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CHEESE TYPE BOARDS (for Cheese Lovers and Cheese Makers) => ADJUNCT - Washed Rind & Smear Ripened => Topic started by: Boofer on March 11, 2012, 12:48:44 AM

Title: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 11, 2012, 12:48:44 AM
Oh boy, a busy weekend while the wife is out of town.

Friday: Esrom #4
Saturday: Double Gloucester #1

This particular make introduces me to the use of mother cultures. I have resisted the call to move to them for quite some time, but decided 2012 was the time to get into it. This and the Gloucester prove to me that I should have started using mother cultures a long time ago.

Starting pH for the milk: 6.72 @ 6:20AM

1 gallon Dungeness Valley Creamery whole raw milk
1 gallon Twin Brook Creamery 2% milk
2 gallons Twin Brook Creamery whole creamline milk
8 cubes (8 oz) Aroma B mesophilic
1/16 tsp PLA (I liked the rind treatment that I got from using this on my last Tilsit.)
1/2 tsp CACL diluted in 1/4 cup distilled water
1/16 tsp dry calf rennet dissolved in cold distilled water
1 TBS Organic Herbes de Provence, boiled in 1 cup distilled water and cooled

6:30AM - began heating milk and culture cubes
7:35AM - pH 6.65 @ 88F
7:53AM - pH 6.60 @ 89F - added CACL, rennet, and herbes water (I think my meter is fooling me)
8:12AM - pH 6.67 - floc'd in 21 min - using a multiplier of 3.5 gives me 73.5...make that 74 min to wait
9:26AM - cut curds to 1 inch; rested curds for 5 min
9:31AM - using whisk, cut curds to 1/4 inch, stirring gently
9:35AM - replaced 1 1/2 gallon of whey with 98F water, stirring gently for 60 min
9:36AM - reserved 1 gallon of whey for whey-brine
10:45AM - drained remaining whey from curds and mixed cooled Herbes de Provence with curds
11:00AM - using hands, placed curds into prepared brick mold with Plyban, pressing down into corners to ensure a good knit
11:15AM - pressed in pot with lid on using 10lb weight for 30 min
11:45AM - flipped, redressed, pressed in pot with lid on using 10lb weight for 30 min
12:15PM - pH 6.37; flipped, removed Plyban, pressed naked in pot on press with 22lbs for 5 hrs
3:30PM - pH 5.60; flipped, continued pressing
5:30PM - pH 5.41; removed from mold; into whey-brine for 6 hrs
11:30PM - flipped in whey-brine
3/10/12
5:30AM - out of whey-brine (total 12hrs); into minicave to dry

pH targets:
renneting: (6.55) 6.60 actual (according to my meter  ::) )
cutting: (6.50) 6.60 actual (again, according to my meter   :P )
draining: (6.45) tough to do because the whey is washed
molding: (6.40) 6.37 actual (hey, what a surprise!)
demolding: (5.40) 5.41 actual ( I guess the planets are lined up.  ;) )

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on March 11, 2012, 12:39:14 PM
This will be interesting.  You've been getting quite a bit of use out of that brick mould, so, all in all it's just another brick in the wall I suppose.  When I saw your pH for rennet and cutting were the same by your meter, all that I could think was "No! Do it again!".  Hmmm, must stop that now.  ha!  Anyway, well done and looking forward to seeing how this one progresses.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 11, 2012, 12:59:34 PM
"No! Do it again!".
Thanks, Jeff. The thing is, if I get a suspicious reading, I do attempt to get a non-suspicious reading. After a bit, I write if off to the quirk of the meter. I used to fanatically follow the whims of the meter. After frustration, disappointment, disillusionment, and just a lot of disgusting meter performance, I decided I needed to feel the process and the milk more intimately.

The meter is fallible. It gives an assist, but is not the final say in what I do to the milk. Hey, it's not a perfect world right now, but I think it is improving. Repetition, observation, correction. In my particular world of cheese I'm finding out what works for me, what I like and don't like, and trying to learn how and where I can improve. I give credit to the forum and the members who have advised me over time. I've gathered a lot of good information and been able to incorporate it into what I do.

