Hi Nicole and thanks for the feedback. Yes, the blue Bries are a bit tricky. I spent quite some time getting the hang of making cams first, as they are the base for the blue bries. Moisture level in the curd is critical as are maturation conditions, both temp and humidity. The same applies to the blue bries. If you have too much moisture in the curd, you risk getting slipskin and a runny paste. Poor maturation conditions can then exacerbate this. My early cams suffered from this and ended up getting a bitter, ammoniated taste very early. You need the curd to be dry enough that the maturation occurs evenly through the cheese, and not too fast from the outside. I found maturing at a lower temperature (8-10C) helped a lot, as well as some extra stirring before hooping to expel a bit more whey.
The 3 problems you mentioned are, I believe, a result of high moisture curd. The lack of blue inside the cheese is because the piercing holes have closed over and also there are no pockets of oxygen inside the cheese to promote growth of PR. This is almost certainly because your paste is too soft/runny and any piercings just seal up. The fact than you can taste the blue (beautiful isn't it, inside a soft creamy paste
) , means that the PR is viable and working, but can't get enough oxygen to bloom properly. The bitter taste is probably just over ripeness due to the high moisture.
Have you perfected cams yet? If you have, then follow the same technique but add the PR during the make. note my comments in this post about the extra stirring to get a drier curd. Then just follow the instructions for hot water dipping and PC spraying. another thing you could try would be re-piercing your cheeses after a week to make sure the PC hasn't closed over the holes, and to re-open the holes to hel prevent them closing over inside as well.
I gather by your reference to creamery that you live in North America? Unfortunately I can't help you with any references there as I am in Australia. Maybe you could put a post on the General questions board asking for suggestions? Also, experienced US members Boofer, DJDebbi, iratherfly and John (just to mention a few) are very active and can always offer very helpful suggestions. And Sailor from Kentucky runs a very nice looking operation making lots of blue based artisan cheeses, and he is always very generous with his advice as well.
Good luck, keep persevering as this cheese is a real delight and it is very satisfying when you achieve a good result with such a challenging cheese. Keep us posted, maybe provide some photos and details of your next attempt. There are plenty of helpers out there on the forum.