Author Topic: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme  (Read 5345 times)

Offline Boofer

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Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« on: July 31, 2011, 01:48:36 AM »
The wife's away so I decided to jump back into cheesemaking. I did this Tomme #4 yesterday and Tilsit #1 this morning...whew!

Using Pav’s recipe “Tomme: Washed Curd Howto”

Decided to attempt a really robust-rind Tomme. I was partially inspired by ArnaudForestier and Madeleine Kamman’s “Savoie” in which she tantalizingly describes Tomme cheese.

2 gallons Dungeness Valley Creamery whole raw Jersey milk
1 gallon Twin Brook Creamery whole creamline Jersey milk
1 gallon Twin Brook Creamery 2% creamline Jersey milk
¼ tsp KAZU
1/16 tsp TA61
1/8 tsp PLA
1/32 tsp mycodore
1/16 tsp dry calf rennet

My target culture temp was 88F. Starting from an initial pH of 6.66  >:D , I pitched the rennet (dissolved in cold water) after 30 minutes ripening. This is a departure from my normal process of waiting hours for a certain pH. Flocculation occurred in 18 minutes (the longest ever for me) and I used a multiplier of 3.5 for a set time of 63 minutes. When I cut to hazelnut size the pH was 6.57, and I rested the curds for 10 minutes.

Cook temp target was 100F at the end of 30 minutes. This was achieved by heating the water bath combined with removing 6 quarts of whey and replacing with a like amount of 130F water. A half gallon of the initial whey that was removed was saved for brining.

Applied heavy pressure under whey to achieve a smooth rind, rewrapped with acidified cloth to prevent sticking. Repeated the same several times until rind was smooth. Pressed in the pot overnight without whey using a 5 lb weight. This morning I measured pH 5.15 on the cheese before it went into the whey-brine. After 5 hours, flipped the cheese in the brine. Removed after 10 hours total brine time, dried, and placed in minicave with the lid cracked inside cave.

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 01:57:58 AM »
Boofer, that is a textbook classic tomme make, and your milk choice is excellent for our area. Try this at 90 days and keep aging it out. This specific make and approach should produce a cheese that is going to be tasty at even 1 week old, and will continue to improve with age and get better and better. Kudos, my friend :)
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 11:18:14 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement.

You (and others) have given me the tools I need. The milk is optimal. The cultures are fresh. I believe my technique has improved. Now for the affinage. I am buoyantly optimistic. Might be something for the Thanksgiving table.

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 11:40:06 AM »
Bravo. Definitely on point technique and approach, perfectly suited to tomme. Pressing under whey and using the hand press technique for a tight rind formation is one of those things that makes a huge difference. Now just don't get it too humid and keep the temp constant and you'll be set. Kind of giddy right now, I think this is going to be amazing when you serve it. I'm a huge fan of this exact tomme, with Kazu.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011, 03:30:07 PM »
Began 3% brine washing regimen this morning.

The new rind looks really good after just the one week.

I've shown the side-by-side comparison of the Tomme done a week ago today along-side the Tilsit which I made last Saturday. Striking difference in the rind development, color, and appearance of the curd itself. The Tomme is darker with more of a translucent rind (in places). The Tilsit curd looks milkier and the rind is less pronounced. To be sure, same milk, different culture mix, different recipe & technique. I just thought it an interesting diversion starting with the same milk.

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Offline Boofer

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2011, 12:48:01 PM »
use saturated brine. It will dehydrate the outer rind and salt it to such a point that nothing will grow on it.
This quote was taken from a parmesan thread, but I fear I may have done that to this make. When I wash it with the 3% brine the water just beads off.  :(  Nice, if it were a parmesan...not so nice with this cheese. I am pushing on anyway, hoping that the cultures I've innoculated will give me a complex rind further down the road.

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 12:53:39 PM »
Up the humidity, keep temp at ~52 and keep washing, but not too frequently. You should get a little yeast/geo/linens action even on a hard crust. Might even see wisps of misc molds.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 12:43:11 AM »
Up the humidity, keep temp at ~52 and keep washing, but not too frequently. You should get a little yeast/geo/linens action even on a hard crust. Might even see wisps of misc molds.
Right now at 10:36PM, it's showing 52.1F at 99%. That to me says the environs inside the box are fairly saturated. The lid of the minicave is almost closed.

