Author Topic: My camembert is feeling blue  (Read 2140 times)

Offline riha

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 104
  • Cheeses: 8
  • Default personal text
My camembert is feeling blue
« on: September 09, 2009, 04:31:11 PM »
I am happy that my white mould is growing nicely. I'm not happy it brought friends.

Any ideas what to do with this kind of mould? When it first appeared I cut off the parts with blue spots and put some salt. It's still spreading. Dump the ones with blue mould? Dump all?

I wonder if the problem's poor hygiene in my basement or too high humidity. They were under a non-airtight plastic cover with humidity below 80% so I put a tray of water & wick there with them and then the humidity went over my hygrometer's scale (over 98%). Difficult.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline FRANCOIS

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 788
  • Cheeses: 71
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 05:08:45 PM »
Your salt levels were too low to begin with.  At this point there's not much you can do.  Try a pat down and heavy brine dab on the offendinfg parts only, but I htink you are too far along there to make a significant differrence.  I'm not sure what recipe you used but it you use a geo and a yeast, contamination is knocked right back because they take hold before the blue can.  Just using straight p. candidum works well if you are a comemrcial producer.  On a home scale it can get inconsistent.

Offline Baby Chee

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Clifford, North Dakota
  • Posts: 356
  • Cheeses: 9
  • Small Time, Big Taste
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 08:08:28 PM »
I was curious if this would happen if my Cam and Stiltons sit in the same cave.

Could there have been any cross contamination in the bacterias you used?  So it came in the powders instead of from the air?
“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

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 5,804
  • Cheeses: 95
    • Deejays Smoke Pit and DSP Forums
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 09:47:45 PM »
Oh no! Sorry to hear this Riha. They do look very nice though.

Offline riha

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 104
  • Cheeses: 8
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 04:11:01 AM »
Salt levels, check. Any idea how much to use? I just sprinkled and rubbed a bit and have actually no idea how much I used.

Francois, what do you mean with "geo and yeast". As in what is the yeast there, since I assume geo stands for geotrichum candidum.

I used a ready mixture of Penicillium Candidum, Geotrichum Candidum and an unspecified mesophilic starter I bought from thecheesemaker.com. They were all mixed together so they were pitched to the milk.

I actually don't have any blues aging. It's just possible that the basement I use is not as hygienic as possible, since it's public apartment cellar and I just have one cupboard from there. I'll try to isolate the next batch better.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline FRANCOIS

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 788
  • Cheeses: 71
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 04:27:01 AM »
If you bought a mix, you should be fine.  Geo has a yeast variant, plus you can use KL or even some SAM.  I left all my recipe and make books at the last cheese plant so sometimes I struggle with what I did for some of those old recipes. 

The french cheesemaker I work with adds a premade washed rind culture for "real camembert" as he calls it.  It's PLA from Danisco.  He adds that with PC22. 

Contamination is always possible.  I always thought white mould cheeses were the biggest pain in the butt to make followed closely by waxed cheeses.  There just isn't much room for error with whites.

Offline Alex

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Haifa,Israel
  • Posts: 732
  • Cheeses: 27
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 07:11:27 AM »
Riha and Francois,

All Camemberts I've made, were innoculated with Pennicilum Candidum only, at the beginning of the process with all other ingredients. After cutting and stirring the curds, I drain about 1/3 of the whey and add minimum 80 grams of salt to a batch of 3 liters milk.
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline susanne

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Michigan
  • Posts: 65
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
    • Ain-Ash-Shams nubian dairy goats
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 11:22:20 AM »
it might not be exactly the cheese you wanted to make, but if you like blue cheese< you can still eat this one ;)
are you making your own bread? it will be difficult to control blue mold if you are baking ;)
i made a batch of camembert the other day. for some reason i got yeast on the rind ( i have an idea how that happened)
this cheese was uneatable.

we have a creamery here that has a bread bakery next door. a lot of their cheeses have a slide taste of blue.
Susanne Stuetzler
Cheese maker with passion and breeder of Nubian Dairy Goats that gives the best milk for making cheese :)

Offline riha

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 104
  • Cheeses: 8
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 01:23:19 PM »
Okay, making another camembert right now. Just to make sure, Alex, 80g salt per 3 liters of milk? So for my 4 liter batch that would make 110g salt. That is a lot of salt.

