Author Topic: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters  (Read 2196 times)

Offline clherestian

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Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« on: August 27, 2009, 01:39:31 PM »
I am still trying to develop a washed rind recipe based on Dixon's tallegio recipe. I want a rind with b linens, but his recipe doesn't mention anything about a rind. Francois was nice enough to answer some earlier questions I had about b linens. Now I have a couple of more questions:

1. What percent of salt should my brine be? I am just shooting for what is typical of a washed rind cheese - a starting point.

2. Should anything go in my brine except for water, salt and b linens?

3. Do I only need the b linens in the brine for the first washing or for all subsequent washings? If I use the b linens in subsequent washings, do I need to add more b linens to the brine or will what I added for the first washing be sufficient?

Thanks in advance for everyone's help,
Christian


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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2009, 02:42:05 PM »
1.     3% salt
2.     That all depends on what yo want the rind to be like.  For a washed rind I would use something else since b.linens take a while to get started.  A geo is a usual choice, but you can use other yeasts (KL71 etc.) or even a mycadore.

3.  Keep the same brine solution for the life of the cheese.  Depending on what kind of rind you are going for (smear versus a drier wash).  If you are smearing, I dunk the cheese i nthe brine for the first three days, then, once the geo starts getting going, really scrub the rinds.  For a drier, washed cheese I wash every day with a cloth the first week, every other day the next then sort of infrequently until a month has gone by.  Then I just brush down what gets out of hand on the rind.

Offline clherestian

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 03:41:30 PM »
Thanks, Francois. You have been a huge help!

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 08:53:39 AM »
Hi,

I know this thread is already very old, but it relates exactly to the questions I have ... so I hope I am allowed to add to it at this point.

Up until now I have never paid a great deal of attention to how I took care of my hard/semi-hard cheeses' rinds (mostly alpine style, but I recently attempted a couple of tommes). I usually just let them develop for a couple of days and then wipe them with a saturated brine - however, I would like to start being more creative and more precise. I understand the addition of flora mentioned in this thread and as a first test added some geo to my last tomme. Now, the few details I am still not to sure about are more related to the actual process as well as hygine:

1) if I add the flora to the milk, can I then just keep some whey, add some salt and use that as my brine?
2) do I keep that brine in the cave or at lower temperatures?
3) when wiping, I assume it is with only a slightly damp piece of cheesecloth - does the cheese need to dry a little after that process or does it go right back in the cave?
4) when you brush, you still moisten the brush with brine, or you just reduce the growth on the surface using a dry brush?
5) do you boil out and sterilize the cloth (or brush when scrubbing) or is some of the flora developing on them desirable?
6) is there anything else (potentially harmful) that can grow in the brine over time - possibly something unlike mold that is not even visible (bacterial contamination as opposed to yeasts and molds, maybe listeria)?
7) you mention 'scrubbing' - should I fully remove spots like the kind on the photo below? I suppose they are some kind of yeast (rather bright yellow), however, none of them (neither black/brown nor yellow) penetrate past a fraction of a millimeter. I brush them lightly every couple of days, but with a coarse brush I suppose I could remove them completely - do I need to? (The cheese pictured is now 10 weeks old and had a little bit of green mold grow in the beginning which revealed the yellow underneath it once I wiped off the green - this was week 2. It also received an oil rub once a week for the last three weeks. It never had an intentional addition of any kind of flora, however, I do use the same room to make white mold ripened soft cheeses for which I use geo candidum and p. candidum).
8 ) will the yeast that develop unintentionally (such as the yellow) simply produce off flavors, or can they potentially be harmful?

