Author Topic: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...  (Read 5120 times)

Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2010, 01:32:09 AM »
Thanks so much for your help. Recipe is below. Before the recipe I wanted to point out that I hadn't initially set out to make a surface ripened cheese...I was just making some fresh chevre but had some extra curd and decided to experiment with the extra. This was my first attempt at using a starter other than the N.E.CM's direct set chevre starter (the little packets with rennet added already) as I wasn't nuts about the flavor.

I didn't intend to make them small, either...I simply only had 4 chevre molds so that's what I used. I didn't even know what I really was making other than a simple white mold-ripened goat cheese...

Also - Before I even got to the ripening stage I was already having problems getting a good break (that was the nice thing about the N.E.C packets - always got a fantastic set, but always a bit too "sour/acid" tasting compared to other fresh (i.e. unripened) chevres I was using as taste reference).

Recipe:

1 Gallon Pasteurized Goat Milk (145 for 30min method)
1/8 tsp MM100
1/5 drop chymosin rennet (I think it's chy-max)

T+0  Milk started at 6.6 pH   Heated to 83 degrees and added MM100

T+1hr 20min - Added rennet (I was waiting for a .2ph drop)  It took much longer than I thought it would ( I only got a .1 drop anyway). Room temp is constant around 72-73F

T+3hrs 20min - tested pH = 6.1

T+9hrs  - pH = 4.8

T+ 11hrs - pH unchanged - ladled into molds to drain. Put rest in cheesecloth to hang.  (probably should have waited until pH 4.6 but was trying to avoid over-acidification problems I've had in the past).

T+ 20hrs (removed bag cheese. a decent soft chevre "spread"). Checked pH of expelled whey in molds. pH = 4.7.  Attempted unmolding...too soft. salted top and left in molds at 72-73deg F

T+26hrs  Removed from molds. Still not as firm as I'd like.  Salted remaining sides and bottom.

T+28hrs Placed in "cave" (wine fridge) at 50deg F and 72% RH

Turned daily for next 2 days. Seems to have stop expelling whey (It's not pooling underneath the draining platform). Kind of sticky/slimy to the touch.

Sprayed on P. Candidum (Danisco C8) and covered the tupperware container and put a small damp paper towel in. Temp 52%F. (Water was definitely accumulating on the sides of the box after a day).

Turned daily.  Candidum appeared 6 days after spraying (possibly sooner but I didn't see it). 

Day 8 (after spraying with P. Cand.) is when I created this topic. It's getting really fuzzy.

That's pretty much it.  I tried to get the RH of my "cave" up by using pans of water but I couldn't get it over 72%.  It's a thermoelectic wine cooler and I think it just needs to run too often in the summer to keep at 52%, so I went with the tupperware option.







Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2010, 10:59:39 AM »
Okay... my thoughts:

First off, leave the pH meter turned off the next time you do this. there is no reason to fly instruments before you figure out to take off and land... get the feeling - look, smell, touch of the right curd and memorize it. Chevre has been done for 1000 years without pH meter by poor farmers. You can trust the process and do it blindly. Just remember that the goat's feed is a bit different in the different seasons and if your room is hot you can adjust the ripening time down, or if you over-heated your milk you shouldn't wait many hours; you know, common sense things. You seem to be already on the ball with remembering to avoid over acidification.

Secondly, do not touch the milk/curd until it's time (see below)

You pasteurized the milk - is this your own milk? You said you pasteurized at 145F for 30 min and then you said you heated it to 83F. I assume you cooled down the milk in between? Did you cool it down rapidly after pasteurization? If not, you might have continued to cook it by letting it cool on its own and over-pasteurized it which would make it more difficult for curd to set. It is better if you cool it rapidly after pasteurization to your desire make temperature and start making the cheese right then and there.

Another reason for your soft curd could be that you have pasteurized your milk but didn't add CalCl2 to it, though lactic/semi-lactic Chèvre curds are never really set hard. It's not a clean break kind of curd but a bit more loose and gentle.
 
