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GENERAL CHEESE MAKING BOARDS (Specific Cheese Making in Boards above) => STANDARD METHODS - Aging Cheese => Topic started by: Tiarella on January 03, 2013, 10:30:29 PM

Title: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: Tiarella on January 03, 2013, 10:30:29 PM
I have 2 batches of cheese, each of which have some ammonia smell running......

Case 1 - First is the shitake Brie make that got neglected over the holidays.  It got wet, also it didn't get it's salting right after umolding.  it got salted after the shitake mushroom went on and maybe not enough.  Of the 4 cheeses a couple of them have some ammonia smell emanating from them. 

Case 2 is a batch of Chaource.  They are in 3 ripening boxes, 1 of the boxes is a bit bigger (not sure if that has any impact) and it's cheeses are not developing the wrinkles of the geo quite as fast and it smells great!  The two smaller boxes, each with several cheeses, have much more wrinkling going on and have some ammonia smell happening.

My questions are, is there anything I can do?  And am I correct in believing that this happened because the air in the house is so dry that during their initial draining time the skin dried out before it drained properly?  I'm really hoping there's something I can do other than what I'm doing.....taking each cheese out of the box every day, wiping down box and returning cheese.  Anything else I can do?  And how soon do I wrap these?  Will wrapping impact the ammonia development?

Seems from reading threads that colder temps might have prevented this.  They've been at between 52 and 57 F.  Will lowering temps now be of any help?

Photos attached.  Last photo is of Chaource with slower growing geo and that smells great.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: Schnecken Slayer on January 04, 2013, 12:51:26 AM
From my limited reading, probably not.
I will defer to the more experienced people here....
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: H-K-J on January 04, 2013, 03:16:21 PM
I don't know about this type cheese Ti, never made one.
I did have ammonia smell on my first 2 gallon Stilton (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9152.0.html), the suggestion I received was to let more air in and air it out more, to high of RH.
That helped the Stilton, not sure if that will help with a problem Brie though. :-\
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: Tiarella on January 04, 2013, 04:42:33 PM
I don't know about this type cheese Ti, never made one.
I did have ammonia smell on my first 2 gallon Stilton ([url]http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,9152.0.html[/url]), the suggestion I received was to let more air in and air it out more, to high of RH.
That helped the Stilton, not sure if that will help with a problem Brie though. :-\


Thanks, I'll try that!  Hope it helps.....these could be really wonderful if this could be worked through.   ;)
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: mgasparotto on January 04, 2013, 05:01:14 PM
My gorgonzola started developing an ammonia odor so I left it out to air for half an hour every day. Took care of the problem in under a week, but I also had to be careful that it didn't dry too much while airing out. Ended up having to patch a couple small cracks with butter.
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: Al Lewis on January 04, 2013, 05:22:45 PM
I leave my blues out of the cave for an hour every day to take care of it and then use febreeze after I put them back.
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: H-K-J on January 04, 2013, 05:28:35 PM
Al, I can't believe you would ruin the aroma of such a aromatic cheese get ruined by febreeze  :P
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: Al Lewis on January 04, 2013, 06:58:45 PM
Unfortunately my wife doesn't share our appreciation of the aroma of a fine cheese.  Her exact words "You've got this whole house stinking of that cheese!"  LOL
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: hoeklijn on January 05, 2013, 06:03:55 AM
Seeing the images with the brain-shaped crinkles I guess that the PC is overdoing as a result of a too high RH and/or a too high temp. The rind will be slipping probably, I had this once on a batch of Brie. Taste of the inside was nice, but the smell of the ring was a mix between ammonia and sulfur and I threw them away....
Title: Re: Anything I can do about ammonia?
Post by: Tiarella on January 05, 2013, 07:00:36 AM
Hi Herman,  I think those are Geo wrinkles not PC wrinkles.  The PC usually makes bigger wrinkles that don't have that "brain" look.  (the wrinkles on the Chaource I mean). it's interesting to me that on the Chaource the 2 smaller boxes have this problem but the larger box doesn't.  maybe it's all about outgassing and not enough air.  more experiments will follow.   ???