Any help is greatly appreciated - thanks! Cornelius.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 06:49:22 AM by Cornelius »

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 06:11:43 AM »
1) if I add the flora to the milk, can I then just keep some whey, add some salt and use that as my brine?Yes, but only use it as a brine for this type of cheese
2) do I keep that brine in the cave or at lower temperatures?Yes, keep it cold
3) when wiping, I assume it is with only a slightly damp piece of cheesecloth - does the cheese need to dry a little after that process or does it go right back in the cave?It depends what you are trying to achieve, both can work
4) when you brush, you still moisten the brush with brine, or you just reduce the growth on the surface using a dry brush?Once again both will work but I was refering to dry brushing after growth had gotten going
5) do you boil out and sterilize the cloth (or brush when scrubbing) or is some of the flora developing on them desirable?Clean between uses yes.  Boiling isn't really necessary
6) is there anything else (potentially harmful) that can grow in the brine over time - possibly something unlike mold that is not even visible (bacterial contamination as opposed to yeasts and molds, maybe listeria)?Yes, brine is a pathogen vector
7) you mention 'scrubbing' - should I fully remove spots like the kind on the photo below? I suppose they are some kind of yeast (rather bright yellow), however, none of them (neither black/brown nor yellow) penetrate past a fraction of a millimeter. I brush them lightly every couple of days, but with a coarse brush I suppose I could remove them completely - do I need to? (The cheese pictured is now 10 weeks old and had a little bit of green mold grow in the beginning which revealed the yellow underneath it once I wiped off the green - this was week 2. It also received an oil rub once a week for the last three weeks. It never had an intentional addition of any kind of flora, however, I do use the same room to make white mold ripened soft cheeses for which I use geo candidum and p. candidum).These are parasitic micros, I would fully remove them as their flavour could be bad
 will the yeast that develop unintentionally (such as the yellow) simply produce off flavors, or can they potentially be harmful?
Potentially be harmful but unlikely.  They mostly just taste bad


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Offline Cornelius

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 07:12:14 AM »
Francois, thanks for your help.

Most everything is pretty clear now, I would like to clarify two points though:

Point 1 where you mention "use only for this type of cheese". The point here is not to cross contaminate or the fact that a cheese without flora added to the milk must use a brine that has added flora, otherwise only random growth will occur?

Point 6, well, obviously rather scary. Is it advisable to instead mix a new batch for every wipe or maybe once a week? Or will storing it at 1-2C be enough? Maybe up the salt content to a higher percentage? Is it better to omit the whey in the brine and simply use a water/salt mix instead? Does the whey actually add anything of value?

My last questing is actually about something you said further up the thread:

Quote
For a drier, washed cheese I wash every day with a cloth the first week, every other day the next then sort of infrequently until a month has gone by.  Then I just brush down what gets out of hand on the rind.

What exactly "gets out of hand" - the amount or type of growth? In other words, let's say I added geo to the milk/brine, the growth that is out of hand is recognizable geo growth (just a lot of it) or potentially green/blue/black/yellow other funny visitors?

Thanks again!

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2010, 12:23:10 AM »
If the brine has any ripening culture in it, or has been used for cheese that had cultures added ot the milk, it will cross contaminate.

Most people keep their brine cold and boil/filter once in a while.  It isn't necessary to maken up new brine for every batch of cheese.

Same goes for washing solution (which is 3-5% NaCl not 20%).

If you are just adding geo, 13/15/17 it grows best with another culture added as geo is short lived normally.  It's usually used as a surface prep for some other culture since it grows quickly after make and quickly reduces surface pH, which other cultures usually like.

Tomme, which is what I think of for washed rinds (as opposed to smear which is a b. linen cheese), usually has a colorful rind with all sorts of things growing on it.  I brush it back to keep the growth from getting too thick, which can make a very thick rind.

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2010, 11:17:08 AM »
Francois, thanks for your continuing help!

Unfortunately I am a bit slow, but I just want to understand this and not make a mess ... you mention "has a colorful rind with all sorts of things growing on it". How do I differentiate those "things" from the kind of spots I have on my cheese (photo further up the thread)? Is it because they are to spotty, is it the color, is it that they are not hairy mold, but kind of a basic discoloration? Mind you, the yellow spots in particular were underneath a blue/green mold I had growing in the very early days (week 1-2 maybe). Back then I didn't wipe/wash my cheeses in the beginning, but waited until I had something growing. Then, when I wiped them with brine, those spots remained (again, the blue/green growth was spotty as well, not a solid cover). In any case, I did brush/scrape the spots (did have to go a bit deeper than I thought) and they are practically gone (as per your suggestion). So, my question is about the two new Tommes I am treating at present ...

