Author Topic: Warning highly experimental P. candidum  (Read 959 times)

Offline DoctorCheese

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Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« on: February 28, 2017, 01:50:16 AM »
WARNING: Do not try this at homeI do not own P. candidum spores. So imagine my excitement when I found some wild candidum growing on my "The American" cheese! My logic is that if the mold is growing on one of my cheese, and I plan to eat it anyway, why not make a cheese with it? It was specifically told to me not to do this; the worry being that harvesting a wild mold could put my cheese at risk for contamination. Maybe I should be more worried than I am, but anyway I ended up proceeding with the plan.

As you can see, the mold I managed to get off is a veritable smorgasbord of molds, bacterias and who knows what else. I followed a recipe for rennet surface ripened Camembert style cheese, but replaced the candidum in the recipe with my harvested hodgepodge. My hypothesis is that the difference in size, salt level, and RH will lead to different microflora growing differently on each cheese. Time will tell!

(I am estimating there to be at minimum 4 different microflora in my adjunct harvest: P. candidum, P. rogueforti, B. linens, and Geotrichum. Also, I did not get as much material as I expected so it's possible that nothing grows and I end up with.... well who knows what it would be called at that point. The moldy cheese is the one I rubbed the outside of to get my harvest.)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 01:55:53 AM by DoctorCheese »
I am a cheese loving college student headed towards a PhD in Neuroscience working with what I have to produce some yummy morsels. Advice is always welcome!

Offline awakephd

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 09:11:11 AM »
Jobe,

A disclaimer: I agree with Spoons in principle - in the scheme of things, the cost of commercial freeze-dried PC is miniscule; I'm still working on the first package I bought, a couple of years ago (and yes, it still seems to be working just fine). For the sake of consistency of results - particularly important for someone who, like Spoons, is selling cheese - using a predictable product only makes sense.

That said, for some of us, part of the fun of home cheese making is experimenting and seeing what happens. However, based on reading through the years here on the forum, I suspect that this may be a significant variable for the various home cheese makers represented here -- I suspect that, for some of us, the fun is primarily found instead in exactly reproducing the target cheese. (I guess I must be a bit schizophrenic, since I find fun in both - in hitting it "right on target," and in trying something new!)

All that to say, kudos for trying the experiment! I wouldn't guess you're going to get a dangerous mold out of it. I also guess that you will not really get a camembert style per se. But no doubt you will get something interesting! :) I'm going to guess that the blues will dominate ... maybe we should start a pool to see who can best guess the outcome of this experiment. :)

Looking forward to hearing what the outcome is ...
-- Andy

Offline DoctorCheese

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 10:05:59 AM »
That said, for some of us, part of the fun of home cheese making is experimenting and seeing what happens.

Exactly. I am not trying to save 10 bucks by harvesting my own culture nor do I have any desire to reproduce someone else's cheese. I make cheese for the excitement of experimentation. My vote is on blue taking over, followed by white on top of it.
I am a cheese loving college student headed towards a PhD in Neuroscience working with what I have to produce some yummy morsels. Advice is always welcome!

Offline LantGladstone

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 07:14:14 PM »
I wonder how "wild" it actually is.  Maybe it is microflora that has been hanging around from cheeses past.  Who was it who published that paper looking at the micro-biome of cheese rinds from around the world and surprisingly found that there wasn't much geographic diversity and probably from the fact that we are all using purchased monocultures from a few companies.  It would be interesting to start harvesting and using true "wild" cultures and try to make some "historical" cheeses.  For example, I've heard somewhere that Bries and Camemberts used to be khaki and brown instead of the bright white that they are now. I know some archaeologists who make historical beer, maybe we could do the same with cheese?

Offline Gregore

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 11:19:43 PM »
Some of the strains of cultures that are being sold are more wild like , and contain a multitude of strains in one package .

