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 Brie - a traditional French style
the goal of making this cheese is to develop the proper curd to prepare the cheese surface for the beautiful white coat that makes this cheese so unique.
 

The following recipe will produce very nice brie from 2 gallons of milk for the home cheese maker.
If using the smaller molds listed below, the following can be cut in half for 2 small cheeses.

What you will need :

Culture:  

- 1 Pack of Rick's Mesophilic C101 culture OR 1/4 teaspoon of MM100
The next 2 cultures are surface ripening molds and should be added to the milk when culture is added.
- Geotrichum C7 - just a pinch (about 1/32 tsp.)  
- P.candidum C8  - 1/16 tsp.
- Calcium Chloride 1/4 tsp- If having problems with forming a good curd using cold stored milk then this can help. We do not use this with fresh milk.

Rennet:

1ml or slightly less than 1/4 tsp single strength rennet.

Molds for draining the curd:
You have 2 options here

(1) 4 Smaller 4" Bries
using 4 of our M7 Molds.
OR
(2)
A large single Brie
1- 7inch brie using the plastic strip molds shown in the photographs.
these were simply made from food grade plastic strips. The larger one is 1/4" stock cut to 6inch width and the smaller is 1/8" cut to 1.5" width. The strips are formed into a circle by placing in very hot water and formed into the loop before plunging into very cold water.  The loop is tightened and held with a chord and slip knot.

Salt:  4 tsp. of a coarse cheese salt

Draining Mats: 2 for each mold

A Solid board for under each draining mat. They go under the mats above (this will make your turning so much easier).

A knife and ladle or spoon to transfer curds

Process:

Heat the milk to 90F and add all cultures above to the milk
Stir the cultures into the milk well and rest at 90F for 30 min.

Add the rennet and stir into milk for 1 minute then allow the milk to sit quiet for 90 minutes. The milk will begin to thicken at 15-20 minutes but we leave the milk much longer then other cheeses to produce a higher moisture cheese for ripening.

During the wait, Sanitize all molds, draining mats, and turning boards. I do this here in water simmering at about 145-160.
Prepare the molds by laying down a turning board, then the draining mat, and finally the mold on top.

At 90 minutes your curd should be very firm and ready to transfer to molds.
little to no curd cutting is involved.

Traditionally this was done without cutting the curd mass. If using a larger mold as shown in photos no cutting of the curd is need. Transfer the curds with a large slotted spoon by taking thin layers (1/2") from the curd mass.

If using the smaller molds, the curd mass should be cut into 1" cubes and stirred briefly to allow the full curd to fit into the 4 molds. The reason for this is that these molds are produced for the industry which cuts larger curd masses to facilitate a quicker production. These molds should be filed in a "round robin" manner to allow the curds to settle briefly and whey to drain before the next addition. If all of the curd does not fit when the molds are full simply wait a few minutes and the curd will settle, then add the rest.

Allow the curds to settle and drain keeping the draining space at 68-74F (warmer or cooler will cause problems with the resulting cheese).
To assure complete draining the cheese will need to be turned in the molds. this is done by placing a second draining mat on top followed by another turning board. Then carefully lift the entire assembly carefully and with one hand on top and the other on the bottom flip the cheese over quickly.
For the smaller cheese it is best to make the first turn shortly after the curd is ladled (10-20 min). This will keep it from falling too far in the mold  and breaking.
For the larger cheese using the second plastic strip mold (1.5"), allow the entire cheese to drain down to about 1.5" then loosely place the short hoop around the larger form and remove the 6"form. Then tighten the shorter form, place the second draining mat and board on top, and turn this cheese over.

The cheese will drain down to about 1/3 the original curd height and this may take 18-24 hours (or longer) for completion. During this time flip the cheese in their forms several times to make sure the draining is even. The cheese will become firmer and the turning easier as it drains. The taste of the whey at this point should have a very noticeable acidity to it compared to that first running out during draining. It is a good practice to taste the whey and curds throughout the process for future reference.

At this point you will be into the second day and as the whey drainage slows it is time to add salt. Leave the cheese in the molds for this.
For the smaller cheeses 1/2 tsp. per cheese spread evenly over each surface and for the larger cheese 2 tsp.  Allow the salt to dissolve and be absorbed by the cheese. Wait 8-12 hours then flip the cheese and apply the second dose of salt in the same manner. The salt will cause more whey to run off and this will also taste very salty.

Allow the cheese to dry off for another day until you see no free moisture on the surface.

If proper draining and drying is not done before the molds begin to grow, problems with rapid protein breakdown and other undesirable molds may become a problem.

It is now time to allow the cheese to develop the white coat. The proper storage condition for this will be 52-56F and 90-95% moisture. They should also be placed on draining mats to allow air to reach the underside. The cheese also needs to be turned 1-2 times per day to keep the molds from growing into the mats and tearing away the surface when moving.
If aging in plastic boxes with covers make sure the moisture does not drip onto the cheese and be sure to wipe any free moisture from the lid and box when turning.

At about 10-15 days after making this cheese, you should notice a good white coat developing. It is OK to pat this down when turning. If the coat has formed well it is time to slow down the process. Move the cheese to a cooler area of about 40-44F to allow the softening of the cheese in an even manner. The cheese is ripe when it feels soft on pressing. This should take 30-45 days and the final ripeness depends largely on personal taste. When the cheese is cut through you will notice a creamy layer near the outside and a white center. This ratio can be controlled by aging time and temperature.

Trouble Shooting:
blue mold = too moist (insufficient draining and/or drying)
black mold (Mucor) =  insufficient salt or too high moisture
red/pink mold = insufficient drying or too high moisture in aging area
runny liquid under surface = insufficient draining
dark dry areas = excessive drying
no white mold = excessive drying or too cold

 
       
The curd will have a thin layer of whey covering it and separate from the vat when ready to cut. The molds are shown with
short strips in place
to be tightened after draining.
The curd is not cut but carefully ladled in thin layers into the sanitized and preheated molds...
...that have been prepared and
placed on bamboo mat. At this point the curd is still quite sweet.
The molds are filled in succession slowly, a few ladlefuls at a time. They now need to set quietly
and drain in a draft free area...
...with a steady temp overnight.
During this time our
final acidity develops
By the next morning they will have drained down to 1/3 original height.
The tall inner hoop may now be loosened and removed... ...and the shorter hoop is now tightened... ...so that it can be flipped over without breaking.
The original mat can now be gently removed leaving it's imprint.
The flipping continues for the next several hours and dry salting the surfaces can be started... ...as soon as the curd
dries down and free whey
is no longer an issue.
The drained and salted cheese is now ready to be moved to a space with moderate air flow...
...and the drying off continues
for the next day or so,
keeping the temp at 65F.
Following the drying off
move to 54F-90% ,
where the white surface will
begin to develop at day 5...
...and continue through
about day 10-12 when
they can be wrapped...
...and moved to a
moister and cooler space
(38-42F.. 95-97% humidity)...
...where the white surface begins to die back and the red/yellow streaks begin to show.

At about 4-6 weeks the curd should have ripened
to at least the half way point
and it is ready to eat.
You can try it at an earlier stage when the taste is quite fresh and sharp... ...or wait until it really develops some character and the flavor deepens and shows the true flavors of the milk.

  Hearing about your wonderful cheese making adventures always brightens up our day. Please feel free to send us stories and maybe even a photo to:
info@cheesemaking.com
 

 

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