Author Topic: mtncheesemaker's Chaource #1  (Read 1152 times)

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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mtncheesemaker's Chaource #1
« on: October 27, 2009, 05:40:31 PM »
Last night I started Chaource from Margaret Morris' book. This is my first attempt at semi-lactic cheese. (I should have read this discussion first, but only looked it up this morning when I didn't have a "firm" coagulation. I started with 2 gal raw fresh cow milk.
Her recipe says to ladle the curd into molds but I could tell that it would have squished out the holes. Luckily I read the posts that suggested pre-draining in cheesecloth, so that's what I'm doing now.
I'm wondering if anyone knows the purpose of skimming the cream off which separated during ripening? I didn't do this, it's draining in the bag with the rest of the curd. If you should take off the cream does it make more sense to skim the milk first?
Also, what should the consistency be like after pre-draining before putting into molds?
Thanks for any help. Those are some delicious looking cheeses on this thread.
Pam


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Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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mtn
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 08:44:34 PM »
John, thanks for the info on Chaource.
I made a batch from 2 gallons fresh raw Jersey milk on 26 Oct, using Margaret Morris' recipe. Used 2 drops of rennet after milk ripened for 8 hours.
Never got a firm curd set and had to pre-drain the curds in cheesecloth as there was no hope of spooning them directly into my chevre molds. Even after draining them for 19 hours, they were still very sticky and difficult to work with. Had to use a spatula to smooth them into the molds. You can see from my photos that the curds never firmly knit together and have an uneven appearance. The yellow color in the curds is the cream that separated out during the long ripening/renneting process.
Last night we cut into one as I was getting an ammonia smell from the box yesterday. After letting the cheese sit out for an hour, the smell was gone.
The cheese was very mild, with the texture of a firm chevre. It was good, but bland. I'm going to age the rest for another 2 weeks. I don't think I'm using enough salt.
I made this cheese because it is an easy process and I love mold-ripened cheese (and pretty much any other cheese).
I would love to hear from someone who has made this cheese successfully. What was your experience with curd setting and consistency? How is this cheese supposed to taste?
Thanks,
Pam

Offline John (CH)

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Re: mtncheesemaker's Chaource #1
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2009, 05:50:25 PM »
Pam, hope you don't mind but I moved your post above behind your first one on this batch of yours. For others, the info Pam refers to is posted here. Great pictures, don't let the surface white mold get too strong otherwise you'll have the dreaded slip/toad skin of which there are many posts in the Rennet Coagulated - White Mold Board.

To your first post:
  • I don't have Margaret Morris's book (yet) so I only have access to Debra 200's and Peter Dixon's Chaource Making Recipes, but they sound very identical except that Peter's includes the extra step of draining bag.
  • All of my lactic type cheeses (with store bought past & homogenized milk) would not have been happy being ladled directly into molds as fa to soft and would extrude out holes, my current Chaource has that problem, even after partially draining in bag. So it's heartening to hear that you have same experience with raw milk.
  • My understanding is that when using non-homogenized raw cow's milk, because of the long time it is standing to reach the low pH, the cream will naturally separate. The options are thus to remove or fully stir back in. To help reduce this, a small amount of rennet is added. More information here.
  • I have no info on skimming the milk first, I assume no if directly inoculating after milking, yes if standing for a period before adding a lactic starter.
  • I have found the consistency to be very very sticky (almost cream cheese) in molds, Alex says the same in his posts.

Your second post:
  • I also used a spatula.
  • From your words and picture, it looks like the cream in your raw milk did separate.
  • Good to hear you cut one young @ 11 days, that info post says can eat fresh but better after 2 weeks and mature at 1 month, looking forward to hearing about your future ones.
  • Salt amount is critical, in the info post's video of making Chaource I mentioned, I've watched them salting several times but no way to tell how much stuck to cheese. Debra 200's says 4 teaspoons salt for 2 US gallon batch, how much does your Margaret Morris recommend?
  • My experiences with curd set in molds is the same as yours, very messy. But when I look at that video they have way way more solid curds, so I think either they are using a lot more rennet and maybe shorter time before molding. Next batch I will try that.
  • On taste, I've never bought or eaten one, so don't know and my French friend from Lyon said she'd never heard of this cheese before.

John

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: mtncheesemaker's Chaource #1
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 11:12:33 AM »
John, Thank you for your comments and for organizing my posts!
I am at the end of my rope with slip skin! Alas, both my lovely Chaource and my last batch of Camembert are now developing it as of yesterday.
I am really trying hard to avoid this problem, but since I've started using Geo to avoid the problem of unwanted colonization by other bad "bugs", I can't beat the toad skin.
I understand that the problem is too much moisture, but I'd like to understand how that applies specifically during the process. I am keeping the moisture mopped up that drains out of the cheeses initially, but should I elevate the cheeses so that they never have contact with the draining whey? Is too high humidity in the ripening boxes a contributing factor? Is it all moisture or moisture at a certain step in the process?
John, you mention "don't let the surface white mold get too strong otherwise you'll have the dreaded slip/toad skin". This is the first I've heard of this as a factor. How strong a growth is too strong? I'm always trying to get my cheeses completely covered with mold.
Thanks for any comments from everyone. I'm desperate to lick this problem!
Pam

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: mtncheesemaker's Chaource #1
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 05:42:51 PM »

John,
PS. Since my last post, I went back and found some old posts on the subject of slip skin that I hadn't read before. Especially some info from FineWino that goes into the detail I've been looking for.
Guess I'll pick myself up and try again!
Failure is discouraging, but I'm determined to get this right. The input from everyone on this forum is really encouraging, and keeps me on the cheese path!
Thanks to all.
Pam


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