Author Topic: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.  (Read 3301 times)

Offline Ben

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Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« on: November 30, 2009, 12:48:57 AM »
I have been reading about camambert for three nights now.  There has been a lot of discussion on this cheese.  I am having a hard time keeping it all straight so I thought I would create a topic where information could be consolidated.  I will quote pieces of other discussions here kind of like my notebook.  However, if you would not mind putting the best of what you have learned about camembert here as well then it might be easier for all of us.

Thanks.

This page made by John has a lot of good info and I believe he has updated the recipe to reflect what he has learned.

Fine Wino
I try to get my camemberts in an environment that is 8-10C (46-50F) withing 18-36 hours after molding.  I have found that if they sit in the molds at room temperature for too long, the later ripening does not proceed as desired.

Since I have started ripening at lower temperature, I have not had any of these issues.  I see some references discussing ripening at 52F for the whole process, but I found I still get significant ammonia at those temps.

Fine Wino
At that temperature (7-10 C or 44-50 F) it may be 5-10 days before you see the initial mold growth.  As soon as the mold coverage is complete, you should wrap the cheese.

Here is an experiment which seems to support ripening at much lower temps than many of the books tell us to.  This agrees with finewino's comments.  Also, a smaller wheel ripens faster.  This is great since I am the only mold eater in the house.

Here is John's instructions on wrapping the camembert.


(updates to follow as I find the information)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 10:10:57 PM by Ben »

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 06:20:01 PM »
Hi Ben;
Here is the recipe that I use for Camembert.
You asked me on your other post for my notes on that cheese. I have also been going through all the posts that people have made about this cheese and copied/pasted them onto a word document that I am saving. I could PM them to you if you like.
Mostly I have been concentrating on the effects of Geotrichum and humidity levels that seems to relate to problems with slip skin.
Good luck with this tricky but wonderful cheese!
Pam

Offline Ben

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 10:42:30 PM »
Thank you Pam.  It is great to see your recipe. 

For those who may have a problem with a .wps file (microsoft works) here is her recipe in  a .PDF format. 

Also, I got tired of spending lots of cash on new Microsoft products all the time and now use open office.  It is legal and totally free.  It has a complete suite of applications that will do everything that excel, word, power point, etc will all do and I really like it.  The link is here.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 12:52:07 PM »
Hi Ben;
I made an order today with Glengarry cheese supply, and was able to speak with a cheesemaker there who gave me a few tips on Camembert and slip skin, aka toad skin.
Here's what she said:
The pH is critical with this cheese. The optimum range is 4.6-4.8 after draining and before dry salting the cheese. If the pH is above 4.8, the center of the cheese will liquefy before the ripening is complete. If the pH is too low, the rind will ripen faster than the inside, causing the slip skin. Ripening at lower temps can help this.
Salt slows down acidification, so when it is applied to the surface of the drained cheese, the rind acidity will be lower (higher pH) than the center. I know someone posted once about salting the curds before draining, and I think this would equalize the pH somewhat. I have not yet tried this.
Switch to Geo 17 which is the mold form of Geo. I have been using Geo 13 which has both mold and yeast.
Drain the cheese at optimum 18C temperature.
These things effect pH: moisture, temperature and Geo
She reiterated all the things people have posted on this board: don't let the draining curds sit in liquid and mop up moisture in the ripening box.
I am going to try the flocculation method for timing curd cutting and get a pH meter.
Thanks for any comments.
Pam

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 02:01:29 PM »
Hi Pam. Those are some very helpful cam details. Thanks!

Wanted to throw in my 1 cent to the discussion. Here are some quick notes of what happens with cam-type bloomy rind cheeses and what can go wrong:

1) This is post mold-forming, when the whey has drained and you have cute cheese wheels. They're either salted, or the curds have already been salted. You either spray on the camemberti or it has been added to the milk. Now, the surface must dry out. This is done by using a normal 55-65 temp, but at lower humidity, around 70-80%. This is crucial. At this point, the mold needs to start growing on the rind. If you've added geo, it will build the foundation for the p. candidum, and your salt levels can't be too high, or the geo will not grow. p. candidum starts when pH is around 5.6-5.8.

