Author Topic: My latest batch of Camembert is doing something weird.....  (Read 5114 times)

Offline Likesspace

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Re: My latest batch of Camembert is doing something weird.....
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2009, 06:18:49 PM »
Well guys, these little cheeses are no more.....
I opened the closet door tonight and just could not handle seeing these pitiful little things any longer.
Besides I figured it was only a matter of time before some slimey looking creature jumped out of one of these and attached itself to my face.

I did cut them open and was surprised to see that the pate looked just as it was supposed to. I wasn't crazy about the slight ammonia smell but maybe this is somewhat typical in a young camembert.

I did save one of the cheeses since it looks normal and is performing normally. This was the 5th wheel of my two gallon batch and it was not even close to as wet as the others, coming out of the mold.
I'll probably wrap it up tomorrow night or Friday night and put it in the fridge.
Within 4 - 6 weeks I should be able to cut it and decide if I want to give it a taste test.

I really think my problem with this batch is that I cut the curd and cut it in very large squares (approx. 2").
I really don't know why this would be my problem but it is the first time I've ever cut the curd on a Camembert.
Normally I just ladle the curd into the molds, very slowly but according to different recipes some call for cutting. I'm not sure why I decided to give this a try, but I'd say from now on I'm going back to my ladleing method, with no cutting.

Regardless, this is my only loss out of three tries and the weekend IS right around the corner.
I planned on this being an exclusively "hard cheese" weekend, but I might have to make one exception.

Thanks again for everyone that posted and wish me luck on my next one.
I refuse to be beaten by a little 4" round cheese that's only an inch and a half tall. :-)


Offline John (CH)

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Re: My latest batch of Camembert is doing something weird.....
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2009, 10:10:22 AM »
Well that is sad Dave, and agree, I also will not be beaten by a little white fuzzy hockey puck ;D.

All the info I have says ammonia smell is normally from being past A Point, but yours was definitely too young for that :-\.

So probably your problem was the cheese being too moist, but I, I think like you, don't understand the root cause, if anything I'd have thought that cutting 2" curds would give you more whey expulsion than just ladled curds, sounds like not.

So what are the variables for more-less whey expulsion? Ones I can think of are:
  • Effectiveness of rennet, ie type & amount of rennet, past or not milk, fat content of milk, if added CaCl2.
  • Good set, clean break.
  • Cut curd size.
  • Time spent warming cut curds.
  • Temperature while warming cut curds.
  • Time spent gravity draining curds in Camembert hoops.
  • Temperature while gravity draining curds in Camembert hoops.
Quite a few variables!

Other than cutting vs ladling, maybe there is something else you did different in all these variables resulting in moister Camembert which resulting in shrinking and funny looking coat?

Just my 2 cents. Good luck this weekend!