Author Topic: P candidum Innoculant - Making From Rind & Pregnancy & Bloomy Cheese Discussion  (Read 3516 times)

Offline gemma.tyson

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Have just made my first camembert cheese ever  O0
Used the recipe from the Wiki site together with a recipe from Ricki Carrols book.
Used four litres of milk. 2 x A2 milk and two organic full cream milk.

Heated in sterilised stockpot to 31 degrees. 
Added 1ml calcium chloride
Added Flora Danica 1/2 sachet (Mad Millie) and 1/2 sachet Penicillium camemberti (Mad Millie).  Covered and set aside for 90 minutes maintaining a constant 32 degrees.
Added 1 ml vegetarian liquid rennet dissolved in 30 ml distilled water.
Flocullation time was 14 minutes - x 6 = 84 minutes
Went outside, helped washed the car and worked out where the new fig, apricot and cider apple tree are going.
After 84 minutes a really well set curd.  Cut into one inch diamonds and let rest for 10 minutes.
The recipe said at this stage to drain some of the whey away.  I was struggling to get any.  Persevered and managed about 200 ml.
Put curds into two hoops - still half the same amount left in the pan.  Used the spare one plus one tall one with still more left over.  Waited 20 minutes, topped them up, still more left.  Into a chux, draining for soft cheese.
I thought this amount only made three cheeses, I have four plus.  Have I done something wrong or have I misread the amount?  The A2 milk does give me a better yield but not normally this much, and I only used 2 litres.
My first turning and second turning & third turning were an event to behold.  More cheese ended up in the sink than anywhere else.  Definitely a knack that needs practise.
Took the dogs for a walk, talked to them about turning the cheeses and practised the movement.  Have just done another turn, and finally success.
Cheeses are coming down nicely in size. ?lost curds or ? lost whey  :)
Will continue with another couple of turns to solidify the skin.  Have no pH meter so can,t check that.


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Offline John (CH)

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Looks good so far, turning cams is fun! Our Wiki: Turning Cheeses has some info on how best to do it. My last batch here, I use cut plastic mats as stiffer than what I'm guessing you used.

When I've made mine (use plain whole cow's milk), also rest 10 min after cutting the cud and also barely get any whey in that time so I just ladle all into the hoops, and like you mine also do not initially fit.

Don't worry you can add more curds as whey is dispelled, but there is a fine line between turning enough such that the curds on bottom don't stick to the mat or in your case jiffy towel.

My hoops in the link above are purpose made for cams, I see your hoops are from PVC, do yours have lots of large holes like mine? Also using Jiffy towel on bottom probably increases skin forming on bottom which inhibits whey expulsion.

Also, are the size of your hoops similar to my standard manufactured ones which are 11.0 cm inside diameter?

Offline Tomer1

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I use a plastic basket originally used to hold mushrooms with large perforations.
Very easy to flip and the curds remain in the mould.
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not in any particular order.

Offline gemma.tyson

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Thanks John and Tomer 1.  My partner cut the PVC pipe for me.  No holes.  Was not able to get the molds straight away, and the feeling took me.  ;D
Wanted to give it a try first.
The chux worked well, but it did create a skin very quickly so that the skin stuck to the chux.  Because of the sticking I lost a lot of the initial skin and
the whey did run awhey  :).  Camemberts turned out under a third in size. 
Can I use the plastic mats without chux?  Won't the curd run through.
Really exciting though.  Enjoyed it and they have already had lots of pats, salted and looking good.
Sound like a proud mum lol

Offline John (CH)

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By chux I think you mean the blue disposable cloth, I would go without it next time, can't see the gauge of your plastic mats to estimate if they would work. Gauge needs to be fairly tight initially then can go with wider.

I'd leave them at room temp to drain in hoops for 1 - 2 days to drain well, aging is the toughest part of cams, recommend reading lots of the cam threads. Good luck.


