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CHEESE TYPE BOARDS (for Cheese Lovers and Cheese Makers) => ADJUNCT - Blue Mold (Penicillium roqueforti) Ripened => Topic started by: Brie on March 19, 2011, 11:24:06 PM

Title: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Brie on March 19, 2011, 11:24:06 PM
Along with Sailor, I have been working on these blues for many months--this is a Gorgonzola that I did not scrape; yet allowed the molds to ripen and encrust the cheese--what a great reward! I've done both--scraping the cheese at the onset (my first attempt), and now this! Creamy paste, with a tad of crumbliness. I have now vac-packed for its final affinage.
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on March 19, 2011, 11:45:04 PM
Beautiful job Brie. I think you're getting these blues down. ;)

Did you do this as a traditional 2 day make?
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Brie on March 20, 2011, 12:18:54 AM
Absolutely, night and morning curd--the only way I have ever done it! Yahoo-what a hue! How are you  doing, my friend? Sounds like your creamery is taking off--what a great endeavor. Thanks for all of your help along the way--you and I are "soul" mates (in the spirit of the blues).
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: MrsKK on March 20, 2011, 09:36:42 AM
That looks lovely!
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on March 20, 2011, 12:14:46 PM
Brie - Soul Mate. I love it. Glad I could help. So when I start to get the blues, I'll think of this Gorgonzola.

For me there is something cathartic about making blues. I make 20 or so different cheeses on a regular basis but you never know how things are going until you cut into one. With the blues it's really cool to watch the natural drama unfold. When the rind gets covered in blue, you know you're going to have a great cheese.

My blues, especially the Ginger Stiltons are my best selling cheeses. So I'm exploring other blues to expand my repertoire. Just did a batch of extra creamy desert cheese called Castle Blue. Made similar to a Stilton in the beginning with some really important differences:

Stilton vs Castle Blue

No curd cut or stirring ------------- Cut into large curds and stir gently for 30 minutes.
Curd drains overnight --------------- Can go right into the hoops for direct draining
Curds are salted -------------- Curds are not salted. After draining the top and bottom are salted.
I keep my Stiltons in the hoops for a few days until they firm up ----------- Castle Blue is firm on day 2 because the curds are not salted
I keep my Stiltons at room temp until I get a nice bloom -------------- Castle Blue goes straight into my cave

One of my next challenges is going to be a Baby Blue Swiss.
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: mtncheesemaker(Pam) on March 20, 2011, 03:31:57 PM
Gorgeous Gorgonzola!
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Brie on March 20, 2011, 07:17:55 PM
Thanks Pam--Sailor--I love the Castle Blue--what size are you making it in for production? Bleu des causses is made with the same recipe, albeit raw milk in wheels of about 5 pounds. It's like blue butter! I'm about ready to cut my Fourme d'Ambert, which I have injected with Vouvrey, should be interesting because the wine kept coming out of the holes I made for the blue to do its thing.
About your blue swiss--wouldn't the blue mold seep into the holes of the swiss? May actually be quite cool with the Shermani and Roquefort working together. Can't wait to hear about that experiment!
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on March 21, 2011, 10:51:24 AM
My blues are 8" in diameter and around 6-7 pounds.

I actually did not think a Blue Swiss was possible. The holes are good for air space, but I assumed that the CO2 gas produced by the P. shermanii would cut off oxygen for the blue mold. However, I just read in Culture Magazine about a creamery in Italy that is doing them. AND they are using water buffalo milk.
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Brie on March 21, 2011, 10:38:49 PM
Are you referring to Blu di Bufala? i read about that in Culture--but what makes you think it has Shermani in it? Or am I thinking of another cheese? And thanks for turning me on to this mag--it rocks!
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Dinerdish on March 22, 2011, 07:39:04 AM
Thanks Brie,

I had just been wondering what would happen if a Gorgonzola was left to develop a natural rind. My next question is, what do you call it now? Is there a real, official rinded Gorgonzola, or is this how new cheeses are made?

Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Brie on March 22, 2011, 10:39:38 PM
Good question, Diner. It's still called a Gorgonzola, regardless of the rind. Sailor gave me great direction on letting the rind just do its thing. At first, I scraped and scraped during aging, but I find that letting the rind develop the wonderful molds enhances the interior and protects it to form a much creamier paste. I would suggest trying it both ways and comparing for yourself--and of course, post your findings. Good luck!
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on March 23, 2011, 08:43:10 AM
Brie - It's call Bleu Wunder, but I had the wrong dairy. It is the centerpiece cheese in the last issue of Culture with a story several pages before the one on the Italian water buffalo cheese. They do not really reveal any tricks to getting a blue Swiss, so I am still completely stumped about why the CO2 produced by P. shermanii doesn't choke off the P. roquefortii. In a Stilton, Gorg, or other blue, we poke holes to get EXTRA air into the body of the cheese. Obviously you can't do that with a Swiss, so I'm scratching my head on this one. I've made Blue Gouda in the past too. Turned out OK, but my customers prefer the Stiltons.
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Dinerdish on March 23, 2011, 09:45:56 AM