Well, I'm going with that this time since I have already cut the curds and will be ladling them to the mold soon.

Offline Alex

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Haifa,Israel
  • Posts: 732
  • Cheeses: 27
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 06:35:45 AM »
The salt quantity is right. You have to drain about 1/3 of the whey and then add the salt. When you ladle the curds into the moulds they are still very wet/moist, so some salty whey will be drained out. Did you innoculate the milk with Penicillum?
Alex-The Cheesepenter


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline riha

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 104
  • Cheeses: 8
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 06:45:09 AM »
Yes, I did. They are in the basement now. Curds tasted very salty at first, but after draining I tried some crumbled bits and they were not overly salty. That is loads of more salt than 6-9 grams per cheese as directed in http://cheeseforum.org/Recipes/Recipe_Camembert.htm Even if it is sprinkled directly to the cheeses.

When I mixed the salt in, my curd cubes crumbled quite a lot. Actually the stuff I ladled into the mold was more like porridge than pieces of curd. Does this happen to you or was I just too rough?

Now the hard part, getting the humidity high enough. I have a new, larger container for these in my basement now. I got tired trying to fit hygrometer, moisture wick and the cheeses in too small space.

Offline Zoey

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Finland
  • Posts: 144
  • Cheeses: 6
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2009, 01:25:39 AM »

Mmmm, the other three cheeses look delicious.

You never thought us what happened to the blue one? Did you toss it? Hopefully you at least tasted it at first, since I'd love to hear your observations.

Offline Alex

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Haifa,Israel
  • Posts: 732
  • Cheeses: 27
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2009, 01:44:27 AM »
Yes, I did. They are in the basement now. Curds tasted very salty at first, but after draining I tried some crumbled bits and they were not overly salty. That is loads of more salt than 6-9 grams per cheese as directed in http://cheeseforum.org/Recipes/Recipe_Camembert.htm Even if it is sprinkled directly to the cheeses.

When I mixed the salt in, my curd cubes crumbled quite a lot. Actually the stuff I ladled into the mold was more like porridge than pieces of curd. Does this happen to you or was I just too rough?

Now the hard part, getting the humidity high enough. I have a new, larger container for these in my basement now. I got tired trying to fit hygrometer, moisture wick and the cheeses in too small space.


Porridge? It sounds to soft. May be you didn't stirr enough the curds and cut them to big.
Humidity: Before I had a frigge adjusted like a cave, I used a plastic box/container, drilled some holes arround the sides of the box, and according to the humidity inside, I blocked some with masking tape. There has to be like sweat on the inside of the box, not much drops.
If you do not have enough humidity, put a wet paper towel ball in to the box.
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline riha

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Posts: 104
  • Cheeses: 8
  • Default personal text
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2009, 04:14:35 AM »
I probably cut them too big. Recipe said 0.5-1in diamonds and they were on the larger side. They mushed into a porridge when I tried to stir them so that the salt would mix.

I have a lid on my plastic containers that I keep slightly ajar according to the humidity inside. It's about 65-70% in the basement itself so I keep a tray of water and a piece of cloth in the box, which boosts humidity to >98% if the lid is closed.

Tea, I tossed it. Tasted it first, naturally. The texture was dry and rubbery (there was a slight error in the heating process of the curds, which is probably the reason) and the taste was moldy in a bad way. Definite hint of camembert, so not total loss :)

The two smaller ones are aging, wrapped in my fridge. I also added some more salt to them. They are most likely too dry to be good, but doesn't cost anything to see what happens.

Offline DeejayDebi

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 5,804
  • Cheeses: 95
    • Deejays Smoke Pit and DSP Forums
Re: My camembert is feeling blue
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2009, 06:28:02 PM »
Sorry to hear you lost your cheese riha.