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CHEESE TYPE BOARDS (for Cheese Lovers and Cheese Makers) => ADJUNCT - Blue Mold (Penicillium roqueforti) Ripened => Topic started by: meyerandray on March 23, 2013, 12:04:36 PM

Title: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on March 23, 2013, 12:04:36 PM
On Tuesday I made my first attempt at a blue, using the recipe (unfortunately modified) from "Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking" by G. Caldwell.  It is now in the cave, and I don't really know what to expect.  The recipe I sort of followed is "Pablo Battro's Flor Azul-Natural Rind Blue Cheese" In the introduction to the recipe she talks about gorgonzola and roquefort, so I was expecting a softish cheese, but now at day 3 in the cave it seems pretty hard.  I saw in another post that that could still change in a few days.
My recipe was 9 liters raw milk mesophilic starter, with a pinch of "Toma ST" which is a culture I was able to find here, used to make the traditional tomme, and P.R., 3/4 tsp rennet in 1/4 c water.  I ripened at 32 C for 30 minutes, added rennet, cut at 30 minutesacross in one direction, waited 10 minutes (maintained 32 C the whole time) cut across in opposing direction (cuts about 5cm apart), waited 10 minutes, and cut horizontally, rest another 10 min.
held at 32 C for 45 min, stirring occasionally, drained whey on an inclined tray for an hour (trying to maintain 22C).  PUt the curd in its form, turned after 1 hour, then turned after 4 hours, went to bed, turned in the morning, and turned every 4 hrs after that until 24 hrs passed from when I had put it in the form. 
Unmolded, salted all sides and put it in the cave at 11 C with a whet paper towel in its tupperware.

I have been turning once a day every day, there was whey on the bottom of the tupperware the second day in the cave, then it seemed to dry out.  I will post pics later, but I am wondering:
I salted outside, and G. Caldwell says this will encourage the mold to begin its growth in the middle of the cheese, and work its way outward, so when should I expect to see some mold?
Will this be a soft cheese?  A hard cheese?  Did my modifications to the recipe (I used mesophilic and toma st instead of Flora Danica, and ST) change what my result will be completely (I imagine the answer to that is yes).
If I did make a completely different cheese as a result, should aging time and process change (she advises 60-75 days at 11 C 90% rh).

Oh, and I haven't gotten a hygrometer yet, so I am guessing the RH...hope i won't ruin any cheeses as a result.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: BobE102330 on March 23, 2013, 12:26:25 PM
If you are getting light condensation on the inside of the ripening box you are in the right humidity ballpark. 

The PR will soften the cheese.  Hard to say how soft it will get.  My Stilton attempts have started out pretty rubbery and barely knit, but after 6-8 weeks were nice and creamy.  They also pretty much stopped weeping whey in a couple of days, so your experience sounds reasonable. 

The cultures used will affect the final taste, but if you like the result it is fine, whether it is a "true" Flor Azul or not.  That you used mostly meso and a pinch of thermo should make it pretty close - not a completely different cheese.  What strains are in your meso? 

You should start seeing some blue in a day or two.  The transformation is fun to watch.  Enjoy, and let us know how it turns out. 
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on March 23, 2013, 12:56:19 PM
Yes, I have a light condensation in the box, attached is a photo.  I can't wait to see some blue!  I'll keep you posted.
Celine
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: shotski on March 23, 2013, 01:28:23 PM
If it is a Stilton all the recipes Ihave seen say to let stand 5 days at room temperature to promote the blue and for draining.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: BobE102330 on March 23, 2013, 01:35:58 PM
Looks like your humidity is spot on!
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: george (MaryJ) on March 24, 2013, 05:57:17 AM
Shotski, per the original post, it's not a Stilton.  C'mon guys, lots of other blues out there besides Stilton - although you wouldn't know it from the thread list on this particular board.   ;D 

