This is an old thread but I'm hoping for some feedback on a recent 200 Recipes Castle Blue botch from some of you experienced blue makers.
I've made Ricki's blue cheese successfully as well as many Camemberts and some pressed cheeses. Was hopeful on the Castle Blue, but after forming beautiful cheeses, and only having a few temperature issues with a new/old wine fridge, it took a long time to grow blue mold and then the cheeses became tan colored and ammonia smelling with the rind too large for the inside. When I cut one open a week early it was oozy and tasted like Camembert (nice, but strong) with some blue sections. Today at full aging, the taste has gone to overripe Camembert and ammonia, and my chickens will be eating well.
A few questions/concerns:
After the 1" curds were cut, the recipe calls for gentle stirring until the curds begin to clump (about 20 mins). I had difficulty retaining the larger curds while stirring so they more like 1/2" at best.
The recipe makes 3 cheeses, to be salted with '3/4 tsp on the tops and again on other side.' I used 3/4 tsp PER cheese, per side. Would excess salt have delayed the blue mold?
In the tips section, it says too much moisture would cause the slipskin and fast ripening ... but the slow mold growth would be too dry. Here are a few photos, feedback would be appreciated as I want to eat this cheese!