Author Topic: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps  (Read 1013 times)

Offline John (CH)

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Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« on: February 18, 2012, 07:38:42 AM »
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?


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 10:09:33 AM »
Trapped air bubbles. Try lightly tapping the sides of the molds while holding them down tightly so you ddon't loose and curds. Sometimes they will pop.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 10:24:04 AM »
Although I don't mind this in bloomies, one other thing to try is to use a small concrete vibrator you run along the edge to eliminate the air pockets. It's what I use in concrete work, especially for detailed projects like poured countertops.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 10:29:24 AM »
* DeejayDebi has visions of a crane lifting big machine near tiny cheeses.   ;D

I just use a butter knife and tap lightly.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 11:07:35 AM »
lol. Debi, we're men. Any problem that might be solved is better solved by bigger power tools.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 11:17:58 AM »
I hear that! I am tiny woman - how about one of those little spider looking massage thingys they have for like $2? Bet that would work.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 07:52:48 PM »
Maybe try flipping more frequently, esp during the first part of the draining time. I try to flip after 3-4 hours of draining and then every hour for a while. But I don't find that the pockets make much difference once they are aged. (Or hook something to your electric toothbrush?)

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 07:12:45 AM »
Thanks for ideas, for a week on a summer job as a teenager years ago I used a big concrete vibrator that you inserted into concrete to homogenize and vibrate out any air bubbles, thanks for awakening those good memories!

Next batch I'll use my electric vibrating tooth brush but will hold against rim of hoop (vs inserting :o) and report if air or whey rises to top.

Offline Jaspar

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Re: Gravity Draining Formed Cheeses - Reducing Wall/Side Gaps
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 07:32:13 AM »
You can also take the blade off a sabre saw ( hand-held reciprocating saw), plug it in and hold it against the side. I guess an electric knife without the blades would do the same, but yea power tools ;D
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