathroom scale and using the pressure gauge on my regulator, and it tracks well above 5 psi or so.  The gauge on the compressor is 0-200 psi, so I added a 0-30 psi gauge for measuring things at the low end.  One of my concerns was how it would work with smaller (4") wheels, and with the second gauge I can sneak up on some pretty low numbers, down to 2 psi or so.  I really want to start doing some swiss and cheddar...plan to make time next week.  I am VERY happy with the press.
 
I am using the 8" mold....it currently has a Stilton of about 6.5 lbs in it.  Started it Tues afternoon and will probably take it out of the mold Friday or Saturday.  I still have a lot of holes to drill, but I have started.
 
Right now, outside of work I am focussing on the 50 cases of Cabernet we are bottling on Saturday.  After that is done (along with racking the '08 vintage) there will be more time for cheese.
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.  -John Kenneth Galbraith

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2009, 04:03:59 PM »
Sounds like fun.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline chilipepper

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2009, 10:48:18 PM »
Dave, that does look awesome and almost the poster child of Camemberts!  Congrats - funny how things have a way of fixing themselves sometimes.  We get so caught up in the process that we forget to wait and let the process happen.  Kind of makes me wonder whether or not I should have trashed that Stilton that went bad a month or so ago. :)

Ryan

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: The sole survivor of the alien Camembert batch.....
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2009, 09:31:22 PM »
Ahh Regrets.....   We all have them
 
 
 
BTW, that camembert looked perfect.  I hope to make some that nice one day
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas