Author Topic: A question for those who have made Camembert.....  (Read 2107 times)

Offline Likesspace

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A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« on: December 29, 2008, 09:30:01 PM »
A few weeks ago I made my first batch of Camembert. I've never been a huge fan of this cheese, (even though that is starting to change), but it did seem like a challenge so I gave it a try.
Now, after 5 weeks of aging, I decided to open one of the wheels and give it a try.
My problem is that even though the cheese does have a nice taste, it's not as it should be...
When I cut the wheel, there was liquid at the outer edges while the center of the cheese was still somewhat solid.
I know from commercial varieties, that I've tried, the cheese should have a yogurt like consistancy throughout.
The ripening of this cheese has mainly been at 46- 49 degrees F and about 80% humidity.
The only time this varied was for about an 8 hour period where I let the temp climb to 60 degrees since I didn't feel that the outer mold was growing as it should. This rise in temperature did promote the mold growth but now I'm wondering if this is also the cause of early ripening on the outer surface of the cheese.
I now have 4 other wheels in the cave that are at the two week mark. These have been kept at a constant 46 degrees F. I wrapped them on Christmas day and want to keep this early ripening from happening.
My question is: Do I need to keep the cheeses cooler than 46 degrees to keep this problem from happening or is this temperature within the limits for ripening a Camembert?
This is a type of cheese that is totally new to me but it is really fun to make.
Also, now that I've been tasting this cheese over the last few days, I really am starting to become a fan of this variety. There are a lot of very subtle flavors in the cheese, especially when eaten with a nice Cabernet or Pinot Noir.
I can forsee making a lot of this cheese in the futture, if I can get it to ripen as it should.
Any advice anyone can offer would be appreciated.

Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 01:53:38 AM »
Dave, the ripening happens from the outside in, that's why you spray the outside with the mold. So what you're talking about sounds correct. The problem is once you cut open a camenbert it stops aging. Now that we know that you should be making many at a time to check to see if they are done and still have some for later.

It takes about 2-3 weeks just for the treatment of the mold, then it takes 4-6 weeks of the cheese wrapped in mold ripened cheese paper for it to ripen fully. So have patients young grasshopper.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Tea

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 01:50:34 PM »
Likesspace do a search on Camembert, brie and even St Maure.  Cheese Head and I have been trying to master this cheese for a while now, and he has another batch on the go now.  I have not had much success, and for me I do think that it is because I can't keep them cold enough while ripening.  I have found that wrapping them properly is also important to allow for extra moisture to escape and also for the ammonia gasses to dissipate.
I have also found that it takes (for me anyway) at least 4 weeks for the center of the cheese to ripen and that is after the initial mould ripening stage.
I have only had one batch that tasted any good, so it your tasted good, then you are doing better than me.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 08:05:44 PM »
First of all, let's get one thing straight....I hate the "P" word. :-)
Patience has never been one of my strong points, especially when it comes to making cheese or wine. I realize that the cheeses have to go through the different stages of aging but it kills me to have to wait.
Now here's the funny part. I really don't have any problem waiting to eat the cheese (or drink the wine). It's all about seeing the cheese go through the different stages. For instance right now I have a Stilton that is just starting to form the wrinkled rind. I can hardly wait until it begins to brown so I can move to the next stage and give it the piercing.
As for the taste of my first Camembert.....I really have become a fan.
After dinner tonight I cut a slice and had it with a glass of Cab. I am so impressed with the flavor of this cheese as compared to the generic supermarket varieties I've tasted before.
But.....
I do have a problem with my first try.
When I said that the outer edges are liquid, it's not a yogurt like consistancy.
This is truly liquid (white....looks like milk). I'm sure this is not as it should be, simply judging from the pictures I've seen on the internet.
How do you keep the edges from turning into milk but instead get the soft yogurt consistancy throughout the entire wheel. I'm at a total loss as to how this can happen since it does ripen from the outside in.
I have turned my wine cooler down to 44 degrees F (it's lowest setting) to see if this slows down the newer wheels that I wrapped on Christmas day. I want these to age as slowly as possible to try to get the right texture, all the way thoughout the wheel.
If this doesn't work on my next batch I'm going to move them to the regular kitchen fridge after wrapping. I'm convinced (even though I have no experience) that slow ripening is the key to making this cheese properly.
I also read a post by another cheesemaker that P. Roq. can be added to the curds before going into the mold to make a Cambozola (spelled correctly?). If this is correct, it's something I'd like to try the next time I make this curd.
I figured I can make a two gallon batch.....make half into Camembert and add the P. Roq. to the other half. Should be a fun experiment.
One thing about it....I do love a challenge so this cheese might just get my attention for the next few weeks/months/years.
Man, I really do love this hobby.
Thanks for the input.
Dave