See, that meter just made me get up on my soapbox. Evil meter...  >:D

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Cloversmilker on March 11, 2012, 01:39:39 PM
Great looking cheese!

You shouldn't say that stuff about your pH meter.  It allows me to justify my pH meter free cheese making and continue on my merry way completely ignorant of acidity profiles.   ;)
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on March 11, 2012, 02:49:13 PM
Hi Boofer,

Yah, from what I've gathered the meters are a bit wonky at times.  Still, as long as they generally produce reliable results then it can speed the learning process by letting you know where you are in the acidity curve.  Also, I suppose, they can give you an idea of how well your cultures are working. 

But, having priced an Extech 100 here in NZ at well over $300 (while they're around $85 in the US), I might just hold off on getting one until I'm in Canada next time.  We're going this coming Christmas, so not too far off.

Anyway, the herbs look to be very nicely distributed.  Should be a great treat.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: anutcanfly on March 11, 2012, 02:59:32 PM
I get quirky results as well in those first readings and have learned to forge ahead when my meter does that.  Overall, having a meter has improved my cheesemaking 10 fold!

You're cheeses are looking great Boofer!  Why does your wife need to be out of town?  They don't get smelly for weeks?
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on March 11, 2012, 10:12:49 PM
Nice looking cheese Boofer
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 12, 2012, 08:49:45 AM
Why does your wife need to be out of town?  They don't get smelly for weeks?
Actually, she doesn't smell at all. That's not why she's away.  ;)

Thanks for the good thoughts. Like my recent Leyden with cumin (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9107.0.html) I was somewhat afraid to put anything in my pristine cheese. For this one, like that one, I only used a tablespoon of herbs, not wishing to overdo it. I wanted cheese with herb flavor, not herbs with cheese flavor.  :)

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on March 12, 2012, 02:31:36 PM
I know what you mean! I made one according to a book recipe that called for 2 tablespoons of cummin and I don't really like cummin. YUCK! The guys at work ate it in short order though.
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 14, 2012, 02:47:47 PM
Started the wash cycle. A few bits of herb came off...to be expected.

Gave it a little air time.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on March 14, 2012, 07:53:31 PM
That really looks good!
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 19, 2012, 09:18:18 AM
I'm a little disappointed. I expected the rind development to begin by this time.

To give it a kick in the pants, this morning I misted with PLA that I rehydrated yesterday. Fingers crossed. I should get something going this week.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: anutcanfly on March 19, 2012, 10:39:39 AM
You cross your fingers and I'll cross my toes!  We went to the cheese festival and I got to sample a lot of blues and I still have no idea what I want or how to make it!  I did try a cheese with cumin and I think I'll skip on strong spices awhile.  You couldn't taste the cheese.  Hope your works out to be tasty.   :)
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Hande on March 19, 2012, 01:51:39 PM
Boofer, your Esrom looking good  :)
To me PLA takes 2-3 weeks that something happen.

How you take your PH measuring ?
I like to take my sample in small cup and put that in bigger glass.
So I put meter in sample and launch timer to 2 min.
2 min seems to be good time that meter has time to get balance.
I like that system, and yours hands are free to work,  or taste some wine  :)

Hande
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on March 19, 2012, 02:23:25 PM
If you wash it, it will come.  Patience grasshopper should sound familiar! :)

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: anutcanfly on March 19, 2012, 02:27:12 PM
Field of Dreams and Kung Fu!  That's two, see if you can get 3 or 4 next time Jeff.  ;)
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 19, 2012, 06:09:53 PM
If you wash it, it will come.  Patience grasshopper should sound familiar! :)

- Jeff
Yeah, yeah...patience. I've heard the story.  ;)

I'm going off the performance in my latest Tilsit (#3) which had a nice PLA bloom within a week! The make was different and I had to limit the amount of PLA I added in because they don't give you very much in the bag. In fact, I have to reorder already. I wish I could mother culture it, but don't believe it's possible with this mix.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: kookookachoo on March 21, 2012, 03:38:49 PM
Boofer,  that looks really scrumptious!  I'm sitting here, having ricotta I made a couple of days ago (from a tomme make-pleasantly good ricotta, too!).  The only additives I've introduced to my cheeses has been the saffron in the caciotta and I've been reading your Leyden cos I love cumin & I'm thinking strongly of making it. 

