Epoisses is one of my favourite cheeses but not one that I have attempted before. I did, inadvertently, make something similar last year. I made some Robiola and decided to try one of them as a washed rind cheese. The result turned out very well but it was only afterwards that I discovered that the process was very similar to that for Epoisses.
Anyway, I started the day before yesterday. The main sources of information I used were here
, together with my Robiola experience. The process to date is as follows:
4 Litres of milk: 2L Fleurieu Full Cream (P 3.3%, F3.8%) and 2L Fleurieu Jersey (P 3.3%, 4.8%).Total P 3.3%, F4.3%, P:F = 0.77:1 (Target P:F ~ 0.71)
1⁄7 teaspoon (2 pinches) of M235 culture
Approx. 1/4 drop(0.015g) Geotrichum Candidum
1/44 tsp (2 smidgens) B. Linens
3 drops of 200 IMCU rennet (in 20ml H2O)
1ml CaCl2 in 20ml water
Heated milk to 31 °C
Stirred in the culture.
Left for 2 hours 10 min
Stirred in the CaCl2 and left 5 minutes.
Stirred in the rennet and left overnight - 12½ hours lactic ripening (goal pH 4.5 - measured pH~4.3). Temperature fell to 21C during this time.
Cut curds in 5 cm cubes.
Put into lined moulds
Drained. Flipped 3 times in 3¼hrs. Third time, stacked and added a small (~½ kg) weight.
Drained 9 hours, occasionally swapping stack and flipping in moulds.
Unwrapped and returned to moulds.
After 10½ hours, flipped cheeses in moulds and salted one side with ½ tsp of salt. Cheese weights 345 and361g. (goal pH 4.3 - measured pH~4.3)
Left 3 hours and then turned and salted other side. Salt content ~ 1.7%
After a further 3 hours, moved to an aging container at ~13C.
For the next few weeks i will be washing the cheeses with a weak brine containing an increasing proportion of brandy.