CheeseForum.org » Forum

CHEESE TYPE BOARDS (for Cheese Lovers and Cheese Makers) => ADJUNCT - Washed Rind & Smear Ripened => Topic started by: AndreasMergner on November 12, 2012, 08:49:29 PM

Title: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 12, 2012, 08:49:29 PM
I made this yesterday.  It is a 4 lb wheel of Vacherin Fribourgeois.  I haven't seen any threads for this cheese.   I've never had it, but apparently it is a traditional fondue cheese in Switzerland...and I love fondue!  I used the 200 Cheese book for the recipe.  It is currently drying, so will put it in the cave tomorrow.

(http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/604091_4346765220062_94481896_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: H-K-J on November 12, 2012, 09:01:38 PM
Nice!! tell us how it turns out 8)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 12, 2012, 09:14:10 PM
Nice!! tell us how it turns out 8)

Will do!

I've searched a bit and I can't seem to find out what washing this cheese with brine will do.  It doesn't have any B linens in it, so what happens??  ...or rather, how is it different than aging it without washing it?
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Tiarella on November 13, 2012, 07:47:07 AM
I don't know that type of cheese but can say that brine washing helps to create a good rind and keeps molds in check.  Does this style have a clean rind or natural wild moldy rind?  (not that you have to stick to tradition necessarily)

Forum member Alp has I spired me to use white wine, salt, water in my brine for washing.  He says to wash and keep it damp to avoid molds, that a cheesy creamy paste will develop for the first days and it will in time create a mold resistant rind.  Can't remember the forum thread name but you could look for it in the aging area of the forum.  it's recent.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 13, 2012, 08:11:58 AM
I'm thinking this has a clean rind since it will give the fondue more of a taste I'm looking for.

I did see that thread right after posting. It is actually right in this forum! :) Keeping the rind free of molds sounds like a good reason.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: iratherfly on November 14, 2012, 02:21:03 AM
Vacherin Fribourgeois is an incredible cheese. It is one of only 8 Swiss cheeses with AOC/IGP status (protected domain). In spite of its name - do NOT confuse it with other cheeses named Vacherin such as the Mont d'Or which is an entirely different cheese (small, runny, wrapped in sprice bark, totally different thing but the name sounds similar).

The Vacherin Fribourgeois it is strictly made manually by artisans and like most of the large format, long aging Swiss cheeses, it is made with spring-summer milk to be consumed in the winter. It is typically made in in large copper Cauldrons and often by artisan makers in tiny remote huts in the alps. I see that you live in NY State so if you ever come down to NYC, there are a number of stores that carry Vacherin Fribourgeois from Rolf Beeler - I hightly recommend them. He is probably one of the top artisan cheesemakers on this planet.

As for your question about the wash. I copied and translated the corresponding part from the legal decree for Vacherin Fribourgeois which was put into law by the Swiss Government in 2005:

Section 3: Description of the method of preparation -> Part C: Aging -> Article 17: maturation parameters
1. Immediately following the completion of the cheeses, a period of 30 days in a "warm" (12-18°C) and wet (88-96 percent) incorporated cellar.
2. Each cheese is turned several times a week and go over them with smear water and / or lightly salted water. The smear forms thanks to the regular treatment with water, which can be enriched with salt and / or cultivated or natural bacterial cultures Brevibacterium linens or approved specific cultures. Antimicrobial use is prohibited.
3. The maturation occurs on boards of spruce (Picea abies).
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 14, 2012, 07:35:19 AM
Thanks Iratherfly!  This is great info.  My recipe does not mention B linens.  Looks like the legal decree makes B linens optional.  I have Raclette aging right now too, so wanted to make a different style of cheese...so it would be nice if it at least wasn't a strong B linens like the Raclette will be.  I actually made up wash yesterday and put some white wine in it along with salt as recommended in the wash thread in this forum.  The raclette is supposed to be at a lower temp, according to 200 Cheeses, but it also has VF at alower temp than the legal decree. The recipe also calls for the washes to start a week after the VF is put into the cave.