2) So, the yeast or mold geo has neutralized the surface. It also has started to eat the cheese rind and has sent little feet into the cheese to get a foothold. This is the point that makes or breaks the cheese with regards to slip skin. Too high a temp (more than 55F) and the geo will liquify a tiny outer layer, making it too wet for the p. candidum to send its feet into the rind and grab a foothold. Too little salt (less than 3-4%), and same thing. The pH here on the rind doesn't matter as much at first. Also, too moist of a rind, and the geo will make it even worse.

3) Assuming your temp was great, you used the proper ratio of geo to p. candidum (1 to 5, IIRC), salt was ok, and you resalted after a few days to retard geo growth, the cheese is blooming. Now it's been 4-7 days at 50-55F. This is the next stage things can go wrong, but by this time it's usually too late. If the humidity is too high (>95), p. candidum will be slow. If the pH was too low or too high, as Pam posted, the rate of proteolysis will be off. What happens with p. candidum is that it actually eats the lactic acid. The pH of the cheese influences both how much lactic acid is there and the rate that the lactic acid moves from the inside of the cheese to the outside. That rate of movement in turn influences liquification as the mold releases enzymes that cause proteolysis and liquification. Too high of a pH, and inside will be too soggy. Too low and outside will be too soggy.

4) Let's say now that your pH was great, moisture was fine, you left the cheese for a day to dry out the rind before transferring it to a more humid room/box, you salted correctly, didn't use too much geo, there's air circulation all around the cheese, and you're now about 2 weeks into it and there's no slip skin. You're almost there. The two things that can go wrong now are temp fluctuations or too high of a humidity. Lower is better here in terms of temp. It will take longer to age the cheese, but 50F is just fine. Humidity should be in the lower 90s.

If you do that, you should get a great cheese. The top two causes of slip skin, like Pam said, is too much moisture early on/not enough salt, so that the p. candidum can't get its feet in and bond to the rind, or later on, the pH/temp is off and liquification doesn't happen properly. Well, or there's not enough air circulation around the cheese and it physically gets wet.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 02:08:25 PM by linuxboy »
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 11:18:01 AM »
Hi Linuxboy;
Thanks for organizing all that info. Very helpful!
Cheesemaking has a lot of nuances, which is why it is so fun (and frustrating!).
Pam

Offline Ben

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2009, 11:53:46 PM »
Linuxboy,

Yes, thank you.  I have not been able to do much on the forum the last few days but I will add your explanation to the list of best Ideas.  Just out of curiosity, how long have you been making cheese? 

Offline Ben

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2009, 01:46:02 AM »
Pam,

I have been on a hiatus from cheese for a bit and am back at it.  My attempts at Camembert have begun.  I was hoping you could clarify a few things in the recipe you posted.

1)  In step 8, the salting, is that 1/2 t per cheese?  Not per side right?
2)  There is no time given between steps 8 and 9.  What length of time elapses after placing it in the box and before moving it to the ripening room?
3)  In step 7, is this being done at room temp or are we trying to maintain about 80-85 degrees?
4) Lastly, What is the temp for step 8?

Thank you very much.  I am keeping notes and will try to update this as they come.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2009, 12:16:12 PM »
Hi Ben;
Here are the answers to your questions. Thanks for bringing those to my attention. I'll add the info to my recipe.
#7-8. This is at room temperature, which at my house is about 68F, both for initial and secondary draining.
#8. 1/2 t per each top and each bottom. So, total 1t per cheese.
#8-9. That depends. It is usually 2-3 days for me, depending on humidity and room temperature. Also, during this phase, keep the cheeses absolutely out of contact with the draining whey by elevating them on a cheese mat placed on something that allows the moisture to drain away. (Sailor has some good photos of a box he made for ripening blues.) I place cheese mat on top of a piece of "egg crate" cut to fit inside my ripening box.
Good luck and keep us posted on your results. Also, let me know if you discover any useful tips.
Thanks,
Pam

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Re: Consolidated camembert information, the best ideas.
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2009, 05:01:35 PM »
Pam thanks fr the recipe I will try this sometimes soon. Also I like your idea of putting egg crate under the mat for drainage. Good idea!