And once again, I also have to confirm something about the brushing/wiping/washing/bathing ... I understand the difference from one rind to another when I see the final product, but I am still a little confused about the actual procedure of achieving one versus the other. I am currently using a cheesecloth soaked in brine - then squeezed dry - and wipe down my Tommes every day. They don't have anything growing on them as of yet, but as I wipe them, they become a little bit sticky/smeary (they are actually already a bit tacky before I even start) . But I don't want to end up with a smear rind, so I tested just using a dry brush, but that seems to make things even worse as the rind itself is still so soft that I end up with a lot of goo sticking to the bristles of the brush (it seems as if I am actually removing a good portion of the developing rind ...  should I dry the cheeses more before I start wiping them with brine? I currently keep them at 11-12C and 90-95RH.

Somewhat simplified I guess my question would be, how do I end up with a washed rind as opposed to a smear? Should I let a lot more grow, before I actually wipe (do I not run the risk of spots) and should I keep the cheese at lower RH initially?

Thanks again and sorry about insisting and repeating ..  :-\

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010, 05:18:17 PM »
Sounds like you have a smear rind, which involves a lot more moisture on the rind.  Once you have gotten those yeast going it's hard, if not impossible, to go back and create a washed rind.    To me, this is a washed rind cheese:
http://www.forkandbottle.com/cheese/cheesefind/chfind0807.htm

It is made with infrequent initial washings just to get things going.  One the mould is heavy like in the link, I usually brush it back to reveal a polished rind.  If you are a hobbyist it helps to have s slice of rind from a cheese like this to get the seeds going (just wipe this one first then wipe your cheese), otherwise it's a crap shoot to see what grows (FYI, your rind looks like it has rogue mold and yeast on it which most likely will produce off flavours).

Conversely, this is a smear cheese to me:
http://cheese.cookalmostanything.com/2008/03/boosey-creek-warby-red.html

It is made by innoculation with PLA (or similar) and probably some more geo13 or p.cand.  It is washed frequently at first until the white has begen to grow well then wrapped and stored in refrigerator to finish aging.  it is a powerful, pungent cheese, not like the cheese lnked above.

Offline Cornelius

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Re: Washed Rind Cheeses - Brine Parameters
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 05:09:18 AM »
Francois, thanks, those are some nice looking cheeses!

As previously mentioned, I feel I would be able to tell apart the two kinds when looking at the final product (albeit, even here might be cause for confusion: the cheese you classify as smear is actually labeled washed rind by the manufacturer) ???

But yes, the kind of cheese I am after is the first link (the Timanoix). Unfortunately though, they only have photographs of the cheese in its final stage - it makes sense to be able to brush that rind in the end, but how do I get there? I suppose I should really keep it at a lower humidity and wipe much less at first (reduce the surface moisture as opposed to what a smear would want)? Or is it primarily a matter of the inoculation - using the correct one? Speaking of which, PLA has been mentioned several times on this forum in relation to a washed rind, however, you feel it is better suited for smear rind development? And the hobbyist aside (using a piece of commercial rind), what do the commercial producers inoculate a washed rind cheeses with?

The Timanoix appears to have a very dark black/brown rind underneath the few specs of white mold - is that the result of actual back mold (cat's hair) growing on it at stages during ripening or could that also be the result of lighter molds (somehow I have a feeling they never had white mold growing on it and the few specs on there now are only able to grab hold at the very end).

The photo of the cheese further up is not of my Tomme - that cheese is a nearly 12 weeks old alpine type and (apart from the few spots) has practically no rind. I mean, it is simply a hardened, more dry and dense casing but without any special characteristic. Being an alpine it was pressed with a lot more weight than my Tommes and turned out a lot drier from the get go than my rather moist and soft Tommes. It had developed some glue/green mold in the beginning as I had kept it at 95RH and didn't wipe at all. As per your suggestion, I brushed and scraped off most of the spots and it is now developing a more dry and white powdery surface. Should I let this develop further and brush only once a week? I suppose it is some kind of geo but isn't that strange so late into the aging process when acidity at the surface has most likely reduced quite a bit? 

 BTW, the Timanoix site mentions a wash with brandy, does such a high alcohol level not kill off everything on the surface every time they wipe?

... I am sorry, my questions just keep coming (and some probably repeated) ...  ???  :-\   ::)


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