So, to adjust your recipe I would go semi-lactic here (whether you do a simple Chèvre or an aged surface ripened version like a Crottin):

- Milk: heat to 76F-78F
- Rennet: Reduce to 1/16th teaspoon and add immediately (no ripening!!!) with the MM100.
- If you want to surface ripen it as a Crottin, Saint Maure, Valençay, Cabecou Etc. you can add to the rennet and MM100 also:
  - 1/8 teaspoon Geo (I suggest Danisco Geo 15)
  - 1/8 teaspoon PC (I suggest Danisco PC-VS)
  - Optional: To give it the traditional grassy funky aroma and better color, add 1/8 teaspoon Danisco PLA. It does contain Geo so you may want to adjust your Geo down a bit
- Ripening/Setting: Close lid, don't disturb (no pH or Temperature checks, no moving the pot, no checking for break) for 12 hours.
You can adjust it to 8 or 10 if your room is warm and up to 18 if it's very cold. By the 8th hour you can open the lid to look and smell it already. you will see that the curd has set when you recognize its pulling away from the sides of the pot and you have whey all around it. I finish it when it starts smelling too much like a Greek yogurt. (Unless you want it more tangy, then you can wait longer)
- Curd Cutting: Skip that, no need for that with this kind of soft wet curd.
- Draining/Ladling: If you have Chèvre molds - use them. The problem with cheese cloth is that it usually leaves lots of curd in the middle that hasn't drained properly. It also smashes your curd, which is OK if you want to consume the Chèvre right away or make yogurt or Fromage Blanc, but to get a good Chèvre, just ladle it into molds and wait. Ladle gently into molds in thin layers.
- Waiting in the molds: give it time. Long time. if it looks dry enugh to turn at 18 hours than you can try but no urgent need to do so, you can wait 24 or 36 hours. drain it, drain it, drain it. If your room is warm and you don't want more acidification while you wait for your cheese to drain, then continue to drain it by placing the molds on their draining pan inside your cool cave instead of out on the counter. (But not in refrigerator as it will harden the fats in the cheese and arrest the drainage)
- Once you are able to remove them, salt them immediately and keep draining them for another 24 hours. The salt will do its work to remove whey aggressively out of the cheese. Salt them with roughly 2.5%-3% of the cheese weight in salt (Use non-iodized salt or kosher salt without anti-cacking agents in it). It would seem like a lot of salt but so much whey will come out that it will remove a lot of the salt out.
- Aging: If you want to age it or surface ripen it than only now, (the third day or so) you can stop draining and begin aging. Good aging temp is 55F. Start by partially covering the box and wiping it mornings+evenings. Turn the cheese once a day if you can hold it (It will be soft and slimy for the first week or so). As you see less and less water beads, you can close the lid further to keep it at 90%RH. No need for spray. Mold will show up in about a week. If you use the more aggressive Geo 17 and PC Neige from Danisco the mold will show up in 2-3 days but would have different qualities to it.

A couple of aging tips:
1. It is ok to pack the cheese a bit tighter. After it has developed a rind, tap it with your finger when you turn it. The tapping will pack it tighter, remove unwanted air and whey and your finger will help carry bacteria to contaminate the cheese with its own mold on all sides
2. If you can get hay (French cheese shop hay is great) use it to age the cheese instead of ripening mat. It will wick out moisture incredibly well and will give the cheese this fantastic grassy rustic aroma. It also helps encourage desirable bacterial growth and correct rind pH level.

This should be perfect to eat at 14 days but can be consumed before that. After day 21 it will begin to dry and turn harder. It takes a whole new character. Blue and brown mold spotting after 21-28 days are normal and the cheese can be consumed with them. It eventually wraps itself in blue mold that turns dark and the cheese looks like horse dropping - hence the name Crottin (Dropping or Dung in French).