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 08:43:17 PM »
The liquid is whey, it's a problem from making it. There a bunch of different reasons it could be leaky whey, right now I've got my own problems to deal with, i'll write something later.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 09:02:48 AM »
Likesspace/Dave, my 2 cents:

I researched making Camembert here and built the recipe and footnotes here. In the footnotes I summarized what i found on timings and that at 21 days Camemberts are refined, 30-35 days they are à point, and past 35 days they are over ripe. You mentioned that you cut one open at 35 days, so that is getting late.

On uneven ripening, in the recipe that I had it says to initially ripen at warmer temp than you did, presumably to get a good bloom, did you get that? You also mentioned that you wrapped your Camemberts, was this after a good bloom? My first batch were too moist and "fell" and were liquidy around the edge. My second batch had a similar problem. My third batch turned out way better but sadly I forgot them in my cheese cave and they were dried up by the time I went to cut them. My fourth batch I forgot to take pictures and had same problem in cave. My current fifth batch is just started, I'll try and do a better job of aging them.

I'm using just Penicillum Candidum, I've read that also using Geotrichum Candidum keeps other molds at bay, I have some but have not yet used it. Also so far I have not yet wrapped any of my Camemberts, just eat when ripe (or I remember :)).

Cambozola is my favorite cheese and I built a recipe for it here, but I need to get my Camembert down pat first.

Lastly, I think that store bought pasteurized vs raw milk will also make a difference, which are you using?

Anyway just some thoughts and ideas, John.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 11:46:27 AM »
John,
The ingredients I used on this first batch of Camembert is as follows:
2 gallons of whole, store bought pasteurized milk
1/4 tsp. of Mesophilic A starter culture
1/8 tsp. of Penicillum Candidum
A pinch ( I know, very scientific) of Geotrichum Candidum
1/4 tsp. of liquid vegetable rennet

The curds did form very well and did shrink in the mold just as they should have, according to my recipe.
When removing them from the mold, they were still quite moist and they did continue to drain whey for the next couple of days. Once they stopped losing whey, they did turn into nice firm little wheels.
The bloom took about 10 days to fully form but it did cover the entire surface of the cheese.
Once the surface was completely covered, I wrapped them in dual sided cheese paper and let the first one age for two weeks.
As I said before, the cheese itself did taste really nice and was somewhat creamy with just a bit of a crumbly texture at the center. The totally liquified nature at the rind is what has me baffled.
I'm going to open the second wheel within the next day or two and I'll try to remember to snap a pic when I first cut it.
When I press on the cheese it feels pretty much the same as the other wheel (very soft at the outer rind and more firm toward the center) so I expect the same result.
I guess I should be happy that it did have a a good Camembert flavor and did resemble the photos I've seen on the web. I just have this little perfectionist thing going that makes me want to do better on future makes. :)
Thanks for the response and as I said, I'll try to put up a pic when I cut the next one (maybe this evening).
Happy New Year to everyone.
Dave

Offline Likesspace

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2008, 11:47:41 AM »
Oh wait.....I screwed up. I only used ONE gallon of milk on this first batch.
Two gallon was used on the second batch.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2008, 11:52:34 AM »
And now I've remembered something else....
I also added 1/16 tsp of Flora Danica to try to increase the flavor.
Okay, I think that's it.
I'm typing from work and away from my cheesemaking records. I am pretty sure that this covers everything.
Sorry about the multiple posts.
Dave

Offline woollybug

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2009, 06:57:03 PM »
Hi,
New to the cheeseforum but just happen to be making camembert - a few things I've noticed is the importance of having the cheese firm (holding it's shape) which often takes 1.5 days - then salting - wait 24 hrs to wick out more moisture - spray the PC and Geo - let air dry - then put into the ageing container.  If there is too much moisture - it will develop a "slip coat"  with a gooey edge on the inside (much like you describe).  Almost like wearing a loose jacket.  It looks great but when you cut into it, it is loose around the curd - this is caused by too much moisture.  It almost looks like you could peel it off.  From what you are describing I thought I would "whey" in and describe the "slip coat" just in case it is moisture related rather then not enough affinage.


Offline John (CH)

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Re: A question for those who have made Camembert.....
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2009, 07:17:21 PM »
Hi woolybug, welcome to the forum, and great to have another Camembert maker here!

Lots of good experience & info in your post. I posted a quick question for you and others here.