Author Topic: Ash Brie  (Read 4631 times)

Offline Tea

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Ash Brie
« on: October 19, 2009, 03:28:29 PM »
I am recording this here for myself, as much as anyone else.

As I am sure I have recorded my brie recipe before I won't do that again.  Added geo this time as well as it is supposed to help with rind slip.  Did everything, including the curd washing as per the recipe.  Decided to divide between two 8in brie moulds, and the result was two 1 - 1 1/2inch thick cheeses.  Left over night to drain, and brined in a 20% salt solution with a speck of white mould powder for 2 1/2 hours.  Drained for an hour or so, and added the ash coating.

Probably the cheeses could have been a little drier before adding the ash, and I live and learn on that issue.  The ash should have come with a warning, "Caution:  ash cloud ahead".  Man this stuff is fine.  Anyway, the cheeses have dried overnight, and are now ready to go into the moist environ for 8-10 days.
Fingers crossed.



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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 04:08:07 PM »
They look very nice Tea. The ask looks to be as fine as talcum powder. Bet that made a mess huh?

Offline Bigfish

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 06:28:32 PM »
Tea,

I notice in the picture that you have some sort of gauze-type material on top of the cheese mat. Can you tell me what it is and where you source it from?

Thanks,
Alan
---- “What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?”
― Bertolt Brecht

Offline Tea

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009, 02:48:28 PM »
Good morning Alan, the mesh is plastic cheese matting that I purchased from www.cheeselinks.com.au by the meter.  I just cut it up into sizes that I need.  I have found that the cheese tend to stick to the bamboo mats, so I am seeing how it goes with the plastic matting between.

Debi I think it is finer than talc.  Very silky to the touch.  Can't wait for the white mould to grow through, so I don't get ash on me everytime I touch them.

Offline Tea

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009, 04:01:06 PM »
Day 3 and this is what I found this morning.  So good so far.



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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 09:17:31 PM »
Looking good Tea!

Offline Tea

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2009, 03:04:14 PM »
Ok so just a few observations on this cheese.  When I went to pour the curd into the mould I decided that the curd was going to be too much for one mould and divided into two.  Ash of course draws out moisture, among other things, and I think that now the resulting cheese is going to be too dry, as they have reduced in thickness quite a lot, and they feel hard when turning.  So my thought that the cheese should have dried more before applying ash, I think at this stage is right, as I think that additional moisture on the cheese has caused too much ash to adhere.

I am going to let these complete aging, as it is still a learning process for me, but I think that I will remake this, using all the curd for one thicker cheese, which with the addition of ash, should be alright.

Anyway here is a pic of the brie today.  A couple more days and they will be wrapped and transfer to the fridge for final aging.


Offline Bella

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2009, 04:09:17 PM »
Hi Tea
Now I’ll preface this by saying that I haven’t made enough of this cheese to be able to make a definitive comment about the process – perhaps 5 or 6 batches. But, I think you might be surprised at the result. Those pictures look pretty much as mine did each time I have made it.

I do, however, leave it a bit longer than an hour to dry, and I’m afraid I’m a bit slack on record keeping at that stage of things – but I usually wait until there is evidence of drying - that the curd isn’t too wet, but damp enough to allow the ash to adhere. So time-wise, perhaps 2-3 hours, depending upon the weather. It was very dry here last week when I made them, so they dried quickly.

I wrapped my ash brie last Friday and they were still a bit hard but I expect them to soften over the next few days. They had shrunk a little, but the degree was barely perceptible. With respect to your comment about the thickness of the ash – how much are you talking about? More than 2-3mm?

When I do this one, I always use camembert moulds rather than the larger brie mould, so perhaps that may be a factor?????

B

Offline Tea

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2009, 04:47:24 PM »
Hi Bella, and thanks for your thoughts.  I wouldn't think that the ash was even 2-3mm, as I tapped off most of the loose ash.  I decided to use the traditional brie mould as it is larger than the cam, but I am making a Blue/White cheese at the moment and I have used the cam moulds for them, and made the cheese thicker, as I am wanting to ash a couple of them for experiement.
I do hope that the cheese soften's up as it ages, as it feels quite hard at the moment.

Offline Tea

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2009, 05:09:08 PM »
I have been thinking about your reply and my answer, and maybe there is the perception that it is thick because it is BLACK and covers so well.  I guess when I cover the next lot of cheese I will find out.


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Offline Bella

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2009, 07:14:21 PM »
OK Tea
That doesn't sound to me as though the ash is too thick, and your photos certainly suggest that the thickness was about right.

I take the point re moulds - it is always a juggling act for me too, as with so much milk, I have to make a cheese at least every second day. It was every day until I stopped afternoon milking. I just couldn't keep up (and nor could the mould supply!!).

A blue/white combination with ash sounds interesting - I look forward to your results. I haven't had any success with that type of cheese and after several failed attempts, have abandoned it, even though one of my friends really loves that type of cheese.
B

Offline Tea

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 03:05:54 PM »
Bella I am interested to know where/why your attempts at a blue/white have failed?  What pit falls should I be aware of?

Offline Bella

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 03:45:00 PM »
Hi Tea
I wish I knew the answer to that question, for if it were forthcoming, then perhaps I would persist with this one. Prior to my getting into this 'habit', it was my favourite cheese - I could never resist a blue or white Castello at the supermarket!

The results were always inedible - and it has to be said that they were all pretty much in the early days of my cheesemaking, so perhaps there was something there that I did not recognise out of ignorance. As I recall it, the principal issue was the ammonia smell of an overripe cheese, but there much earlier in the process than the recipes might have suggested. I store my cheeses in a wine fridge, so the temperature should not have been an issue.

But the ripening process is something that has caught my 'eye' of late. Whenever I make a cheese, I keep records of due dates (when making 4 or 5 cheeses per week, it is necessary to keep track of that!), but what seems to be happening is that the due date is out by a bit, depending upon the cheese. My camemberts and bries are ready a few days early. I make Reblochon and Raclette for my neighbour and they are always ready early, sometimes more than a week. The quality of the cheese is not compromised, so perhaps it is something about this warm climate of ours that affects the cheese differently. And this is for cheeses made through our recent winter!

And perhaps I should re-visit blue-white combinations with that observation in mind! It's been perplexing, but I have simply turned away from it by not making those cheeses again.

So my suggestion to you would be to watch for signs of ripening about a week before the recipe suggests.

Best of luck with it and let us know what transpires.
B

Offline Tea

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 05:00:55 PM »
Ok many thanks for that Bella.  I also have had problems with cam/brie ripening early and for me, once the mould is formed, I transfer into the fridge to help slow this process down.


Offline Tea

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Re: Ash Brie
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2009, 05:19:41 PM »
Ok back to this thread.  This morning I decided that one of the cheeses is not going to grow any mould on the sides, (I think it is to dry), while the thicker one is completely covered.  So I wrapped in the special wraps and have put them in the fridge.

Just another couple of things that I noted with this, is that I didn't get the ammonia smell at all.  Whether that has something to do with the ash or not I don't know, but this is a first for me.  Also I soaked the bamboo mats in a saturated brine solution, then rubbed them well with salt before I used them, and I had, also for the first time, no unwanted mould forming of the mats.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 05:40:40 PM by Tea »