Author Topic: Advice for my Muenster?  (Read 3314 times)

Offline joyofcheese

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Advice for my Muenster?
« on: November 09, 2009, 01:02:25 AM »
Hi, I am 4 weeks into my first Muenster, and my first attempt at using B. Linens.

The recipe I followed was:

  • Warm to 90° F stiring gently. Turn off heat.
  • Sprinkle culture and B. linins over milk. Mix using up and down strokes. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • If using store bought milk then dissolve the calcium chloride in 1/4 cup pure water and mix well.
  • Mix the rennet in 1/4 cup pure water and stir into milk for 1 minute. cover and set aside at same temperature for 45 minutes or until get good curd break.
  • Leave for 40 minutes covered maintaining 90° or until a clean break is achieved.
  • Cut the curds into 1/2 inch pieces, cover, settle curds and maintain temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Strain curds in cheesecloth lined collander for 10 minutes then carefully laddle curds into molds. The curds are very soft and delicate at this stage!
  • Cover - avoid drafts and drain for 24 hours, gently flipping cheeses several times.
  • If curds are still to soft to handle after 24 hours wait another 5 or 6 hours
  • Remove from molds and sprinkle each side with 1/4 teaspoon of salt then place on mat in a ripening container at 55°F and 85% humidity.
  • Turn cheeses daily, remove whey for about 3 days or until no more whey is released.
  • Wash cheeses every other day with cloth dipped in brine mix of 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • After about 10 days an orange smear will appear. Continue to wash cheeses every other day for at leat 2 weeks for small cheeses and 3 weeks for large cheeses.
  • Ripen for up to 3 months

The recipe has you add B. Linens to the milk, so I did. I then learned that it really makes more sense spraying them on the surface, as mentioned in this post. I never got the covering of red b.linens, I did get two red spots, one of which is visible in the pics attached. So after 14 days, I started spraying with a 10% brine with b.linens.

I has now been 4 weeks. The cheese has taken on a yellow, straw color, which I understand can be a color that is produced by b.linens (the actual color is not as deep yellow as the pics attached, but it is indeed slightly yellow). The cheese SMELLS like limburger, again a good sign, but it REALLY smells. The surface of the cheese is very soft, and deforms easily when handling it; it feels a bit more solid underneath about an 1/8 inch surface "slime". A white mold is visible, on the outside. I never added geo candidum, so I expect that is just natural yeast which may have come from some salted wine i was spraying on it for a little bit.

So my biggest question is where to go from here? I would like the surface to firm up, so I have stopped misting with brine. I could start wiping with brine to wipe away the surface, but I fear the slimy surface is a good thing, and I would just be losing cheese by doing that.

Have others got this slimy of a rind while doing washed rind cheeses?

How smelly is too smelly?

Suggestions on what steps to take next?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 01:13:28 AM by sputicus »


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2009, 09:29:19 PM »
Your recipe is similar to one I use but I've never seen it turn yellow like that and it never smells more than kind of milky.  I think something has gone very wrong. It shouldn't be slimy just soft. I think you left it too wet for to long and it went funky on you.

In fact I just did one 8 days ago that looks like this:


Offline joyofcheese

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2009, 12:18:25 AM »
That's funny, because I used the recipe you posted! :-)

Well, I think I have determined that I left the cheese too wet while spraying it. I kept it dripping wet for the first few weeks. As I understand it, you need the humidity to be really high, like 99%, which is dripping wet, but you don't want your cheese itself to be dripping wet. I suspect the cheese absorbed the moisture and turned from a semi-soft cheese to a soft cheese, at least on the outside.

I made a command decision to remove the slimy exterior of the cheese. On the larger cheese this ended up being about 3/4 inches deep, so a lot of soft limburger like cheese was removed from the outside and discarded. This left a much smaller cheese, but slightly more firm. The second smaller cheese is pretty firm, so not much was removed in the slime removal.

I ate a sample of the removed cheese today, and it was not bad. It was spreadable like cream cheese. It was very, very strong. Stronger than the commercial limburger I have tried. I had to eat it while my wife was out of the house and made sure that no trace of it remained. So I hope the remaining cheese will turn out ok.

