The plan for this post was originally to do a head to head test comparing two brands of goat milk – by making one of my favourite goat cheeses- Crottin. The plan was to make the two batches of cheese simultaneously and where everything was duplicated except for the milk. But sometimes the best laid plans go astray as you shall see.
For these makes I used the following cultures:
This (mesophilic type) culture adds a buttery taste to any soft cheese such as Havarti, Gouda, Edam, Camembert, Brie, Feta, Blue, Buttermilk, Sour Cream, Cream cheese, Creme Fraiche and Cultured Butter. The culture will also produce a small amount of carbon dioxide gas and is therefore a good culture choice when a lighter texture cheese is desired. This culture contains s. lactis, s. cremoris, s. lactis biovar diacetylactis and m.s. cremoris.
PC-ABL is a traditional strain of Penicillium Candidum. Great for thin rinds in Brie and Camemberts, as well as the very thin rinds required for Loire style goat cheeses such as Crottin, Valençay and Sainte Maure, or Northern Italian styles such as bloomy Robiolas. Use PC-ABL on its own, or combined with other Penicillium Candidum strains whenever a more complete spectrum of characteristics is desired. It is a common practice amongst French and Italian makers of bloomy cheeses to blend 2-3 strains of PC together.
- Medium whiteness
- Thin – low with medium-low density
- Very low proteolysis
- Medium-high lipolysis
- Special traits: Strong aromas of alcohol and methylketones
ARN is an exciting ripening blend from Danisco which is made from selected strains of French Normandie cheeses to replicate their flavor, texture, aroma and presentation. It will boost up the authentic characteristics of any Camembert, Brie, or Coulommiers as it works with P.Candidum and P.Album and develop complex aromas and good coloring underneath the white rind. This is the ultimate rind wash culture for making authentic Pont L’Évêque and Livarot. For interesting and creative combinations, try it with Crottin, Chaource, Saint Marcellin, Cantal or Reblochon.
ARN contains both the cream color and orange color B.Linens, as well as surface-ripening Micrococcaceae and G. Candidium. To use , simply replace the G. Candidum portion in the recipe with ARN. There is no need to add any G.Candidum or B.Linens beyond that; however other yeast types, P.Candidum and P.Album can be added and combined.
(Culture descriptions from Artisan Geek)
For this make you heat the cheese to effectively room temperature or 21 degC.
Add the calcium chloride and stir, then sprinkle on the cultures allowing them to rehydrate and then stir in for 2 minutes.
Cultures happily hydrating!
Add the rennet and stir once again. Next, cover the pot and allow the curds to form over 18 to 20 hours.
Check for a clean break.
After 24 hours of ripening Cheese A has pulled nicely away from the pot edge.
Hmmm but Cheese B has not pulled away.
The foreshadowing begins. The curds should have begun pulling away in both pots. All variables were identical except for the milk.
And that’s when the plan went awry…..
It was Sunday evening, I was just finished the Halloumi make and I was leaving on a multi-day business trip in the morning. I attempted to put Cheese B curds into the moulds but they were just too soft. I ended up ladling the curds into cheese cloth to drain overnight so that I could hopefully get the curds into the moulds before I headed off on my trip.
Curds draining overnight.
Ladle the curds directly into the Crottin moulds.
As the whey drains off, keep topping up the moulds with curd.
But wait the train wreck hasn’t stopped yet!!
While moving a draining rack of full moulds I bobbled and tipped them over into the draining container and onto the counter; effectively loosing half of one make.
The last of the train wreck.
Allow them to drain 24 hours until the curds pull away from the sides of the moulds. Then de-mould the cheeses placing them in a ripening box at 14 degC. Remove the cheeses and flip every other day, removing excess moisture from the box.
Early the next morning the Crottins made with the remains of the dumped make are looking good….the soft curd make is well….still really soft but I’m pressed for time and decide to load up the Crottin moulds. Lucky for me Sailor Girl was ready to step in and run the Sailor Rick Formagerie while I was gone.
She kept a careful eye on the Crottins and kept them covered with cheesecloth flipping them as needed. I returned two and a half days later and the soft curd Crottins had still not pulled away from the edges of the moulds. Once again I made the executive descision to unmould the the Crottins. These were the softest Crottins I had ever made.
The Crottins were all placed into ripening boxes and placed in a 12 degC cave.
The cheeses should bloom in about two weeks.
Now for the real world of the Sailor Rick Train Wreck Crottins.
The cheesecloth drained Crottin at 1 week. Showing some blooming activity; both yeast and candidium.
The firmer Crottin at 2 weeks, the Geo is growing.
Characteristic ‘Brainy’ look of the Geo.
So for the sake of fairness I have decided to hold off with the head to head Crottin challenge for another day when I can allow the proper ripening times allowing each of the milks to show their true colours…..and I promise not to make another immature mistake like bobbling the filled Crottin moulds.
Oh and keep an eye out for updates on these Crottins as they mature.
First Crottin Update
Well I didn’t get the original post put up quick enough so here is the first update. Today was the first meeting of the year of the League of YEG Home Cheese Makers. BTW we are looking for new members!
I pulled out a few cheeses for the meeting include some of the Crottins; although I think they still need some age.
Crottin A – 21 days, this was the most pungent of the two
but also received the most favourable comments
Crottin ‘B’ at 21 days, beautiful brainy top
milder flavour but still very goaty.
Both cheeses are still very soft although I was find Cheese ‘B’ still too soft so I left the lid of the aging box ajar hoping to firm them up a bit. Once again I was away on a business trip for 4 days and when I returned they may have dried a bit too much….time will tell.
If you would like to learn more about Crottin read my post Goat Droppings.
Thanks For Reading!!!