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.
) but the paste was creamy and pretty tasty. Yeah, my Yorkie liked that one too!