Author Topic: Valençay style cheese and a few questions  (Read 5820 times)

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2012, 07:11:56 AM »
Thank you so much for all the suggestions.   :D. I did follow your 5parts salt to 1 part ash but it sounds like you can see that I've used too much.  I was going by photos I saw somewhere.......I'll do less next time.

I did a remake before you had a chance to reply and here's what I used.....
3 gallons raw milk
1/8 tsp MM100
1/8 tsp PCVB
1/8 tsp GEO 13

A little less than 1/8 tsp dble str veg rennet. (that was figured directly from Peter Dixon's recipe.  (2 ml single strength for 6 gallons comes to .5 ml for dble str rennet for 3 gallons.  .5 ml = 1/8 tsp

Curd still formed faster than expected......raw being the wild card difference from Peter's recipe.  Still reeling from flu I didn't get to it until some hours after optimal and decided it was firm enough that I wouldn't pre drain.  Cut the curd. (it was too thick to make ladling seem like the best bet- thicker than yogurt) and filled molds, refilling as the curd level sank.  Put on racks over trays in a room with no yeasty things like fruit. 

Will likely unmold today and do a MUCH lighter ash/salting and maybe try some more leaf wrapping.  Still wish I knew more about this part........

Need more molds......even just 3 gallons of the Dwarf Nigerian goat milk I use has such a high level of solids that I created 10 cheeses from this batch.......off to the barn now.


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2012, 02:37:43 AM »
You did good with quantities, just watch out for premature rind growth because if the ash and the high quantity of geo/pc.  If you drained it prematurely than you may have developed insifficient acidity. The acidity is important because A). It gives the cheese that citrucy tang you are looking for in Valençay and Crottin and B). it delays the development of the rind so you don't get slipping skin, toad skin or ammonia buildup.  The yeasts/geo are less active in high acidity AND they also have a longer road to recover acidity so it takes them a few more days.

As for the salt mixture - just salt by weight. Remember that 20% of each g of this mixture is ash so raise your mixture by 20% to make up for it.

You used Caprino and Ricotta moulds - there is no need to use cheesecloth pre-draining with those. This is the Italian style of goat cheese. They drain a lot faster but the texture and acidity are somewhat different.  Am I recognizing the two Caprino moulds I sent you from that cheese photo?  That's exactly what they are for! no-cheesecloth goat cheeses. This will turn out nice!

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2012, 06:45:09 AM »
Hi Yoav!  Ummmm, there's two batches of this Valencay-like make so maybe we're both confused.  The one with the more appropriate amounts of culture and rennet  (I did actually use 10 drops of rennet just as you suggest even though I made it before your suggestion came through) hasn't yet been salted/ashed.  I guess I'll have to weigh each cheese to figure amounts.  sigh.  oh and yup, I used those Caprino molds you sent me; thank you!  And no, I didn't use cheesecloth on any of the molds in either batch.

you write:  The yeasts/geo are less active in high acidity AND they also have a longer road to recover acidity so it takes them a few more days.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. It was in reference to if I drained it prematurely.  I think I drained it late if anything.....both batches. This batch is still dripping in the molds so I haven't yet unmolded it to salt/ash it.  I had hoped you'd look at the photos and be a cheese wizard and tell me when to unmold.   ;)

I guess I'll unmold today.  Still feeling the effects of the flu and have a lot to do today so if they're still dripping I may wait.
Thanks for all the support!!!

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2012, 07:19:31 AM »
Please speak up anyone with experience with this type of cheese and/or with cheese wrapping.  Here's one I wrapped with leaves and it's got some bloom for sure but this batch feels heavy and hard......will that change as they ripen?  They feel pretty dense. This is my first batch with not the perfect make but I'm hoping some come out somewhat edible.  This batch was pre-drained in a bag, left too long in the molds perhaps because of me being sick and then this........

note, each is kept off the bottom of the box by sitting on a bottle lid that is under the mesh.

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2012, 07:55:55 AM »
I just remembered something....isn't ash pretty basic pH wise?

Great pictures, by the way....the cheese with the leaf wrap/coat looks really interesting!


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2012, 10:10:21 AM »
HI BBracken!  Yeah, ash is base and iratherfly gave a great explanation of it's impact but I'm not sure which thread it was on.  I think it's to slow down the development of rind or something like that so that the rind fuzzies have a better chance to grow. Of course, he said it much differently and it made sense when he said it.  If I find that bit I'll repost it here.....might even be further up in this thread......not sure.  I'm just learning this type of cheese (although I've done Brie quite a few times) and I was surprised at how the tops of the cheeses already had the ivory fuzzies before they came out of the molds!  Hope that's okay.

Not sure if you can see in the whole batch photo but there's another one with leaves, nettle leaves, and that's more traditional.....sort of; I mean, not for a Valencay but Yarg's use nettles, not sure what other cheeses do.

I was thinking the other day......there are so many variables to making a batch of cheese it's a wonder than any two batches turn out similar.  In a moment of despair I considered just giving each batch of cheese it's own name to avoid confusion or disappointment in the person who eats it.  ;D

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2012, 10:25:58 PM »
The short version of it is that ash neutralizes surface acidity. Once that happen, yeasts and fungi (such as Geo and PC) grow faster because the neutral situation is easier for them.

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2012, 06:53:14 AM »
Thanks for making that clear, iratherfly.   :)  Much better than my try at that!  I think I am going to have to make a mixture with less ash than the 1 part ash to 5 parts salt that you recommend.  The ash I have is so fine that it makes it all so black even when I'm just putting a little bit of salt on the cheeses.  But I hope you saw the thread I started in this topic area about the leaf wrapping.  They seem to be doing well but they are SO dense feeling......is this natural and okay for these cheeses?  They feel heavy as if perhaps I fed the goats lead or rocks!  Will the cheese lighten in weight?  What do you expect for this last batch, the ones with more proper cultures and rennet amounts?  How long an aging?  They are in my wine fridge at 54F degrees. 

