The cheese is now ready for aging ideally at 52-55F and 90-95+% moisture (I use covered plastic trays for this here).
The salting will have removed much of the initial surface yeast and mold growth and stabilized the surface. It will continue to give off a salty whey as the brine moves into the cheese so place these on a dry cloth to wick it away.
After 3-4 days, the salt should have stabilized throughout the cheese and you should note the surface growth developing again.
Once you note this slimy surface (often referred to as mucosa, get the picture?), it is time to wipe it away. All the time that this is developing the cheese is becoming less and less acid on the surface because these surface bios are secreting alkaline enzymes to neutralize the cheese (similar to Camembert).
You should make up a 6% brine with about 1 cup of cool water and a tablespoon of salt (some folks like to add the Geo again at this point for insurance but I don't). This is used to wash the surface and remove all surface growth for the second time. The surface yeast and molds will grow back swiftly in a day or so, but to a greater degree and you should note the cheese beginning to dry off. If the cheese remain sticky after 2-3 days repeat the above.
Once the surface grows back and becomes a bit drier, you are good to enter the final aging stage, where the surface growth does all the work. They will grow and produce enzymes that in turn migrate in towards the center where they function to change the protein from an opaque curd to that beautiful soft translucent cheese we all want to see.
Remember to place these on mats as the surface grows and turn them 1-2 times a day. If the surface growth is excessive, less moisture may be required and make sure your temperature has not increased.
The temperature and moisture needs to be maintained:
too cold or dry and you are producing a rock with no character
- too warm and you will accelerate the process with a somewhat swampy/stinky result
too wet it will become a nasty science project
- remember to take daily notes on what is happening, look, feel, and smell as you go.
What you want to see developing is a nice surface of cream to white molds. If everything is going well thanks to your diligence, the rind, that first appears white, becomes orange colored thanks to the action of yellow/pink/orange pigment, the carotenoids (coriniforms). The paste softens and wonderful flavors can develop.
Some makers will do several salted washes after the ones mentioned above but I tend to do occasionally a couple of clean cool water washes only if needed and then use a soft brush every few days to control the rind.
The evolution of this cheese surface I find fascinating. It is a true study in ongoing biological communities where each one prepares for the next.
The cheese should be ready in about 6-8 weeks depending
on aging conditions and personal preference