Meyerandray, I agree with Bob on the humdity, it looks good, just don't let it get higher than than (if you start find lots MORE condensation than what you have now.  The cultures probably won't matter much either, although you'll probably be missing extra buttery notes that the FD would have brought.  (Mind you, I'm not a culture expert, so I may be wrong on that, I don't know what's in the cultures you used, maybe they also have that FD-ishness.)  Don't stress - it looks like you're on the right track, and besides, there's always plenty of cheese to make!!  In 100+ cheeses, I think I've only had 3 or 4 that were complete losses.  Everything else that didn't come out quite right just got "re-purposed" - there have been a lot of grilled cheeses and cheese sauce around here over the years.   8) 
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: Tiarella on March 24, 2013, 06:47:21 AM
With blues, is it important to wipe out the condensation each day like it is with other cheeses?  Haven't done blues so I don't know.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: H-K-J on March 24, 2013, 09:56:25 AM
C'mon guys, lots of other blues out there besides Stilton - although you wouldn't know it from the thread list on this particular board.   ;D 
You are so right about the other blues, lots of them to be made, maybe when I finely perfect a Stilton type I will move on to perhaps a Gorgonzola, I have been contemplating that one.
as an answer to the thread if you make a blue cheese expect to get a lot of different molds, blue,s green's, wight, brown, orange.
just watch out for the cat hairs and the puffy white, and nasty blacks :o
never had a bad Stilton, have one that has a blue bite that bites back, yet oh sooo nummy :P
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on March 24, 2013, 12:12:15 PM
Tiarella: thanks for the tip, I am going to assume that I do have to wipe the condensation every day, which I haven't been doing. 
George (Mary J): Thanks for the reassurance!  I can't wait to finally taste one of my creations. 
As of today, still no blue in sight, but I am feeling much more tranquil with all of your comments, I will be patient and accept whatever the outcome is!  I have tons of potatoes, so I can always make gnocchi with 4 cheese sauce!! 
As far as branching out on blues- there is a local cheese producer here that makes the best toma blue I have ever tasted!!  I wish I could send you all a piece to taste, and your beloved Stilton would have some competition ;)  I am going to hunt him down in the alps in June and see if he'll give me his recipe, which I would be happy to share if he does.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: Boofer on March 24, 2013, 05:36:22 PM
Shotski, per the original post, it's not a Stilton.  C'mon guys, lots of other blues out there besides Stilton - although you wouldn't know it from the thread list on this particular board.   ;D 
Yeah, george, crack the whip! Hooyah!! Get some! ;)

I do have a non-Stiltonesque cheese developing off-stage right now. Let's bring her out and make her feel welcome...give her a round of applause! Sorry, not ready yet. :-[

-Boofer-
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: Tiarella on March 24, 2013, 06:22:07 PM
Shotski, per the original post, it's not a Stilton.  C'mon guys, lots of other blues out there besides Stilton - although you wouldn't know it from the thread list on this particular board.   ;D 
Yeah, george, crack the whip! Hooyah!! Get some! ;)

I do have a non-Stiltonesque cheese developing off-stage right now. Let's bring her out and make her feel welcome...give her a round of applause! Sorry, not ready yet. :-[

-Boofer-

Oooh, I want to see!!!!  Please?  Don't make me start the photo chant again!. Oh, I'll be good.   :-X



Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: jwalker on March 27, 2013, 09:21:35 AM
I don't know what to expect from yours , but I will share some pics of my first blue , just now a week or so old.

My recipe is a two pounder , pressed lightly at 5lbs. for a few hours , salted and turned at room temp for the first four days.

Nothing happened in those first four days , but after one day in the tupperware , in the cheese cave and it turned blue overnight , here it is now.

It is kind of exciting.

Cheers , Jim.

Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: Boofer on March 27, 2013, 09:37:26 AM
Ah, there's the proud Papa! :)

Nice shade of blue, Jim. Now we wait to see how the inner paste develops. Have you pierced yet?

-Boofer-
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: jwalker on March 27, 2013, 10:09:36 AM
The recipe called for piercing in 7-10 days , so will be doing it this Sunday at 7 days.

Then aging for 90 days.