A cheese for your inspiration! 
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 21, 2012, 07:00:37 PM
Thanks, kookoo. It should be ready for tasting around D-Day, June 6th. That will mark 3 months' affinage. The Leyden (cumin) should be ready around Tax Day, April 15th. That will be 2 months' affinage. Can't wait to see what kind of flavor I get.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 29, 2012, 02:38:00 PM
So I have been washing with 3% brine dosed with PLA but I see very little happening. This morning I saw a few white wisps while I was washing and I maybe feel a little grittiness from the PLA, but otherwise it's pretty much a non-event.  ???

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on March 29, 2012, 02:48:10 PM
Is there a slight pinkish tinge on the top there?  Could just be my monitor.  I can't seem to get rid of the b.linens from the one make I did.  Every cheese seems to pick up a dose of them while air drying.  I've washed all my mats and things, but as they dry out they get just damp enough to get going.  Once they go into the cave, and I don't brine wash them, they don't really progress, but I'm surprised you're not getting any activity.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 29, 2012, 05:50:21 PM
Is there a slight pinkish tinge on the top there?  Could just be my monitor.
I think it's your monitor. I don't see a tinge.

I think I'll go make up a fresh mister of PLA & 3% brine and hit it again tomorrow. I've done a few washed rinds and several Esroms and never had one not start like this one. Peculiar.

Really? You have linens that just hangs on and latches onto your nearest cheese?

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on March 29, 2012, 07:46:10 PM
Yah, all my cheeses seem to pick them up during the air drying phase.  My butterkase were the worst for it, but that make has always produced quite a wet cheese, so the extended period of time being moist was sort of self brining I think.  Since then, I've washed out all my boxes, and the stuff I use when air drying, but there's always a few pink and red colouring developing by the time it goes into the cave.  I think my apartment just has a nest of them somewhere in the woodwork as I was picking up wild b.linens before I even bought some.  Since using the bought ones, it's taken quite an effort to get them back under control.  Not gone, but not as intense lately.  Must be time to try a Port Salute? :)

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Hande on March 30, 2012, 08:21:05 AM
I think that your Esrom has just right color  :)
If look some Esrom pictures, those has only very light orange rind like proper Taleggio.
Taste can be just great.
http://www.teddingtoncheese.co.uk/acatalog/de304.htm (http://www.teddingtoncheese.co.uk/acatalog/de304.htm)

Hande
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 30, 2012, 09:04:31 AM
Thanks, Hande, that's encouraging. Maybe I should just continue what I have been doing. I had this vision of what I thought the rind should be doing. Maybe I had the wrong vision.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on March 30, 2012, 02:32:18 PM
Maybe you are making an esrom with visions of Port Salut?
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 31, 2012, 01:40:50 PM
See, you just have to be patient. That's what I've been saying all along. ::)

The smear, smell, and color are becoming more obvious. Hooray!

The pink tinge that Jeff saw was probably what I was rubbing today. It's part of the smear. I wash with the 3% brine dosed with PLA and then lovingly and gently smear it all over the cheese. The result is a creamy smear as seen on my glove. I'll maintain that regimen for the next week and then stop washing and just gently rub the brick. Hopefully I'll get a light dusting of geo after a bit. I'm looking for a relatively non-tacky rind...maybe a little gritty from the geo.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on March 31, 2012, 02:30:58 PM
Rub a dub dub there's smear on the glove ...

