Author Topic: first white mold cheese attempt  (Read 3541 times)

Offline Brandnetel

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first white mold cheese attempt
« on: March 11, 2012, 04:41:44 PM »
Hello folks! Been a while since I have posted, and have not made cheese in about 8 months or so. Made some more progress on my prior efforts, will post them separately.

So today I am re-engaging with a first shot at a white mold cheese. Taking inspiration from the Brie/Camembert wiki recipe here, and interested in going away from a buttery brie towards a more savory/mushroomy goopier cheese, here's the ingredients, making two separate 2.5 gal batches.

Batch A
2.50 gal organic grass-fed unhomogenized whole cow's milk (Sky Top Farms)

Batch B
1.00 gal organic grass-fed unhomogenized whole cow's milk (Sky Top Farms)
0.50 gal organic grass-fed unhomogenized  low-fat cow's milk (Sky Top Farms)
0.25 gal organic whole goat's milk (Oak Knoll Dairy)
0.50 gal organic 2% reduced fat goat's milk (Oak Knoll Dairy)
0.25 gal organic grass-fed unhomogenized cow's milk heavy whipping cream(Sky Top Farms)

Cultures/Other (amounts for each 2.5 gallon batch)
1 pkt C101 Mesophilic starter, lot #1211 (From N.E.C.)
1/8 tsp C8 Penicillum Candidum (1/16 tsp per 2 gal scaled up) (From N.E.C.)
1/32 tsp C7 Geotrichum Candidum (1/64 tsp per 2 gal scaled up) (From N.E.C.)
5/8 tsp Liquid Rennet (animal), diluted in 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp Calcium Chloride (approx ¼ tsp per gallon of milk)

The plan is to follow the procedure from the wiki, heat to 86-90,use floc time x5 or so, cutting curds to 0.5-1.0 inches. Decided not to use Flora Danica to minimize butteriness/diacetyl. The higgeldy-puggeldy nature of the 2nd batch is just due to what I was able to get for milk. I was interested in doing a goat version, but had to scale it back to about 1/3 goat based on availability and thought I would offset the low-fat portions by adding the pint of cream. I recently have enjoyed St. Marcellin and also Petit Sapin, but basically will be happy to have anything soft and edible with a nice white rind for this first time out.

The milk is ripening now, will post updates as these come along! Interested in any feedback this bunch might have.
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Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 05:45:31 AM »
Brandnetel, the first batches of cams I made were with the C101 - since then I've switched to using MM100 'cause I really do prefer the butteriness, but I gotta tell you - the C101 will DEFINITELY give you the flavor you're looking for.  Hmmmm .... maybe I should do another batch with it.  I remember posting elsewhere (after the first successful batch), that homemade raw milk camembert tasted like a memory - specifically Franconia Notch, New Hampshire, circa 1983.   ^-^
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Offline Boofer

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 09:36:56 AM »
I remember posting elsewhere (after the first successful batch), that homemade raw milk camembert tasted like a memory - specifically Franconia Notch, New Hampshire, circa 1983.   ^-^
Wow, good memory! Must have been very nice.

Welcome back to the fold, Brandnetel. Watching this cheese very closely.

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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 10:59:26 AM »
Yes, good to be back, thanks Boofer! Ice-cream making, jerky and other distractions kept me away for a bit but I am have really wanted to get back into cheese-making.

I must say, we had quite an adventure with the make yesterday. Being used to hard(er) cheeses, I really did not process that the yield would be so big from this 5 gallon batch. Ended up with 8 cheeses of varying sizes and proportions in total, so it will be quite a mixed bag. In addition to my 2 no-bottom 'hard' cheese molds (probably the most appropriate), I used 2 shorter molds with bottoms, and even 2 'cheese baskets' my gf had retained from some commerical product. As you can imagine, I was concerned about sufficient whey drainage from these.

But these were not enough! Into service to preserve all of the curd I drafted two unsuspecting household objects. One was a metal utensil holder from IKEA with a bottom and big holes, which I lined with coarse cheesecloth. The other was a hastily-converted well-cleaned coffee can with top and bottom fully removed and whey drainage holes added to the sides. Wild, wacky stuff.

All of these were flipped 5-6 times about hourly last night after the make (culture added 4 PM), but then I let them sit overnight and salted and put into my mini-fridge 'cave' this AM at 7. So also I think they spent a little longer than optimal in the molds (15 hours total). The cave is at about 56 and I have filled every available space with vessels full of water to try to max. the humidity, although I have no functioning RH sensor.

I put a tray below the upper shelf of cheeses to catch whey, and on the bottom of the fridge too. However, I am concerned that, although pretty well-formed and with distinct rinds, the cheeses still seemed super-wet to me this AM. Here's a pic for reference:




P.S.: Also, MJ - love the ocelot pic, but that might just be because I upgraded my linux OS recently, lol.


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Offline Boofer

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 12:44:45 AM »
Kudos on dealing with all the curds. Big surprise, huh?  ;)

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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 07:44:25 PM »
I felt kinda dumb about it, honestly, Boofer. I mean, the recipes for this sort of cheese state pretty clearly what to expect. I guess I just did not process it thoroughly!

Last night these were allready about 3 days in the "mini-cave" and I am disappointed to say they still seem to have visible moisture on the surface in some areas, leaving wet rings on the bamboo mats below them. I patted them dry with a paper towel before sparingly applying some PC in saturated brine to the exterior. My spray bottle clogged so I ended up rubbing it around with my fingers and I let them air dry about 90 min before returning to the little modified fridge.

