With cheese making, there are a couple of real ‘buzz moments’ for me.
The first is when I get a really good, firm curd and get a strange satisfaction from cutting it in clean, neat lines. The other is when I make Camembert and see that gorgeous fluffy white mold growing over the cheese. There’s nothing better than watching that white blanket start to cover over each round, signally the beginnings of another successful Camembert batch.
Because these little milestones feel so good to achieve, it’s really disappointing when they don’t happen.
Anyone who has tried making Camembert will likely experience the disappointment of poor (or no) mold growth at least once.
And without that thick marsh-mellowy mold, you unfortunately don’t really have Camembert.
So what might be stopping the white mold from growing on your Camembert?
There are few reasons and hopefully if you address one, or all of them, you’ll be on your way to a good covering of white fuzz with your next Camembert make.
No White Mold?
The white mold on cheeses like Camembert and Brie should start to grow in 3-4 days of being put into your aging area (fridge or other aging area).
If this doesn’t happen you need to check the following:
Temperature – If it’s too cold in your aging area the white mold won’t grow so check that your Camembert is sitting at around 12 degrees Celsius/54 degrees Fahrenheit
Salt - The application of salt either through rubbing, sprinkling or brining is important for the growth of your white mold as it inhibits the growth of unwanted molds, and leaves room for the desirable molds to develop. Make sure you cover all surfaces liberally with cheese salt.
Moisture – White mold will not grow well in conditions that are too moist so be sure to mop up any extra moisture that has drained underneath the cheeses.
Application – You can either add the Penicillium Candidum to your milk during the make, or spray it on to your cheese once you have formed your rounds. If one way does not appear to be working well for you, try the other way and make sure you are applying the correct amounts.
Competition – As mentioned, if unwanted molds are allowed to develop, they are usually aggressive enough to outgrow the molds you do want to grow, so keep any undesirables under control while your white mold develops.
Remember to also turn your cheeses daily, while your white mold grows, so that it has a chance to sprout and develop on all sides of the cheese. When you turn your cheese, pat down the fluffy white mold so that it forms an even, consistent rind and creates that gorgeous traditional Camembert look.
Regularly turning your cheeses will also avoid the mold growing into your draining mats and then tearing away from the cheese when you try to turn them.
So, if you’ve been having trouble with your white molds, try some of these solutions and let me know in the comments below how you go. Or, if you know of another reason why white molds might be inhibited, also let us know in the comments below and spread your Curd Nerd knowledge : )
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