I will try my best!  Since I don't know what the original tastes like I don't have a defined goal.  That, and I have only made half a dozen cheeses so far and am near beginner in skill!  I made a gouda with a natural rind, which made it more like a parm in that it dried out.  I have it a year later and it makes a great grating cheese, but NOTHING like gouda.  :)

There is a co-op here that carries a lot of great cheese.  I'll see if they have or can get VF.  We do go to NYC every once in a while, but we don't have any trips planned there any time soon.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 15, 2012, 01:38:44 PM
I went to the co-op today and they said they carried VF.  When he went to point it out, there was none!  He said they already ordered another wheel and it should arrive in two weeks.  Another guy said that they had two types, but turns out they were talking about the Mont d'Or which I figured out pretty quickly when they described it as soft.  It also sounded like this VF did not have B linens on it in any great quantity...but will find out in a couple weeks. 
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: iratherfly on November 15, 2012, 02:27:50 PM
Hmmm... remember I said in my post that
In spite of its name - do NOT confuse it with other cheeses named Vacherin such as the Mont d'Or which is an entirely different cheese (small, runny, wrapped in spruce bark, totally different thing but the name sounds similar).


Vacherin Fribourgeois is a highly saught after rare cheese that is produced manually by only a few highly skilled cheesemakers.  It is rare tobe able to find it in Murray's, Artisanal, Bedford or Fromaggio in NYC so I am not sure what your chances are to find it in the co-op.  (Even though it sounds like a high end co-op).
If you have a chance to try the Vacherin Mont d'Or however, I would try it; it has no relationship to the Vacherin Fribourgeois but it's just an incredible cheese that has a very short season and every cheese lover should know it.  Most of these by the way are not imported to the US because they are raw or thermalized milk and only aged 21 days.

I like the easy approach of 200 Easy Cheesemaking Recipes. It's a great book to learn with, but some of the recipes there are grossly inaccurate and the culture selection she recommends is very generic and dated. Just like her version of Reblochon, I suspect that her Vacherin Fribourgeois is also an inaccurate recipe.  Let me put it this way; this is a cheese that many master cheesemakers from the alps find too laborious to fabricate.  By the way, the large flat format is a key to its success.  I feel that what you would get would be more along the lines of Emmental or Gruyere, but you still need to age it for a really long time and constantly care for it.

Here's a video about Vacherin Fribourgeois. It's in French but I am sure everyone can relate:
Fabrication à Motélon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTo6bq9JpL8#ws)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 15, 2012, 04:39:22 PM
Yes, you were right.  I had done a search for Vacherin and gotten lots of the other cheese, so I knew already that there was another one out there.  ;)  The guy thought that both Vacherins were just different styles of the same cheese.  They apparently *do* carry VF.  They knew what it was.  They said it was similar to a Gruyere, which is what you said my cheese may end up like....so I have my hopes up that I will be able to try the real thing. 

One thing that I see from the video is that the final temp seems pretty hot.  200 Cheeses is under 100 F and they use mesophillic.  Oh boy....In any case, I will get SOME KIND of cheese.  :) I do like a wide variety, but I was interested in the VF because I like fondue. 

Do you have another source for recipes that you would recommend?  I bought Ricki Carroll's book first and found that it didn't answer basic questions that I had about even general ideas for making cheese. 
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Alpkäserei on November 15, 2012, 06:25:27 PM
search google.ch (swiss google) for vacherin friboureois, this will give you better results altough they will be in german and french.

there is a misconception regarding b. linens that they are only there if you put them there. when we wash a cheese, our aim is that the cheese will develop natural b. linens to harden and preserve the rind. these are mild, not as populated as you would have if you added a culture. I understand the law to state that the rind is washed to develop b. linens naturally, or certain accepted laboratory strains of b. linens can also be used. This is virtually the same for our Alpkäse, which is a close cousin to Vacherin Fribourgeois and Le Gruyere.