Two people on this board that have excellent experience with this particular type of cheese which I learned a lot from are Alex and Francois. Alex typically use buttermilk as a starter. Francois is a professional cheesemaker with more accurate and scientific knowledge than I'll ever have. That being said, I guarantee you that if you follow the steps I mentioned here you will get a great Crottin. No skin slip or over-ripening.

Offline Chris_Abrahamson

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2010, 01:51:12 PM »
This is great information!  Thank you for sharing.  I have been making crottin from raw goat milk that I have pasteurized and so far it has been hit or miss - mostly miss.

One point of clarification - are your comments on quantities of culture assuming 1 gallon of milk or ?

Thanks

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2010, 11:42:00 PM »
Sorry, yes. These were proposed as changes to your recipe so I am basing it on the milk quantity you wrote: 1 Gal.

Good luck! Let us know how this works out! PM me if you need help

Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2010, 12:24:13 AM »
Wow. Great info. Thanks so much!  I wasn't informed automatically by the system that you replied hence my late reply.

First off...Love the fliying metaphor - my friends and I had a good laugh at your "instrument" line. I had made several batches of fresh chevre and just wanted to get a little more scientific to help minimize variables so I could be consistent (I wanted to make sure I wasn't getting too acidic - in hindsight I think I would have been better off measuring TA instead of pH), but I'm keeping the meter packed away for the next few batches!

To answer some of your questions:

- I did not pasteurize the milk. It is not my milk but store-bought from Summerhill Dairy outside of Los Angeles. Trader Joes carries it.  I mentioned the 30min @ 145F process simply so readers would know it wasn't ultra-pasteurized or some other method of pasteurization. (Yes, I know I need to find a place that sells FRESH goats milk, but this is the best I can do right now...Looking into farmers markets on weekends as another possibility).

- The milk started out from the refrigerator somewhere in the 40s and I heated it up VERY slowly.

I have a feeling I did not use nearly enough salt, based on your numbers.

Final note: I cut into the remaining cheeses today to see how they changed. While the outside looked much like my earlier picture, the inside was completely liquid - mosly clear... pretty much like pure water with a little ribbon of white in it.  Still not much of any smell at all. Alas.




Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2010, 02:11:22 AM »
Oh - and I got the PC strain wrong. I used Danisco SAM 3.  I'll have to try the VS...

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2010, 10:36:58 PM »
Glad you liked my flying metaphore.. I used it here once before. (look at my username) Do you fly? do you live in Los Angeles? I did my flight school in Santa Monica many years ago. In flight school there is this concept called "Pilotage" - that's the pilot's ability to fly and navigate based on landmarks, clouds, sounds... feeling the aircraft and weather systems instead of looking at instruments. That's a vital acquired skill that without it, you can't move any forward in flight training.  You need to know flying without GPS, altimeter and radio navigation before you can learn how to trust instruments to fly you properly and moreover - trust your pilotage skills to identify instrument or aircraft failure and resolve it (because the instruments won't do that for you).  From the Wright brothers to the shuttle astronauts, pilots have always learned to fly that way. Kind of like cheesemakers learned to make cheese... So, I take that to cheesemaking.

That sounds like a good quality milk. You can get REALLY FANTASTIC cheese from store bought goats milk as long as the goats roam and eat grass and the milk is gently pasteurized. Don't worry about homogenization - no one really waste time on homogenizing goat's milk because it's naturally quite homogeneous.
The only thing to keep an eye on is the date. This type of milk with this gentle pasteurization should give about 14 days shelf life so - look at the date. the closer it is to 2 weeks in the future, the fresher it is. Fresh milk is less acidic and has less pathogens so it makes great cheese and responds well to your cultures. If the milk has less that 7 days left - don't buy it, it's not fresh.

Low 40's is a good temp to keep it. Try to heat it rapidly because slow heating builds up acid. That being said, don't put it under big flame - you will end up scorching the milk (overheating/boiling spotted areas in the milk, killing enzymes and bacteria and modifying proteins). A 2 gallon batch on simmer flame can heat up from 41F to 77F in an easy 10-20 min. That's good.

