Author Topic: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04  (Read 1751 times)

Offline mako

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Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« on: April 05, 2009, 10:48:31 AM »
Did you guys know you can change how your username displays in the settings? I felt silly making people type out 3 whole syllables (makkonen) to respond to me, so I shortened it. Apologies for any confusion (or for the further confusion when I inevitably shorten it to 'mak', and then again to just 'mm'. Mmmmmm.) Anyway, on to our regularly scheduled programming:

Yesterday I tried my hand at a triple cream camembert, a la Saint-André, Explorateur, or Brillat-Savarin. Ended up going better than expected (large amounts of cream have given me problems before, but patience paid off here) and now I've got a couple of seriously thick rounds settling down.

Camembert 4/04/09 (Triple Cream)

1 gallon pasteurized whole milk
1 quart ultra-pasteurized cream
2 cubes mesophilic starter
2 cubes penicillium candida starter
1/4 tsp CaCl2
1/4+ tsp double strength vegetable rennet (a few extra drops dribbled out, and I figured that wasn't a bad thing -- probably should've been more rigorous with it)

12:00pm sterilized bowls and pot, left milk to come to room temp
12:20pm Added 2 cubes mesophilic and 2 cubes candida to 1/4 cup milk
1:35 mixed starters into 89 degF milk, set timer for 90 minutes
2:50 Left heat on too long, overheated to 95 degF. Cooled water jacket.
3:07 Added CaCl2 and Rennet, stirred for 1 minute, milk at 89 degF, set timer for 60 minutes
4:30 Finished cutting curds, reheated and let curds heal for 30 minutes.
5:00 Stirred very gently, curds still very weak. Leave another 30 minutes.
5:55 Finished ladling into forms. Surprisingly little loss of curd. pH seems high: ~6.0-6.4*
11:00 Slow to drain, or much higher curd yield -- still 3"+ tall. Possibly a problem with curds knitting back together during firming-up period.
4/05/09 8:45am Flipped again, ph ~5.0, rounds are about 2.5" tall. Still quite moist, will wait to unmold.

*pH readings are based on 4.6-6.2 strips, not a meter, so they are probably neither accurate nor precise.


I was pretty sure I'd lost this batch entirely. I got a clean break at 60 minutes, but the curds were so delicate, I couldn't stir them at all, and even after 30 minutes heal time they broke down excessively on stirring with a washed hand (a spoon was out of the question). However, a full hour after cutting, they had firmed significantly, and though I still had curds shooting out the holes in the molds, it was less than my last batch of camembert, and settled down pretty quickly. I'm learning to trust my feelings over the recipe, which is nice.

As for analysis... does anyone know if the (ridiculous) amount of cream is (a) slowing down the culture, or (b) inhibiting the action of the rennet? Next time, I might try giving a whole 120 minutes between adding rennet and cutting, to see if that works better.

I think I will age this a little less than a typical camembert (Start testing at 4 weeks?). St. Andre seems to be soft and brie-y on the outside, but the center is still rather unaffected, and maintains a fresh/crumbly/buttery character. Though they probably use cultures that enhance that rich diacetyl note.

Now that I've been able to get this to come together, I think I'll be trying again with a little blue mold added. Cambozola's also a triple cream. (Which is an issue I have with that cambozola recipe that's going around. You're not going to get the same style without the same obscene levels of fat.)

Pix after cutting (milky!), after stirring (messy!), and of curds shooting out of the molds:


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Offline Tea

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 03:23:15 PM »
Hi Mako you porbably will find that the set was because you were using past/hom milk and you also used ultra cream.  Both these do not set very well with out the addition of cal.  Do a search and you will find lots of information on ultra processed and also the use of cal in your milk.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 03:41:53 PM by Tea »

Offline thegregger

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2009, 12:11:23 AM »
Mako:

Those things are monsters!  It seems like you had enough curd for 4-6 molds.  What are the dimensions of the molds you're using?

Also, Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) sells cream that is not pasteurized, not UP.

Greg

Offline mako

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009, 11:58:59 AM »
Yeah. I definitely had enough for 4 reasonable sized wheels (or 6 somewhat thin ones). I was wrong in my measurement before, actually -- they shrunk down to just about 3" tall each. I did want them tall, so the centers would remain a bit fresh, like some triple cream cheeses I've had. But I think these'll be excessively unripened inside. I thought about trying to cut them in half, but I didn't imagine that'd work out well. At this point I'm just relying on the fact that the inside is basically cream cheese to ensure they taste good when I cut them open.

The molds in that picture are homemade 4" PVC, 8" tall. Next time I make a recipe with a quart of cream added, I'll use 4" tall molds instead. These seemed to shrink down much less than camemberts I've made without the added cream. So with a 4" mold they should still be a respectable height.

I'm not sure whole foods here (texas) stocks non-ultrapasteurized cream. They might, but I haven't noticed it.

