Author Topic: Making Camembert . . . tricks & traps, problems & successes  (Read 5140 times)

Offline John (CH)

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Well I'd like to try making Camenbert for two reasons, one, it tastes great and two, it will be step on the road to my holy grai of making cambozola.

AFAIK (as far as I know) it is a very tempermental cheese to make as new Cheese Lover chrashtest attests to. Some research/info on making Camenbert:

Now I just need to absorb and distill all this info . . .
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 05:56:43 PM by Cheese Head »


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Offline John (CH)

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Making Camembert . . . tricks & traps, problems & successes
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 07:09:55 PM »
I've 1) Researched making Camembert using the links above and other material, built a detailed equipment, ingredients and directions that I've posted in the Recipe Board here, and 2) ordered several pieces of equipment for making Camembert including a pH gauge.

Unlike pressed cheeses, there is no scalding of milk, and no pressing. The whey is drained purely by gravity while in the hoops and the cheese matures from the outside in. From what I've read and others on this forum have experienced, it is a difficult and temperamental cheese to make.

Love a challenge . . .
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 05:56:54 PM by Cheese Head »

Offline Tea

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Re: Making Camenbert . . . tricks & traps, problems & successes
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2008, 04:27:55 PM »
Well last time I made this cheese, I had the cheese looking good on the outside, at least no lumpies.
This time I am not sure what went wrong, maybe I had the milk too hot through one of the stages.  Not sure.  Anyway decided to go ahead and mature them anyway, as hopefully the uneven texture will not affect the finished product.
Here's pic of them, maybe someone could help me trouble shoot what I did wrong.

Offline John (CH)

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Making Camembert . . . tricks & traps, problems & successes
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 05:52:53 PM »
You beat me, my kit is still on order :'(.

So the problem so far with your three camemberts is the appearance being lumpy, correct? As this is early in the process my guess as you said is something non-optimal in making the curds in that they don't look soft enough to have formed nice symetrical camemberts. Not soft enough is usually from cooking at too high a heat, most of the recipes I used to build the one I posted here call for very low temperature cooking of the curds and gently ladling of the curds into the molds. Anyway just my 2 cents.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 05:57:04 PM by Cheese Head »

Offline John (CH)

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Making Camembert . . . tricks & traps, problems & successes
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2008, 06:38:03 PM »
My second batch of Camemberts, record #1 here, #2 here is made.

Looking back at my compiled recipe posted here and Tea's recipe posted here and others above it is apparent that there are many roads to making Camembert or Brie. First two subjects:

INNOCULANT OPTIONS
  • Ground up piece of Camembert or Brie rind added with mesophilic culture at start.
  • Ground up piece of Camembert or Brie rind added to curds after whey separated.
  • Manufactured Penicillium Candidum added with mesophilic culture at start.
  • Manufactured Penicillium Candidum sprayed on by atomizer after salting.
  • Few spores of manufactured Penicillium Candidum added directly to top of cheeses after salting.
I have no idea which is optimal, plus some also use Geotrichum Candidum to aid in Penicillium Candidum formation.
Anyone have any thoughts on pros & cons?

CURD OPTIONS
Most recipes call for enabling the mesophilic cultures to grow or ripen and curds to be cooked at 32-42 C/ 90-108 F, a wide range and at upper end, very hgh for mesophilic cultures. One recipe has no cutting of curds just ladle into hoops, my average recipe has ladle 20 min after curds cut, Tea's has after 2 hours. To some extent these two operations are linked, higher temperature and extended cooking after cut leads to more whey expulsion before placing in hoops. Part of the different options may be to different sources of milk, ie raw vs pasteurized/ So far I've used pasteurized and found that cooler temperature and ladling cut curds after only 20 min has not worked very well for open ended hoops as 1) curds are too runny to stay well in hoops and 2) even after 8 -12 hours drining in hoops the resultant Camembert is still very moist / water laden. Anyone else have any thoughts on this . . . ?


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Offline Tea

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Re: Making Camembert . . . tricks & traps, problems & successes
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008, 02:24:41 AM »
Well not sure my imput is of any help, as I too am new to this cheese too.  My book said that the amount of white spore powder used was not critical, so I assume that in the right conditions, this mold spreads fast and effectively.

Have only used the powder so can't answer some of your questions.

I thought I might give your recipe a try and see what my results are.  I have another recipe too.  A "traditional" one according to the book, the one I posted here is apparently the "modern" one.  Should try all three and see what the difference is.

Apparently the difference between Camembert and Brie, is the size of the wheel, thus the maturation time is different.

All I can add for now.  Peeked at mine today, and the tops are now completely covered with a thick covering of mold.  Tomorrow is day eight, when they will be wrapped and stored for another 2 weeks.  Hopefully.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Making Camembert . . . tricks & traps, problems & successes
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008, 04:48:50 AM »
Thanks Tea, sounds like we are both at similar stages . . . no mold on mine yet.