Author Topic: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom  (Read 12627 times)

Offline iratherfly

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2010, 02:33:16 AM »
Boofer, this is truly bizarre indeed.

We should open a thread here for cheese pathology  O0

I merely suggested to add bacteria to the wash - not for flavor or texture but to ward off unwanted bacteria by 1. developing other bacteria that would take its food and starve it and 2. by causing the surface to change pH to a point that is inhospitable to your strange mold

I was going to ask if you boiled the cheesecloth to sanitize it but it sounds that you are a sanitation freak like me :)

Was this raw milk? Perhaps these are milk pathogens?


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Offline Boofer

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2010, 01:43:19 AM »
I merely suggested to add bacteria to the wash - not for flavor or texture but to ward off unwanted bacteria by 1. developing other bacteria that would take its food and starve it and 2. by causing the surface to change pH to a point that is inhospitable to your strange mold

I was going to ask if you boiled the cheesecloth to sanitize it but it sounds that you are a sanitation freak like me :)

Was this raw milk? Perhaps these are milk pathogens?
Last night I dosed a fresh batch of brine with a touch of b. linens. This afternoon I lightly brushed the trouble areas with vinegar & salt. When they were slightly moistened and softer, I gently scraped the grey dips, dark spots, and "star" growths with a clean spoon. Then I generously wiped the whole cheese with the dosed brine and dried it lightly with paper towels. I then put the cleaned cheese into a fresh minicave (a had one previously sterilized). I did soak the cheesecloth wipe in boiling water prior to using it.

I do feel better about the look of the rind/surface. The places where I had to remove the grey dips and the other blemishes is troubling for me, but I'm hoping the booster b. linens in the brine wash will help to fill those spots.

No, it wasn't raw milk. I've come to the sobering conclusion that I can't afford the $10/gallon cost of raw milk. The industrial milk I buy is $3.69/gallon which is a lot easier for me to accept (and the wife too!  ;) ).

So I'll continue the washing for another three weeks. Hopefully this treatment will permit the rind to continue developing in a more positive way.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2010, 09:31:05 PM »
Looks like it's coming along Boofer.  How's the smell? I've been wanting to try this. Wish I could find it in the store to test first. I bought a few of those little plastic scrub brushes from Glen Garry a few years ago and although they seem pricey they are great for scrubbing cheeses and well worth the price.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2010, 03:13:53 AM »
The smell is faint at this point. I'm assuming it should be similar to dirty socks, but it's not there right now. My wife is more sensitive to those smells. She doesn't like the smell of my Manchego much.

I haven't ever seen Esrom in any of the stores. It would be nice to have some idea what the target flavor profile and texture is. Right now I'm winging it.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2010, 11:35:23 PM »
I actually found Esrom made in Canada in my local grocery store - Big Y.


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Offline Boofer

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2010, 04:36:25 PM »
Okay, so it has been a month since I began wiping the rind of this cheese. Not knowing what I should be looking for or looking out for, I have seen some interesting changes from the cheeses I have been making. I've tried to log the changes as I go and when I see something different than before. Today I have some more photos that I snapped last night.

The "problem" spots that I highlighted previously seem to have been dealt with okay. When I went to wash the underside last night, I noticed what appeared to be an ooze coming from the edge of the rind. It's circled in the pic. I can only believe that this is part of the process. The conundrum that I face is that this type of ooze doesn't seem to be part of the commercial Esrom photo I attached. I believe the paste should be soft but fairly firm. Not having ever sampled Esrom I'm kind of working in the dark.

Those experienced rind-washers here would help me out a lot if they could take a look at my pics and tell me that the rind is as it should be...or what might be wrong with it. The rind is dry (temp/humidity has been 52F/80%), not sticky. It can be "chipped" away from the paste if I am rough in handling the wheel while washing. Washing is dabbing with a piece of cheesecloth dipped in 3% brine.

The recipe in 200 Easy Cheeses calls for 6 weeks of washing, but I don't know if it will tolerate another 2 weeks. I'm thinking I should stop washing, wrap it, and store it. When do you know that it has progressed to the point that that is acceptable? Don't want to rush it if it will be benefited by an additional two weeks. Is there something to the look of the rind? The rind is whitish-grey and wrinkly like the paste has shrunk underneath. What I don't see is a lot of orange color from the b. linens.