I do have qualms about the pasteurized/homogenized milk (it's what's cheap and available, though -- a necessary evil); But I'm not too bothered by the ultrapasteurized cream. It's not ideal, but it's not too bad. There's not too much protein to be denatured, so that's not a huge concern. I think it might just come down to the large amounts of fat in between the proteins causing the rennet action to slow down. I'm working without a recipe, so it's all sort of guesswork at this point.

I guess I should find out how well and how quickly a curd would form with raw cream, and compare that. That's an experiment for the future. Also to try 3/4 gallon pasteurized skim milk and 3 quarts of added cream. Some have said that they get better sets that way.

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 03:20:13 PM »
Hi,
I would love to know what your cheeses are like at this point - in case you've cut one open by now. Are the centers as you expected?

I also tried a Camembert with added cream yesterday and experienced some delay in curd setting. The local milk is only 3% fat and I added enough cream to make it a 6% version, but the curds were delicate let me tell you. However, the cream was not ultrapasteurized. I was also impressed by the increase in yield, but the effect of rennet on cream I wasn't prepared for - I did let the rennet work for 2 hours before I cut ...


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Offline mako

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 03:26:52 PM »
I haven't cut any of them open yet. I'm shooting for about the 4 week mark.

I was looking at a piece of St. Andre at the store the other day, and was shocked to see just how little of the curd is actually affected by the white mold. it's about a 2" thick cheese, and probably only 1/3"-1/2" at the top and bottom are actually softened. So mine might end up right on.

Except now I'm worried about the acidification. Hopefully they won't be too sharp in the center, owing to the long ripening before ladling out.

Now I've just gotta get my sourdough up to snuff, so I can have fresh baguettes to eat this with.

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2009, 03:52:33 PM »
From my experience with PH levels, you're pretty good. After 16 hours you reported PH 5 - It probably should be lower at that point, but you said you let it drain some more. I wouldn't worry much about the PH since you most likely got below 5. Your thickness, however, will probably give you a different ripening curve. What kind of environment are you ripening them in?

Glad to hear your eating your cheeses with sourdough, I also have a mother culture going for 14 months now - produces a nice flavor at this point.

Offline mako

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2009, 04:02:07 PM »
I tried to revive an old sourdough starter recently, but it started producing a bunch of acetone smells. This has been my curse lately... vinegar, kefir, sourdough -- all getting acetone-y. So now I've been reading up and trying to start a fresh starter. We'll see. I can make a pretty good baguette with commercial yeast, but it seems... less authentic.

I ripened them for about 12 days at 50degF, 85-90% RH in a box in my cave-fridge. Took all of that time to get good mold coverage. Then moved them to the regular fridge, wrapped in parchment and then tinfoil with a few holes punched in it. And, out of a combination of experimental zeal and worry about drying out, I then tossed one of those wrapped rounds in a ziploc bag.

Thanks for the encouragement on the pH. Just feeling my way through on the high cream content... not sure how much it'll have kept ripening in the center, and I know the white mold won't get to it and start to bring the pH back up. I don't want a bite to start with creamy soft brie and end with sharp crumbly feta.  :)

Offline mako

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 02:47:36 AM »
Cracked one of these yesterday. I've got pictures, but the camera's in the other room, so it'll have to wait.

Very mild touch of slip skin (no worse than I've seen on these types of cheese in stores), and they were only softened and clearly ripened to a very limited degree -- a little less than a St. Andre, which means about 1/4".

I thought that would mean disappointment, but the cheese is so rich, and the flavor is just the right combination of mild creaminess, acidic bite, and camembert headiness. I'm quite thrilled with it.

My girlfriend said she preferred my last attempt, which we were just eating a couple nights ago. It had less cream, and was much more mature (9-10 weeks -- nearly walking out the door, as the saying goes). She thought the younger one had a sharper flavor. I found that baffling, as the old one was almost overpoweringly heady and developed, and the rind was so sharp as to be almost poisonous. Of course, I didn't let her taste that rind. To each their own, I suppose.

The upshot is: I'd consider this a total success. If I were to change anything, I'd probably try to dial in the humidity and temp in the cave a bit better, in hopes of getting full mold coverage a bit quicker, so it could go into the cold storage. And I've decided that parchment paper does not work -- it regulates moisture well, but it also starts to fall apart when the white mold grows into it, and cheese + paper is not a great taste sensation. In the absence of actual camembert papers, I'll stick with tinfoil for the time being.

Offline Nabil

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Re: Mako's Camembert #1, 2009-04-04
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2009, 07:12:46 AM »
And I've decided that parchment paper does not work -- it regulates moisture well, but it also starts to fall apart when the white mold grows into it, and cheese + paper is not a great taste sensation. In the absence of actual camembert papers, I'll stick with tinfoil for the time being.

you need to use waxed parchment paper, which it used in baking , it has one shiny face, which should be faced to cheese, mold can not grow onto it


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