Salt - yes, when you actually dump 2.5%-3% of the cheese weight on top of it in salt it always looks like a ridiculous amount of salt. You do oversalt it purposely to get the osmosis effect going and a lot of the salt will get washed out with the whey extraction so eventually the cheese will contain far less salt. However... you may still catch yourself later when you taste the cheese "Outch... I over-salted that one!". If that's the case than wait until next time and do less. It is better to over-salt than to under-salt because the salt has an important part beyond flavoring; it extracts excess moisture and whey, it activates the bacteria/cultures and it acts as a preservative to deter pathogenic bacteria.

PC - I have never used SAM3 but from the data sheet this seems like some specialty anti-fungal strain of PC that requires very high dosage and is not applied directly to the milk. (I am not sure why it is needed, perhaps for raw milk?) The classic cheeses usually use the stable and easy PC-VS or PC-Neige. Stick with them for predictable results and desirable flavor/texture

Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2010, 12:44:19 AM »
I do live in Los Angeles. I don't fly - I have middle ear issues (I get motion sick walking across the room too fast!), but I have several friends who have gotten their licenses. I have to say, one of my most pleasant flying experiences was as a passenger in a Cessna (172 I think) flying at midnight over the sand dunes near Traverse City MI with a full moon.  I was heavily doped up on dramamine but wouldn't have needed it as is was very smooth.  My friend had his instructor rating (he made it as far as instrument instructor and started his multi-engine training when he gave up flying for a different career). He let me "fly" it for a couple of minutes, and I was surprised at how responsive those little planes are.

Now back to cheese. Thanks for the tips. I noticed that when I get the milk from TJ's, the dates are usually about 2 weeks away so I knew they were pretty fresh. When opened, they have absolutely no smell and have a very nice flavor.  I chose them because they were the only "local" dairy that uses the 145F pasteurization instead of the higher temp or even ultra-pasteurization, which is obviously useless.

I've been heating the milk with a light flame and stirring often to prevent burning. It takes me about 20 minutes or so.

I just ordered a PC from New England Cheesemaking I think, and that's the strain they sent.  It's supposed to prevent mucor.  I've read somewhere (not sure where) that you can add it directly to the milk if you want.  I'll have to order some VS.

Thanks again.  Thinking about trying a new batch this weekend, but it might be too hot. The cheese "cave" is thermoelectric and is reliant on outside air temp. If it gets too hot it sits around 57 which is too hot.  I can run my house AC to keep the air temp in that room down so the cave functions better, but it's not ideal.   Wish I could get the humidity up in that thing.  It sits between 60-70% and a bowl with water and a little "wick" of paper towel did not help at all.  But the tupperware obviously is getting me too much humidity so I think I can manage.


I wish there were some local "support groups" or something for cheesemaking.  I'm just guessing about how strong of a yogurt smell is correct, to let you know it's "done" setting before cutting/ladling.  Talking about some of these things is like dancing about architecture.

The guy at New England CMS gave me a handy tip - more than 1/8-1/4" of whey on top of the curd means too much acid.  My fresh chevres have been well received by guests, but they never had much of that nice "goaty" flavor and also had a hint of that sour cream (lactic) kind of flavor that I haven't found in store-bought chevre logs that I've used for comparison.  I'm talking plain chevre (no herbs or any extra flavoring). It would be nice to have a fellow cheesemaker taste it and offer their opinions/suggestions.  Maybe it's lack of proper draining as that lactic smell/flavor tends to stay with the whey (in my experience).


Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2010, 06:23:00 PM »
I have never had a problem asking a fellow cheesemaker, affineur or cheese monger for their forensic opinion on how to improve my cheese. Their response was always helpful, even in days when it wasn't fun to listen to...

