Author Topic: Isolating & encouraging Geo  (Read 1055 times)

Offline tinysar

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Isolating & encouraging Geo
« on: March 22, 2012, 06:49:50 AM »
When I was gathering together my "starter kit" for cheesemaking, Geo got left off the list - my supplier didn't stock it, and I didn't want to make a separate order just for that when I had other exciting new cultures to play with. But now I'm watching my first batches of white bloomy cheeses become ripe, and thinking that they really needed some Geo. People assured me that "geo ends up everywhere", but perhaps not in the quantities needed to make a tasty Cam? Or maybe my techniques are too sterile?

So, my question is this: is there a way to get an innoculum which contains Geo from a piece of cheese rind (eg. a geo-rich Camembert), and then treat it in some way (eg. heating/decanting/acidifying/etc) which would leave the Geo healthier-and-happier than the other critters in there? Does Geo have any property which would allow it to be partially separated (from the other common cultures likely to be found in a piece of Cam rind), just using common kitchen equipment?
I realise that this isn't true isolation of culture, but I couldn't think of another way to phrase it. My resources consist of a small kitchen, a reasonable thermometer, a few years of university biochem & organic chem (about 10 years ago ::)), but no pH meter.

Or if isolating my own isn't feasible, is there anything I can do to encourage wild Geo (but not other stuff) on my cheeses?

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Isolating & encouraging Geo
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 11:21:13 AM »
It seems to me someone here did just that from a commercially purchased cheese. I seem to recall it was an artician cheese not the big company types but I can't remember the details.You might try doing a search. I could just be getting it confused with  blues.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Isolating & encouraging Geo
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 11:24:35 AM »
You want to do differential isolation at home? And isolate from between geo and penicillium Um... it's a little tough. You might be able to achieve something, but it wouldn't be consistent. There's nothing out there for differential isolation for geo alone.

You could replicate an existing rind, that would be a tad easier. Or you could buy a geo rind cheese and isolate that.
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Offline tinysar

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Re: Isolating & encouraging Geo
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 10:15:21 PM »
You want to do differential isolation at home? And isolate from between geo and penicillium Um... it's a little tough. You might be able to achieve something, but it wouldn't be consistent. There's nothing out there for differential isolation for geo alone.

You could replicate an existing rind, that would be a tad easier. Or you could buy a geo rind cheese and isolate that.

Yeah, figured that would be the answer. I was just optimistically hoping that there'd be some simple property which allowed geo to be separated preferentially from the other cultures in a rind slurry. Just to clarify, I am not trying for a pure isolate of geo using kitchen equipment! I just wanted to know if there was a way to start with a Cam-rind and (ah! it's been too long, I've lost all of my biochem vocabulary) change the environment in some way which favoured the geo. So not trying to kill off the PC, just slow it down whilst not hurting the geo.

But it sounds like starting with geo rind would be simpler (not to mention tasty!), then just add my own PC as needed (maybe spray it on after a week or so to give the geo a headstart?) - is that about right?

DeejayDebi - yeah, I tried searching: plenty of folks using Cam-morge to make Cam, but a common complaint seemed to be that the geo gets lost or overpowered along the way. I didn't see any suggestions for favouring geo in such a mix, so I thought I'd ask.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Isolating & encouraging Geo
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 11:19:12 PM »
Weel inix boy gave you some good advice - he know his cheese! and just about anything else!

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Isolating & encouraging Geo
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 06:09:22 PM »
I've made quite a few batches of Brie without Geo and although this might be considered heresy, the cheeses were well received and delicious.  But you probably have Geo by now........

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Isolating & encouraging Geo
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2012, 02:10:16 AM »
Geo is a must with Bries. Technically, it de-acidifies the surface and prepare it for good growth of PC, yeasts and a diverse bloom of other beneficial elements. It is the cause for much of the flavor and it has major contribution in the texture of both the paste and the rind. It also has significant impact on aroma. Without it, there is only white fuzz on the outside and very faint flavor. Texture development would be too mild. 
Now if someone grew up on American supermarket Brie or industrial brands like President, this may remind them of that cheese because these brands use stabilized versions with little to no Geo to avoid strong flavors and to extend the storage and shelf life without getting gooey leaky cheese or ammonia. Unfortunately these cheeses are not very desirable and are also plagued with pale paste and very thick and fluffy rind (the cheese equivalent for overly-oaky wines?) But obviously, one bite at a good French brie or Camembert de Normandie and you would never go back. It's a totally different cheese with deep layered flavors and aromas, thin rind with no bite and a supple texture that isn't ammoniated or runny.  You want a layer of cream under the layer of white and you want to see the exposed spots or lines of geo popping from underneath the white coverage. It should not look like snow.

Here's an American supermarket brand industrial Brie. Note the pale paste, lack of cream color under the white or popping through it and the thick fluffy white rind


Here is the King of Bries, Brie de Meaux AOC.  Notice the fragile thin rind and exposed lines of geo. Look at the creamy layer right under the rind, the overall texture and the color of the paste. This is what you want out of a brie:

And another


By the way, you can't get Brie de Meaux in the US because it is raw, but a non AOC version from the same makers which is pasteurized is available at most cheese shops or the cheese counter at Whole Foods. It is called Fromage de Meaux and it's the next best thing. Give it a taste and see what I mean about Geo.