Cheese Swelling as it ages

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  • #3728 Reply

    Hello – if you celebrate Christmas then a very merry Christmas to you.
    I am new to cheese making and could never be accused as a purist but let me explain my situation.
    I wanted to try making a Gruyere. I took a Parmesan grater, grated some store bought Gruyere, added some milk and waited until it congealed. (no measurement here, perhaps 150 grams!) added that to about 8 litres of milk (2 gallons) and then roughly followed the method I found in a recipe
    The cheese was pressed with about 50kg (100 lb) for 12 hours and then stored and turned.
    Now the interesting bit: The cheese looked great, is now 2 weeks old, no mould.
    However, it is loosing weight – nearly 10% but it is INCREASING in size! The block appears to be puffing up as though there is gas being produced inside (spongy to touch). There are no off odours, no discolouration, no mould, in fact it looks perfect except swollen.
    Any ideas as to why?
    thanks in advance

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Mark.
    #3734 Reply

    I am no expert but have had similar things happen. I believe they call it “blowing” and I know several things can cause that. Poor sanitary conditions are one cause but others are simply bacteria producing gas and may not make the cheese bad. Loosing weight can be from the gas pushing moisture from the cheese. I have eaten some of my cheese that blew and I have thrown some out depending on smell and texture. I ate some cheese at a Texas cheese making facility that was a few years old and had blown. It was fantastic. Just be careful.

    #3737 Reply

    Thanks Tom
    I expected a bit of weight loss, the cheese isn’t waxed so guess your idea of drying out probably right.
    Of course, you are also probably right about the bacteria producing gas – it is a Swiss cheese and because I made a starter culture from cheese there was probably some of that bacteria.
    Unfortunately I will need to wait to find out if you are correct or if it has gone bad – arrr, the waiting game
    Thank you again for your input

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