Having visited Cheesehead recently with my latest rind washed in hand, and he pronouncing it good, I will tell you how I made it, breaking many of the rules of good cheesemaking along the way.
Over the last few years I have made many rind washed cheeses using recipes gleaned from books, among them are brick, taleggio, livarot, limburger, munster, and they all taste and smell good but there is a suspicious sameness about them in taste and appearance that has made me quit even naming them. I just tweak the recipe a bit for each successive attempt. Here is my latest;
2 gallons whole milk, storebought, brought to 95 deg. F., 3/4 Teaspoon commercial starter (MM100) added as well as a paste of 1/2 teaspoon ground annatto in water ( make a paste of it or it won't mix in well). Hold for 1/2 hr. and 1/2 teaspoon commercial rennet in 1/4 cup water added and stirred in. Curd cut after 1 hr., temperature raised to 96-98 degrees with stirring, then drained by siphoning off whey and placing curds in 4 molds sitting on bamboo sushi mats ( molds are PVC pipe sawn into appropriate lengths). Turn these often and leave overnight at about 60 degrees. In the morning unmold them and spray them with a spray bottle of Brevibacterium Linens and 1 cup water with a pinch of sugar and salt in it. Then kosher salt hand applied to all the cheeses and stored still on bamboo mats in a plastic shoebox at my room temp of roughly 60 degrees. ( I make cheese only in the winter months). I wash these by more spraying with B. Linens left over from yesterday and this time some chablis box wine added to the spray bottle. I spray and wash them for 3 or 4 weeks and they develop the reddish orange color and a nice smell. They get quite sticky, I ignore this. Then I foil wrap them and put them in the fridge. They taste quite good, everyone seems to like them, but they are certainly not equal to the real thing.
One further note on this particular batch, I had some curds left over that had no mold to go in so on the morning after I crumbled them up ( as my previous blue cheesemaking attempts gave little opportunity for air to get inside the cheese), innoculating them at this time with just some bits of storebought blue cheese tumbled in with the broken up curds. I formed a ball and salted it all over, put it in a cold room, about 50-55 degrees, salted it again next day, and kept it in a shoebox for a month or so and after this it looked and tasted unexpectedly good. On a plate holding a Stilton, a Gorgonzola, and a good one called Castello, mine came in last but still OK tasting. So good that I have just made a whole 2 gallon batch of this one.
Well, a lot of rambling around this subject of ostensibly stinky cheeses, my final thoughts on my experiences, since all my attempts seem to taste the same, I'm thinking that there could be some B. Linens bacteria living naturally in the house, just as Penicillium molds do. These things are aggressive and may vary in taste slightly from place to place, thereby giving the important differences in some of the famous ones from Europe.
My thanks to John for his kindness during our recent visit, perhaps too kind in assessing my cheese as good.