Camembert never matured

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  • #8187 Reply
    Tina K

    Hello cheese makers!
    I made Camembert for the first time and it didn’t work out. I had high hopes when after only about 3 days there was a gorgeous coating of fluffy white mould, but the cheese never softened and matured. At around 6 weeks it did look like it had slouched in the center so I cut in to the first round; it was semi firm all the way through. The taste was delicious but the texture was all wrong. I let the second wheel sit another 1.5-2 weeks but it was the same. I thought it just needed time to mature so the last round was in the cheese fridge for 11 weeks but still no softening…it did dry out and get hard though, so even as a baked Camembert it was a failure with a crusty shell and separated butter fat as it melted.

    I had the fridge set to around 12C and 92-96% humidity through most of the ripening. Was it too cool? Too much rennet? Something else?

    Thank you!

    #8200 Reply

    Hi Tina,

    Hopefully you have had success creating cams in the last few months, your question sounds to me like potential over acidification in your curds. Flora Danica specifically is a bit notorious for this. Did you hold your cheeses at 12C for the entire 6 weeks? Typically a week to 10 days after making your cheese you should wrap it in cheese appropriate paper and place into a cooler environment 4 – 7C. This will allow your moulds to grow and do their work and create a lovely cheese.

    #8243 Reply

    Hi Tina,

    To get a fluffy coat (as you say) after 3 days is very fast. Are you innoculating, or spraying your mould on? Another potential cause of a lack of centre softening could be high fat content in the milk. I had a brie that was still paste in the middle, after an extended aging process. Triple cream Bries don’t soften as you might expect.

    Without seeing what you’re doing (make log) we can only speculate.

    Good luck!

    #8244 Reply

    Thanks Nat and Harmo!
    For that batch I think I waited too long to wrap and then didn’t do it well enough, snd using only wax paper, so they dried out during aging.

    I’ve tried a few times since and have had much more success, especially now that I’m using 3ply cheese paper. They are a bit more pungent than they should be (maybe too much moisture when they start aging?) but the flavour is great and texture is delightfully oozy!

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