Hard rind
Posted: 03 November 2015 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi all, this is my first post - very excited to find this forum.  My girlfriend and I recently started making cheese, and after making a couple basic quick ones, decided to make a basic brie-style with the typical rennet, geotrichum, and pennicilium in amounts recommended on another website.  After about two months of aging (now in the cold phase), it looks great, but the rind has become incredibly hard.  My question is, is this normal?  I know its softening is a signal that it is “ripe,” but the rind is so hard it feels like one would need a saw to cut through it (though haven’t squeezed hard enough to really test it).  Anyone have any thoughts?  If this is not normal, what could be causing it?

Thanks!

Tyler and Genevieve

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Posted: 04 November 2015 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welcome T and G.  You’re asking a question that I’m not equipped to answer, because I don’t make Brie.  But I wanted to welcome you to the forum.  Neil will likely chime in shortly; he’s the one with the experience to answer your question. 

My first thought, and you can take it for what it’s worth, since I don’t make Brie, is to rub olive oil into the rind.  But don’t take my word for it.

Again, welcome to you both.  I look forward to seeing how you progress.

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Rich

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Posted: 04 November 2015 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi ! Welcome to the Forum!!

Dryness is normally because of lack of humidity and has dried out. It has to be kept in a humid area with air circulation as well, I would but it in a tub with water in the bottom with salt (brine) in it so mold does not grow in their, and give it a fan a couple times a day smile

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The Cheese Hole

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Posted: 04 November 2015 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hi, thank you both for the welcome and advice!  Yes, I was worried it would be due to humidity, because that means we probably need to make some changes to how we store our cheese.  Right now we keep it in a wine fridge at first and then switch to a regular mini-fridge (on the highest temperature setting) for the colder part.  I imagine it gets pretty dry in both fridges.  Do you think it would be enough to keep the cheese in a tub with water in the bottom even at those colder temperatures?  I’m just concerned the water won’t evaporate enough.  Thoughts?

Thanks again!

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Posted: 04 November 2015 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I put a foundation in the tub that the cheese would sit on so its near the water, however in a closed space with a big enough tub it should be fine, just trial and error. You could wash the brie and try and bring it back, make sure you use brine (3%), it might even turn Orange and transform into a “Washed Cheese” smile

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Posted: 04 November 2015 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi Neil, thanks again for your help - as you can probably tell, we’re sort of grasping in the dark at the moment.  So, as far as the tub, you suggest raising the cheese so it doesn’t touch the water, and it might maintain enough humidity in a fridge to bring it back?

As far as washing, that sounds like a great idea and we’d love to try it with at least one of ours.  Is there a website you suggest for learning what “washing” is and how to do it?

Thanks again!  So glad we found this forum.

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Posted: 04 November 2015 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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As far as washing, just mix a 3% brine solution and rub down the cheese with a dampened cloth.  You don’t want to soak it.  A washed cheese is usually treated in this way every couple or three days.  Along with adding some moisture, it will also prevent mold or bacterial growth.

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Rich

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Posted: 05 November 2015 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yup, if you have a nice trough that will fit in the fridge, that would help allot.
I just used my hands to wash the cheese, just made sure my hands were very clean, try every six hours until the surface is pliable smile

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The Cheese Hole

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