as for there being only 8 recognized AOC Swiss cheeses by Swiss law, it pleases me that 3 of them are produced only in Canton Bern -Berner Alpkäse and Berner Hobelkäse (which are really the same thing) and Ementaler. And the first two wonderful cheeses are produced only by hand (as per Swiss law) and i do not know that they are to be found anywhere in the US. a full 75% of production of Berner Alpkäse is sold locally, and 20% is sold in other parts of Switzerland. the remaining 5% is sold mostly in Germany or France. This cheese is not produced in sufficient qty for export. This is the difficulty, that very little of the handmade cheeses can be had in N. America. I do hope to rectify the situation to some degree, and maybe some day when we are better established import certain Swiss cheeses

Also, there are many different traditional Swiss fondue cheeses. In the Canton of Bern you will typically find a half mixture of Ementaler and Gruyere.
More common i think among German speaking Swiss is Raclette rather than Fondue. The principal difference between the 2 being that Raclette is drizzled over the food (usually bread and potatoes, maybe some sausage) while Fondue is for dipping (may have even some wine mixed in to keep it thinner)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Alpkäserei on November 15, 2012, 09:28:21 PM
It is one of only 8 Swiss cheeses with AOC/IGP status (protected domain).


This is incorrect. There are 12 AOC Cheeses (or 11, depending on whether or not you count Berner Alpkäse and Hobelkäse as the same thing)

Here is the official website and all the AOC cheeses so you can look them over. In German and French
http://www.aoc-igp.ch/konsumenten/produkte/kaeseprodukte (http://www.aoc-igp.ch/konsumenten/produkte/kaeseprodukte)

Berner Alp- und Hobelkäse AOC
Bloderkäse Saurkäse AOC
Emmentaler Schweiz AOC
L'Etivaz AOC
Fromaggio d'Alpe Ticenese AOC
Gruyere AOC
Sbrinz AOC
Tete de Moine AOC
Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC
Vacherin Mont d'Or AOC
Walliser Raclette AOC
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Tomer1 on November 16, 2012, 03:57:43 AM
@ 12:24 the cheesemaker is using the back of a tbsp to smoothen the rind , thru the cheese cloth!    whats going on over there?!
Whats this technique, why is it used and how do I use it too?  ^-^
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 16, 2012, 08:07:07 AM
Tomer, it looks like he is rounding the corners to me at least, but what do I know?  :)

Thanks for all the info Alpkaeserei!  I do know about Raclette...well, at least eating it.  ;)  We have a couple Raclette grills here at home.  I have one in the cave, but not sure how it will turn out.  I do usually use Gruyere and Emmentaler for fondue, but I didn't have any thermophilic culture for a Gruyere.  Looks like this VF also probably requires thermophilic though! 

Next time I'll search for recipes in German.  Only problem is...how do I know they are correct??  I mean, I could probably find a dozens of recipes for almost any cheese, but which one do you use?
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: iratherfly on November 17, 2012, 12:52:39 AM
It is one of only 8 Swiss cheeses with AOC/IGP status (protected domain).