Well done Boofer.  I believe this will progress nicely as so many of your cheeses do.  Nice job and a cheese to you for your unwavering patience! ;)

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on March 31, 2012, 04:38:47 PM
It's growing! Looking good - hang in there!
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on March 31, 2012, 06:30:22 PM
Thanks, guys. Your encouragement and advice helps a lot.  8)

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on March 31, 2012, 08:35:57 PM
b.linens can be sooo slow!
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on April 05, 2012, 09:56:22 AM
Okay, I've just read a recipe for Port Salut which is also a smear-ripened cheese. It calls for the smear to be on the cheese for 12-15 days and then to brush it off under running water. Then presumably you would dry the cheese and either vacuum-seal it or wrap it in special foil.

This is a revelation for me. My Esrom #3 (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,8405.0.html) was pretty tasty (still have some in the big fridge) but the linens smear had not been removed and was fairly off-putting when eating the cheese. If I can let the smear do its thing and then remove it to have a finished cheese without the offending smear rind...I think I'll have a winner.

I don't believe the idea of removing the smear rind has been mentioned in any of the smear-ripened cheese recipes I have seen.

So my course of action at this point is to continue with the smear for another week, which will make it around 14 days, and then follow the brushing/washing regimen to remove it. A day or so to dry it off and then I'll vacuum-seal it for another month of affinage. I expect that the middle of May will be a good time then to cut into it.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on April 05, 2012, 12:22:57 PM
Hi Boofer,

Interesting.  I ended up removing the smear rind that the washed-rind Butterkase that I made (up?) developed, but that was due to not letting it air out enough and it started getting a bit amonia smelling.  I still cut the rind off, even after removing the linens, since it was quite strong with off flavours, but the interior paste was very nice.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on April 05, 2012, 03:19:18 PM
I have 2 different recipes for port Salut and both wash off the B.linens after 12 and 15 days.

brush off any surface growth under a stream of floating water on 12th – 15th day.

Brush off rind flora after 2 weeks and wash to get a cleaner rind.

The Esrom recipe I have from Danlac doesn't even use b.linens but the one from 200 cheeses does.
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on April 10, 2012, 07:56:49 PM
A couple more days and I'll wash off all this gorgeous color.  :'(

But that's a good thing!  ;D

You can see in these pics that this is my best smear yet!

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on April 11, 2012, 12:35:05 AM
I love the smell of linens in the morning!  Well done!  From wondering if it was going to happen at all to best smear ever is covering all the bases.  Nicely done.  A shame it has to be washed away, but that's part of the process.  Maybe wash 1/2 then get a photo before finishing off the clearance.  Congratulations and a cheese for perserverance.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on April 11, 2012, 10:14:09 AM
I love the smell of linens in the morning!  Well done!  From wondering if it was going to happen at all to best smear ever is covering all the bases.  Nicely done.  A shame it has to be washed away, but that's part of the process.  Maybe wash 1/2 then get a photo before finishing off the clearance.  Congratulations and a cheese for perserverance.

- Jeff
Thanks, Jeff. I had to give you credit in the photo...you saw the pink before I did. Maybe "couldn't see the forest for the trees"?

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: anutcanfly on April 11, 2012, 10:31:30 AM
That color is intense!  Hope you can recreate it on purpose!
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Tomer1 on April 11, 2012, 10:51:25 AM
Maybe you could freeze the smear and try and reuse it in the future.
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on April 11, 2012, 11:04:41 AM
Maybe you could freeze the smear and try and reuse it in the future.
Wow, that's an interesting idea. It would seem like a morge mother culture.

I've attached the PLA makeup. I'm not sure if that would be possible for the combination.

Perhaps one of our more learned members could offer an opinion.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on April 11, 2012, 06:04:26 PM
Very nice looking rind you got going there Boofer!
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: george (MaryJ) on April 12, 2012, 04:46:03 AM
Ooooh - pretty!
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on April 12, 2012, 12:17:55 PM
yes, pretty in pink!  Seeing smear in a photo is like spotting Elvis in a mall - it's only really cool if you're right!

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on April 14, 2012, 01:39:52 PM
Today was washday. Time to come clean.

