Couple weeks ago and again yesterday I started making Camemberts again. For forming cams the cut rennet coagulated curds are placed in hoops on mats with a small amount of whey draining out a few side weep holes and most through the bottom via the mats.
My problem, albeit a visual one is significant # of vacancies of gaps at side of cheese (and probably in middle/paste) due I believe to pockets of trapped whey (see picture #1 & 2). While initially just a visual problem, these pockets also result in poorer uneven rind development during ripening. I think this is a common issue for all gravity drained (not pressed) formed soft type cheeses, not curd formation as I also had the same issue with primarily lactic acid coagulated cheeses (see picture #3).
In this commercial Camembert making video
at time 2:51, the makers plunged their fingers into the middle and then periphery of fresh soft curds, and then at 3:00 rolled the cheeses in the hoops with a large "Espresso Tamper" type tool.
So in my Camembert make yesterday, I pocked my fingers gently down sides of hoops before the first turn, and it seems to have helped, about 50% less pockets around periphery after I removed the hoops this morning (see picture #4). Next batch I'll poke in middle and down sides more vigorously. Also need to find some sort of large "Espresso Tamper".
Anyone else have this "problem" and have better solutions or is it a problem with my method?