Hope you are enjoying the start of autumn down there in the city!

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2012, 03:50:24 PM »
Gloomy day here... eh, autumn!  I should go out and seek foliage!

They are heavy because they are watery. Let them dry longer!  the leaves are preventing it.

Usually the leaves used for wrapping are treated - dried, boiled, soaked in brandy for a couple of weeks, etc. Usually they are also a bit more robust so they can withstand such treatment: Leaves of chestnuts, maple, grape vines, etc. are thicker.

The rind needs some air if you want PC to develop. Otherwise you will get lots of geo going. That would be  nice, gooey and even a bit stinky but it should then be applied on smaller cheeses so the geo can affect the entire cheese and you won't get un-aged center while the area just under the leaves turns liquid. I also wouldn't put leaves and ash together. Either/or.  Think of Banon or Cabecou Feuille

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2012, 06:17:12 PM »
Hmmmm.  thanks for replying iratherfly!  The Yarg that enticed me has ash and leaves and it has more leaves it seemed than I have put on.  I did let them drain a long time but perhaps not long enough......they seem to be doing well otherwise.  I think I'm mostly seeing PC, not Geo but I am such a beginner that how should I know?  It seems very white and I think I read somewhere that Geo is more ivory?  Or do I have it backwards? The one with the Scented Cranesbill on it has more coverage than the one with nettles.  There are only two out of 8 with leaves.....the rest are plain.  I'll have to look up the Banon and Cabecou Feuille you mention.......     I am going to try some thicker leaves but those will totally obscure the cheese it seems like and won't be like that Yarg I saw that had the white fuzz and the leaf patterns on it.  How long do you think I should try aging these?  Or rather, what should I look for or hope for?   I can cut open the ones without leaves for test trials. 

And, if you want to get out of the city and see foliage you can always stop in here.  We have foliage all around us.  Can't look out of a single window without seeing trees so it's hard to miss!   :D  Seriously......if you want a place to visit or to pass through on your way north you can consider our house. 


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2012, 01:45:24 AM »
Really? I remember the Cornish Yarg to have nettle leaves in a very nice pattern but I don't remember any ash. I do remember green that looks like it came of the leaved all over it.  In any case, this is a different type of cheese. It's really a type of cheddar and not a lactic cheese, and the wrap is strictly a decoration and not of function, which is also why they can use nettle leaves that are both small and very thin.  But, there may be several versions - I really don't know much about that cheese. My point was only that the wrapping serves as a protector in these small leaf-wrapped lactic cheeses so that the cheese doesn't dry out and the geo can develop and sort of melt them down in a matter of 10-14 days. The flora from the leaves has a purpose in the wrapping too, so there is not much point in drying and neutralizing the rind with ash only to lock it again with moisture. It also looks a bit messy if this is a tiny cheese in a large lea as it will smudge ash all over the leaf because of the locked in moisture.  (I assume so, but never tried).

You are right, the white fuzz of dry stuff is PC. Geo has a few shades but mostly appears initially as creamy velvety or slimy/slick texture. Late-blooming geo that grows on dry surfaces usually looks like a white powder and it is common in tommes, cheddars, washed rinds, etc. You don't see it much in lactic cheeses.

I say, make smaller wheels (30-50g) and age them in leaves for 10 days in the cave and 10 days in the fridge. It will be spectacular.

Cabecou Feuille:
Before...

and after...


Banon:


Mothais sur Feuille (as the name suggests, it's "on a leaf", not really wrapped all the way with one)


And now for something completely different: Sakura is a rare award-winning cheese from Japan. It is flavored with cherry blossoms and available in March only:


The Italian do that too...


And so did I (grape leaves) about 2 years ago:


And this one, with sesame leaves (too thin in hindsight) :


OK, I think you get the idea...

Perhaps the wife and I will take a drive up to your neck of the woods? We'll make some cheese?

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Valençay style cheese and a few questions
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2012, 06:54:44 AM »
Wow!  very beautiful and inspiring!  Hmmm, I'm going to have to learn more about the Yarg because it looked like it had ash but maybe because of the photo only.  I have some large heart-shaped leaves that perhaps will do well for wrapping.  They are very substantial so I don't know if I have to bend them and soak in brandy first or freeze, or boil to soften.  I think they would be nice when the leave is unwrapped to show the cheese sitting on a heart-shaped leaf platter.  I also wonder about a new cheese that is wrapped with the unripe seed head of Echinacea imbedded a bit in the top center.  The seeds are bitter and I wonder if it might make a very special taste sensation just where it touches.  I have so much plant material here the possibilities feel endless and enticing.

Sure,  you guys should come up.  bring a cooler and any mold you might want to use that I don't have.....especially in case you are driving home with curds still in the molds ( if it is a long draining cheese)....we'll have to find timing that works when our guest room is available (most of the time) and we are not booked with appointments.  (easy to find that time too). Hope you will not be overwhelmed by the number of possibilities with plant material.  I have limited milk. (1 gallon per day approx) but we can find other milk too. 

I think with what I am doing with leaves I need some more small molds unless I can use ricotta basket molds.  Perhaps you can suggest some molds I could buy from you?  Something suitable for small lactic acid cheeses.  Can you please email me options and prices?  Off to milk now.....brrrrrrrr, it's starting to get cold here.  First fire in the stove of the season.  Too cloudy for our normal solar gain.