You don't need support, you're doing great, don't let this one drag you down - there is plenty of proof on this forum of the great cheeses you're making!
Here are just a couple of thoughts on your responses:Moisture Content
I agree, most recipes I saw call for uncut (especially un-stirred) curds, but after my early batch when I came across http://www.dairyfoodsconsulting.com/recipes_camembert.shtml
I simply gave it a try (he only cuts, I added the stirring. On my first batches I always had trouble flipping has they were very moist and fragile, additionally, they would stick to the mattes - I no longer have this problem. As for leaving them out after salting, the recipe at the above link also calls for keeping them in a salting room at higher temperature and lower RH before moving them to their aging cave. My thought would be that a) the salt is absorbed easer at higher temperature, drainage is better at higher temperature and lower humidity obviously causes loss of moisture.pH Meter
I use this one http://www.hannainst.com/usa/prods2.cfm?id=024001&ProdCode=HI%2098103
It was cheap and has been serving me well. I use buffer solution to check its accuracy before each batch of cheese I make (if I make sure to keep the probe moist I don't really need to recalibrate, but I just want to know it is correct when I start, especially with the raw milk I use which can start out with vastly different initial values). It is obviously also made for liquids and hence I cannot use it on hard cheeses once they are pressed. However, it does work on soft cheeses as the are so9ft enough to mush the cheese in and around the probe - even works on the rind of Camembert (it is somewhat time consuming to clean it afterward, but it is possible. BTW, my pH progression I also try to base on the recipe above, but my cheeses are always a bit faster - I usually end up at 5.05 by the time I flip for the 4-5th time. My final PH always drops to between 4.55 and 4.65Mold Growth
I have been reading the threads on recommended low temperatures (and I am currently trying Wateetons technique of aging in a household fridge - I only mentioned the temp, because I guess at lower temperatures the growth will be quite a bit slower and I just didn't think that 8 days was too long a wait to develop mold. Again, the recipe above expects to package day 7-10 (that seems to show that even in commercial production there is a 30% variable on the readiness of cheeses - I mean a range from 7-10 is rather large, its not like he said 8-9 days). In addition, their temperature is at 52-54F.P candidum Source
I have no doubt that your source is good, its just a fear I have ... that my molds will stop working on me - maybe because the spores I currently use are from summer 2007 and according to their date, expired a year ago ... As far as quantity is concerned, I guess a few spores are enough, but how does one judge a few spores and possibly 2 out of the 3 spores I add end up in the whey? Those packages are usually 1or 2U meaning they are supposed to be added to a much larger batch, that's why I have opted to re-hydrate a sizable amount in water, keep it in an atomizer and spray twice cover the course of the first two days. That way I know I get some spores grabbing hold.
I certainly wish you the best of luck with your next batch!