At least I know the b.linens grew. I read that b.linens can produce the pale yellow color if the acidity is higher, and red color occurs when the ph closer to neutral. If I had used Geo. Candidum I may have seen more red.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 04:57:53 PM by sputicus »

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2009, 01:16:22 PM »
If you don't pat the cheese dry or air dry before returning it to the cave it will get slimy. I keep mine in a container to keep the humidity up. I think the geo worked to well - looks like slip skin ... on muenster even! I have never seen that before. You may have invented a new cheese.

I have made muester for years without the b.linens. This part is a new adventure for me. I have done it twice now and only get a hint of red in the tiny curd holes. I think I may over wash.  ::)

Offline Tea

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009, 02:06:55 PM »
Deb what mould did you use to get the square cheese?  I don't think I have seen that mould before.


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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2009, 05:04:24 PM »

At least I know the b.linens grew. I read that b.linens can produce the pale yellow color if the acidity is higher, and red color occurs when the ph closer to neutral. If I had used Geo. Candidum I may have seen more red.

There are no b.linens on the surface of the cheese you posted.  What you are tasting is sever break down caused by surface yeastm which is very evident in your photos. 

Also, b. linen colors vary by strain not by any pH window.

You also do not need geo to prep your surface, but for some cheese it helps.   I am baffled by the recipes in these popoluar books that call for 99% humidity, it's not really needed.  It's more important that you have good oxygen exchange. 

Here is a fool proof method for growing a good b. linen rind:

add b.linens to your make

prepare a solution of 3% salt, b.linen and natamycin (this will kill blue mold).

dip your cheese for the first three days in the solution (1x daily)

wash with a rag for an additional 4 - 7 days.  keep the aging area at 85-95% RH with good oxygen exchange.

after 7 - 10 days the rind will begin to change to an orange color, wrap the cheese in glasene paper and put in your fridge for 2 months.

remove after 60 days and enjoy.

Offline joyofcheese

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 05:24:12 PM »
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply, and the pointers, Francois.

Questions regarding your pointers:

When you wash with the rag, it is using the same 3% salt solution with b.linen and natamycin?

At what temperature do you age the cheese during the dipping, washing, and final 60 days?


For what it is worth, I based my changing color with ph fact on the link John posted a little bit ago here (direct link)

Quote
There are around 100 strains of B. linens so there will certainly be some variation in the strains present in different maturing areas. This is what most technical papers tend to attribute the variation in rind colour to.

However: the main reason for the colour differences lies in the moisture activity and acidity differences in the actual cheese. Depending on the balance of these criteria different strains will be dominant on the surface.

The lower the acidity of the cheese the paler the colour tends to be. (this sort of knowledge can be of tremendous assistance to the maturer, or affineur, when dealing with batches, and helps with feed-back to the producer).

Slow cheese, which continues to exude moisture, will also tend to be pale, but in this case the surface will be fragile and slimy due to the growth of other bacteria such as Geotricum lactis (oidium). Drying, in the early stages, can help in this sort of situation but, because the excessive enzyme action will weaken the surface, the rind will crack during further maturing or storage if the cheese encounters low humidity conditions.


Never the less, I will try your method next time. Thanks again.

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2009, 02:02:06 PM »
Yes, same wash solution with the rag.

Aging depends on the cheese somewhat but 55-60F is a good range fo rthe curing room, once it gets going you can wrap and put it in a  fridge (below 40F, the b. linens will still grow.

Offline joyofcheese

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 09:55:21 AM »
As you might expect, this cheese ended up being a loss. Before leaving for a 1 week vacation I scraped off the slime and tried to rewash the cheese in brine. When I returned I inspected the cheese. The aroma worse than the limburger I have smelled in the past, and cutting into the cheese made produced even more of it. The center of the cheese was firmer than the slimy exteriour. I braced myself and tasted it. After doing so I placed my mouth under the kitchen sink and turned the tap on full. The ammonia flavors were disgusting. I must admit I feared that I might get ill from sampling the cheese (but never did). My poor muenster was a loss.

Thanks again to all of you who responded to this thread.


Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Advice for my Muenster?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2009, 08:47:49 PM »
Sorry to hear of your loss David. I lost a batch of crottin while I was on vacation to slipskin too. Maybe we should call it the antivacation spore?


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