Author Topic: John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8  (Read 2649 times)

Offline John (CH)

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John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8
« on: March 28, 2009, 08:25:47 AM »
Today I start my eighth Camembert making based on the recipe here, updated with fellow member FineWino's recommendations here, except using 1/2 the amount of salt of Batch #7.

My other Camembert records here: #1 Records, #2 Records, #3 Records, #4 Records, #5 Records, #6 Records, #7 Records.

MAKING
  • Mar 28, 2009:
    • 7:00AM: Placed two fresh 1 US gallon jugs of store bought pasteurized homogenized cow's milk from fridge into sink, ran warm water bath to gently warm.
    • 8:00PM: Poured milk into ~3 US gallon stainless steel stockpot in water bath double boiler and placed on cooker, milk at 78°F/25.5°C, water at 93°F/34°C. Turned gas heat on low.
    • 8:10AM: Measured water at 103°F/39°C, turned off heat, tricked and whisked in 1/4 teaspoon diluted CaCl2 to help get good curd set.
    • 8:25AM: Milk at 90°F/32.7°C, measured and sprinked ~0.5 grams Danisco's Choozit Brand Mesophilic Starter Culture MM100, 4-5 puffs of Penicillium candidum spores, and 3-4 of Geotrichum candidum spores onto milk and whisked all in. Covered and set aside for culture to ripen.
    • 9:25AM: Measured milk at 90°F/33°C. (Shortened this step by 1/2 hour as prior engagement at 11:15PM). Melted ~0.5 grams powdered rennet crystals in 1/2 cup cool bottled water, trickled into milk while stirring with whisk thoroughly for 1 minute.
    • 10:10AM: Checked curd set, good, cut curds into ~1 cm/0.5 inch diamonds, set aside for 10 minutes for whey to expell.
    • 10:20AM: Ladled curds into hoops until 2/3 full.
    • 10:40AM: Turned hoops, sticking to mats. Filled hoops.
    • 11:00AM: Turned hoops, still sticking to mats but partially peeling off, see picture. Filled hoops.
    • 11:50AM: Turned hoops, filled hoops with remaining curds.
    • 2:00PM, 4:00PM, 7:00PM, 10:30PM: Turned hoops.
  • Mar 29, 2009:
    • 7:00AM: removed hoops, salted top's with 1/8 Teaspoon each, turned cheeses, salted bottom's with 1/8 Teaspoon each, total 1/4 Teaspoon per Cam, this is 1/2 the salt used in Batch #7!
    • 8:00AM: Placed cheeses on mats on paper towels on plates. Placed bowls over cheeses to maintain high humidity, placed in fridge at 9.4°C/49°F.
  • Apr 1, 2009: Age 4 Days, turning Camemberts every 2 days, no sign of white mold yet, measured fridge at 46 F, raised setting slightly.
  • Apr 4, 2009: Age 7 Days, turning Camemberts every 2 days, no sign of white mold yet, measured fridge at 48 F, raised setting slightly, added 1 tablespoon water to each bowl.
  • Apr 8, 2009: Age 11 Days, turning Camemberts every 2 days, added 1 Tablespoon water to each per day, OK sign of white mold, weighed, 392/494/3663/393 grams each, wrapped, and placed back in fridge and set temperature to lower for cold aging.

NOTES
  • Uncut or freshly cut curds and amount of time draining determine how moist remaining Camemberts are, how moist should they be?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 05:42:59 PM by John (CH) »


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Offline John (CH)

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« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 08:33:34 AM by John (CH) »

Offline John (CH)

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« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 08:41:03 AM by John (CH) »

Offline John (CH)

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« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 10:19:05 AM by John (CH) »

Offline John (CH)

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« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 10:22:42 AM by John (CH) »


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Offline FineWino

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Re: John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2009, 02:03:14 AM »
Another good looking batch, John.
 
Keep us posted.
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: John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2009, 02:46:55 AM »
I agree good looking batch. Aside from the sticking they almost look better than #7, almost, both are pretty nice.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2009, 05:56:03 AM »
Thanks FineWino & Carter.