I keep looking at your picture of that Gorgonzola. It combines that creaminess I love about Gorgonzola but without the sticky, tacky exterior that sometimes comes with it, which I find slightly repulsive. I haven't made a Gorgonzola yet. I was planning to take the plunge this week but realized I would be away for a couple days so maybe not a good idea. How much milk went into that cheese? I would only use 2 gallons. I would love to let a rind form but would my size cheese end up all rind? Alright, I'm feeling oddly anxious about making this cheese, the longest aging cheese so far.   :-\  I resolve to actually do it in two weeks when I have a day off to do the PM/AM thing. Instead of the Gorgonzola I made my first Reblochon instead!

Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Brie on March 23, 2011, 03:08:28 PM
This Gorg is 3 gallons and it does not form a thick rind. Keep us posted on your Reblochon--one of my favorite cheeses!
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic -- Castle Blue
Post by: dirigoma on October 20, 2012, 01:23:46 PM
This is an old thread but I'm hoping for some feedback on a recent 200 Recipes Castle Blue botch from some of you experienced blue makers.

I've made Ricki's blue cheese successfully as well as many Camemberts and some pressed cheeses.  Was hopeful on the Castle Blue, but after forming beautiful cheeses, and only having a few temperature issues with a new/old wine fridge, it took a long time to grow blue mold and then the cheeses became tan colored and ammonia smelling with the rind too large for the inside.  When I cut one open a week early it was oozy and tasted like Camembert (nice, but strong) with some blue sections.  Today at full aging, the taste has gone to overripe Camembert and ammonia, and my chickens will be eating well.

A few questions/concerns:   

After the 1" curds were cut, the recipe calls for gentle stirring until the curds begin to clump (about 20 mins). I had difficulty retaining the larger curds while stirring so they more like 1/2" at best.

The recipe makes 3 cheeses, to be salted with '3/4 tsp on the tops and again on other side.'  I used 3/4 tsp PER cheese, per side.  Would excess salt have delayed the blue mold?

In the tips section, it says too much moisture would cause the slipskin and fast ripening ... but the slow mold growth would be too dry.  Here are a few photos, feedback would be appreciated as I want to eat this cheese!

Thank you.

Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Tomer1 on October 20, 2012, 04:34:09 PM
The paste looks a bit liqufied , even spreadable.  are you happy with the results?
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: dirigoma on October 20, 2012, 10:07:21 PM
It's quite gooey --  looks good, but the taste today (fully aged per recipe) was way overripe and ammonia-like, even after airing for a bit.  Still have one cheese left but threw this one to my chickens today (they loved it!)

Last week it was better, but flavor was more like Camembert than Blue???

Can this be from curds being too wet?

Thanks for any thoughts!
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: FRANCOIS on October 22, 2012, 06:28:15 PM
If you were going for gorganzola, you are correct in your assertion that the curds were too large and too soft.  The trick with most blues is to have a long set to grab as much mositure as you can, then cut the curd relatively small and stir until they seem almost too firm.  This allows you to have small, relatively hard curd that will knit but still allow growth areas for the mould and still be higher moisture.  1" or even 1/2" is way to big for any blue but a blue brie, which looks like what you made.  The high moisture also created your slip skin problems and accelerated ripening.  That amount of salt shouldn't have affected the blue growth.  It really struggles over 3%.  The time for growth is very dependent on the strain of blue you used.
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: dirigoma on October 24, 2012, 08:11:50 AM
Thank you Francois.  This was the 200 cheeses Castle Blue Recipe, 6 qts raw goat milk and 2 cups heavy cream.  I used PV Roquefort culture from ( and Flora Danica for the Mesophilic, calf rennet reg. strength.

Recipe called for 1" curds and I may have hurried the curd shrinking at stirring, resulting in curds that were too moist, or could have had too high a humidity in the ripening box though I wiped it dry daily. 

The cheese set up beautifully, first piercing went fine.  Blue mold didn't appear by day 10 per recipe, but greying started about day 13.  I added a wine refrigerator to my setup and had difficulty getting 50 degrees (it was too cool).  Second piercing was a little sticky and rind was tan/grey.

From there the skin slipping started and the interior felt way too soft.  Cut a week prior to ripening time and had soft camembert style interior with little blue flavor.

Want to try this cheese again, and would appreciate input on culture refinement?
Title: Re: Gorgonzola Pic
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on October 24, 2012, 09:18:37 AM
I would look at your moisture content and environmental conditions before I looked at a different culture. The slipping was because of too much moisture, either in the cheese or humidity that was too high.