How familiar are you with Crottin?  If you live in Los Angeles, may I suggest the cheese department of Whole Foods, where they actually stock up on French Crottin. Ask for Crotting de Chavingol or Crottin de Champcol.  (There are some American Crottins by Montchevre and by Vermont Butter and Cheese - AVOID THESE! They have no rind and are all wrong and too mild; just simple chevre named Crottin).  Another cheese from Vermont Butter and Cheese is far closer to real Crottin is called Bijou and it is fantastic. You can also ask for similar cheese from the Loire valley such as Valençay, Cabecou de Perigord, Saint Maure Etc. Get two: One young one, the other older ("Affine") so you can take a good long look at the rind formation, taste the grassy barnyardy flavor and feel the chalky soft texture. This way you will have something to aim towards.

Another great cheese shop in Los Angeles area is The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills (You may also try Larchmont Village Wine and Cheese but I would call them first).

Don't try to over-humidify your cave. Use aging containers and give each cheese type its own condition. Change humidity by increasing/decreasing the lid opening (and use the relative dryness of your cave that way). You also make your thermo-electric unit work harder and these are not as strong and hard-working as wine refrigerators. Besides, if you drive humidity up too much it would make it impossible for you to age dryer kinds of cheese and to decrease humidity in aging containers by opening their lids.

As for the SAM 3 from New England; well, first off I am happy to hear they are finally selling cultures and tell you what they are. They usually have their own versions of everything which is just some mystery brand, re-packaged. Can't do serious cheese this way.  I use the Dairy Connection, many others like Glengarry and Danlac in Canada.
That being said, I actually used New England Cheese Making's own Chevre mix to make good Crottins a few times. I just added 1/8 tsp PC, Geo and PLA to the milk along with their culture and I had great Ctottins 2 weeks later. (Only downside was that it had a slight bitter aftertaste - probably due to the mystery rennet that's in these packets)

Offline dobster

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2010, 04:36:39 PM »
You know - I can't seem to find PLA at any suppliers...  What does PLA stand for?  What does it do for flavor?

I have tried Crottin de Champcol.  It's really fantastic. Haven't tried the others.  Just today I picked up something called "Pyramide de Tradition" which is really tasty, although the rind is a little frightening to look at.  Seems to have both PC and PR and who knows what else growing on it. 


Offline clherestian

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2010, 07:14:32 PM »
Here is a link to the data sheet that lists the ingredients:

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2980.0;attach=7134

Looks like it is b linens, another cornybacteria, a yeast and geo.

You can order it from glengary. It is on this page, under "Ripening Cultures from Danisco":

http://www.glengarrycheesemaking.on.ca/starterscultures.htm


Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2010, 01:05:24 AM »
clherestian - I get my PLA at the Dairy Connection. It's not on their site and you have to order it in person over the phone or email. I never purchased from Glengarry, it seems that nothing is sold there online and I never get enough info (and they are in Canada so more wait and customs). What's your experience with them?

Dobster - your Pyramide de Tradition sounds like some type of Valençay or Pouligny Saint Pierre. Like Crottin, and Saint Maure, these are all cheese types that have originated in the Loire valley in France. (Though yours can be a non-AOC made in Canada or elsewhere). It's one of my favorite and since it's a close cousin of Crottin let me blabber a bit about it:

All the above mentioned cheeses have rather similar semi-lactic goat recipe, aging times and characteristics. The mold can vary so much that it can be confusing but it's very good. Both of these cheeses are sold with or without ash coating. Both can be eaten very fresh (little or no rind, but if you choose the ash version it will be strong black). Prime age is  (14 days) when they have more creamy yellowish exterior with random white (PC) spotting. If it's an ashed cheese, you will see the bloom growing through the ash coating so it will turn more gray than black with random white spotting. When aged 21 days or beyond, you will see random blue spots and some of the yellowish cream colored area turn more towards brown. If you have the ashed cheese, you will just see the PC covering it and then it begins turning darker and yellow pops through. Beyond this point the French consider it "Affine" ("refinded", ready) and it becomes a drier, darker, harder grating cheese with stronger flavor. Valençay and Pouligny Saint Pierre looks almost the same: about 3" to 4" square bottom and pyramid shape that is cut before the end. The Pouligny Saint Pierre is taller and cut only almost at the very end of the pyramid while the Valençay is cut of roughly in height that equals its length or width.

