Author Topic: Valençay style cheese and a few questions  (Read 5539 times)

Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« on: January 29, 2012, 12:26:13 PM »
Hello all. I am in the process of cave aging a Valençay style cheese and am conflicted on how to proceed. They were started on 1/19, molded on 1/20, unmolded/salted/ashed on 1/22, and put in the cave at 50 degrees and 83% RH on 1/23. The penicillium candidum began to grow over the ash by the next day. My recipe calls for them to remain in the cave for a full two weeks, then wrapped and put into the fridge. Other sources say wrap as soon as they are fully covered in PC (which would be today at 6 days in the cave). There is also conflicting information on whether to put them in the regular fridge once wrapped or keep them in the cave. Any thoughts?

They look like this at 10 days into make and 6 days in the cave


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 07:03:54 PM »
Responding to myself, but I just wanted to say that I used the more aggressive PC Neige and Geo 13 in this make(it was all I had on hand at the time) which I believe to be responsible for the quick bloom. I plan to use PC VS and Geo 15 on my next batch later this week. The rind does not seem thick yet, but the top corners are slightly softened.

Online JeffHamm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 2,609
  • Cheeses: 157
  • As goes the cheesemaker, so goes the cheese
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 10:52:55 PM »
I would wrap now and put them in a regular fridge.  An aggressive PC is more likely to cause slipskin, so cooling it down to slow the growth should help protect against that.  I would also suggest eating one of them.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 04:33:29 PM »
Ok, I wrapped them today and put them in the fridge. I see no sign of slip skin as of yet, just faster than ideal surface ripening. If they looked like this a week from now I would be very pleased. Will probably try one in the next few days. Trying to hold out since they are still a bit young. Pictures to come!

Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 04:45:48 PM »
Today they looked like this just prior to wrapping:


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 03:40:08 PM »
I cracked the first one today. It was fantastic! The rind was nice and thin. The paste was thick, creamy, and slightly chalky with the pleasant, mild tang I associate with these types of cheeses. The very edges have just begun to soften. I have 7 more of these that I plan to open in a progression to see how they age in the fridge. I am picking up more milk for another batch of these today and had planned to switch from PC Niege and GC 13 to PC VS and GC 15. After trying these I am now thinking about sticking to the Neige and maybe just changing the GC. One variable at a time is best anyway. Yay! I'm so pleased these turned out.

Offline Brie

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Posts: 535
  • Cheeses: 29
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012, 10:34:14 PM »
Looks great! I have found that Valencays, St. Maure, Humbolt Fog's, all age very quickly. All, basically the same make. After 4 weeks they become way too strong for me. Taste them at 3 weeks, and then devour--your life will never be the same...
Darn, another cheese meltdown--ahh, perfect fondue.

Online JeffHamm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 2,609
  • Cheeses: 157
  • As goes the cheesemaker, so goes the cheese
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2012, 11:37:39 PM »
Well done!  I've never tried any of these ash covered cheeses (to taste, let alone make), but the paste on these look very nice.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 02:17:26 PM »
Ok, I started the second batch of these on 2/2. This time I used PC VS and Geo 15, and Meso Aromatic B. I used 4 gallons this time with the intention of trying to fit twice the amount of milk into the same eight molds. I did this for two reasons. One is that if you look at my finished cheeses from the last 2 gallon batch they are significantly shorter than a traditional Valençay. The other reason was in my book The Fabrication of Farmstead Goat Cheese by Jean-Claude Le Jaouen he states that a Valençay has 2 liters of milk per cheese. With 8 molds this works out to a little more than 4 gallons. I used fresh raw goat milk that I pasteurized myself at 145 F. After 18 hours at room temp(72 F) I direct ladled the curds. While I was able to fit significantly more curd into the molds than last time(waiting patiently while they drained down)I did have some left over curd that I put into 4 St-Marcellin molds. Today I unmolded, salted, and ashed the cheeses. I will let them dry for at least one more day, possibly two. The curd was a little bit wetter than last time. In the pictures notice that they appear taller and more consistent with a traditional Valençay. Wish me luck!

Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 02:24:48 PM »
And today:


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline anutcanfly

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ruch, Oregon
  • Posts: 931
  • Cheeses: 26
  • Who moved my cheese?
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 03:45:33 PM »
Awesome Job!  Those cheeses look delectable.  :P
Early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

Online JeffHamm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Posts: 2,609
  • Cheeses: 157
  • As goes the cheesemaker, so goes the cheese
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 04:43:26 PM »
Nice.  Although I'm not at all familiar with the ash based cheeses from what I've read and seen on this forum those look to be superbly done.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline iratherfly

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: The Cheese Caves underneath Manhattan; New York City NY
  • Posts: 1,913
  • Cheeses: 108
  • Cheese, milk's leap toward immortality (Clifton F)
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 11:19:30 PM »
If I can give you some pointers...
Go easy on the ash. Ash should be very light so that it doesn't feel gritty in your mouth, doesn't paint your friend's teeth and doen't spread all over that beautiful white pâté when you cut the cheese.  One of the best ways to do that is to mix the ash with the salt at the rate of 1 part ash to 5 parts salt. this will give you the dust that you need, good even coverage but too thin to smear.

Sedondly, I would drain them more. A good sign with Valençay that you haven't drained them enough is that the pyramids are short and wide.  Proper draining will render them narrow - they will be stiff enough not to collapse to a lower pyramid once you turn them onto the draining mat. Excess moisture would cause the rind to grow too fast and it would go lumpy or ammonia on you prematurely. If you drain it more you will end up with a more stable cheese that can remain in its "á point" state (the "perfect to eat" time in its lifecycle) for far longer period. Such cheese will harden as it becomes older, becoming more goaty and eventually turn into a grating cheese. Too much moisture and it will go the other way as it gets old: ammonia, softness, bitterness.

Other than these tipe, I think you got it! It looks very good! Hooray! A cheese for you :)

Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 11:09:19 AM »
Thank you for the pointers. When you say to drain them more, do you mean leave them longer in the molds, leave them longer out of the molds, or pre-drain before molding? These are the three ways I can think of to drain them more. The first batch did not flatten out after being in the molds but rather drained down to the height they ended up at by the first day in the molds. So far this new batch is holding their shape well.

Offline HB

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Idaho
  • Posts: 60
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 12:46:34 PM »
Opened up another of the first batch today. In the picture you can see that the inside is riper. The taste was not significantly different, perhaps slightly creamier and more complex (no bitterness either). We ate it with toasted country olive bread, fig jam, and aged balsamic. Yum!