Author Topic: Valençay style cheese and a few questions  (Read 6668 times)

Offline Missy Greene

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2012, 10:47:34 AM »
 Hi IRF, Just back form skiing  for 3 days ...Humbolt Fog is doing well, it has been in the 50 degree room for  14 days now, had a little gooier mold on bottom when I flipped , so cracked the top...just looking now to  see from other  recipes  if it is time to put in  fridge. I know this will not have the nice ash line in it as  it was so soft when I was trying to flip it in the moulds  it..went with what I had anyway, just to try and get the basic process of making the cheese.   Will keep posting progress. Your Rouelle looks awesome, you are so prolific!Missy

Offline Oberhasli

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2012, 11:15:52 AM »
Iratherfly,

Do you have a recipe for that rouelle cheese? If you have it the recipe, maybe you could start a new thread so this one doesn't get hijacked.   That cheese looks very nice.

HB,

Your cheeses look very nice as well.  I usually make a big mess using ash, your cheeses look perfectly delicious.

Bonnie
Better to train people and risk they leave,
than do nothing and risk they stay.     Anonymous

Offline HB

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2012, 06:22:06 PM »
They are starting to get to my preferred point of aging. The outside edges are becoming creamier, but are also much less liquified than the last batch. The taste is getting much creamier and complex. I am looking forward to seeing how far I can age some of these. I anticipate much longer than last time.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2012, 09:24:34 PM »
Looking really good there HB!

Can you say CHEESE!

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2012, 03:44:22 PM »
Oberhasli - It's a work in progress and I am not sure yet if I am making this into a commercial recipe or not, but you can make Rouelle at the exact same method you use for any of those Loire Valley style semi-lactic goat's cheeses and adjust it to your liking (for example, acidify it more if you want more tang). Just the shape is a bit different. This one is quite large, about 350g. Like all of those cheeses, it's all about the quality of milk and the diligent aging.

HB - the texture looks really good. This is what I would expect a Valençay to be. Soft and just on the edge of crumbly. Not too moist but not dry either, no slip skin or soft/gooey area under the rind. Fantastic.  My only comment is ...still too much ash. A little goes a long way. Really nice though!

Offline iain

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2012, 05:14:27 PM »
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.

1 to 5 ratio by weight or volume?

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2012, 08:07:05 PM »
Weight. This is not written in stone, adjust as you like it, but remember your ratio so that you can calculate the weight of the salt to control the cheese flavor.

Example: Cheese weight is 100g. You want to salt it at 2.5%. If you just salt it, you would use 2.5g salt. If you salt it with 5:1 salt/ash, then you would need 3g of the mixture as it would contain 0.5g ash and 2.5g salt (in other words, 5 parts of 0.5g salt and 1 part of 0.5g ash).

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2012, 07:09:13 PM »
I just started a Valencay make using the recipe from the Beverage People since I couldn't seem to find one here.  (maybe it's just the search function and there's one that I somehow missed)  Here's my make so far:

15 quarts of raw goat's milk from my Nigerian Dwarf goats, 4 quarts of which were used fresh/warm from the morning's milking.
Heated over heat diffuser on gas stove (low setting) and brought to 87.3 F  (target was 86)
added:
heaping 1/4 tsp. of M4001
1/4 tsp of LBC80
1/4 tsp of PCVB
1/4 tsp of Geo 13
1/8 tsp of Thermo Type B
Let rehydrate and then stirred in.  The recipe calls for adding the rennet after 3 minutes which surprised me because I thought I'd want to let the culture hang out for a while before renneting.  BUT....I followed directions and added a shy 1/2 tsp of my liquid double strength rennet (diluted in water of course).  I figured this from the recipe's calling for 1/8 tsp for 2 quarts and with me having 15 quarts and double strength rennet it seemed to make sense.  I was a little concerned that with raw milk it might be too much rennet and I think I'm correct about that unfortunately. 

The recipe says to wait 12-18 hours at 72 F but by 7:30 it looks like this already.  (see photo below)  It's drawn away from the sides of the pot, has a layer of whey over the top and generally seems pretty coagulated.  I'll go wash up and check texture......be right back......         .....back to report that it's quite firm, has cracks in the top and generally seems ready to go.  When I tried it I found it pretty bland.  I think I remember someone talking about flavor as a signpost to readiness so I'll read back on this thread.

I'd LOVE some suggestions about what to do now?  I had planned on giving it the 18 hours and draining it in the morning.   8 am would be 18 hours.  I am NOT getting up in the middle of the night to bag this cheese.......I do enough of that during kidding and lambing season and guard my sleep at other times of year.  Should I drain this as late as possible before I go to bed?  That won't be very late since I didn't sleep much last night but with the cheese this mature  perhaps that won't matter.  I had planned on putting some in one of Yoav's synthetic cheesecloth bags for a pre-drain and some in the loose weave basket type molds I have. 