I was unsure how this would go. The smear was pretty thick and I thought it might extend into the paste and create an awful mess removing it. Not so. The smear came off with brushing and water. I was left with a red-tinted cheese with a very firm rind. After removing the smear, I dried it and resealed it for continued aging. Still targeting around D-Day/June 6th for cutting this open.

Sorry, Jeff, I had it in mind to try to only remove half, snap a picture, and then proceed with removing the rest. Once I began, it became clear that this was just too messy to do that.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on April 14, 2012, 11:46:55 PM
Interesting.  The colour looks much more intense now that you've removed the smear!  Elvis has left the building. :)

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on May 11, 2012, 10:18:55 AM
Lots of pink showing. Very curious.

I'm still targeting the first or second week of June to cut into this.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: anutcanfly on May 11, 2012, 10:26:12 AM
Looking forward to the cutting ceremony.  :)
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on June 03, 2012, 01:10:24 PM
Looking forward to the cutting ceremony.  :)
And here it is....  8)

June 6th, D-Day, was my original cutting date, but I decided "why not today?". Just about 3 months total.

The rind is only slightly sticky. It was a good decision to wash/brush away the linens back when I did. The rind does not have that strong linens taste as the Esrom #3 (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,8405.0.html) and other cheeses I've made so there is no need to remove the rind. The taste is a little nutty, with overall good clean flavor. Salt level is perfect. There are a few small holes as shown in the pics and the level of herbs is adequate and not overpowering. The herbs meld with the milk flavor. I cut one of the slices into half inch sticks and enjoyed them with apple this morning. The texture is semisoft and slightly flexible.

This cheese is an improvement over #3 (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,8405.0.html) and a definite plus in the WIN column. I would easily do this make again with no changes to anything.

Hey, Debi...no bitterness.  ;)

-Boofer-

Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: DeejayDebi on June 04, 2012, 09:30:53 PM
Looks great! Is it somewhat stinky?
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on June 05, 2012, 12:03:00 AM
Not too stinky, probably because I removed the linens...the major cause of most of the stinky. Overall, very nice little cheese.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on June 05, 2012, 02:25:22 AM
Another nice looking result Boofer!  Your cheeses are all turning out very professional looking.  Well done.  A cheese to your skills.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on June 05, 2012, 08:33:13 AM
Thanks, Jeff. You're very generous.

I have some cave shelf space opening up and I'm dying to get some rich, raw, summer milk for something. The only things active in the caves right now are the Reblochons (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9720.0.html) and that other FdA (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9484.0.html). I'm leaning towards a repeat of my Tomme #4 (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,7719.0.html). That was pretty special and it's been almost a year.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: george (MaryJ) on June 07, 2012, 02:51:30 PM
Oh, Boofer, definitely use some of that spring/summer raw milk for a butterkaese!  You know, the one you said you were going to make ...  >:D

Back to the Esrom, though - will you make it again with the herbes de Provence?  Did it add something that you'd like to repeat in an Esrom?
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on June 10, 2012, 12:19:21 AM
You know, george, that I would like to do a Butterkase. That might just be the one to spark my imagination.  :D

I think I've fallen in love with Esrom. Very nice little cheese. This latest rendition taught me a few things that I'll use later in other cheeses. I have removed linens from a Tomme, a Fourme d'Ambert, and this Esrom. The linens did its work on the rind and then I removed it so that the rind would be very nicely edible. I have found that I and other consumers of my cheese do not like the linens and will trim it off.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on June 10, 2012, 12:26:09 AM
Hi Boofer,

I've just cut into my most recent butterkase, and it's turned out quite good.  If you're looking for a make protocol you could go with that one.  It makes for a nice, basic, mild cheese.  If you know anyone who's a bit off put by strong flavoured cheeses, this is a good one for them.  I know you've had the real thing as well, which I have not, so I'm also hoping a comparison report will let me know if it's close! :)

I've made it once adding a wash rind to it and it works well that way too, but of course, that's a very different cheese.
- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on June 27, 2012, 01:02:45 AM
Oooh, I brought this out today and cut a couple slices to check its status. I happened to have some fresh Wasa crackers available so I melted a bit on several crackers. Yum!