For Aging Phase #1, mold growth, I've set out second fridge to warmer than normal temp but didn't have enough room in high humidity veg drawer so I improvised on fly with plate, then folded paper towel, then mat, then lid (a bowl) to maintain high humidity. Looks silly and takes up room but it's working well as paper towel sticks out 4 edges from bowl and is whicking away excess moisture well! Can't measure humidity as no room for gauge, but when I lift bowls of to turn, they have slight condensation on inside of bowl and paper towel is slightly moist, where under bowl, so I think it's about right.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2009, 10:25:48 AM »
Last night I opened two of four and added 4 pictures above. Problem with early poor mold bloom or other problems is evident in pictures, slipped rind, and poor pate development. Similar problem with my Camembert batch #7.

I seem to be getting worse at making these! Similar to batch #7 any advice is welcome.

Offline Cornelius

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Re: John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2009, 12:55:58 PM »
Hi,

I truly am impressed by the details you provide in your posts! It is very sad to see the end result not match the dedication and effort of the process.

I am not sure I have enough experience in giving you advice, but there are a few things I would like to suggest which you can give a try and see if they work. So, here are my two cents worth:

First thought:It seems to me that your cheeses have too much residual moisture. As far as I can judge from your post, you placed the cheeses in the fridge pretty much right after salting - if so, I would give them some drying time first (depending on how moist they still are, maybe 8-12 hours). They will drain better at higher temperatures. Also, I am not sure if they are a bit suffocated under those tiny bowls, what about just placing all of them in a plastic container with sufficient air space. Something else, you mention condensation under the bowl - make sure those drops don't fall on the cheeses, mold will not grow in water, just in a moist environment.

Second thought: Do you have a PH meter? If so, what is your PH just before you salt the cheeses? You need proper acidification in order to get a runny cheese.

Third thought: You mention "poor mold bloom" and the fact that you wrapped at "signs of mold". You also mention temperatures of 46-49F and report mold bloom on day 8, in my experience that is not bad at such low temperatures. I usually have mine at temperatures of 51-55F and have signs of mold on day 5. However, it doesn't matter when the mold starts, I would definitely wait for full coverage until I wrap the cheeses.

Fourth though: How old are your spores? If you are concerned with late growth, maybe they are no longer as aggressive as they should be. Apparently molds have a relatively short life span? Age of spores aside, I actually never add spores directly to the milk. I take a pinch of each type and re-hydrate them in sterilized water for 12-18 hours. I use an atomizer and mist on a couple of puffs a few hours after salting, then again a bit two days in. I keep the atomizer in my regular fridge and whenever I make a mold ripened cheese (which is at least once a week) I simply shake it up and off I go. I have used my first batch of mold re-hydration for about 6-7 weeks and I am now on to much second batch since mid March. I have had great success in spraying only ... maybe also because I have quite a lot of mold ripened cheeses in my cave and any time I add a new batch they naturally inoculate themselves with existing spores of their neighboring cheeses (another reason not to isolate each cheese under its own bowl.

Sorry, this turned into a long post, I hope it helps at least in some aspect. Good luck!


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 05:38:35 AM »
Cornelius, thanks for your support, sorry for delay, bummed out on my results.

Moisture Content
Good question, I don't know what it should be, other than some recipes call for using fresh uncut (no de-wheyed) curds. That said, still get de-wheying through gravity drainage in hoops, maybe not enough. Adding the salt does further de-whey the cheese, next batch I will try leave out after salting to better de-whey.

pH Meter
I bought the one in this thread, only works on liquids and I don't have any calibration fluid. What are you using to measure pH, looks like some sort of probe from the picture in your records, and how do you measure surface pH?

Mold Growth
I was using lower temp as recommended by Finewino, not sure if that 48F was perfectly accurate. Correct, mold won't grow if it's "feet are in water". Good point but I didn't notice any drops on top of cheeses, plus sides didn't develop mold either. This was also the first time I also used Geotrichum candidum.

P candidum Source
I got mine in an order from reputable US based DairyConnection.com in July 2008 and have kept in freezer ever since. I have gotten good growth from it via adding to milk in previous batches, so I think either problem could be from. I think maybe the reason my P candidum didn't germinate (right word?) enough is that I didn't add enough (few puffs only, but shouldn't need much) and that I didn't get my humidity perfect.

Again thanks for the help!

Offline Cornelius

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Re: John's Cheese #038 - Camembert #8
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2009, 07:17:55 AM »
Hi John,

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 4.65

Mold 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!