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Offline gemma.tyson

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Was tempted last night to leave them in the hoops, but as it was right on the 8 hours, I took them out.
Will try two days next time though as I feel they are a little soft.  Had to turn them very gently.  Will take them out of the fridge and leave at room
temp tonight and for another day.
Thanks for the advise.  Reading everything I can.  Have been told if I made as many cheeses as I am reading about, we'd be supplied for at least
a year at this stage. Lol.
Wish me luck, will keep posting with progress notes.

Offline Boofer

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You should have some holes for whey drainage along the sides of the hoop.
Also, did you get a good curd? It looks like the reason you might not have gotten any significant whey is because the curds and whey didn't really separate. It looks like cottage cheese in the hoops.

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Offline Gustav

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It doesn't look like you scooped layers of curd out, but instead like the curds were sterred.
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Offline iratherfly

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Your apparatus is incorrect to begin with, but you are not far off.

First off, the bottom of the hoops -cannot be these kitchen wipes because they don't let the curd drain freely. You need a plastic mesh with ample resolution to let the curd drain rapidly. No, the curd won't fall through it and dissapear. It tends to knot into a big shape quickly and it will hold up just fine.  I know it doesn't seem like it but it will knot and won't go through your mesh. You can trust it.

Rapid draining: This isn't just about preventing skin and knotting the curd to shape of the cheese faster. It is also to prevent leaving the curd for long hours in the whey. Whey acidifies the curd too much and prevents the cheese from reaching its correct acidity in the right time. This could also cause other problems in aging such as poorly knit curd, gas formation or early ammoniation. Trapped whey can cause slip skin as it does not come out in the drying phase because of that skin that John mentioned (that skin is not just on the bottom of the cheese but it builds up around curd that has not yet knotted). The curds do need to drain naturally, but rapidly. The cheese should be at around its final size within a few short hours.

Secondly, for the hoops I join with Tomer and John's opinion.  Having no holes in them to "weep" from if a large contributor in the slow draining issue. Secondly, I too urge you to prevent any contact between foodstuff and PVC. Switch to proper Camembert hoops or make ones from Tupperware containers which are food grade. It will pay off for the investment over the first or second time you make Camembert as you will not throw away beautiful milk and your cherished weekend time for nothing...

As for the quantities: If this is a 2 cheese recipe, make 2 cheeses from it. In traditional Camembert often the cheesemakers wait up to 1 hour to put the final scoop in. If you have a good drainage apparatus such as what I have suggested (a good plastic mesh and proper hoops with holes in them) you should be able to top off the curd within less than an hour.  The finished cheese will be about 1/3 to 1/4 of the total height of what you have originally scooped. Be patient and do not add more hoops as this will leave you with small flat cheeses.

Draining whey: you need to cut the curd. wait 5 minutes for it to release whey. Then mix it gently for a few second (cut any cubes that seem overly large and above the average cube size). Then, wait another 5 minutes while letting them firm up, sink to the bottom and release more whey. Now you will see plenty of whey on top. The best way to scoop it out is to use a strainer or large cheese mold from another cheese to create a little "sink"in the pot where only whey can enter but curd can't get in. Then take a small cup and drain it from there.

I think this should solve your problems. Try again!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 03:53:41 PM by iratherfly »

Offline gemma.tyson

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Thanks all.
I did get a bit carried away with the excitement of making cheese and had to use what I could manufacture.
The only supplies I could get quickly would have taken a week and what I saw on the web didn't appear to have holes.  Will have a look at the op shop a
and see if I can find some containers until I can afford to buy some.
The chux (wipes) came from another site, but on reflection may have been used to drain curds in a colander.  My cheese grids are just trays from
the inside of plastic containers that I have bought.  Will try this with the next lot though.
The skin on top of one of the camemberts appears to be splitting.  (probably from the wet cheese?)

Will post a photo tonight.  Am on my lunch hour at the moment giving my babies a little pat.  :)


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Offline iratherfly

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Yea, the skin may be splitting if the cheese paté is too wet while the rind dries too rapidly.