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: bbracken677 on October 22, 2012, 07:22:39 PM
Boofer...question: At the beginning of this thread you remarked about starting using mother cultures...what is the advantage to using a frozen mother culture vs adding culture straight into the milk?
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on October 22, 2012, 08:02:18 PM
A mother culture takes a 1/4 tsp or so of dry culture and grows it in warmed milk to a huge bacterial concentration. That populated milk is then frozen as cubes. When it comes time to make cheese, I take a bag of 8 cubes of a particular culture (in my case: Alp D, MA4001, Kazu, TA61, Aroma B) out of my freezer, thaw them in a bowl of lukewarm water (it doesn't take very long), and add them to the milk at ripening temperature (90F?). Result? Instant huge bacterial population, which leads to faster pH delta, quicker cheese process, etc.

If I had added that same 1/4 tsp of culture to the milk at ripening temperature (90F?), I would have to wait for the bacteria to wake up from their dried slumber and propagate to the same point that the cubes had when they were added to the milk.

Sailor made it all very clear to us how easy it is to do this when he posted his pictorial "how-to". It took me a while to see the light.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: bbracken677 on October 22, 2012, 08:20:51 PM
Thanks! I had not considered doing that since my makes tend to be of the 2 gallon size, and just not that often...at best a cheese a week. I will think about this since it does make a lot of sense and perhaps adopt the methodology...recently I have been kept busy enough that I haven't made cheese in a few weeks...going to get the shakes!  haha  I should be making some cheddar on wednesday...all planned out and am ready cept for the milk.
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on October 23, 2012, 12:49:54 AM
Good luck on your Cheddar make.

You know, Jeff does relatively small makes and he uses cubes. Check out some of his threads.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: bbracken677 on October 23, 2012, 05:33:58 AM
Yeah...I noticed some time back.
I guess the thing I am having trouble wrapping my head around is, how do you know how much to use? With the standard culture a 1/4 tsp is 1/4 tsp and will always be 1/4 tsp (for the same make), but with the mother culture it seems to be a bit less definable, in a sense...on the other hand, I like the idea of working with a "live" culture that starts working almost immediately. I noticed your "innoculation" period was 15 minutes.
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on October 23, 2012, 09:11:05 AM
how do you know how much to use?
Here you go. This information is also available in the forum, but I have it saved locally. You should do yourself a favor and go check out Sailor's photo essay on mother culturing. Good stuff.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: bbracken677 on October 23, 2012, 12:58:37 PM
Thanks! I will check out Sailor's post...had read it sometime back, but didnt think it really applied to my make schedule/type/size...What I may do is make a much smaller amount of the mother culture to use to begin with. If I remember correctly he was making like quart amounts of each culture.
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on October 23, 2012, 01:06:36 PM
Mother cultures are fairly easy.  I just buy a box of UHT milk, which is no good for hard cheeses (apparently semi-lactics are ok) but it is sterile.  Add a few grains of meso culture and let it sit around 20 C for 12 to 24 hours.  If you use thermo culture, put it in a warmer location, around 28 C or so.  I just either leave it on the kitchen counter (meso) or in the hot water cupboard (thermo).  Anyway, it will thicken, like gluggy yogurt.  Pour this into steralised ice cube trays and freeze.  Bag the cubes, label, and use 4-6 for a 10 Litre make. 

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: bbracken677 on October 23, 2012, 03:52:23 PM
Thanks for the suggestion!  U-P milk would be perfect....am working on a batch right now, using the culture mix I use for cheddars, since I am currently focusing on them and will use the mother culture in my next make, tomorrow   :)
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on October 23, 2012, 04:25:37 PM
Even though UP/UHT milk is technically sterile there can be post-pasteurization contamination, especially during bottling. If you leave an unopened bottle of UP/UHT on your counter at room temperature it will last longer than regular milk, but it will still go bad. That's from the contaminants.
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on October 23, 2012, 05:17:48 PM
Hi Sailor,

Yes, it's "sterile" before you open it, but once opened it is subject to contamination which leads to spoilage.  But, by adding the culture (and loosely closing the lid, so gas can escape) the culture should out compete any pathogen.  Some people have suggested that one could then use their last ice cube to start a new batch, etc, but I'm not sure that's such a  good idea.  The blend ratio of cultures would get out of whack after a while if you're using a mix (like FD) and, you risk perpetuating any pathogen that did get in.  Might be in too small a number for a batch or two, but given the opportunity to compete, it may end up being the winner after a few generations. 