This is incorrect. There are 12 AOC Cheeses (or 11, depending on whether or not you count Berner Alpkäse and Hobelkäse as the same thing)
I stand corrected; You are right. Some of these cheeses were only IGP in the past. When the EU decided to unify all the country-specific protected domains of origins under one system the Swiss have panicked and decided to pass as many cheeses as possible under their own AOC system before the new laws take place. Upon further reading it seems also that 10 of the 11 became fully active between 2000 and 2006. The 11th cheese was added in 2010. But anyway you look at it, being 1 of those 11 for a country so well known for its cheese is a rare honor. I think that I read somewhere that it was one of only 8 because it was written at the time the decree became active and back then was the 8th cheese.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: iratherfly on November 17, 2012, 01:04:32 AM
Next time I'll search for recipes in German.  Only problem is...how do I know they are correct??  I mean, I could probably find a dozens of recipes for almost any cheese, but which one do you use?
...Or you can search them in French!  It's a bit of research and you can always ask here because many members are networked well and have lots of data and books collected. If they can't give you the recipe, they may verify or cross reference facts or together fill in the blanks and missing info.  Also in the "how do I know they are correct" subject - look at the source. If you are getting them from the manufacturers co-op for that cheese, or from a reputable cheesemaking school or cheesemaker, or from the government's decree for that cheese, you are probably getting good info.  If you get them from a random cheese blogger, I would question the data. It may be spot on but also may be inaccurate enough to throw off your cheesemaking, which is a waste of your time, milk and all the efforts it take to age it.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Alpkäserei on November 17, 2012, 12:04:41 PM
I don't know about this particular cheese, but the AOC specifications for Berner Alpkäse are fairly vague, and wouldn't be enough to base a recipe on unless you already had a good idea of how the cheese is supposed to work.

Most of the AOC's allow a little wiggle room for individualism of specific producers, acknowledging the fact that traditions have developed in a broader sense than some might think.
The AOC specifications are fairly similar in concept to the specifications that the FDA puts out for cheeses.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Alpkäserei on November 17, 2012, 12:10:03 PM
Here is the law governing Vacherin Friboureois
In German:
http://www.aoc-igp.ch/_upl/files/VFR_pflichtenheft_de.pdf (http://www.aoc-igp.ch/_upl/files/VFR_pflichtenheft_de.pdf)
In French:
http://www.aoc-igp.ch/_upl/files/VFR_pflichtenheft_fr.pdf (http://www.aoc-igp.ch/_upl/files/VFR_pflichtenheft_fr.pdf)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 17, 2012, 09:32:26 PM
I speak a little bit of German, so I would go with that over French if possible....although translating on the web is easy if not imperfect.  :)

I started washing the rind today.  I noticed a very small amount of white mold so hopefully the wash will help with that.  It looks good so far, opposed to my Raclette.  :'(
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 21, 2012, 08:18:32 AM
Day 9

Looks like I have just a touch of B linens starting.  (The cheese looks a little red at the top, but the red/orange is starting at the bottom of the picture.)  Otherwise it is looking pretty good.  I had a few tiny specks of brown starting and I rubbed those off with the wash.  I have been doing the wash with a bit of wine and the wine smell is definitely apparent.  It will be interesting to taste what that does to the cheese. 

I had it in about 80-85% RH.  I just put the lid on the container so should be getting 90-95% humidity which will get the B linens going from what I understand.  I may take the lid off once B linens is a bit more underway.

(http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/231189_4381786815580_1146206117_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Alpkäserei on November 21, 2012, 11:13:23 AM
Quote
Jeder Laib wird mehrmals wöchentlich gewendet und mit Schmierwasser und/oder leicht gesalzenem
Wasser abgerieben. Die Schmiere bildet sich dank der regelmässigen Behandlung
mit Wasser, das mit Salz und/oder gezüchteten oder natürlichen Bakterienkulturen Brevibacterium
linens oder zugelassenen spezifischen Kulturen angereichert werden kann. Die Verwendung
antimikrobieller Wirkstoffe ist verboten.

-
Each wheel is turned several times per week and is rubbed with smear water [water with either b. linen culture or natural paste from washing many cheeses] and/or lightly salted water. The smear forms due to the regular treatment with water, that is enriched with salt and/or cultured or natural bacterial cultures Brevibacterium Linens or other permitted specific cultures. The use of antimicrobial agents is forbidden.