My PC is the older version used on cams and is quite grey when done and comes in a scary blue , like it was contaminated ( in fact the first time this happened I had sprayed it on instead of in the make as normal and after a few days when it went all blue I though I had mixed up my spray bottles some how. )

David Asher's book on cheese making goes into using wild cultures from kefir grains

Offline LantGladstone

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 04:47:40 PM »
Some of the strains of cultures that are being sold are more wild like , and contain a multitude of strains in one package .

Right--they have multiple strains but those strains tend to be genetically clonal to all the strains that everyone else uses.  Back in the day each cheese cave had its own version of geo (for example) floating around, making the cheese created by a specific cheese maker truly unique.  Now, because we are all buying the same strains generated from the same sources, even the microflora floating around our home-caves are the same as someone making cheese thousands of miles away.  Not quite as bad as the Cavandish banana but still a drastic drop in diversity.  I've heard of bacteriophage infections in large dairies and I wonder if a more diverse set of strains would help.  I also wonder if mycovirus infections are also a problem.

Offline Gregore

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 08:54:44 PM »
I think the day of  completely isolated cultures that were unique to an area , was long gone when they started to ship cheeses across the country and globe back in the  late 1900s .

But my feeling is that most local cultures are still so dominant in the environment that only the most aggressive of foreign strains can take over the whole neighborhood.

Red hawk cheese supposedly will not get the natural red blinens on it , if it is made the other side of the hills from where it is made .  The air is so moist there I wonder how anyone gets there gas BBQ going  ;)

But all that being said you are right in so far as that most makers hobby or commercial do not use wild strains even if they have good ones locally , an if they do it long enough they / we could loose a bunch of important diversity .

That is why david Asher's book is so important , even if he gets a little anti establishment at times .

Offline DoctorCheese

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 11:49:56 AM »
Update for those of you who are on this adventure with me  ;D A nice coat of p candidum came in, smells just like a freshly cracked open mushroom. No ammonia. I have been flipping, patting, and wiping down the box each day. As you can see, the p candidum has calmed down and now some blue is growing in a bit. I regret having tamped down the p candidum though, because it did not get thick enough -- its an experiment so I won't be upset if it all goes to hell in a hand basket. These cheeses are now 8 days old. I predict I will let them keep growing mold for at least another 6 days at which point I will either wrap them or keep on doing what I have been. Keep your eyes open for more updates   ^-^
I am a cheese loving college student headed towards a PhD in Neuroscience working with what I have to produce some yummy morsels. Advice is always welcome!

Offline awakephd

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 03:29:22 PM »
Off to a good start!
-- Andy

Offline LantGladstone

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 08:03:38 PM »
Beautiful!  I'm looking forward to see what happens!

Offline Gregore

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 10:50:02 PM »
Give it time it could be a wild PC  like the cultured one I bought with $$


Offline DoctorCheese

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2017, 09:40:57 PM »
Great news! I decided that it was time to wrap these cheeses, but since I had never made them before I wanted to know what they taste like at this stage (12-13 days since being put in the fridge). I opened the smallest one and it is actually really tasty. The paste is thick and creamy and tastes like sharp cream cheese with an aftertaste of mushroomy white mold taste. Honestly, I could eat them all right now at this point and be totally happy, but I want to see where aging takes them so they are now wrapped and in the colder part of my fridge. I will update again when they start getting cut.

They are wrapped in wax paper which is the best thing I could think of and that is also carried by Safeway.
I am a cheese loving college student headed towards a PhD in Neuroscience working with what I have to produce some yummy morsels. Advice is always welcome!

Offline awakephd

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Re: Warning highly experimental P. candidum
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2017, 12:39:08 PM »
Jobe, you really need to get some "proper" cheese wrap. I'm not sure what the wax paper will do, or not do ... the paper made specifically for this purpose is designed to let gases exchange (oxygen is necessary to keep the mold going, and you want to let the ammonia out) while not allowing the cheese to dry out. I have gotten mine in the past from artisangeek.com, but he is currently not accepting new orders -- apparently he got backed up with too many orders. But other cheese supply sites will carry it.
-- Andy