Author Topic: Mark's Reblochon - 060510  (Read 3981 times)

Offline MarkShelton

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Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« on: June 06, 2010, 06:20:48 PM »
This is my first attempt at Reblochon, and it looks like it is going well so far. It was based on SueVT's recipe and the recipe from Cheesemaking.com. Here are the notes from the make:
0:00    Added 1/16 t MM100 (mesophilic), 1/32 t TA061 (thermophilic), and 1/16 t Geo 17 to 3 gallons of raw milk @ 88 deg F. Allow to ripen.
0:35Add 1/4 tablet Vegetable rennet, stir 1 minute
0:56Spinning bowl method shows flocculation (21 min)
1:00Cut curds into 1" rods, and let rest
1:10Cut curds gently with a whisk into 1/4" cubes and scald to 92 deg F.
1:25Continue stirring curds @ 91 - 92 deg F.
1:40Allow curds to settle
1:50Drain whey to the level of the curds. Ladle into cheesecloth lined molds.
2:15Flip in molds. Add weight (~1 qt water per cheese) for ~1.5 hrs.
Removed from mold and set on a tray to air dry.
The following day, I brined 2 rounds a total of 2 hours and dry salted the remaining 2 with 1.75% of their weight in salt. Made a 3% brine wash with a pinch of b. linens to begin the washing schedule.

Additional notes:
When I went to pick up the milk, the farmer asked if I wanted chilled milk from the tank, or warm milk (as they were in the middle of milking when I arrived). I opted for chilled milk, but I wonder if the moments-fresh milk would have been a better choice or made any difference. Any thoughts?

My new wine fridge works well for this cheese. I air-dried the cheeses in the dry portion of the fridge, and then moved them to the humid portion for ripening.

Next time, make the same size batch and pack 3 molds instead of 4; the rounds are just a little thin, only ~1" thick, and 4 rounds will barely fit on one tray in the wine fridge. Three would fit much better, and would be a bit thicker, maybe 1.25 - 1.5" thick.

Very quick make, just over 2 hours for the initial processing.

Updates and pictures to follow.

I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 09:37:02 PM »
It is a really simple make I was so surprised. We can make this on a work night! I made the second batch in the little 450 gram kadovas and the worked great.Nice size too.

I aways go for the chilled milk because I have a long ride and in the summer I worry about bacteria gaining a foothold on the warm milk. For most farmers it is only from the mornings milking so it's still quite fresh. You could ask him about it.

Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 07:40:23 AM »
He has told me that he has a contract with a major milk processer (Dean's) and that they pick up 3x a week, though I don't know what days. I'd like to think that it is Mon, Wed, and Fri, but I'd have to ask. Assuming there was a pick-up Friday, then yeah, the milk was chilled from earlier that morning. If not, it was probably only 24 hours old. It is about a 30min drive, and yes, the thought of bacteria in the milk gaining a foothold crossed my mind. Then I wondered what the difference in bacteria count would be between 30 min old warm milk and 24 hr old cold milk. It would probably take a lot of effort to find out that it's not that much different, or didn't really matter...
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 09:03:03 PM »
Well it is an interesting option. I have translated a few recipes that specifically ask for part milk from te night before and part fresh from the mornings milk and wondered what the difference would be.

Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 09:49:38 PM »
Would that be like clabbered milk? or partially clabbered milk?
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010, 10:16:45 PM »
Debi - in old days your typical french farmer would have only one or two cows. They often did not have enough yield to produce a wheel of cheese from a single milking so they covered the milk from the night before and mixed the fresh morning milk into it. As last night's milk set there for 12 hours, it began to acidify, and the bacteria growth in it affected the newly added fresh milk. This is essentially EXACTLY what the thermophilic does to your milk. If you use this mix of last night and this morning you would not need any starter culture (in theory).
In contrast, cheeses that were made in monasteries had large herds of cows and a work regiments around fixed prayer time. This is why these have traditionally less ripening time and more orange rind (which develops easily on less acidic surface and in close quarters where yeast is abundant in the air) whereas cheeses from farmers in Normandie like the Camembert have this super long ripening time (90 min is quite normal) and develop white rinds that fit more acidic surfaces.

Mark - This sounds a lot like my recipe (Only I didn't use thermophilic as there wasn't any high temp involved). I added yeast to help build up the rind and I think I used Geo 13. How are you building your rind and aging it? Do you have photos? If the farmer is within easy distance to you and you intend on making the cheese right away - go for the just-made milk. If you need time, you may want it refrigerated so it keeps cold and doesn't acidify by the time you get it to the vat.

Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 01:02:08 PM »
From what I know, the thermophilic is used to stabilize the later ripening stages, not to actively acidify during the make. I'm not sure exactly what this means, but it is referenced in both thecheesemaker.com and cheesemaking.com for soft, ripened cheeses like reblochon, camembert, brie, and even blues.

The ripening/washing schedule is going to go like this:
  • Age in a ~56 deg F cave @ 90% RH
  • Dunk daily in 3% brine + B. linens for 3 days
  • Afterwards, wipe with a rag soaked in the same brine every 2 - 3 days
  • Flip daily
  • Brush or adjust brine strength as necessary if geo mold is out of control
I'll keep this up for 45 days, then wrap and put in my regular fridge @ ~40 deg F to slow ripening for the last 15 days before eating. Towards the end, I may apply some p. canadidum to get the familiar white dusting.
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.

Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 07:30:08 AM »
Ok, I'm having problems already  :(
For some reason, I can't get my fridge to stay at a high humidity. I'm talking about my 2 zone wine fridge. I am using the top portion to age my reblochons, which is only about 10"x12"x8". I was keeping the humidity fairly stable at ~80% RH with a small basin of water, so I put a large basin in, with no change. Yesterday, I put in an aluminum drip pan that I had to squish a little to fit in, filled it with water, and this morning I was only at 86%.