I had made a tiny cheese out of the leftovers in the kettle and I cut it open last night. It showed that the real cheese wheel will have some promise. On the tiny one the rind came away like a scab (sorry if that's a disgusting image.  :P ) but the paste was creamy and pretty tasty. Yeah, my Yorkie liked that one too!  ;)

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Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2010, 09:42:13 PM »
From what I can see from the photos, your rind looks good texturally for this type of cheese. (I've never tasted an Esrom either.)
I would have thought you'd have a showing of B. linens by now. If it were me, I would add some to the brine wash, and wash a couple more weeks. It's good that the small one tasted good, but the B. linens aids in ripening and flavor, so I think it should be present.
Pam

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2010, 09:51:04 PM »
Try wrapping it in waxed paper or freezer paper it seems to allow the b.linens to develop better for me than the box. The oz shot seems not to be posting for some reason.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2010, 10:09:36 PM »
From what I can see from the photos, your rind looks good texturally for this type of cheese. (I've never tasted an Esrom either.)
I would have thought you'd have a showing of B. linens by now. If it were me, I would add some to the brine wash, and wash a couple more weeks. It's good that the small one tasted good, but the B. linens aids in ripening and flavor, so I think it should be present.
Pam
Thanks, Pam.

I did add b. linens to my brine wash. I think that's when the rind started to really wrinkle out. You can see it was a lot smoother a week ago.

Try wrapping it in waxed paper or freezer paper it seems to allow the b.linens to develop better for me than the box. The oz shot seems not to be posting for some reason.
I've got some breathable cam cellophane wrappers I had decided to try. Sounds like it needs to be moister than the minicave allows.

Sorry about not getting the ooze pic. It should be there.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2010, 10:16:01 PM »
That should help. I find with b.Linens it's easy to get to much moisture (hence wrinkles). Harder to adjust the box. Just loosely wrap and let it out to breathe ever few days when you spritz with the B. linens. I also pat it dry with paper towels if I get overly zealous with the spray bottle and ley it st out to air dry some.


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Offline Boofer

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2010, 10:31:38 PM »
And here I thought it was too dry and needed more moisture.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2010, 11:12:43 PM »
Almost looks like pre-slipskin from here. In general wet cheeses wrinkle and sort of stretch their rinds, dry cheeses tend to crack.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2010, 01:45:20 AM »
So a follow-up question would be: Is it customary to remove the wrinkly rind and try to establish the b. linens or leave it alone (because it does protect the paste underneath)?

Further down the road...when I do a washed-rind again, how do I keep the wrinklys from appearing? Wash it with the brine and then dry with paper towels? When you wash, do you just lightly spray with the b. linens brine, or what?

Sorry for all the tedious questions. I'm trying to understand what's going on with this process and how best to optimize.

I ended up wrapping it in waxed paper. The cam squares were too small.

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Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2010, 08:57:54 AM »
Hi Boofer,
I would love to take a class in washed-rind cheeses. I never feel like I really know exactly how to "wash".
What I do, is pour about a tablespoon of my wash brine on the cheese, which I am holding on my hand over the sink. Then I wipe the liquid all over the surface of the cheese with my hand, including the sides. If necessary, I pour on more liquid and rub the other side.
As far as drying before putting back in the box, that depends. If the rind is getting "sticky", I'll pat it dry with a paper towel, or leave the box open to air dry it a bit. I also go by how much humidity is being generated inside the box between washings.
But different cheeses develop different rinds, like the munster I made has a very soft rind, while a tomme is quite firm.
I will say that my cheeses have improved in this category, but I remember my first attempts were pretty discouraging. So, just keep on keepin' on!
Pam

Offline Boofer

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Re: My first washed-rind cheese . . . Esrom
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2010, 09:28:23 AM »
Yeah, that's pretty much what I was doing. I stopped actually rubbing the cheesecloth wipe across the surface after the rind started peeling off. I then started blotting all over. I found this got into the crevices much better.

Thanks for your words. It affirms that I'm not too far away from where I want to be. "Learn by doing."

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