That is the wash guidelines for Vacherin Fribourgeous AOC. This it earlier specifies is for 30 days in a cellar 12-18 C, 88-96% RH
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 21, 2012, 12:27:55 PM
In that case I may give it a dose or two of B linens brine to get it started along. Are you saying it is only supposed to be aged for 30 days total? 200 Cheeses specifies 3-4 months. This is the last recipe I use from a book, let me tell you. I'll stick with the recipes here on CF.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Alpkäserei on November 21, 2012, 01:31:42 PM
No this is only the initial aging time. After this it is aged for several months in a cooler cellar, a minimum of 9 weeks.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on November 21, 2012, 06:05:37 PM
Thanks Alp!  You've helped a lot.  I feel like I know a little more about what I should be doing.  ;)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on December 19, 2012, 02:45:45 PM
I went to my local co-op and the VF has still not arrived.  I ended up getting a cheese called "Der Scharfe Maxx".  First off, it is amazing.  It is from northern Switzerland and is washed with herb infused brine.  It has a good amount of B. linens stink to it.  The paste is oh so flavorful and complex.  The rind is crazy -- I have never tasted anything like it, but it is so freaking strong tasting and on top of that you get a lot of influence from the herbs.  I'm not even sure I like rind because it is such an intense taste, but I eat it anyway because it is so unique -- those herbs!

The VF is doing very well, although I did wait a little log to flip it this last time.  The cheese sagged down through the supporting grid and broke the rind in a couple places -- kind of like a bubble popping.  I don't think it will be an issue, but I'll watch it.  The rind is full of B linens with a very nice color and just a dusting of geo.  It looks like the pictures of those of you who know what they are doing!  I'll have to post a pic soon. 
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on December 19, 2012, 04:02:41 PM
(http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/532414_4512138194283_788330103_n.jpg)

I took half a dozen photos and this is the best I could do to get it close to the color of the actual cheese.  You can see a couple breaks in the rind also.  This is at 5 weeks.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: bbracken677 on December 19, 2012, 04:21:37 PM
Nice looking!  Hope it tastes as good as it look  :)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Tiarella on December 19, 2012, 05:03:45 PM
That looks lovely and has the colors of the washed rind cheeses I've been doing recently.  I really love that set of colors!  Did you rind burst to the curd underneath of is it a thin dry layer of rind that broke?  Mine has been having issues with dryish rind, I think from the low humidity.  I did a honey/water wash to rehumidify it and put a tablespoon of water in the box to help and it fixed it but now a couple of weeks later I notice the problem again.  I use a mat on top of the grid stuff and avoid the sinking through but I was thinking how lovely your pillowy surface looks.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on December 19, 2012, 05:56:12 PM
Thanks!  I'm not sure I have high hopes for how it comes out after tasting my Raclette today.  Now that I think about it, NONE of my pressed cheeses have come out that great.  I think I may have overpressed this cheese....I need to read up again on target PSIs.  I don't trust the two books I have because they are off by so much.  I also received a pH meter for Xmas so I hope that helps too.  I have a Thermapen already so I know my temps are good. 

Tiarella: yes, I'm really happy about the colors.  Big difference between it and the colors I got on the Raclette.  I had gotten a few spots of blue mold on it early on and I just washed the rind without regard and they just got snuffed out.  I left it for maybe 5 days while I was sick (it was early on and I didn't have much linens at that point), and I was expecting the worst when I opened it up.  Surprisingly, the rind was completely pale red/orange and beautiful.  This picture doesn't have full coverage of linens because I washed and flipped it two days before.  I also had a dusting of Geo on it then which I should have taken a picture of...it was pretty cool for a newbie cheese maker!  I wash both sides and that creates a bit of a slippery handling situation and takes off some linens.  My container doesn't have much clearance on the sides to do a wash while in the container.  It should fill out in another couple of days anyway.

