Author Topic: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion  (Read 15693 times)

Offline Melbourne Cheese

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Hi people,

Just checked up on my bries today and they smell quite strongly of ammonia.  If I just let them sit out before serving are they still okay to eat?

CHeers

Richard

Offline george13

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 06:35:19 AM »
You'l just have to taste one, if they were closed tight in a container you may have had some significant buildup of Ammonia.  Always try to give them some ventilation.

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2011, 06:36:16 AM »
It depends on how far they've gone. You'll just have to cut and see. 
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Offline Bob

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2011, 05:42:55 PM »
Hi Richard,

If its just a slight whiff, it is probably just a buildup in the container/wrapping. If the rind is still creamy white, it should dissipate quickly. If the cheese is over ripe, the ammonia smell will be strong and the rind will be starting to break down. It will be going brown, starting on the edges, and will have a bitter taste to the rind. This bitterness will also eventually affect the paste, making the whole cheese unpleasant to eat.

Only one way to tell.........cut it and taste it!
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2011, 06:32:34 PM »
Cut a wedge, post a photo. Typical of Brie that has gone past the aging point as well as one that has aged too quickly and all the preotolysis happens under the rind (often also resulting in skin slip). This would be stronger in room temperature.

Offline Melbourne Cheese

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 04:35:36 AM »
Okay, so here are the two.  One has a far stronger smell that the other.  They weren't that successful I know, but I am hoping that they can still be salvaged.  Will try them tomorrow and see how they taste, but hoping someone can tell by the photos if i should eat or not! lol

Thanks people for all the advice.

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 04:45:23 AM »
Taste 'em!  They won't be poisonous, they might just taste bad, in which case you never know until you try.   ;)
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Offline Melbourne Cheese

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 04:48:56 AM »
I know, I just don't feel like trying it yet.  Will do it straight after work tomorrow when I have a clear pallet.  Sounds snobby! lol

And before others say it, yes I know the paste does not look uniform and a bit holey.

These are the first double cream brie I have made, I most likely the last until I master the normal brie.  I did one of those a few weeks back and I could not have been happier with the result.

Offline george13

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 04:50:35 AM »
What is the age of the cheese, it almost looks like they are too young and breakdown is not complete.  What is your aging temperature and humidity? Did you spray the surface or innoculate the batch?

Offline Melbourne Cheese

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2011, 05:05:37 AM »
They were made first week of November.  I inoculated the milk rather than spray.  The fat and moisture content got me into a pickle when making them.  They took ages to drain enough before caving them.  They are in a fridge at 13 degrees.

Offline Bob

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2011, 05:06:26 AM »
Richard,

The first one looks like it is just not quite ripe yet. You can see the firm paste in the centre, but the rind still looks nice and white. The second one however, looks like it is more ripe, as the rind is discolouring, typical as the protein breaks down and ammoniates. Not sure why it has such a different texture, almost porous. I recall you had issues with these when you made them.....too much moisture and very slow draining?

Ripening these cams and bries is tricky. Getting the paste to ripen before thev rind breaks down seems to me to be the biggest challenge. If I make mine too thick, the rind is ammoniated before the paste gets fully soft.  However, I'd have to say the thickness compared to the diameter of your Bries looks perfect!

You could taste a small sliver from each, cut off along the the diameter, then you can still push them back together and rewrap them. The mould will grow across them again.

Happy tasting tomororw, look forward to the results.
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2011, 11:02:08 AM »
Nothing in your photo screams ammonia. The cheese looks very young and properly aging. You have a very thick stable rind (which may have something to do with the smell. It can create ammonia whiff but this isn't the same as ammonia in the body of the cheese).  There is no receding "balding" rind that exposes back the geo which is a sure sign of ammoniation. Flatten the rind with your hands, don't let it grow so high. Looks fine (and very yellow!)

The thing with these double/triple cremes is that their high fat ratio often results in fast lipolysis or early rancidity, which is assisted by the trapping of too much moisture inside (the same reason it took you to long to drain them).  Your holes and interior rind mold crevices are usually (though not always) the result of moulding the curd when it is too cool. Wouldn't affect the flavor though.

I say refrigerate them cooler for 2-3 more weeks. They will be ready.  If this keeps happening and you are not liking the smell, switch to a lower growing, less aggressive PC strain. (what are you using now for PC?)

Offline Melbourne Cheese

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2011, 02:33:43 AM »
I just tried them and wow did the taste good or what!  I am really quite surprised, they are both so creamy.  Taste just right.  One I am taking to work on Friday for the staff Christmas do, the other gets to wait another week for the family Christmas.  Have put it in the normal fridge for it to mature for another week and a bit at a lower temp.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2011, 12:06:02 AM »
Good! All that worry!

Offline Bob

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Re: Brie & Camembert - Ammonia Scent Concern > Fully/Over Ripened Discussion
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2011, 05:34:20 AM »
Congratulations and well done Richard! Hope the cheese was well received at the staff party today.  :)
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