March slipped away and we were not able to do Cheesepalooza Challenge 8 – Gruyere or Jarlsberg (we will make these soon!) but we are back in the game for challenge 9 Brie or Camembert. Now I have to admit, neither Brie nor Camembert are a favourite of our family, but Brie is a favourite of J’s Aunt, so Brie it is!
We used the recipe for American Style Brie from Mary Karlin’s Artisan Cheese Making. We used 8 l of Vital Greens un homogenized whole milk and 1/2 c of their delicious 52% heavy cream.
As with our progression through cheesepalooza there is always a new twist or technique to advance our skills. The new twist for this recipe is we get to use penicillium candidum and geotrichum candidum! Mold!
We brought the milk and cream up to 90 degrees F, this time using the good old sink water bath (I must admit we did cheat a bit with the pot on the stove for a bit, then finished in the water bath). After at temperature the MA 4001 and Thermo B Starter cultures, and the two mold powders were added and left to rehydrate.
The calcium chloride and rennet were then added and left to rest for 30 minutes. Now this break was not clean, but close so I did cut the curd.
The curds were left to rest for a bit then stirred for 15 minutes. They really seemed to break down, so amateur cheese maker panic started to set in, but at this point all you can do is push on and hope it is just uncertainty of charting new territory, if not it is a learning experience!
After the rest the whey was removed to expose the curds. And then the curds scooped out and placed in the moulds. I started with two 4 inch bottomless moulds, but had extra curd so brought out two 3 inch crottin moulds.
Now time for the first flip!
First thing in the morning the cheeses were removed from the moulds. Their weights and height at this time were: 450 g 4.5 cm, 430g 4.25 cm, 198 g 3.25 cm and 174 g 3.0 cm. They were then salted.
Now the cheeses begin the blooming phase of ripening. This is when the white mold forms on the surface. It should bloom in 3-4 days, then they are flipped so the other side can bloom for another 1 or 2 days. After this they are wrapped in special cheese paper to ripening for 5-6 weeks.
As of this writing we are only 1/2 a day in. So I will update as we progress.
So far this has been fairly straightforward, monitoring the ripening process will likely be the challenge for this one.
The ripening is going well, very easy. Here it is at about 4 weeks.
Check out Part 2 for the tasting!