Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tasting the Brie.....mmm-good!

They liked it!

Today, I took Brie number two (the first one that seems to have the right height-to-diameter ratio) into work and sent out an e-mail invitation to my co-workers to come around for a sampling.  It was well received by everyone!
I cut out a good sized wedge and then split it down the middle - laying it open, with rind-side down.  Then, covered with a few walnut pieces and drizzled an apple-cider-molasses over top.  Popped it into the toaster oven for it to lightly melt, and voila!
So, I'm very happy with this success, especially since the whole process took only 4 weeks.

Here's something very strange; the original wine-cooler/cheese cave has risen from the dead to once again maintain desired temperatures!  We'll see how long it lasts.  I may get more milk tomorrow and build another brie. 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bigger Troubles with the Cheese Cave

I had high hopes that the Visanni wine cooler would make a great cheese cave.  Even after reading reviews from the Home Depot website that were about 50/50.  After it was plugged in and running, though, the warmest temperature I could get was 53-degrees.  I would have liked to see 58.  The machines had six colder settings than #1 that I was using! Well it did maintain that 53 pretty consistantly (made it hard to get a relative humidity anywhere near the 80% I wanted) ... only for about 10 days!
Then it started keeping 42 degrees! No Way!  If I wanted it that cold I could just but the cheese in my refrigerator.
So I boxed it all back up and took it back to Home Depot for a refund.
The latest brie is in confinement down cellar and is showing a good growth of white mold.  The older bries are now wrapped in a special cheese paper and are stored in my refrigerator. (as per recipe directions)
After I cut one of the first ones open later this week, I'll post my impressions.
Don't know what the next cheese cave attempt is going to be, so until I get that figured out, I'll have to hold off on making any more.

Later cheese-whiz,

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cave trouble!

Saturday morning while I was minding my own bees-wax, I began to hear a constant beeping noise.  It turned out to be the used, Emerson wine cooler that has been my cheese cave.  It was in death-throws. It has died. Of course, the three brie cheeses would not be too happy with this.   So...

I now have a new Visanni wine cooler/cheese cave. It is much larger, came with 5 wooden racks, and is a real refrigeration unit with a compressor, unlike the Emerson which regulated temperature with some bi-metal device and a bunch of circuit board magic.
Anyway, my three brie now have a new home.
Visanni 28 bottle wine cooler

The twin brie are looking good, seem to have a nice even coat developing.  Brie #2 is just beginning to show white growth.
the "twins" at day-12

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Brie

Here's an update from the land of brie:
White mold developing rather nicely.

Having so much fun (and room in the cheese cave / wine cooler for more) I made another brie on the 26th. This time using 2 gallons of milk and getting all the curds into one of the molds (7.5" dia. by 3.5" tall).  I think this may be a better dimension for the aging process.
 Stay tuned, cheese-heads.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

'Nother Try at White-fuzzy Cheese
That cambozola got tossed into the trash (with buzzards circling) so I've been leery of venturing into that sytle again.
I did have a couple tasty cheese that were in the style of Swiss / Emmental with small eyes throughout, and since I've still got the cultures to make white,fuzzy cheese, and a new milk source (Stoltzfus Farms, in Vernon NY) I have bravely stepped back into the cheese factory.
We shall see.....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

UPDATE on Cambozola

Not sure if this expirement is on track or off the tracks!  The cheese did begin growing a rather furry white coat of Penicillum candidum, however, that covering has now died back, leaving a slippery slope.  The cheese rind seems intact, but there should be a healthy white layer of mold by now.  Wishing to give this one the benefit of the doubt, I went ahead with the puncturing step that is supposed to supply air into the 'paste' (as it is called) where the blue mold is waiting.
Trouble is: this cheese stinks! Stinks so much that I moved it out of the house and into a shed out back.  If things don't improve very soon the next entry may well be the obituary for this baby.
That's all for now.
Stay tuned curd-nerd.

Monday, March 25, 2013


I made another advance into un-tested territory over the weekend with the creation of a Cambozola - or sometimes called Blue-Brie.  This recipe/style combines both aspects of soft-ripend, white-mold Camembert and Roquefort/blue mold.  The end result is a soft, blue cheese that is usually not as strong-flavored as many of the Blue Cheese family.  While shopping at my Regional farmer's Market this Saturday, I came upon the Ithaca Milk Co. and Fingerlakes Cheese booth.  So I bought a gallon of whole, un-homogenized milk plus a pint of heavy cream and hurried home to try using the newly purchased cultures necessary for these white and blue molds.  
This cheese came out very soft and squishy; mostly because the curds are not really heated and stirred much at all. After it drained overnight it looked like this.  I'll give it about a week and then attach a new picture. Hopefully by then there will be a solid, fuzzy growth of white Penicillium candidum.

Stay Tuned, curd-nerds!
- Cheesey-boy