Author Topic: Cracks in cheese  (Read 159 times)

Offline curiouser_alice

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Cracks in cheese
« on: November 06, 2017, 10:44:40 AM »
Hi all,
I have made an Alpine Tomme and it looks and smells good - currently in the process of aging.  However, it's developed a big crack on one side.  Does this matter?  I plan to keep checking on it and turning it, but I think I read somewhere that these cracks can cause problems with the cheese.
If I need to "sacrifice" and eat the cheese now to forestall problems, I will do so.
Anybody else have this problem?

Offline awakephd

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Re: Cracks in cheese
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 11:57:25 AM »
Welcome to the forum!

The main issue with cracks is that they are a perfect place for unwanted molds (especially wild blue molds - not very tasty) to fester. However, if you are making a natural-rind cheese which is intended to be covered by wild molds, it may not matter, except that the wild rind will intrude into the paste at that point.

If you are trying to avoid natural rind, some people talk of sealing the cracks with butter; I've had better luck going ahead and vacuum-bagging the cheese.
-- Andy

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cracks in cheese
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2017, 01:20:30 PM »
Try doing a schmier.  I did it on my Mutschli and it worked great.  Learned it from Alp.  Check out the links to see. 

Before 
My Mutschli is looking awesome.  I'm getting some cracking even with the washing.  The surface actually emulsifies a bit with the cognac wash.

After   
Here's a shot of the Mutschli tonight after its cognac brushing.  Looking good to me and smells great!  Really looking forward to cutting into this one.
Making the World a Safer Place, One Cheese at a Time! My Food Blog and Videos

Offline Gregore

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Re: Cracks in cheese
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 11:11:06 PM »
At what age did it start cracking ? And how big is it ?

I agree a Schmier is usually the best option with a tomme if it is young still . But if it is more than a few months old I would use butter or vacumm bag

Offline curiouser_alice

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Re: Cracks in cheese
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 08:32:30 AM »
It's only a two pound cheese, and the crack just appeared yesterday but it's a big one.  I was only going to wait another three weeks on this cheese.
As a complete and total newbie, how do I do a schmier?
Thank you all for your responses.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Cracks in cheese
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 11:00:34 AM »
Depending on what you want to use, I used Cognac but wine or brine are acceptable, you simply brush the rind with the liquid as if you were painting it.  You will find that the surface will emulsify a bit creating a paste that can be "smeared" over the surface of the cheese and painted into the cracks to fill them.  If you read through the thread I posted you will see the schedule Alp suggested for doing this.
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Offline curiouser_alice

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Re: Cracks in cheese
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 11:32:41 AM »
Thanks, I will try it.