Author Topic: My Camembert "Disaster"...  (Read 5323 times)

Offline Baby Chee

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My Camembert "Disaster"...
« on: September 08, 2009, 02:45:45 PM »
So today, my fifth day of cheese making, I switched from Gouda to Camembert.  It's a wild ride that isn't going so well.  Maybe any of you can give me some advice.

I had made my own PVC molds and they were awful.  When I ladeled the curds in, everything went well, but around 4" high into the 8" molds (4" dia. PVC pipes) the whey was breaking down and squirting from the holes!   ???  It was such a shameful mess that I ran to the garage, cut up an old, plastic, UTZ pretzel container, washed thoroughly, and used it for my mold over a sushi mat on a drying rack over a pot...

There is a plate with a 5lb. weight on top to keep the mold down on the mat.

It's been draining nicely, but I lost probably 30-50% of my curds.  The resulting wheel will be a whopping 10" diameter.

Seems good so far, about 3 hours later.  The drainage is purely whey without any curd seeping out.

The molds are here:

Perhaps the holes are too big?  Anyone have any suggestions?  I can use these for stilton, I think.
Maybe my curds were still too loose?  I waited 2.5 hours and had a pretty clean break.

Hopefully my Camembert can age well and isn't infected.  I'll flip the mold soon and then flip before bed and flip in the morning if the cheese is still too soft.  Between the two photos were 2 hours, so it drained pretty fast I think.
“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 02:59:34 PM »
Are you using cheesecloth are just putting the curds straight into your molds? (NOT a good idea)
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Baby Chee

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 03:08:02 PM »
I thought with Cam/Brie you use no cheesecloth so you can flip every couple hours.  Seems like the reason behind ladeling the curds in big pieces to the molds.
“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”

Offline Tea

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 03:26:21 PM »
The moulds that I use for making Brie have numerous tiny holes over the entire mould.  Maybe your curds had not set properly as I can scoop large spoon size curds.  Just wondering.

Sailor, should cheese cloth be used, as I too have never used it for Brie/Cam?

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 03:45:10 PM »
I use cheesecloth. I don't really see a downside to that. I asked because from the photos, it looks like the holes are too big, and there's not enough of them. More tiny holes would help equalize the pressure on the walls of the mold.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Baby Chee

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 03:46:46 PM »
My curds definitely scooped nice and solid and large.  Maybe they didn't set right, because they broke up when enough weight was added on top.  I also wonder if maybe an 8" mold is too high, while some recipes merely say 4" high molds.

If I had 4" high molds it would have worked, I think.  Because it failed in those molds I jumped quick to a quick solution, which doesn't seem bad, but I did waste a lot of good curd.  I could have had 2 10" wheels if I started with the final mold I am using.

I'll have to revisit Camembert sometime and try to do it better/right.
I use cheesecloth. I don't really see a downside to that. I asked because from the photos, it looks like the holes are too big, and there's not enough of them. More tiny holes would help equalize the pressure on the walls of the mold.
The amount of holes is possibly the answer.  I will drill up one of those far more (4x more) and see how it goes in a while when I return to the Camembert effort.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 03:55:30 PM by Baby Chee »
“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 05:02:05 PM »
don't put weights on your cam.  let it drain naturally.  yes, you need more holes, many many more. 

I ran some trial batches this morning, funny thing that white liquid is...  I had 4 buckets of 4 gallons each and another cheesemaker was running just 1 bucket (these are experimental cheeses so small volumes).  We used milk from the same place, same rennet, same rennet amounts, same temps, the only difference was cultures.  I used direct set M4001 and he used bulk MM100.  He had a firm set after 6 minutes.  I had a weak set after 35 minutes.  I couldn't believe the difference.  His pH dropped much much faster than mine.  I had a 0.05 drop after 15 minutes and he was adding rennet on a 0.15 drop over 5 mininutes.  I'm going back in to cut, stir and hoop up in an hour.

Offline Tea

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2009, 05:19:46 PM »
Hoping that these photo's show the moulds that I use for Cam/brie.

Offline Baby Chee

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2009, 05:36:50 PM »
YIKES!

Ok, I'll try drilling a LOT more holes in the molds and try again sometime in the future.
If this giant wheel mold produces a good cheese, I might stick with large molds, but I like the idea of the little wheels so I can give away cheeses for gifts.
-------
Francois, thanks for the news about the cultures.  I'll keep those in mind when getting new bacterias.

My Cam is setting naturally.  After 6 hours it is already quite rubbery/custardy without weights.  Can;t wait to see how it is tomorrow when I begin salting.
“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”

Offline John (CH)

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 06:10:40 PM »
Baby Chee, in this board are a few threads on the Cams I've tried making, in them you can see the Camembert hoops I've been using, they are from DairyConnection.com, not a lot of holes, but a certain size hole.

Also, I've had problem of curd squirting out holes if I try to rush and load too much curd in too early.

Lastly, 8" tall Camembert molds, I've never heard of that, I think they are all around 4" as that way you get a 1.5" Camembert. I think that height is important for this type of cheeses development from the P candidum as all Camemberts are roughly that same height and also it's sister, Brie. Brie's are basically large Camembert wheels but still the same height, must be a reason.


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 07:08:14 PM »
I hvae not made the camembert but I did my 1st crottin this weekend and it was drooling out the holes too. Seems you loose more than you gain with this stuff. Gloopy mess!

Offline Baby Chee

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 07:44:05 PM »
CH--I was looking at those before I began.  ???  I'll definitely have to experiment.  The Camembert I did make is looking good, though. It has been flipped a couple times, and I'll turn one more time before bed... then tomorrow morning I can salt it as I make a Havarti with herbs.

Here's a photo of what I have so far....




It's firming up well, and it is close to dry-enough for salting.  Overnight and it should be good to go.
I converted a homebrew freezer with temp control into a chees cave today, so it will have a great home.
“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 07:49:26 PM »
Looks like there are two of us stealing our brew gear in favor of cheese these days!

Offline Baby Chee

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2009, 08:01:09 PM »
I used to brew a ton.  Now all that pH stuff and brew kettles and freezers convert perfectly for cheeses.

Good economy!  I wanted to do cheeses for years, but just never took the leap.
What sorts of beers did you do? Do you do?

I rotated through Stout, Light Lager, Kolsch, Lambic, Fruity Ale, Dark Lager.  There are still some soda canisters with 5 gallons of hard Lambics in my garage.  Those age well, so I figured I should keep them for years.
“For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.”

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My Camembert "Disaster"...
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2009, 08:24:14 PM »
I do/did mostly German Altbier, Scottish Ales, Fruited Wheats (Apple, Apricot, Bluebery, Strawberry, Cherry,and Peach), Ginger beer (good for an upset stomach but leaves you craving Chinese food not bad though), Honey Browns, Pale Ales and IPAs. I also have a nice Balatine XX clone and Corona Prone I like in the summer. German Albier is my favorite though! I never did try a Lambic. One day I'll try oe and see if I like it.

Did a few of those nasty Hard Lemonades and Hard Orangeades for my son. And a not to bad Hard Iced Tea I almost liked.  He loves the stuff I think it's Awful!

Yeah the gear comes in handy. I also do sausage and deli style lunch meats like salami, pastrami, P&P loaf etc. so it's always in use!