The cracks are maybe 1/16" deep...so I think that is pretty thin.  I keep the lid tight on this one and it gets to about 95% humidity that way.  Really, with a washed rind and a closed lid you shouldn't need to do anything other than that to rehumidify it, I would think....but what do I know?  ;)  I also have thin grid matting that I could use, but I like the large grid look as well!  This is my first time using the large grid so I didn't know the splitting of rind would be an issue.  I like the look of the small mat as well though:

(http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/294705_2336657488625_1563670661_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Tiarella on December 19, 2012, 09:07:13 PM
I like the mesh matting I have and it's effect.  I'll attach a photo.  I haven't opened this one yet but I messed up a lot of parts of the make and won't likely be soft and supple ever.....so I will wait to see what happens with it.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on December 20, 2012, 08:11:46 AM
Looks nice at least!  I know I have been making mistakes too, but I figure we all make them in the beginning.  I just wish I could figure out which mistakes I am making!  I want to try a Reblochon too, but would like to try something other than a washed rind for the next couple cheeses. 
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on January 02, 2013, 02:48:27 PM
I went to wash this cheese last night and the rind on both sides looked good in color, but I have splits all over the rind from the wide spaced grid.  ...and I was going to put the finer mesh down last night!  In fact, the rind stuck to the grid and came off in a couple of spots. 

From what Alp said, I thought the rind was supposed to get tougher with the washing, but mine just got softer.  I wonder if my was too wet -- especially this last wash. 

I ended up vac bagging it because I didn't feel the rind would repair itself and I will be on vacation for 10 days in another week.  I didn't wash the b linens off like I did with my Raclette because it doesn't look contaminated at all.  I also want the b linens flavor.  I hope it turns out ok.  I have another 40 days of ripening.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Tiarella on January 02, 2013, 04:28:34 PM
I have 2 washed rind cheeses that I was attempting Alp's idea with and those first two I didn't really have the full picture yet of what he was suggesting so I messed those up and had some rind dry out and pull away on the grid area similar to yours.  The last washed rind I did  (#3) I did the washing from the beginning and kept doing it and a lovely pastey and stinky cream resulted that turned a lovely peach color.  Sometimes it almost smells like cured meat when I open the box. I'm not sure what to do next.......I've been letting it dry a bit and I'm not sure if that's correct or not.  There has never been even a hint of mold on it and I love that aspect of this method.  Everything else is a battle of the wild blue stuff.  I'll attach photo.  It's a slippery cheese but somehow a nice tactile sensation to rub it.  The photos shows it on day 64  (even though title says day 34.  got confused.)
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on January 02, 2013, 04:45:51 PM
Tiarella:  Similar to you, I made two Raclettes that were failures on the washed rind aspect (and others!).  This VR looked really quite good and like you I had no problem keeping it from contamination.  I think at some point you are supposed to stop washing it and it is supposed to dry out.  When that is depends on how strong a flavor from the b linens you want and the rind thickness.  I wonder about the cured meat smell -- I had a smell of meat and a slimey pink rind on my last Raclette and I think it was yeast.  Check out this thread: http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10515.msg81038.html#msg81038 (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10515.msg81038.html#msg81038)

I think a little of that yeast might be ok, but mine was off-putting. 

I think some of my problem was that I have been keeping the ripening container completely closed.  I think this is a good thing early on since the b linens needs high humidity to get established, but it seems to get the rind too soft after a while.  So, while a good gooey schmier is great when it will dry out a bit in a moderate humidity, but a drier schmier might be better if aged in higher humidity.  Of course, I'm just making hypotheses on my limited experience!  :)

Yours looks great though, Tiarella!
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Alpkäserei on January 03, 2013, 10:08:18 PM
I will repeat the advice here I posted elsewhere.

Discard the box, it will only do more harm than good.
Get a piece of wood, and keep the cheese on it. You must rely on the washing to maintain the proper surface moisture of the cheese, not air humidity. It is best to have an RH of around 85%, yes, however the methods for a washed rind will work anywhere above say 65-70% RH.

