Author Topic: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses  (Read 1765 times)

Offline MarkShelton

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Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« on: April 20, 2010, 08:43:36 AM »
I am starting to get into washed rind cheeses, and while I have a handle on the general process, I still have some miscellaneous questions that I've never really seen addressed:
  • What should a good wash contain? I know it needs bacteria/mold cultures added, and how to create a specific brine strength, but should it be made with plain water? Distilled water? Whey? I made mine with 3% salt saturated whey and diluted with water (a total of ~2cups/500 ml) plus 1/32 tsp b. linens. Is this OK?
  • I've heard that sorbate or natomycin can be added to the wash to prevent blue mold from taking hold. Is this the same sorbate I can get at the brew shop (potassium sorbate)? What should the concentration be? And it has no effect on the cultures? If this is not the appropriate preservative, what is, and where should I get it?
  • Where do I store the wash? Can it be left out, or should it be refrigerated or stored in the cave? Does the presence of a preservative change the storage requirements? Should it be sealed tight, covered, left open?
  • Here is a question from another member that has me wondering also:
    I am wondering about washing frequency in general. How does it affect rind development? What would be the difference between a cheese that is washed every other day as opposed to once a week?

    More specifically, I usually create a rind with a mix of geo, p candidum, KL71 and b linens. How does washing frequency affect that particular rind?

    I was wondering if washing more frequently (I am currently washing once a day) would speed up the development of the rind, and if that is ok.
    (If you answer this question here, please answer clherestian in this thread also).
Thanks!
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Offline the big cheese

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 07:13:46 AM »
Hey Mark
I'm also making a washed rind cheese at the moment and was looking for information of making a good brine. Any tips? I was told to make up a fresh brine each time? Is this right or can i just make up a brine and use it for washing the rind over a week or two? I was told cider can also be added? Did you try this?

Thanks
Steve

Offline Alex

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 11:03:26 AM »
Hi Mark & Steve,

Potassium Sorbate is mainly a preservative and anti-contamination agent. I used it only once as a 2% concentrated wash and was warned not to apply more than twice within a couple of days as it might be harmfull.
B.linens, if called for in the recipe (according to type of cheese), I always add it with the other ingredients, i.e., CaCl, P.Candidum, culture, Enzyme. As I don't get different kinds of moulds to be developed on the rind, I wash/smear/brush the rind with salt brine/cider/beer/sweet white vine.
Different types of cheeses demand various rind treatment regimes.
I keep the washing solution in the "cave" in a sealed plastic box and replace it according to it's smell.
Alex-The Cheesepenter

Offline leedsfan

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 01:03:44 PM »
could you add white wine (like an Alsation riesling) into the brine solution to create a flavored wash?

Offline Alex

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 02:03:12 PM »
I don't add nothing to the brine, I wash with sweet white wine.
Is the Alsation riesling a demi-sec wine?
Alex-The Cheesepenter


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2010, 02:09:51 AM »
This is a great topic. I have been doing my own washed rind Tommes lately (See my thread for the petit-tomme experiments) and have been learning a lot but still missing info.
I make my brine with water (filtered, you don't want chlorine, it kills the bacteria you attempt to inoculate into the wash and gives it an off smell), salt (non-iodized! Iodine also kills bacteria. Kosher salt is great), CalCl to prevent depletion of CalCl from the cheese and then of course - the bacteria itself (B.Linen, Geo or PLA. See my note about KL71 below). I usually inoculate it into the water under the manufacturer's guidelines in room temp for several hours, but after first use I store the wash in the refrigerator.

There is a risk of contaminating the wash (especially apparent with raw milk) which can not only destroy the cheese but also make it unsafe to eat, so whenever I want to do a wash, I just pour some from the bottle I made into a little clean bowl and use it. This way nothing goes back into the bottle.

As a principle, I would never use Potassium Sorbate. The whole premise of making artisanal cheese is to go back to tradition and make something natural and unprocessed. Adding preservatives to it goes against all of that (but that's me). Frankly, I wouldn't care if a bit of blue shows up here or there. I smear the cheese with the solution anyway and it removed it. If it's big, I take it off with a knife. It doesn't spoil the cheese. (Far less harmless than Potassium Sorbate). There is also another issue with such ingredients: Preservatives are either meant to kill organisms or to create an environment that inhibits their growth. If this affects the blue mold, common sense would have it also affecting the B.Linen and Geo.

Lately, I have run out of B.Linen and began using a PLA culture that I originally purchase for Crottins. It has a yellow strain of B.Linen, Geo and a couple of other funky aromatic cultures. I have gotten really cool looking rinds from it and it developed fantastic grassy aroma in the cheeses.

