Author Topic: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...  (Read 5076 times)

Offline dobster

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Hi - I've got some chevre that I sprayed with P. Candidum as a ripening experiment.  It's in a modified fridge at approx 51-53 degress f inside a tupperware container with a moist paper towel for humidity. 

White mold appeared around day 5-6 and by today ( day 8 ) is covering the entire surface except for a couple of very small spots on a couple of the cheeses (probably uneven salting).  I have been flipping them over daily. They're getting pretty fuzzy, and definitely covered evenly except for those 2-3 small spots).

Anyway, I'm concerned that the mold may be growing too quickly and may turn into a slip-skin if left unchecked for too long. (I'm told this can happen if the mold grows too fast). I have some cheese wrapping material ordered, but it probably won't arrive for another couple of days.

Can I use something else to wrap them temporarily in a pinch?

or

Should I relax and just wrap them when the proper stuff arrives in a couple of days?

I'm not sure how long it's supposed to take for the mold to cover the entire cheese (these are little 3" diameter by 1.5" cheeses).

One final question about salting.  When dry-salting a goat cheese for ripening with mold, how much should I be using?  (ie like "salting your eggs" or like "caked on like a crust" or somewhere in between?). I just sprinkled it on the top and bottom to make an even layer and kind of rubbed it on the sides.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 01:44:16 AM by dobster »


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Offline clherestian

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2010, 05:25:52 AM »
If you aren't using geotrichum candidum, you probably won't get slip skin. At least I have never got slip skin from P. Candidum alone.

You definitely don't want so much salt that it is caked on. It should all dissolve. For a little cheese like that, sprinkle Kosher or some other flake salt. I don't measure for  cheeses like that, I do it to taste. Pretend like it is a tomato slice or something else you are about to eat :-).

After looking around, it seems some people do measure out salt for camemberts. Maybe you can use these salt amounts as a base for your cheese:

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,3075.0.html
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 07:05:23 AM by clherestian »

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 07:45:55 AM »
I wouldn't worry about wrapping them. I think you can wait until your papers come.
I put the P. candidum in the milk when I make this type of cheese, then I'm not introducing more moisture.
I start eating them at 2 weeks, then keep on. They keep getting better!
I also just sprinkle on the salt.

Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2010, 08:47:19 AM »
Thanks for the tips.  Funny thing is that New England Cheesemaking Supply actually recommends adding Geotrichum to PREVENT slip skin....weird...

Offline clherestian

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2010, 08:16:24 PM »
Using geo will not prevent slip skin. in my experience, the only thing that creates slip skin is geo.


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Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 02:33:26 AM »

I don't know, guys....when I pinched them between my fingers to flip them over today, I noticed that it seems that there's a little bit of space between the skin and the rest of the cheese.  Seems like there may be some skin separation going on.  Oh well, if it is already slipping, there's not a whole lot I can do about it now I guess.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 07:30:28 AM »
Dobster;
Somewhere on this forum Yoav advised that slipskin formation in a lactic type cheese is not so much of an issue as with camembert for instance. I don't know why that is.
My aged lactic cheeses have a similar rind structure, more pronounced as they age, but I think it is characteristic of the cheese, and in no way diminishes the texture or flavor. Friends who are familiar with this type of cheese, say that it should have the rind, the slightly runny interface, and the firmer interior, all in every bite!
I encourage you to try them.

Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2010, 01:46:43 PM »
Great! Thanks! I will now relax and stop worrying so much about the little dudes.  OK Everybody laugh at the panicky new guy!

/R


Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2010, 12:45:20 AM »
Sounds like you have to much moisture in there - that will cause slip skin. If the humidity gets to high or you let moisture build up to much in you aging box you will almost guarantee slip skin.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2010, 02:12:26 AM »
Hi Dobster, Pam suggested I said something about Camembert Vs. Lactic cheeses (I am Yoav) skin slip. I don't remember that particular post but generally yes. First off, P.Candidum can grow very fast. It does need a bit of geo or yeast to make the surface pH more welcoming. There is a cheese I make where I need the skin to grow quickly. I use a strain of P.Candidum called 'Neige' and it develops within 2-3 days! Not all cultures were created equally; some grow faster and are more aggressive towards the orher bacterias on the cheese, others have more flavor or aroma.

Lactic cheese is far more delicate and to build a skin you really need geo. Using P.Candidum Without Geo you will only get the white fuzz without the yellowish skin underneath it. Being skinless means of course that you can't have slip skin.

...but if you have some sort of rind developed somehow (perhaps naturally occurring geo or cross contamination from a nearby cheese, or putting the cheese in brine)-  than slip skin can happen when the temp/humidity are too high and the outside matures far faster than the inside (like french fry in a fry pan that's too hot - burns outside when the inside is still frozen). The skin grows fast, locking moisture in. Under the skin the curd breaks down and ammonianize itself, but 1/4" below it the paste is still 2 weeks away from being ready. Another reason this could happen is because the cheese has not drained properly before being salted and put in the aging container, or if it was not salted properly so the whey didn't drain. Another possibility is that the curd wasn't cut to the right size (or waited too long to cut it, which causes it to stop draining whey effectively) - so the moisture is locked in.  (Heck, I once has slip skin purely because my draining mat was too dense and didn't let enough whey escape).