Cheers , Jim.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on March 27, 2013, 12:09:03 PM
Well despite you guys showing me up, I will still share my "blue" which I pierced today (day 7).  I took a picture because I was so excited to finally see some blue, then I see your pictures, and, well,  my blue is much less exciting ;).  I am feeling reassured that it is starting though. 
I have noticed my humidity is not high enough now though, what should I do?  Add more wet paper towels?
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: BobE102330 on March 27, 2013, 03:02:22 PM
The way it usually works for me is I will see that much blue in the morning and by bed time it will be completely blue.  You're doing fine.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on March 28, 2013, 08:52:48 AM
Well, the blue has grown quite a bit since yesterday, but....uh-oh, I have some hairy looking unwanted mold that is trying to join the party.  I found on another post that it may be mucor??  I wiped down all the condensation in the cheese's box, am trying to slightly lower the humidity, and wiped down the outside of the cheese with a dry paper towel.  Should I salt the cheese again?  Here is a picture of the invader.  Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!

By the way I was hoping to put foil on this cheese at some point, should I do that now seeing as I have this invader?  Or is there not enough blue yet?  How can I tell when it is the right time to foil?
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: jwalker on March 28, 2013, 10:28:37 AM
 I don't see any picture , try again.

Mine seems to be a very uniform blue/green , so far I've been lucky.

Cheers , Jim.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on March 28, 2013, 10:41:23 AM
Ok, I think the picture is uploaded now.  This was taken before I wiped it down with the dry paper towel, now the hairy mold is no longer visible, but that doesn't mean it's dead, right?  I don't want to stifle my blue growth...
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on March 30, 2013, 09:21:03 AM
Yesterday I saw two small, PINK stains.  I searched the forum, and have understood that it is probably a result of too much humidity, or too much whey still in the curd.  I had already reduced the humidity after the hairy mucor scare (which 2 days later hasn't come (at least visibly) back, yet...) and sort of wiped down where the pink spots were with vinegar, the spots are tiny, so I was willing to compromise a little blue growth in those areas in order to not risk full domination of the pink mold (pink geo is all I could find that it might be on other posts).  Today there is a third pink spot.  I ordered a phmeter and a hygrometer online, so as soon as they get here, I will be able to better understand what my mistakes are and figure out what measures to take, but in the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions on how to save my blue?
On a brighter note, the blue is coming in pretty nicely, put a picture of the top to show the blue growth that I'm pretty happy with.
I would really appreciate any info/suggestions regarding my pink mold problem, is it inevitably going to take over?  Could I cut out the affected areas now to avoid that, or is that the absolute WRONG action to take?
help-
Celine
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: jwalker on March 30, 2013, 10:23:41 AM
I'm fairly new at cheesemaking so I won't pretend to know what to do.

I have been researching molds though , because I have started some blues of my own and want to be up to date with any info I can find.

Regarding mold , much of what I have found says that pink molds are the worst , so I would try to get rid of it as soon as possible before it takes over ,(just my own uneducated opinion).

But here is some info I will share with you , hopefully others with more knowledge will chime in.

Cheers , Jim.

"• Pink, Fusarium and Gibberella
X fusarium, the non-reproductive stage of gibberella -- white to pink or salmon-coloured mold with a "streaking" or "star-burst" pattern. Fusarium attacks cells by secreting mycotoxins that dissolve cell walls so that the fungus is then able to eat the cell's contents, enter the cell cavity and reproduce. Produces a toxin called fumonisin which can cause liver and kidney damage and birth defects. It was used to create biological warfare agent "yellow rain". Mostly infects corn and other cereals, toxin mostly affects pigs and horses. Mold can grow in potted plants in hosptials and toxins can affect immunosuppressed patients.  Caution: don't eat anything with pink mold and especially don't breathe or take in any.
X gibberella, the reproductive stage of fusarium -- dark pink, red or purple. Produces:
* gibberellin, a plant hormone that promotes cell elongation and is good for flower formation, and seedling growth;
* vomitoxin or deoxynivalenol, an estrogen toxin that causes anorexia or lack of weight gain in animals but is not considered highly toxic in humans (that is, you would have to eat a lot of infected grain to be affected by it); and
* zearalenone, a mycoestrogen that causes abortions in animals.
Mostly infects corn and other cereals. Caution: don't eat anything with pink, red or purple mold. If accidentally, ingested, no treatment is required provided the toxin source is removed. Symptoms will go away 3-4 weeks after eliminating suspect food."
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on March 30, 2013, 10:28:43 AM
Oh wow!  Thanks for the info, I will do some more research but that sounds really scary! 
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: BobE102330 on March 30, 2013, 11:59:37 AM
Not to minimize the importance of hygiene, but I remember reading somewhere that some b. linens strains start out pinkish.  My guess it is environmental and likely came from inadequate hand washing prior to handling the cheese at some point.  I had some pinks and yellows on a tomme I made.  I didn't eat the rind, but the cheese was fine.