I've been washing every other day...too frequent? Also, the last two times I have washed, I left the rind moist (but not sopping wet) and didn't dry it off.

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Offline Boofer

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 01:53:04 PM »
There is some rind activity on the hard edge as well as the softer flat top and bottom. Hopefully, adhering to the washing regimen and maintaining the temp/humidity will allow the rind to develop.

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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2011, 07:27:26 PM »
You have improved greatly grasshopper .... <bowing>


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2011, 07:32:39 PM »
Boof, one of the critical aspects that determines which species and types of flora grow, is the moisture level of the curd. It's technically denoted as surface moisture, or Aw.

In this tomme, based on what I see, your Aw is extremely low. Meaning if you have the perfect conditions, the cheese just will not support a ton of growth. You'll get typical geo covering, and lights wisps and spots here and there. And you might get secondary coverings in time.

A cheese like this is a good example for where a highly proteolytic morge blend would be the proper application, because anything else will not take readily.

It's not a fault, or anything, just that compare the rind here with the rind of your latest reblochons. Different Aw, different inoculations, and you have drastically different outcomes. Something to learn from when you're trying to craft a specific type of rind :).

I think this will be a great cheese even without an ultra fancy rind :)
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2011, 09:18:15 PM »
Boof, one of the critical aspects that determines which species and types of flora grow, is the moisture level of the curd. It's technically denoted as surface moisture, or Aw.

In this tomme, based on what I see, your Aw is extremely low. Meaning if you have the perfect conditions, the cheese just will not support a ton of growth. You'll get typical geo covering, and lights wisps and spots here and there. And you might get secondary coverings in time.

That's what I had surmised. At six days in, it was showing that translucent quality, indicating low Aw.

A cheese like this is a good example for where a highly proteolytic morge blend would be the proper application, because anything else will not take readily.

Could I really affect the rind at this point with "a highly proteolytic morge blend", and if so, how would I go about that?

It's not a fault, or anything, just that compare the rind here with the rind of your latest reblochons. Different Aw, different inoculations, and you have drastically different outcomes. Something to learn from when you're trying to craft a specific type of rind :).

So I let this one get too dry during those first few days out of the brine....  :(

There is a stark difference between this make and my Reblochon make. The other thing too is that with the first three Tomme makes, I was able to develop a complex rind without the rind becoming so bulletproof. Like I said, if I was trying for a Parmesan, this rind would be right in there.

I think this will be a great cheese even without an ultra fancy rind :)
I would agree. If I cannot alter the course that seems set with this hardy rind, at least I started with decent milk and fresh cultures. I should end up with a reputable cheese.

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Offline newcheemomma

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2011, 01:52:38 AM »
Boofer, LB, DeeJay Debi, thank you for the wonderful thread! Alot went over my head but I'm trying to catch what I can. Do I understand clearly that low moisture content of the curd (low Aw) is a prohibitive factor in rind formation? This would be due to the fact that the medium is now not conducive to breeding...right? Is this a pH issue, a stirring, or pressing issue or just a random something? I'm very curious because I am seriously desiring to learn how to develop the rind (my favorite part of the cheese!) I made a French Tomme on 8/12/11 and I don't have any translucence nor any mold growth. What can be said for the Aw of this rind? Its been in the drying cave at 58-60F and ~77% to 80%RH. I thought a translucent rind was desireable, but I guess that's contingent upon how you arrived at it...boy there's so much to learn! :-[
Mauricia

Offline Boofer

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2011, 09:05:34 AM »
Well, newcheemomma, I'm sure LB will detail deeper, but it all depends on what type of rind you are trying to achieve. My intent with this Tomme was to encourage a really robust, fuzzy, multicolored bloom from all of the innoculated constituents.

It would appear that particular dream will have to wait for the next Tomme iteration. I have successfully developed bloomy rinds on various cheese styles including Tommes, but this one bolted out of the gate and seems to have successfully hardened its rind for a long Winter's nap. I may still realize some growth as the washing proceeds and the innoculants struggle to emerge. Time & TLC may bring them out.