For the bottoms, you can just use a simple plastic mesh/grid. You can also use a sushi rolling mat but you need to boil it first to sanitize it (do not use sanitizer liquid on it).  There are some placemats that look like sushi mats - do not use those as they are likely treated and lacquered. Sushi mats are easy to obtain.

Here is a proper Camembert setup.  I got the plastic grille and the mesh in a sign store and verified they are made of polypropylene and not PVC. The hoops are French-made AOC regulation size and have weeping holes:

Offline gemma.tyson

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Thank you Iratherfly.
Talked to my partner and I'm going to try and find some containers that I can adapt until I can buy some of the proper forms.
Sushi mats I had thought of and did end up using to help me turn the cheeses.  Hadn't thought of using them for the whole procedure though.
My workmates have expressed an eagerness to help me eat as many cheeses as is needed whilst I learn.
Am making (trying) a caerphilly today, but than there'll be about 9 days until I can make some more camemberts.

Are there any recipes that work better than others?
Have read that the traditional way is to scoop the curd without cutting it, yet most recipes I read the instructions say to cut and than rest.
Would scooping large amounts of solid curd not hold on to more whey?  I know it's a soft cheese, but how would you be able to control the moisture
content if you don't cut the curd?

Offline iratherfly

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Traditionally it is scooped with a ladle which has the identical size of the hoop itself, so the curd is brought to the hoop, lowered into it and in a twist of the ladle's handle the curd gently switches from the ladle surface to the hoop's bottom without falling and breaking. Camembert de Normandie (the traditional AOC version) uses raw milk and 3-4 scoops fill up a hoop to the top. After an hour there is enough space to add one more scoop and that's it.  They may cut it from time to time to accommodate hard curd set but traditionally they don't have to. There are many variables in moisture control of cheese and cutting curd is only one of them. Salting, drying, temperature, acidity, rennet strength and the mineral contents of milk can affect it too.  In the traditional recipe a spontaneous natural slow drainage is taking place and the cheese is turned and spends 24-48 hours in a drying room with fans and coolers. It is salted (which helps expel more whey out of it) and sprayed with ripening cultures. You can certainly do that but you will just need a bit more practice to get there. They have perfected the rate in which moisture is expelled from the cheese and crafted how the acidity curve will play. Doing the basic cutting at home is the simplest way and I would suggest to start with it.

There are many other things about home recipes that aren't like the original. The most bothersome to me is the common instruction to wrap the cheese in cellophane which in my opinion is a truly horrendous.  I talked about it in length in this forum (you should rub and tap the cheese daily instead of letting it suffocate in cellophane).  Don't worry about any of that, just start making them. The first few batches may not go well at all but don't get discouraged, within just a few batches you will make very good Camembert.

Offline gemma.tyson

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Thank you Iratherfly.
Have spent all day today making my first caerphilly, so ran out of time for some more camembert.
Was the recipe I used OK?  Seems to be fairly much the same to all the recipes out there.
Will continue with experimenting as camembert is a cheese I really like and my family loves it as well.

Offline iratherfly

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Your recipe sounds good. I personally stay away from re-packaged brands of culture and buy the original brand that makes it anyway (Danisco, Abiasa, CHR Hansen). This way I know WHICH penililum was used and how strong it was so I can replicate it in the future and manage to fix issues with the cheese by switching it to something faster/slower that grows higher or lower, less or more dense, or handle texture differently.  Not sure what's in these packages. Where did you get them? Are you in NZ?

I doubt that you actually had Camemberti in that package, it's probably Penicilum Candidum. The only thing your recipe is missing is a pinch of Geotrichum Candidum (often referred to in this forum as "geo"). It is responsible for creating a rind and de-acidifying the surface to create a hospitable environment for the Penicilum Candidum to bloom.

One last comment on that; Flora Danica is a matter of personal taste. It makes a very "buttery" feeling that could be nice in some situations and is more like commercial camemberts.  Most people prefer MM100 which is very close but less of the "butter" aspect and is more the flavor of the traditional classic Camembert de Normandie.

Your recipe should work. The real trick about learning Camembert is aging them correctly. It's tricky but once you get it -you get it for life.