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on October 24, 2012, 08:52:29 AM
Some people have suggested that one could then use their last ice cube to start a new batch, etc, but I'm not sure that's such a  good idea.  The blend ratio of cultures would get out of whack after a while if you're using a mix (like FD) and, you risk perpetuating any pathogen that did get in.  Might be in too small a number for a batch or two, but given the opportunity to compete, it may end up being the winner after a few generations. 
That would be similar to a movie made back in the 1990's, Multiplicity (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117108/), where a guy who is overworked and overstressed, finds a way to duplicate himself. That works for a while and he's able to spread himself out and be more effective. That works okay until one day his clone wants a buddy so he clones himself. A clone making a clone. Hey, now there's three versions of this one guy. The two clones are very different from the original guy, but still viable. Then the cloned clone makes a buddy for himself. This cloned clone of a clone is not so high quality. In a word, he's stupid.

Such might be the case where you try to propagate cultures from grown cultures. Better to use fresh.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on October 24, 2012, 09:37:51 AM
Yes, it's "sterile" before you open it, but once opened it is subject to contamination which leads to spoilage.

There is almost no such thing as "sterile", especially in a home environment. Some bacteria and yeast can form spores which can survive even boiling water. Anyone who cans at home has probably seen this problem. Hospitals and labs use "autoclaves" that combine high heat and pressure to truly sterilize tools and equipment.

As I said above, leave an UNOPENED container of UP/UHT at room temp and it will spoil from the organisms that either survived pasteurization or were reintroduced during packaging. The concern here is not pathogens, except maybe Clostridium (Botulism). Those are generally killed off during normal pasteurization. So UP is really overkill for pathogens, but goes a step farther towards sterilization and does kill off MOST spoilage organisms, but not all.

Here a gallon of skim milk is just $2.50/gallon or about 63¢ for a quart of Mother Culture. Around here UP generally means "organic", which is 4 times the price.
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Alpkäserei on October 24, 2012, 10:13:43 AM
When preserving a whey culture, you also preserve a reserve culture in the form of yogurt. A portion of this can be frozen and kept for a very long period of time (a few years)

This is important because we work with unpasteurized milk, meaning there are a lot of organisms present to possibly compete with our culture bacteria. If we would just hold over the whey by itself, reason would tell us it would eventually become a different mix of bacteria. But we have 2 ways of getting around that. First, we add a tablespoon or so of our yogurt into every liter of preserved whey. This reintroduces the good bacteria. Second, the whey is heated to a fairly high temperature, which is going to kill off most unwanted organisms but allow the thermos to live on (our cheeses are thermophilic). So our whey culture is reinforced, quickly heated, then quickly cooled and incubated overnight. This keeps our culture going strong.

Also important is that when we make our yogurt, we sterilize the milk as part of the process even if using storebought stuff. This for two reasons, to kill off anything that might compete with our culture, and to break down certain proteins allowing the yogurt to set up thicker (this is nice if you want to eat it)

Also, all culture-handling equipment is repeatedly cleaned and sanitized.

You could use frozen culture to start a new batch, but you would have to go through a multi-step process.

Thaw the culture, slowly warm it up to incubating temp, and leave it alone for a few hours.