But the short version of it is that you need to LOSE moisture to prevent skin slip - not add more.  Wrapping the cheese will only serve to lock more moisture in. If you have an 8-day-old lactic cheese in a covered Tupperware container, I doubt that you need to add any water at all to give it the 90% RH it needs. In fact, you should be wiping water beads off the box and lid and try to let it grow patiently. Even partially-open the lid. Skin will develop. I promise.

The mold on lactic or semi-lactic cheese is often more spotty and uneven than rennet. Look at aged Crottin, Saint Maure, Chaourse, etc. They are all spotty with white PC atop creamy yellow spots (from the geo). As they mature they get more sport of blue and eventually turn brown. It's all spotting.

Below are photos of 3 styles of lactic goats' cheese that I made with rinds. (I have used geo in all though) Notice the different patterns:


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Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2010, 02:50:13 PM »
Thanks so much. This is very helpful.  I did indeed wrap the cheese and checked it a day later and there was moisture on the surface so I unwrapped and and opened a corner of the tupperware...no more damp towel for added moisture...

Yes, I think I had too much moisture... I was overly concerned about humidity because my aging fridge was sitting around 65% and I had read that low of RH would be a source of different problems.  I guess I should have been putting the hygrometer INSIDE the tupperware container, duh...

Anyway, even though there was a little condensation on the surface, the cheese did look/feel much better to me than it did a couple of days ago. We'll have to see.  I'm going to try one at 2 weeks and let the others go one week at a time just to get a sense of how they ripen.

Other people have mentioned aging these lactic goat cheeses for 3,4 weeks...when they say that, are they measuring from the time the mold first appears, or from the time it's fully covered or from when it's wrapped?   I'm not sure when to start the clock, since I drained for a couple of days at room temp and then I tried a little "drying" by putting it near the inner fan of my cheese fridge for another day or two (no tupperware).  So I started the clock when I sprayed the P. Candidum on...but frankly I'm not sure it was dry enough, as it wasn't damp, but it was a little "clammy" feeling.

I'll try to snap a photo or two today. That should help.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2010, 04:01:04 PM »
Start the clock the day that you are ready to age it and put it in a box. That would be probably 24-48 hours after you make the cheese, when it has drained enough for you to put it in your cave in am covered box.

Don't rush the process with fans and such... the cheese needs its time. There is enzymatic activity going on regardless of the bacterial process and it will take the same amount of time whether your moisture is high or low and whether you have a P.Candidum growing all over it or not. Rushing it, you will get a cheese that looks, feels and smells like its ready - but you will be disappointed when you taste it as the texture and depth will be all wrong and too young. The enzymes would not have enough time to modify and break down the proteins and fat lipids. Take your time. These lactic cheeses only need 14 to 21 days to get perfect; not too long.

Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2010, 04:22:52 PM »
I wasn't trying to rush anything by drying...I had read in several books, including the one written by the Canadian nuns, that after draining, drying is a very important step and that airflow was crucial...Although that may be more important in larger cheeses...


Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 02:47:27 PM »
Well, it's day 14 and I decided to cut into one and see what was inside.  Pictures are attached...

A very runny proteolysis layer that would account for it feeling like the rind had detached from the center (which, I guess, it did).  Center paste is very moist but basically solid-ish.

Flavor - kind of tasted like, well, nothing...but a slightly bitter "nothing" if that makes sense.  I didn't really even have a smell, frankly.

From the looks of it (to my untrained eye) it does seem like the outside matured very fast and the inside didn't. So I guess the humidity was probably too high. Also, maybe the curds weren't drained well enough.I didn't pre-drain. I didn't even cut the curds - I just ladled them into the molds, as some recipes call for that.  I think I'm going to try cutting and pre-draining before putting them into molds. 

Would anyone recommend stirring the cut curds to help with whey expulsion?

Thanks for all your thoughts, guys. I've got 3 more of these things still in the fridge... I'll check them in another week for fun...

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2010, 12:04:10 AM »
Definitely looks like high temp/humidity aging to me. I don't think you want to ladle with such small size. (better with Camembert and Brie hoops) but if you do - you need to do a lot of drainage with these semi-lactic cheeses. they retain crazy amount of moisture in them and building the rind too fast will trap it inside. They need a good 36-48 flipping, turning and salting before closing the container in the cave and even then you need to wipe water beads off the box for the first week or so.  They are too smooth, gentle and slimy to the touch initially.

Can you post your recipe? Let's figure it out. This should be an easy fix that will work for sure in the next batch.