Author Topic: Camembert Smell Question  (Read 3953 times)

Offline macox700

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Camembert Smell Question
« on: September 25, 2010, 02:28:40 PM »
Hi - new to cheese making and have had success so far with lemon cheese, lactic cheese and made some really good chevre.   Currently have a camembert that I'm working on, but have a question.

I used PC and Geo and mixed them with the milk at the same time as the starter.    We are on Day 6 of aging in a container in my cheese cave.  Temps have been consistently about 50 - 52 and about 80-82% humidity.    No mold growth yet, but it has developed a bit of a yeasty smell  - somewhat like what you get when baking bread, according to my husband.   He is better at identifying smells then me.  I just thought it smelled strange and not in a good way. 

Is that normal?   Would that be the geo working?

I did make a few mistakes in making this cheese - temperature was a bit on the high side when I added cultures and ripened - at avg 95 instead of 90.  I didn't dilute my rennet or CaCl in water before adding.  Didn't realize I needed to do that as the recipe I was following didn't say it.  Newbie errors. 

I've attached a picture of what they look like as of this morning.    They didn't compress as much as I thought they would in the molds and draining period and seem a little taller then what I've seen in other pictures.   

Any thoughts welcome. 

Thanks,
Mary

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2010, 04:05:40 PM »
Hi Mary;
They look OK to me. It looks like you had good curd formation in spite of not diluting the rennet and calcium. Did you salt them? Are you keeping the moisture wiped out of the box?
Hard to tell about the smell. My cheeses sometimes smell weird at different stages. I would give them a few more days to see if the mold kicks in.
Good luck.
Pam

Offline macox700

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 05:44:02 PM »
Hi Pam -

Yes, I did salt them.  Dry salted on all sides.  I'm wiping down the boxes each time I turn them so it seems all is happening like it should, just don't know about the smell.

Thanks,
Mary

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 11:40:19 PM »
Sometimes it takes a bit long. I had a few that took 14 days to develop. They do have a funky smell IMHO. And can get an amonia smell if the air isn't well vented. Open the door to the cave a few time a day to get fresh ait in there. They look good!

Offline macox700

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Re: Camembert Progressing ....
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2010, 08:25:42 AM »
Hi all - thank you again for your help out here.  It's fantastic to know there is a place to go that has so many answers.

I'm excited to share that my Camemberts appears to be coming along nicely.  Day 11 - they looked covered in white fluffy mold so I wrapped them yesterday.  I've attached a picture.    Very pretty. :-)

So far... so good I suppose!     Now.. it's just a waiting game. 

Can someone tell me when I should actually open one of them?  I've seen 21 days all the way to 7 weeks.  Just not sure exactly how long to wait.

Thanks!

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 08:49:49 AM »
I would wait at least 4 weeks from when they were made, then try one. If it hasn't ripened all the way through, i.e., if there is still a firmish center, then I usually put them in my regular fridge and wait another 2-3 weeks to let them ripen completely through.

Offline ConnieG

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 09:40:25 AM »
Will they continue to ripen once opened?

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2010, 11:20:22 AM »
Once you cut one, it won't ripen more. I usually cut into one at 4-5 weeks to see how it is coming along. Then, of course, I eat that one.

Offline ConnieG

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2010, 11:44:30 AM »
That's what I thought - I must have read your post wrong the first time..... or maybe that was wishful thinking.

Offline macox700

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2010, 02:45:01 PM »
Do I keep turning them throughout this time frame?  Also.. what humidity level should it be kept at?

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 01:19:12 AM »
Yes always turn the cheeses will keep it from growing into whatever it sitting on and allow even distribution of moisture and air. 90 to 95% RH

Offline macox700

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2010, 02:04:28 PM »
Hi all  -

Need some of your very wise thoughts on my Cam.  I decided to cut one open today at 28 days from make.  When I turned it last week, I thought I had started to feel it becoming too soft and in fact, it looks like it did, at least, around the edges.  Not all the way to the center as you can see in the pictures.  When I cut it, runny around the outside.  Smelled like a mild cam and the runny thick liquid tasted like a cam and pretty good.  Firm area didn't really have much taste yet, but is ok.

So.. I'm really not sure what causes this and what I need to do differently?   Bummer to have to wait a month to figure this out, but I suppose it's necessary for learning. 

I didn't use a PH meter as I don't have one. Trying to figure out which one to buy.

Thanks in advance!
Mary


Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2010, 04:17:03 PM »
Hi Mary;
I'm afraid that you have a classic case of slip skin. I struggled with that for a while before finally getting my technique nailed down.
There are several discussions on the forum relating to the issue that were quite helpful to me; there is some really good information and the search function will help you find them. Basically, it's an issue of moisture levels in the cheese, both in the curd and in humidity levels during aging. The things I changed that made a big difference were to drain the cheeses in their molds on a mat on a rack so that the whey could drain away quickly, flipping often in their molds. And, air drying after removing from their molds to the point where there is not visible moisture on the cheese. Also, I surface salt my cams (some people brine) and let them air dry after salting before putting them away to age. I live in a dry climate, so I usually air dry in a ripening box with the lid loose to allow air circulation. And, keep any visible moisture wiped up during ripening.
I found this cheese frustrating at first, now it's something I make often. Don't give up!
Pam

Offline Boofer

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2010, 09:02:01 AM »
Pam, at what point is it okay (indicated) to wrap them in cheese paper to continue aging?

-Boofer-
 
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Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Camembert Smell Question
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2010, 01:42:59 PM »
Boofer, I usually wrap after they are completely covered with mold and don't show any surface moisture (sometimes appear as beads), about 10-14 days from make. Then I age them in their box in the 50F fridge, turning when I think of it. After a few days past 4 weeks, I usually eat one to test for ripeness. At this point I put them in the regular fridge and try to let them age another 3 weeks.
Pam