ANOTHER question for all of you.....I spent time today collecting leaves to hopefully make this a little bit like a Yarg cheese.  I'm going to have quite a few cheeses out of this batch so thought I'd try some nettle, some scented  cranesbill . and some red amaranth leaves.  I do also have some huge redbud (Cercis canadensis) leaves that are heart shaped and would cover a whole cheese practically.  When and how do I do this with this cheese?  I'm scrolling through as many threads as possible on this forum but the cheese is a-making and I'm not sure I'll have found all the info in time. 

Thanks in advance!  I love this forum.  People are so creative, so dedicated and so helpful.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2012, 02:12:06 AM »
LBC80 and Thermo B???? Are these guys just trying to get you to go through expensive cultures for no reason? Why on earth would they list these? Nothing to do with this cheese whatsoever. 1/8 tsp for 2 quarts is WAY too much for lactic cheese and 87°F is totally improper for it. Lactic cheeses acidify and coagulate entirely in room temperature (68°F to 77°F, depends on the cheese and season).

There are a million easy recipes for Valençay, and yes, it is best to acidify the milk for a few hours before adding the rennet.
Try Peter Dixon's recipe: http://www.dairyfoodsconsulting.com/recipes_lactic.shtml Easy, straightforward and cheap. You will get the correct texture and tangy flavor.

Also, if you are using raw milk, you want to preserve its goodness so let it speak for itself and use low amount of starter culture, and very minimal mix of strains. You don't want the culture to out-compete the good natural things that are alive in your milk already. 

Wanna give it a do-over? I'll help. I hope I wasn't too discouraging...

By the way, if you ever can't find a good recipe for something - just post it here. Someone probably has it and will happily share.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2012, 07:21:30 AM »
Hi Yoav,  No, you weren't too discouraging!  I wouldn't have created all that I have if I discouraged easily.  I should have made it clear that the culture additions were my own choices and that some of the milk was 4 days old and I was thinking that it might be good to have a strong introduction of cultures.

I have tried Peter Dixon's recipes before. (not for this cheese) and he sometimes leaves things out or doesn't make it easy to figure amounts because it's all for 100 gallon batches.  I did look for a recipe on the forum to no avail and then tried google search to see if that helped. 

Sure, I'll try again but I'll have to wait until I have 3 gallons of milk.....that's 3 days since I only milk mornings.  Speaking of which I need to go milk now......but I'll look at Peter's recipe and ask questions if I have any so that I'll be ready.

Thanks!

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2012, 06:27:52 PM »
Hellio iratherfly/Yoav!  I'm ready to take you up on your offer to help me make another try at Valencay!   :D

I followed your link to Peter Dixon's recipe and have a bunch of questions after reading it.  Normally I'd have to make all choices myself but since obviously as a beginner I'm likely to make some wrong choices I thought I'd ask you what choices you'd advise.

You said in your post that you'd help me with a remake of the Valencay if I wanted to try again and yup, I want to try again.  So, I've looked at Peter Dixon's recipe and these are my questions.  I'll post these on the forum too in case you'd prefer to answer there so others can read too.  Here's a link to Peter Dixon's recipe so interested folks can check it out and comment also.  http://www.dairyfoodsconsulting.com/recipes_lactic.shtml

First, a few facts of the make:
Milk: I'll be using 12 or 13 quarts raw goats milk 1-3 days old.  ( usually 13 qts. but 12 might be easier for figuring out amounts)  The last 4 quarts won't have been cooled at all unless you advise that. 

Now for the questions:

1) Which cultures should I use?  I'll list my options of what I have here:  Chooszit:  MM100, MA4001, MA4002, MT1 LYO, TA61,
PC-VB, Geo-13, PLA, LBC 80, PC SAM
Abiasa: Thermophile Type B
Yes, I know not all are options but I just cut and pasted my whole stash list.

2) Do I have to pasteurize my milk like he says?  I've never done that and would prefer not to if possible. I'm not selling the cheese at all.

How many hours of aging after culturing do you suggest given that the milk is raw.  Peter Dixon's range is 15-48 hours.

Given all this, how much culture do you suggest for raw goat's milk?

And how much of my vegetable double strength rennet should I add once the culture has had it's time?

What type of mold should I use?  Don't have the traditional pyramid ones but have a number of basket type ones  (some from you) including some ricotta molds that are pretty small and may fit the  proportions closer than the bigger basket ones I have.  P.S. what do you charge for those pyramid ones?  Perhaps I and others will be inspired to buy some from you if you post the price here now.

Should I pre-drain in that lovely synthetic cheesecloth bag I got from you?  For how long?  I pre-drained this last batch too long and then it didn't go well into the molds......it was already dryish because of the rennet amount.  I still have to salt and ash it.  I was too sick to do anything but milk the last 3 days.