So here are MY questions to add to yours:
 - I have just ordered the KL71 yesterday and was going to ask about it here when I saw your thread. Apparently it's a Yeast that helps develop the B.Linen by changing the pH level of the surface. Has anyone here used it? Do you inoculate it into the milk or use it with the bacterial smear?
 - Do you have a preferred type of B.Linen strain?
 - I just ordered Mycodore (for Tomme de Savoie type gray rind). How do you guys prefer to use it? Same way?

I also am debating the many application methods out there: I apply every couple of days (less as the cheese matures) and I can't help wondering which method works better for what? Using a rag and and leave to dry? Or brushing? Or spray? (I don't have an atomizer but I can use a cheap spray bottle). Should one wipe it dry / leave a thin layer on a cheese, or leave lots of wash to dry and build thick layers over time? Which method protects the paste from drying out? Which method do you guys like best?

Offline leedsfan

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2010, 03:39:39 PM »
I don't add nothing to the brine, I wash with sweet white wine.
Is the Alsation riesling a demi-sec wine?

dry aka sec

Offline leedsfan

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2010, 03:40:09 PM »
This is a great topic. I have been doing my own washed rind Tommes lately (See my thread for the petit-tomme experiments) and have been learning a lot but still missing info.
I make my brine with water (filtered, you don't want chlorine, it kills the bacteria you attempt to inoculate into the wash and gives it an off smell), salt (non-iodized! Iodine also kills bacteria. Kosher salt is great), CalCl to prevent depletion of CalCl from the cheese and then of course - the bacteria itself (B.Linen, Geo or PLA. See my note about KL71 below). I usually inoculate it into the water under the manufacturer's guidelines in room temp for several hours, but after first use I store the wash in the refrigerator.

There is a risk of contaminating the wash (especially apparent with raw milk) which can not only destroy the cheese but also make it unsafe to eat, so whenever I want to do a wash, I just pour some from the bottle I made into a little clean bowl and use it. This way nothing goes back into the bottle.

As a principle, I would never use Potassium Sorbate. The whole premise of making artisanal cheese is to go back to tradition and make something natural and unprocessed. Adding preservatives to it goes against all of that (but that's me). Frankly, I wouldn't care if a bit of blue shows up here or there. I smear the cheese with the solution anyway and it removed it. If it's big, I take it off with a knife. It doesn't spoil the cheese. (Far less harmless than Potassium Sorbate). There is also another issue with such ingredients: Preservatives are either meant to kill organisms or to create an environment that inhibits their growth. If this affects the blue mold, common sense would have it also affecting the B.Linen and Geo.

Lately, I have run out of B.Linen and began using a PLA culture that I originally purchase for Crottins. It has a yellow strain of B.Linen, Geo and a couple of other funky aromatic cultures. I have gotten really cool looking rinds from it and it developed fantastic grassy aroma in the cheeses.

So here are MY questions to add to yours:
 - I have just ordered the KL71 yesterday and was going to ask about it here when I saw your thread. Apparently it's a Yeast that helps develop the B.Linen by changing the pH level of the surface. Has anyone here used it? Do you inoculate it into the milk or use it with the bacterial smear?
 - Do you have a preferred type of B.Linen strain?
 - I just ordered Mycodore (for Tomme de Savoie type gray rind). How do you guys prefer to use it? Same way?

I also am debating the many application methods out there: I apply every couple of days (less as the cheese matures) and I can't help wondering which method works better for what? Using a rag and and leave to dry? Or brushing? Or spray? (I don't have an atomizer but I can use a cheap spray bottle). Should one wipe it dry / leave a thin layer on a cheese, or leave lots of wash to dry and build thick layers over time? Which method protects the paste from drying out? Which method do you guys like best?

some great questions that I'd like answered as well.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 02:37:50 AM »
This thread is a little aged...like a fine wine or cheese.

I just started my first washed-rind cheese: Esrom. Search for the thread on "Esrom". It calls for the b. linens to be added to the milk and then later to wash with just brine every other day. I made a small amount with kosher salt in distilled water which I keep covered in the fridge. When I need to wash, I pour a little out into a small bowl and keep the original unblemished.

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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 03:55:28 PM »
Oooh, I love Esrom, like a Scandinavian cross between Port Salut and Telaggio. Would love to make one. Do you have photos? Does your recipe calls for foil wrapping eventually?


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Odds & ends questions about washed rind cheeses
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2010, 08:25:12 PM »
Oooh, I love Esrom, like a Scandinavian cross between Port Salut and Telaggio. Would love to make one. Do you have photos? Does your recipe calls for foil wrapping eventually?


Check here: http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,4263.msg32493.html#msg32493

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