I got a new humidity sensor (by Vicks, who knew?) and it had ticked up to about 82%, which I was happy about. But it seems like I am working at cross purposes trying to dry the cheese surface and have it in a high RH environment. Sigh. I think I will air them again tonight and wipe off any excess liquid.
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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 11:53:30 PM »
Four and a half days in the cave at 56 deg F and 85 pct RH, and the cheeses are still a bit wet on the bottom. But particularly the smaller ones are now showing perceptible filaments of white mold growth, primarily on the sides and some a little on the top. Woo-hoo PC!




« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 02:09:57 PM by Brandnetel »
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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 02:26:05 PM »
Six days in the cave now for these cheeses. Two days since the first mold growth in my last post. Here are some updates.





As you can see, the mold looks to be barrelling along. I'm happy about that, but I also see what look to me like corrugations in the rind due to the geo? I smoothed these down today and the cheeses still feel quite firm, but now I am concerned that I might be headed towards slip skin in my future. Fridge continues to be 85 pct RH and 55 degrees, so temp is good but humidity low. However, you will recall these seemed very wet until the rind began, so I feel like I probably have high moisture in the cheese and lower than ideal moisture in the environment. I might have had a heavier hand on the geo in the make than ideal also - on paper should have been 1/24 tsp and I tried to measure 1/16, but it's tricky to eyeball that in a measuring spoon!

Also, the rind on one of the cheeses ripped away a little where it was butted up against the adjacent cheese when I picked it up. I'm assuming that the growing mold should fill this back in, but you can clearly see the membrane of the rind and how it seems kind of separate from the paste of the cheese.



I have read some of the other threads on this kind of cheese but of course am eager for any feedback from this group. Right now my plan is to keep it as is up to 10 days in the cave, and open the door for an hour or so a day for some air. Then I'll drop the "mini-cave" to 45 degrees or so, as I have the luxury of there being no other batches in there at this point. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 03:14:13 PM by Brandnetel »
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2012, 03:13:21 PM »
I would give it some extra air but the others looks very nice.

Offline Brandnetel

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2012, 12:12:42 AM »





Updates. After 10 days in the cave, mold development is looking pretty good and consistent. Dropped the temp to 45 degrees, I think I will try one of the small ones in two weeks maybe?
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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 10:23:43 AM »



So, here's another update. Cheeses are now 20 days total in the cave, 10 days of cold aging after reducing temperature. For this last period, things have been pretty stable at 45 degrees and 75-77 pct RH. Two days or so I filled another tray with water in my min-fridge and the RH has obligingly increased to 80 pct. Seriously, just about every available surface is covered with water now, and that's as high as it has gone. Ironically the drip tray for the freezer section at the top keeps collecting moisture and if I am not vigilant rains small drops on the top cheeses from time to time. These can generally be wiped off with no apparent ill effects but it does seem bizarre to me!

The cheeses look very nice and the white rind is consistent and basically stopped growing when I reduced the temp. The little 'wound' I noted above has about half grown over with a very thin coat of mold after near-daily rubbing, but about half the curd is still exposed. However, they are still quite firm, with the possible exception of only a couple of very small areas on the larger ones which I think are starting to show a little bit of 'give' when pressed.

As some of you will recall, in the past I have had great problems retaining the desired amount of moisture and with the low RH I feel the same way now. My fear is that I will open one of these up and find a pasty dry-ish brick of stuff inside, as opposed to the slightly runny, elastic interior desired. If they felt soft at all I would be very tempted to try a small one now, but I am conflicted between feeling like they need another 1-2 weeks to mature and that if I wait too long they will be disappointingly dry. Hm.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 10:30:53 AM by Brandnetel »
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 04:37:23 PM »
They are looking very nice now.

Offline beechercreature

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2012, 10:11:03 AM »
thanks for all the picture updates. i think cam's just got bumped up on my cheesemaking queque. ;)

Offline Brandnetel

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 12:15:27 AM »
Appreciate the feedback, folks. On wednesday of this week (04/04), these will be 23 days total in the cave (10 at higher temps, then 13 at 45 or so). I think we will try one of the smallest ones then, just out of curiosity and to establish a baseline for future judgments. I will be happy so long as they are somewhat edible and sorta-brie-ish, but we shall see! Will take more pics then.
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Offline Brandnetel

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Re: first white mold cheese attempt
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2012, 04:06:21 PM »
4/5/12 White mold cheese tasting.

Firm but pliable paste, pale cream / margarine color with a dark dryish edge all around and a thin but consistent white find fully covering the outside. Thick silky/oily texture, lingering bitter aftertaste upon the first bite taken with rind. Without rind, the texture of the paste predominates over the very mild flavor. It is slick and almost sticks to the palate, dissolving only under tongue pressure. The taste itself is fairly neutral with a faint butteriness and only a hint or echo of the bitterness, I think.

Unfortunately some of the cheese became unidentified in the make so I am not certain which batch this one belongs to, but I tend to think it is the part-goat batch. There is a nicer creaminess that emerges as it warms, and the bitterness has an interesting peppery edge but is still way too strong in the rind. We tasted the very smallest one first so there is quite a lot of rind relative to the maybe half inch thickness. This is now 24 days old and I am surprised it has not gotten softer.
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