Hope you can answer before I have to make this cheese but perhaps others will have great suggestions too.  All are welcome.  I'm "singling" iratherfly out because he offered.   ;)

Just because I know I always like it when there's photos, I'll attach one of my mold inventory.  I do also have the two long cylindrical molds you sent in the last order.....those aren't in the photo.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2012, 03:18:27 PM »
Since that last batch was sort of a mystery as far as whether it'll turn out I decided to play with leaf wrapping.  Now, part of the mystery is that I got a bad case of flu and didn't do anything for these little Valencay puppies for days.....they sat at room temperature for several days and grew some white and ivory mold.  IN fact, they were still in their molds......     Finally, yesterday I got them out of their molds, ashed/salted them and wrapped some scented cranesbill leaves around 1 and some nettle leaves around another.  I had picked and frozen the leaves as per some other thread.  They stuck quite nicely to the cheeses and I hope they turn into nice cheeses, perhaps Yarg-like?  I'll attach photos.  They are now in containers in my cheese fridge. 

Oh, and another disaster potential is that right before I got sick I took my brie make  (about 6 cheeses) out of my cheese fridge because their containers were too moist.  I put them on my work bench with lids of mini-containers ajar and there they sat for about 5 days.  Sigh.  I saw them only today and I think they'll have some slipskin.  They didn't smell that great to my nose but it's sense of smell is still impacted from being sick.  I put their lids back on, put them back in the fridge and brought one up the kitchen to cut open.  It looks pretty good.....yes, a bit of slip skin but not bad. The inner paste looks good and I look forward to trying it in the future.  Any advice on any of this is heartily appreciated.

Oh, and about the photos, I don't normally have cheeses hanging out near platters and baskets of ripe fruit and vegetables.  That was just for the ashing and photo ops.

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2012, 06:42:21 PM »
BTW Tiarella, you take great photos! I visited your blog/website yesterday and I have to say that I was impressed by the composition of your photos. Very well done!

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2012, 08:53:15 PM »
Thank you, BBracken!  I hope you looked at the older posts that show the barn we built last summer.  It's got some sweet design aspects.  The most recent set of blog posts was to show the farm to a group of folks that my partner (Joseph) does social justice work with.  They work all year towards putting on a healthy living conference for underprivileged youth.  They'd only seen Joseph at meetings and me at fundraisers/celebrations so we invited them and their families to come to a potluck dinner.  Since we are WAY out in the boondocks I wanted to put photos up to entice them.  I wrote all those captions thinking they'd share the photos with their children.  I think I'll rework those posts now that the party is over and choose more adult wording for captions.

I LOVE taking photos and am blessed to be surrounded with beauty........we started with solid woods and cleared and built our place here.  It's a sweet place although far from towns.  It's about a half mile walk to get to a neighbor.  Anyway.....it's fun to share photos of animals, gardens and stuff like that.  Glad you enjoyed it.  Wish some forum members lived around here to use the extra milk when I'm too busy to make cheese!

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2012, 02:03:39 AM »
Sorry for taking so long to respond to you, looks like I am too late ...but here are the pointers anyway. Looks like you managed without them. The only comment I have is that you seem to be using way too much ash. Try to rub some of it off before the rind shows up. It will be uncomfortable to bite and you don't want to leave your friend with black teeth  >:D

My best advice is to mix 5 parts salt to 1 part ash and then use it for salting. This will give you proper dusting. It's a very light dusting that you need; kind of like sprinkling confectioners' sugar on a tart for decoration. leave lots of air and white in between.

Okay, I am responding to the questions you sent me earlier:

For raw milk:
  • Use MM100 as your starter culture at the rate of 1/8 tsp for the whole batch
  • Use Geo 13 as your de-acidifier and ripening primer at the rate of 1/16 tsp for the whole batch, OR use PLA as a richer and more colorful and aromatic alternative at the rate of 1/8 tsp for the whole batch. Do not use Geo and PLA together; choose one.
  • Use PC-VB as your rind at the rate of 1/16 tsp for the whole batch
  • Rennet, use the double strength veg rennet in the rate of 3 drops per gallons (10-12 drops for your entire batch will do). Dilute it in 1/2 cup of water first and mix it thoroughly, but not in fast motion and not for more than 60 seconds.
DO NOT pasteurize milk if you think that your milk is good and this is for your private consumption. (you said it's 3 days old - I hope you store it very cold. I store my raw milk at 34°F if I have to).  Pasteurizing milk will need more cultures to get it going and give it flavor

As far as hours go, culture it until it reaches 4.5-4.7pH, or until you see that the whey level is about 3/4" above the curd mass and your curd mass has separated from the sides of the pot (possible cracks on top of the curd mass are also a sign that you have reached good acidity but they don't always show up).

Pre-drain it in the bag for 6 hours or so.

If you don't have the pyramid mould than perhaps this isn't really a Valençay? You can use a round mould and make a Selles-sur-Cher, or make Crottin, or even a log-like cheese (a "mini" Sainte Maure?). If you are using Ricotta baskets than don't use cheesecloth as you will make a Caprino (Italian style goat cheese). You will lose more yield but the ricotta moulds in this case are used instead of the cheesecloth bag.