Author Topic: Surface Molds, Unwanted - Need Moral Support  (Read 985 times)

Offline Marta

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Surface Molds, Unwanted - Need Moral Support
« on: April 02, 2011, 12:15:13 PM »
I made my first washed rind cheese on 3/19, a fontina, from the recipe in "200 easy homemade cheese recipes."  Except for adding too much rennet I think the make went well.  But after about 10 days of rind washing I wonder where this is all going. 

The recipe calls for the poor thing to swelter away at 90% humidity and brine washed every 2d day.  I am trying to do this but I am losing the battle with mold.  Today I had quite a crop... brown, green, neon yellow... I scrubbed it with vinegar and I can still catch a whiff of the moldy smell.  So I'm letting it air out for awhile. 

I need a little more advice than just keep washing and turning for 3 months.  Isn't this disgusting mold eventually going to destroy the flavor of the cheese?  I'm used to the trusty, hard rinds of parmesan and swiss.  This sticky soft mold factory is freakin' me out. 

What am I looking for here?  The only fontina I saw at the store was all trimmed of its rind.  Another thread on the forum said it would get "brown"... what is the source of the brown color?  Am I right to be removing the mold?  :(

Thanks in advance for any help. 


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Offline opalcab

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Re: Surface Molds, Unwanted - Need Moral Support
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 01:20:02 PM »
I don't know Much about the kind of mold colors are but I too have made some fontina and once a week I wash the rind with about a half cup of vinegar and a teaspoon of salt mixed in and it does a fairly good job for a week so give it a try it may help

Stan

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Surface Molds, Unwanted - Need Moral Support
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2011, 06:42:17 PM »
I believe the brown is old b. linens. Sorry I can't help more, I've not made that cheese.
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Offline Marta

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Re: Surface Molds, Unwanted - Need Moral Support
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011, 10:37:10 AM »
Well, last night I bailed.  There was so much mold I couldn't stand it.  I washed it in vinegar and brine but I couldn't get rid of the smell of pond scum.  So I scraped off all the dark spots, cleaned the rind again, and vacuum bagged the cheese in four chunks, except for a small piece to try. 

The good news is that the interior doesn't taste like mold, just like a young cheese.  I had some this morning and it was okay.  I hope it can age a little more without mold growth in the bags.  The bad news is I'm not sure I advanced much; I don't know how to improve my technique or aging conditions.  And my cake saver smells like silage. 

Learn from my fail: when using a completely new-to-you process, make a small wheel.  It will destroy me if I have to throw out this four gallon batch. 

And: when washing a cheese with vinegar, brine, or both, wear gloves.  These liquids will find the smallest scratches and cuts and you will use unladylike language.   

So my venture into washed rind cheese was a mixed bag of success and defeat.   The new press and hoop performed perfectly; but I used too much rennet, and then couldn't get the humidity right.  Finally, I'm still pretty much a beginner.  I need these setbacks to overcome.     :-[

I should add that the Dear Housemate has been the model of patience through this, and stayed my hand from flinging the whole mess out to the crows. 

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Surface Molds, Unwanted - Need Moral Support
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 09:54:25 PM »
You kill me, Marta! A cheese for you!
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Offline Marta

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Re: Surface Molds, Unwanted - Need Moral Support
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 07:21:11 AM »
The Rest Of The Story:

I finally screwed up the courage to taste this (yes, 2 year old) fontina last night.  I mean, I'm calling it "fontina" because that was the recipe I used but I'm not sure what actual cheese I wound up with.  It was not too bad, and I lived to tell.  Dear Housemate really loved it.  I thought it was slightly funky near the rind but inside it was much better. 

So, bag it, tag it, and wait 2 years, then eat the evidence. 

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Surface Molds, Unwanted - Need Moral Support
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2013, 09:37:11 AM »
Good job!  A cheese for you for your perseverance in the face of moldy odds!   :)