I know B. linens likes a humid environment, above 90% RH, but practically the bottom half of my fridge is full of water, and I still can't raise the humidity past 90%. This is a problem, but is this disasterous?

Is there a better way that is inexpensive? I'd rather not go out and buy a mini humidifier or anything fancy. I suppose I could go get some tupperware containers, but as small as the refrigerator compartment is, it doesn't seem like I need it; besides, I would need to transfer everything from one fridge to another and/or rearrange it all, and even then I don't think I would be happy with the aging arrangement I would be left with.
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 11:01:18 PM »
Use an aging container!!!

Just a simple good old Tupperware box that you can cover with a lid. The cheese will release humidity thus you will have your fully saturated air in the box.
Keep a small crack open and wipe off any water beads in the mornings and evenings. In the beginning you will get a lot of the water beads so make the crack opening larger. As you need to wipe off the beads less and less you can make the crack smaller and eventually you won't have to wipe off beads very often.

If your box contains 30% cheese and 70% air - that's pretty ideal. Don't suffocate the cheese in a box that's too small.

VERY IMPORTANT - do not put the cheese directly on the bottom of the box as it will dip it in its own released whey/water which will contaminate it (and slow down the rind development because the bottom will always be wet and out of air). The best practice is to put a paper towel on the bottom (replace it when it becomes wet) and then some type of a mesh that will elevate the cheese above the surface and allow for air to flow freely onto the bottom of the cheese. This mesh will make indentation in some cheeses and can stamp a really neat pattern onto your cheese! I ask my local cheese monger for their plastic straw mesh they use to line shelves and for log cheeses like Boucheron. I also cut out some good mesh placemats and like many others here use those $1.79 bamboo sushi mats. Other users here also use plastic canvas made for needlepoint knitting. If you don't have access to any of these now, you can even break up a few straws or disposable skewers and lay the cheese on top of them.

Get yourself a small digital thermometer/hydrometer and put it in the box. It will give you a good reading of the situation. These sell for like $5 a pop on eBay. Heck, get a few, keep one in your cold fridge, another in the room where you make the cheese, another in your wine cooler and the rest inside aging containers.

Using aging containers is a great way to keep the bacteria developing around the cheese. It also helps in avoiding cross contamination of other cheeses in your cave/wine-cooler. You don't want to over humidify it because you won't be able to age lower humidity cheeses in it (as well as increase the chances of cheese contamination).

Below is a perfect aging box I use for two 4" Camemberts. (of course the lid is not int he photo but imagine that it's there). Note the paper towel on the bottom, elevation of cheese with plastic mesh topped by a sushi mat. Also note that $5 digital hydrometer/thermometer clocking the humidity in real time

I hope this helps!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 11:13:54 PM by iratherfly »

Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2010, 07:19:01 AM »
 Thats what I have done. I was thinking about it last night, and decided that even though it should be working in my wine fridge, it isn't. I have 2 tupperware containers that I transferred the cheese to and moved it to my "drippy" fridge after I moved everything out that wasn't waxed.

As for the hygrometers, I have already bought 3 off e-bay a few months ago for $5 each. One has stopped measuring humidity, and another is on the same path I'm afraid, but I do still have one. Since the tupperware containers are identical, I can just use the hygrometer in one and be pretty safe in assuming that the other is the same, if not really close.
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 10:23:04 AM »
Good for you, sounds like you did the right thing. I just can't stress enough how important it is for the cheese to be elevated on some meshy element that airate its bottom and keeps it away from whey.

Whenvever you can, try to put multiple cheeses of the same type in the same container as they help each other mature.

Too bad about those hygrometers, mine seem to all work great still.

As for the 90%RH - make a few cheeses and memorize what it looks like; you can pretty mush eyeball it the next time by looking at the condensation in the box and remember approx how much air you need to give it

Offline Brie

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 08:22:00 PM »
I posted this in another thread, but this container is perfect for white mold & reblochon--sold as a microwave fish poacher, it is 3 compartment with a draining tray in between--enough room to place a wet towel or water underneath (humidity) and a top that adjust for air. It was $5 at Ross.
Darn, another cheese meltdown--ahh, perfect fondue.

Offline Brie

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2010, 08:27:55 PM »
Oops
Darn, another cheese meltdown--ahh, perfect fondue.

Offline MarkShelton

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2010, 07:30:21 AM »
@brie: that does look like it would be perfect for reblochon! I just got my aging containers fixed up though, with holes that I can seal and unseal with masking tape (Wayne's excellent idea) to adjust the humidity. They fit perfectly in my fridge stacked on one side, allowing room for another 2 narrower ones on the other side with no room to spare. Nothing like maximizing space! Its actually the reason I put holes in the aging containers; I don't have room to crack the lid!

Update: With all the moving around done with the cheeses, I no longer know which ones were dry salted and which ones were brined to start. Hopefully both methods will work fine without any discernable differences. That way I can just go the easier route (probably dry-salting).
The Geo is starting to show slightly in the crevices of the cheese, and it is developing a wonderful aroma of sweet, fresh raw meat.
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Mark's Reblochon - 060510
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2010, 12:56:06 PM »
Brie, did I ever tell you that your table is mesmerizing?

Mark - I am now working on a new method of marking cheeses to prevent the confusion you have had. I am using a large stamp to stamp the date or batch number (new stamp that has never and will never touch ink) so that the date becomes engraved in the rind.
I am also going to try to mix a few drops of water with ash to create cheese-safe black ink that I can stamp. I will let you know if it holds up through maturation and rinding.