This unwanted colony is likely to cause off flavors so use a bit of cheesecloth dipped in saturated brine or vinegar to remove it.  Take your cheese out to keep you company for an hour or so daily.  That will help keep the surface a bit drier and keep the flora growth focused on the ones you want.  Which reminds me, I need to peek at my Stilton style cheese.  Hope this helps.

Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on April 01, 2013, 10:10:32 AM
I cleaned off the spots with salt/vinegar yesterday, I sort of rubbed off the pink stain, then generously applied my salt/vinegar brine on that spot.  I really really hope it doesn't come back.  Should I be worried about who I give this cheese to?  I definitely don't want to cause birth defects or serious illness to anyone!! If the entire aging process becomes a daily battle against this pink mold, should I just toss out the cheese?
I will be much more attent with hand santizing, I will spray my hands with vinegar after washing before touching the cheese!!
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: jwalker on April 01, 2013, 10:30:17 AM
I will be much more attent with hand santizing, I will spray my hands with vinegar after washing before touching the cheese!!

That's probably a good idea , it may be just luck , but so far I have had no problems with any of my cheeses with unwanted mold.

I keep a spray bottle of pure alcohol on the counter , before starting a cheese , everything gets a liberal spray of alcohol , including my hands , then a thorough washing with hot water to remove the alcohol.

Also do the same with everything when finished before putting it away , it may be overkill , but that's just me.

I would personally wash/scrub all the mold off and try to revive it , if the pink keeps coming back , I would toss it and start a new one , it may be less work and worry in the long run.

Good luck!

Cheers , Jim.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: meyerandray on April 01, 2013, 11:40:06 AM
Quote
I would personally wash/scrub all the mold off and try to revive it

ALL of the mold?  meaning the blue mold too?  What would I then do to revive it?  Would you wash/scrub with a soft brush and vinegar/salt mixture?  After the cleaning of yesterday I don't see any sign of new pink spots, or pink coming back where I washed, but just to be safe I don't think this would be a bad idea.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: jwalker on April 01, 2013, 12:29:50 PM
Quote
I would personally wash/scrub all the mold off and try to revive it
ALL of the mold?  meaning the blue mold too?  What would I then do to revive it?

Yes , but like I said , that is what "I" would do , as I am still fairly new , I have no actual experience with unwanted mold (yet).

A soft brush with vinegar/salt solution should work.

My thinking was that if the PR was added to the milk , that strain should be throughout the cheese , if ALL surface mold was ashed or scrubbed off , the PR should start growing again , hopefully by itself this time , seems feasible to a newbie like me.

Just a suggestion tho , it would be nice if someone who has dealt with this problem before could give some more insight.

Again , good luck with it.

Cheers , Jim.
Title: Re: first blue attempt and I have no idea what to expect!
Post by: Schnecken Slayer on April 01, 2013, 12:40:35 PM
A lot of folk here encourage B Linens on their washed rinds so don't be too concerned about it and definitely don't discard it.
Also, my stilton picked up some from the environment and it was still a very tasty cheese.  http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10476.15.html (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10476.15.html)