Author Topic: zrim's First Blue Cheese - Blue vs White Mold & Digital Humidity Controller  (Read 2258 times)

Offline zrim

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Hi Everyone,

I am making a blue cheese and I'm 7 days into aging it.  I was excited to look into my cave today and see blue mold all over the cheese.  It smelled like blue cheese too.  I went to my book and it said that in about 10 days I should see a white bloom.  What gives?

My cave is at 50F and 95% humidity.  These are the conditions that my recipe called for.

I've attached an image.


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Offline Gürkan Yeniçeri

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Hi Zrim,

Don't know the answer to your question but you have an interesting little box with attached upside down bottle on it to keep the humidity at a level, I guess. Can you give some more info on that?

Online Sailor Con Queso

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Blues should be blue, not white. ;D What kind of blue are you making?
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline zrim

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GurkanYeniceri,

My cheese making just recently started when I realized that I wanted to start a geeky engineering project.  I figured that I could make an automatically controlled cheese cave for aging my cheeses.

In short, I have a microcontroller (miniature computer) monitoring the temp and humidity via two sensors inside of a mini fridge.  When the temp is too high the microcontroller turns the fridge on and eventually turns the fridge off when the temp is satisfactory.  The bottle that you see is actually the water resevoir for a travel humidifier. I use this humidifier to regulate the temperature inside of the cheese cave.

So far it is working great!  My temperature deviates only +/- 1 degree F and the relative humidity deviates about +/- 3%.  This has turned out to be really fun.  I'm thinking about tracking down another fridge and making another one so I can make more cheese.

Offline zrim

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Sailor Con Queso,

This is true, I have taken some solace in the fact that my blue cheese is blue.  I am making the straight up blue cheese from Ricki Carroll's cheese making book.  This is my first cheese so I feel like a new parent, worrying about it  :).


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Offline zrim

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Update:  Now I see some white too.  Looking pretty good!

Offline humble_servant7

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Update:  Now I see some white too.  Looking pretty good!

IS it me or does that cheese look a little TOO moldy?

Looks like thats penicillan covering the outer surface.

I've never seen blue cheese do that.

Offline zrim

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Uh oh! 

I hope not.  Is there a danger of having too much blue mold?

   Thanks,
   Z

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The blue mold is very aggressive and will cover the cheese. Needs oxygen so be sure that you poke holes or you won't get much blue inside where it counts.

This is your FIRST cheese? Gutsy move. Looking good. Congratulations.
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Offline zrim

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Sailor Con Queso,

Thanks for the tip.  I can see that my holes are starting to fill in.  How often would you recommend reopening the holes?

This is the first cheese, go for the gold, right?  ;D 

The biggest challenge will be not cutting into it for a few months!  I also have a farmhouse cheddar going so that will come of age a little sooner, tide me over.


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Offline FRANCOIS

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It'll die down a bit.  Looks good.  Don't worry about the white, it's normal for many blue cheeses.  You want an aggressive growth to make sure you don't get yeast on the rind.

Offline Alex

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Zrim, you have to repierce the same holes as they start to fill in. To prevent blue on the outer surface, wash/rub it with salt, it's the blue's "enemy".
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline zrim

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Do you guys think I need to wash the blue mold off of the surface or can I just wait and wash it off in the end?

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Wait. It's still young.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline zrim

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Re: zrim's First Blue Cheese - Blue vs White Mold & Digital Humidity Controller
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2010, 03:14:20 PM »
So my wife and I broke into this (my first) cheese today.  I've attached some pics. 

She isn't a blue cheese lover but the mildness of this cheese (only 2 months old) may have begun her transformation.  She actually liked the blue flavor.  For me it was a bit mild but it was great to have made something that actually resembled cheese!  Edible and enjoyable.