Author Topic: Camembert advice please  (Read 1490 times)

Offline ortho85

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Camembert advice please
« on: October 20, 2008, 03:22:01 AM »
Hi,
I'm sorry if this is a "how long's a piece of string" type question!
My wife has tried several recipes for making Camembert, but they seem to turn out cheddar like - hard inside.  The latest effort was wrapped in specially bought wrappers.
Could it be ageing them in our fridge that's the problem?  Is it drying them out?
Is there a simple answer?  Having read other posts, I gather that Camembert is very unpredictable.
Thanks,
Brett


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Camembert advice please
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 06:27:48 AM »
Morning Bret and welcome to the forum.

Most of mine have turned out too moist, except for a couple I aged too long as we went on holiday and then I forgot about them and when I checked they had became hard hockey pucks.

My understanding is that the reaction from the mold is from the outside in, so the cheese gets softer from the outside in, is she/are you not aging them enough?

I have not tried the wrappers, but in my experience with other cheeses, humidity is critical, too high and unwanted mold, too low and cheese dry out, often unevenly, ie from the outside in and crack. In a very low humidity environment like a modern forced air large household fridge so this can happen in a couple of days. Not good. With small Camemberts I suspect it can happen even faster, although your wrappers should slow it down. Have you meausured the humidity in your fridge with a small gauge?

Just my 2 cents, more details would help if you think neither of these is it. Keep on trying!

Offline ortho85

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Re: Camembert advice please
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 03:46:40 PM »
Thanks, CheeseHead.
I guessed it was a humidity thing.  I'll buy her a gauge for Xmas!
Yes, these are small cheeses.
Cheers,
Brett

Offline Tea

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Re: Camembert advice please
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2008, 04:50:00 PM »
Good morning Brett.  I have to agree with you that camembert is a bit unpredictable, as I am never sure as to exactly what I am going to get.

The humidity factor is only during the first 8-10 days, while getting the mould cover, after that the cheeses are wrapped and placed in the cave to mature, which for me is between 4-5 weeks before they have completely ripened through to the middle. But I have to admit that I am ripening in an esky, so the temps can be unpredictable, so that ripening time may not be for everyone.

Also I have found that if I play with the curd too much, I end up with a tougher/harder cheese.  I have found that I prefer the recipe's that require only minimal turning of the curd over a half hour or so,but that too may be just my preference.

All I can say is try different recipe's and see what you find, and keep on experimenting.  I have learnt something from every batch that I have made so far.

Offline PeterHobit

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Re: Camembert advice please
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2008, 09:55:19 PM »
I have not had any problems with Camembert. After I have taken them from the moulds they are brined, then I place then in plastic container on a rack over water and leave to 10 days for mold to grow. the plastic containers are sort of a Tupperware thing that is used to keel celery crisp in your refrigerator. (mold/mould.... my spelling is bad) This is in my cheese cave set at 11 Celsius. I take them out and wrap each cheese in bakewell paper and then in aluminium foil and leave for a week or so and then I start to eat them over the next 4-6 weeks. I usually make about 10 200 gsm Camemberts per batch. I use raw milk, no CaCL, I use liquid rennet.


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Offline Tea

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Re: Camembert advice please
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2008, 02:15:36 PM »
Hi Peter, mold is US spelling, mould is Aussie/British spelling. JFYI
Ok onto the cheese.  I have been wrapping mine in gladwrap as I read somewhere that this was acceptable, as the special wraps that I bought were just too small, leaving around a 20 cent opening in the middle.  Have been reading lately were this might not be acceptable as the cheese still need to extract some moisture and also the ammonia gases while maturing, so the wrapper needs to be able to breath to allow this process to occur, which of course plastic wrap won't.  I am realising that ammonia is what I could detect in the cheese, and should have realised that as soaping with milk also give off ammonia, and it can take a couple of weeks before the smell goes.  Also both of my brie's had gone off in the middle, and I think I have just realised why.   With my last batch I also realised that they needed to be at least 4 weeks maturing before they were ready to eat.
So I think, with all this new information, I need to make another batch and see what I find. 
Hopefully it will be successful.