You should test you cultures when incubating like this, and they will fall into a fairly narrow acceptable range of acidity (%TA) the specifics will vary with the culture used, and I would give degrees SH which would probably mean nothing to you anyway :/

Sterilize some milk yourself, and flash cool it down to incubating temp with a cold water bath
add the thawed culture stock. This is a very small quantity.
incubate this stuff overnight.
sterilize some more milk, this time a liter or so.
if using a thermo culture, quickly heat the cultured milk to say 150 degrees with a hot water bath, then with a cold water bath back down to incubating temp.
Add cultured milk to sterilized milk.
incubate this overnight.

this should give you a nice, happy thermophilic culture. It will no longer be exactly what you got in the package but that is not necessarily a bad thing. This will yield you a culture more akin to a traditional Old World culture, rather than a laboratory culture. It will have dozens of bacteria growing in it, instead of two or three, but be assured they are good.

Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on October 24, 2012, 12:26:56 PM
Hi,

Ah, here the UHT milk is not organic, I think it's just so you can keep the milk in the cupboard rather than in the fridge (as it will keep that way for weeks, maybe months, until opened).  I put sterile in quotes to indicate that I was using the term a bit loosely and didn't mean to imply it would last forever, etc,  I just meant the UHT milk is exceptionally low in stuff that would compete with the added cheese culture, so a mother culture made from it will be just what you add, but I accept your point that the home is not exactly a food lab and that, if left out on the counter even unopened it will eventually go off, but that's at a time frame well beyond what we're dealing with here.  Also, there's always the risk of contamination when you open something in the home.  I'm making the assumption that anyone who is making cheese at home is aware of the need to minimize contamination, and would recognize that a bit of extra care should be taken with mother cultures since they will be used to make a number of cheeses.

Anyway, here UHT milk is not exceptionally expensive, and I've found it to be a good choice for making mother cultures for the above reasons. That's all.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on April 10, 2013, 01:35:14 PM
This cheese was in its prime a while back, but I sampled it this past week and it was still quite tasty.

Melted on sliced tomato, layered on top of sourdough toast. Yum!  :)

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Tomer1 on April 11, 2013, 08:48:01 AM
Quote
Hospitals and labs use "autoclaves" that combine high heat and pressure to truly sterilize tools and equipment

Not sure what would happen to the milk, but you  can use a pressure cooker to sterilize your milk.  temp will depend on how much you can pressurize your cooker.

When making a culture I often just put some storebought milk in a glass jar (dilute with some water if its not skim milk), put it in the microwave and nuke it untill it starts to boil over, cool it down and pitch some culture. 
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: curd nerd on April 11, 2013, 12:35:21 PM
JEFF,if you have any DICK SMITH electronic stores left in N.Z, they have a , circa $60 pH metre which is very acceptable

old story though , keep the bulb moist and well free of contaniments

many regards ,,,,love your posts , most informative ,,,brian from across the ditch
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: JeffHamm on April 12, 2013, 01:01:02 AM
Thanks curd nerd.  There are a few Dick Smiths still around, though they are closing out.  Will have a look, although many things in NZ gain a lot of monetary weight from crossing the Tasman ; must be from the humidity?

- Jeff
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: KTownCheese on April 17, 2013, 12:24:54 PM
Thats an awesome looking cheese! Im envious of the rich red colour of your B.linens!
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on April 17, 2013, 07:51:55 PM
Thanks, KTownCheese.

Excellent texture & taste as well.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Esrom (#4) with Herbes de Provence...another brick in the wall
Post by: Boofer on October 15, 2013, 08:42:48 AM
I pulled the last piece of this out of the big fridge last night, sliced it, and was pleasantly surprised by the texture and flavor. The slices are perfectly moist and flexible. The flavor, although pronounced, is very complex. Not objectionable in any way.

By my calculations, this is somewhere in the 19th month of its cheesy life. Very nice little cheese. No molds and the herbs are doing just fine.

It's sad for me to eat the last remaining morsel from this make, but a delight to my tastebuds. :)  All of my Esrom efforts have been something of an adventure with the brick mould and then the washed rind explorations. All have been excellent uses of fresh milk.

The cheese has been vacuum-sealed all of this time which has preserved and protected it very well.

Perhaps 2014 will be an opportune time to renew the Esrom chronicles.

-Boofer-