Legend has it that Napoleon Bonaparte, made his way back to Paris from his atrocious battle losses in Egypt and stopped at the small village of Valençay where the locals have accepted him with their famous crottin shaped like a pyramid to commemorate his Egypt battles. Still angry from the losses, Napoleon took a sward and chopped off the top of the pyramid and ever since this cheese was to be made this way.  All of these Loire valley cheeses: Saint Maure, Crottin, Cabecou, Pouligny St. Pierre and Valençay are excellent with their regional white wines which are aged in smoked oak barrels: Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé or Fumé Blanc. I am telling you that because these are basically the same as Crottin.

Here are some photos of what they can look like with/without ash and young, medium or old: (remember that your Crottin can end up with the same finish!)








PLA - is a fantastic culture that is little known. Francois exposed me to it a year ago and I am using it in Tomme rinds, surface ripened soft recipes and especially Crottins. It has a distinct mild strain of B.Linen and Geo as well as yeast and one more bacteria that together gives it an awesome grassy barnyard aroma and slight yellower exterior (On Tomme it gives them a very distinct aroma). This is not a B.Linen replacement and doesn't work the same way. Its effects shows up at the later parts of the aging.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 01:17:44 AM by iratherfly »

Offline Chris_Abrahamson

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2010, 02:27:50 PM »
So, I followed all of Iratherfly's 8/31 comments and have been successfuly with two batches of crottins over the past 2-1/2 months.  For a batch, I have been using 2 gallons of fresh goat's milk which I pasteurized at 135 F and then cooled in an ice bath to 78 F.

I have been using the following for the 2 gallons:

 1/8 tsp double strength veg rennet
 1/8 tsp GEO 17
 1/4 tsp PC Neige
 1/4 tsp PLA

I allowed them to drain in molds for 30 hours before hand salting (2.0% by weight) and then allowed them to drain for another 24 hours before aging at 53 F 80% RH.   My first batch I started eating at 4 weeks and finished at 8 weeks.   At 6 weeks, they were definitely becoming much firmer with a sharper taste.   

My second batch is now at the 5 week stage and flavor is much better and the paste is smoother.    Both batches have kept a white exterior mold without any blue or brown spot molding.  I will be able to do one more batch before losing access to goat's milk for the winter.

A big thanks to Iratherfly for all of the comments and suggestions.  After some initial frustration, I believe that I'm on track with this particular cheese.


 

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2010, 11:18:58 PM »
Yay! you are welcome! Post some photos! Will you?

Your modifications in ratios seem very good. Two tips:
1. You can pre-drain the curd in cheesecloth and hence get a slightly drier cheese and less hours of draining in the mold so the cheese will be less acidic and age faster too. Try it in one of your batches.
2. Try aging them on Hay. It will bring up all these fantastic barnyard qualities in your milk to shine through when the cheese is ready. (it also helps wick out moisture and protects the cheese from pathogens)

Glad to hear that all of this writing helped someone :)

Offline Susan

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Re: Emergency wrapping for ripening? and a bonus Salting question...
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2010, 06:38:03 AM »
I haven't tried this cheese yet... but this thread has been fantastic.  I have a newbie question.  When one buys 'goat cheese' in the store...  what type of cheese is this?  I'm guessing it is not this one as it does not have any surface mold or ash.  And a question about this hay.  Where does one get it?  Is there something special about it?  I'm guessing you couldn't use just any hay.  If you could get fresh cut hay would that work?  Or if not fresh cut and you could sterilize it would that work?
Susan