I made my first batch of Chaource on 26 Oct, which seems like a similar process to the Crottin but with cow's milk. The recipe didn't require pre-draining, but I did it anyway after reading info on here and thinking my curd was too wet to go right into the molds. I have been extra conscientious about keeping excess moisture out of the box, as I have had toad skin on a couple of batches of Camembert.
I also air dried it before putting them into the ageing room. They are beginning to bloom nicely this morning.
Francois, you have alluded a couple of times to the toad skin issue being caused by the Geo. Is it necessary to use it? It was suggested to me as an aid to preventing colonization by other bacteria before the P. candidum could take hold, but it seems that the moisture issue becomes more critical when I use it.
Thanks for your comments.