It is imperative that the cheese be allowed to breathe. Your cheese is not breathing, that is why you get whatever is producing a meat smell (yeast, maybe?) It should smell like wet socks, not old meat. This is also why your rind is so weak, it never has a chance to develop properly. It needs air for this. The rind-forming bacteria are aerobic, and by keeping them in a box like this your are limiting their oxygen supply and also trapping any gasses that might harm them (like ammonia, and co2)

Remember that as a rind form and as the cheese develops in general it produces heat and gasses as a result of the various chemical changes occurring. This is why I don't like to see cheeses in a box.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on January 03, 2013, 10:26:01 PM
Alp: I hear you.  It is a little late now, though.  :)  I do appreciate your expertise!  I will definitely do the next washed rind differently.  Maybe I'll only have to do 6 cheeses do start doing it close to right...?  If so, that's probably not that bad considering how long it takes an apprentice to be a cheese master.  Not that I'll be a master....

My mini fridge is at a low RH right now because of the Winter season.  If I remember correctly it is around 50%.  So, I do need a box or something to raise RH.  I can certainly put wood inside the box.  This cheese does not smell meaty.  The last Raclette did.  The rind on this cheese is pretty darn soft though and obviously doesn't have a robust rind.  I think the flavors might be ok, but the consistency will very definitely be off. 

I'm slowly learning as I go.  I'm hoping my Caerphilly turns out ok, but we will see.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Tiarella on January 03, 2013, 10:32:52 PM
I can try it without a box in the wine fridge.  My basement air is not clean enough to leave cheese out and is also extremely dry.  I can't humidify the entire basement without other impacts that would be negative.  Too much is stored down there and we sometimes can have mildew problems already so I'm not going to add moisture.  The air everywhere is dry but I can put it in the fridge without box and open the door daily to exchange air.

Thanks for you continued support and trouble shooting as we learn the alpine methods, Alp!

Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on January 24, 2013, 08:42:43 PM
Well, let's put this one in the failure column.  It had a good start, at least.  I came back from vacation and the cheese had mostly turned to mush with a lot of liquid and air in the vac bag.  I'm not sure how that happened.  It was a little wet when I put it in the vac bag.  I should have dried it.  Heck, it should have been drier in the first place.  I am pretty excited to try yet one more washed rind to see if I can do it right. 

My co-op finally got the VR in, so I bought some.  Even inside the plastic wrap I can safely say it is one of the stinkiest cheeses I have ever smelled (aside from Limburger).  The cheese guy said that this wheel was funkier than any he had received before, but that people liked the taste of the paste.  (They are always giving out samples of cheeses when you go there.)  I have not braved to open it yet, but probably this weekend. 
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: Tiarella on January 25, 2013, 07:02:57 AM
Please do post your taste impressions!  maybe include photos?   :). One of my washed curd with this rubbed rind treatment came out very nice!  Another was a bit under salted.  The pink one is still waiting.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on January 27, 2013, 01:27:22 PM
Photos...oops.  :-/  I still have half of it left.  It was delicious.  I had a few bites plain and it is soft, smooth, slightly creamy and flavorful.  I don't know how to describe the taste, but super nutty?  Just nutty in the beginning through end and then it lingers a long while.  Similar to a Gruyere, but it is a softer cheese than any Gruyere I've eaten.  Then, I used it to make fondue.  I tasted just it and some wine and it was ridiculously good (or maybe I was just hungry).  It doesn't have any thickness when it is melted as it just makes the wine creamy.  I added tiny bit of garlic, Jarlsberg (I meant to grab Emmentaler  at the store), fresh ground nutmeg, and a little corn starch.  The corn starch makes the two cheeses meld into a thick sauce whereas without it you have a runny sauce and a thick melted cheese.  I had it with some crusty french bread.  Adding the Jarlsberg improved the texture but diluted the VF flavor.  It was still quite tasty. 

I'd love to take another stab at this cheese down the road.  I'm not sure how close I could get to this flavor.  The nice thing is that it probably ripens faster than Gruyere since it is more moist.
Title: Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Post by: AndreasMergner on January 27, 2013, 02:31:39 PM
Oh, and I wanted to mention that it wasn't that stinky when I opened it up.  In the plastic wrap it had a really strong funky smell.  I had a friend smell it (before I opened it) and he said it smelled like....err, a "satchel"....  A)