Your rind looks good for growth. At 8 days old, it seems like you are ready to begin washing.

You might want to reset the date-time on your camera.  ;)

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Testing the Darkside of my Tomme
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2011, 10:01:30 AM »
Quote
Could I really affect the rind at this point with "a highly proteolytic morge blend", and if so, how would I go about that?
Yes, you have to wash it with a stinky morge, like you would for gruyere. Something with a good deal of b linens. Those enzymes will penetrate the rind slowly and flavor it. It looks like what you really made is a mesophilic alpine variant. Totally within the acceptable range, but more favoring the eastern types than what you find in the Basque country.

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So I let this one get too dry during those first few days out of the brine....  :(
Precisely. It formed a lovely dehydrated crust all around. I mean, in terms of skill, this is exactly what you want for something like an Italian thermophilic toma style, like a pecorino. But if you're aiming for a western style tomme, that isn't hand pressed at all. They stack them on top of each other and let them drain. The surface often has all sorts of pits. And then the mold growth covers all the pits over. But no press, and slow drain, and high curd moisture tends to ensure high surface Aw.

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Do I understand clearly that low moisture content of the curd (low Aw) is a prohibitive factor in rind formation?
Let's differentiate between moisture-in-cheese (MFFB) and surface moisture (Aw). Two totally different things. When we talk about MFFB, what we're really talking about are the properties of the cheese and how dry it is, and how well it conforms to a specific style. A parmesan with a 40% MFFB would NOT be a parmesan, for example. When we talk about surface Aw, we are really talking about the threshold at which various flora will survive and thrive. Pathogens, and helper bugs have thresholds when they can enter the microbiological community on the rind. And the Aw determines how they interact. For example, a low surface Aw will promote slow enzyme penetration (so you wouldn't get something like a limburger), and will not promote the growth of many molds. It's a very important concept in bacteriology and sanitation because we can help ensure cleanliness by monitoring Aw on food contact surfaces.

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This would be due to the fact that the medium is now not conducive to breeding...right?
Exactly. Conditions are not favorable.

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Is this a pH issue, a stirring, or pressing issue or just a random something?
Look at it like a system. The edge of the cheese, even when in the press has subtly less moisture than the rest of the cheese. From that point, you can do whatever you want. You can try to create a huge gradient, where the surface will be very dehydrated, or you can actually re-hydrate the outer surface (such as by soaking the wheel in water after brining. Everything affects Aw. The moisture in curd does, because water travels a little in the cheese matrix. The brine concnetration does because a higher concentration will dehydrate the outer edge. pH does, because it helps to determine rate of ion exchange. Cheese matrix structure does, because higher fat tends to lead to higher moisture. Pressing schedule does, because having an ultra high initial press, followed by a low press makes for a dryer rind than a steady press (slightly so). Aging schedule does because temp and humidity have an affect. It's the way you see the cheese start to finish that determines the rind characteristics.

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and I don't have any translucence nor any mold growth. What can be said for the Aw of this rind?
I have no idea. Remember, too, that if molds don't settle on the rind, nothing will grow. They don't magically appear. If your natural environment is very clean, you have to inoculate the milk and/or wash the cheese to introduce flora.
Quote
cave at 58-60F and ~77% to 80%RH.
If you want mold, you need to crank that up to mid 90s RH. 92-95 is good. or more, depending how you want the balance of flora to be and what inoculant you use.

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really robust, fuzzy, multicolored bloom from all of the innoculated constituents.
You'll get there! I think this thread will help understand more of the nuances of rind formation. It really is incredibly nuanced because we're dealing with living organisms. It's like gardening... plant blueberries and get the pH wrong, and don't amend the soil, and don't give them enough sun, and plant them in the wrong path of the sun, and those blueberries are going to be pitiful. While your neighbor might do what looks like exactly the same thing, but have tons of huge berries. If someone were to watch me prep a tomme for a certain rind style, I can almost guarantee that it would not be easy to replicate without some trial and error because there are all these subtle triggers that I look for, and manipulate a few dozen variables (important ones mentioned above) to make them all work together. Some variables are less important that others, so it's more of an experience and practice than following instructions in a recipe.
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