Jarlsberg Sunk Us Captain!-Jarlsberg/Bartholomew Part II

In a previous post, I started the journey of the Jarlsberg, it was going swimmingly, or so I thought.  Maybe I should have said a few prayers to the Patron Saint of Cheese Makers/Mongers, St Bartholomew. Would have, could have, and should have.  I know this sounds ominous; melodramatics aside I am generally pleased with the flavour, texture of the cheese, but not necessarily the paste.  I will let the photos of the rest speak for themselves with my usual commentary of course.

Just before starting the "warm" phase of ageing there was some visible "poofing"

Just before starting the “warm” phase of ageing there was some visible “poofing”

Notice the swelling on the sides too

Notice the swelling on the sides too

Now a few days later at room temperature it seems to be doing fine

Now a few days later at room temperature it seems to be doing fine

The swelling seems to be progressing at a good rate.

The swelling seems to be progressing at a good rate.

Now fast forward  two weeks.

I was surprised to see the shape.  There was a hole in the rind somewhere, as I could press on the cheese and hear air escape.

I was surprised to see the shape. There was a hole in the rind somewhere, as I could press on the cheese and hear air escape.

I let the rind go wild, I was pleased with the outcome, but I now realize why this cheese is supposed to be waxed for ageing.

I let the rind go wild, I was pleased with the outcome, but I now realize why this cheese is supposed to be waxed for ageing.

IMG_0762Due to the swelling and the softness of the centre, I thought it would be best to bag it and go back into cold ageing.

Marked and sealed, now into the regular fridge.

Marked and sealed, now into the regular fridge.

Now two months later, I decided to open up the bag and see the results.  Bart, as I started to call it after the Patron Saint (I am not really religious just thought it was cool that cheese makers have a saint) had swollen again in the cold storage.  I was worried that the Propionc Bacteria was “over eating”

Here we are ready to open, most of that beautiful flora had gone back into the rind.

Here we are ready to open, most of that beautiful flora had gone back into the rind.

Here it is, the propionc bacteria did what I had feared. It over ate and created a titanic size cavern in the cheese.

Here it is, the propionc bacteria did what I had feared. It over ate and created a titanic size cavern in the cheese.

I almost expected to see Cerberus staring back at me.

I almost expected to see Cerberus staring back at me.

I did have some good eye development towards the rind.

I did have some good eye development towards the rind.

The best think I could do now was cut up the wheel and package it up.  I have friends that have laid claim to most of the wheel.

Look at the little Barts sitting around an imaginary camp fire singing songs of partial fail.

Look at the little Barts sitting around an imaginary camp fire singing songs of partial fail.

IMG_0853

This one reminds me of some of the caves around the Bay of Fundy

This is one of the best pictures of the cheese.

This is one of the best pictures of the cheese.

It is humbling when a cheese does not turn out how you want it, or expect it to turn out.  I get cocky at times about cheese making, and I need these smack downs to keep me grounded.  This cheese is edible, it tastes good, it just isn’t “pretty”.  As it is not really a Jarlsberg I have decided to call this cheese “Bartholomew” as it has an appearance that only a saint could love.

Lessons Learned

  1. Don’t be Cocky.
  2. My temperature for the  initial “cool” ageing phase was to high.
  3. I should have waxed or bagged the cheese before the “warm” ageing.
  4. Don’t be Cocky.

Tasting Notes  For Bartholomew (Jarlsberg):

  • Appearance: The rind had a slight pinkish tinge to it an sign of a linen cross-contamination.  The past is has a nice colour, some small eyes.  A gaping hole in the centre.
  • Nose (aroma): It has a quite pleasant aroma, a slight sweetness to the smell.
  • Overall Taste:  It has a complex flavour.  It starts with sweet, then moves to nuttiness, with a slight acidic tang and finishes with a peppery taste that goes to the back of the throat.
  • Sweet to Salty: Sweet, nutty, peppery.
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): It has the slight smell of linens, but overall I would say it is moderate but bordering on robust.
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): It is soft and creamy, it almost melts in your mouth.  Yet it still has some chew to it, but not rubbery at all.

Everything in live it designed to teach you a lesson.  I have learned mine and I will try this cheese again at a later date.

Don’t forget to check out Much To Do About Cheese on Facebook, where there will be more pictures.

Until next time, go and make some cheese.

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5 comments

  1. What a GREAT post… and the aging is so difficult for me… as I have various cheeses in my cave that have various needs. How does one manage that? I have just sealed my gruyere in plastic and the rind feels like a rock. I hope it will mellow with age. I am glad yours still tastes good, but what happened to the cheese? Did it just chemically evaporate? How could you have controlled it. You are NOT cocky. Was is just the temperature and the waxing, really?
    🙂
    V

    1. This is some information on the bacteria used. {Propionibacter shermani is one of the three types of bacteria used to make Swiss cheese, and it’s responsible for the cheese’s distinctive holes. Once P. shermani is added to the cheese mixture and warmed, bubbles of carbon dioxide form. These bubbles become holes in the final product. Cheesemakers can control the size of the holes by changing the acidity, temperature, and curing time of the mixture. Incidentally, those holes are technically called “eyes,” }
      So temperature, acidity and time of ageing are factors, as mentioned the warmer the temperature the more active the bacteria will be and the more holes there will be, I also suspect that there were issues with the pressing. There may have been mechanical holes in the centre due to poor pressing. When the CO2 started to be created, it had holes already in place and the gas then made them larger. The cheese has only lost a little weight from the beginning of the ripening, so essentially it is all there. By washing the curd, you take some of the acidity out of the cheese and you make the paste softer, the cheese had some give to it. If this was any thing other than a Jarlsberg or an Emmental, I would have thrown it out, for fear of a nasty contamination.
      Had I waxed or sealed the cheese during the warming phase, there is the possibility the “blow out” that happened could have been prevented. It also would have prevented cross-contamination from the linens from the semi-lactic that I had ageing in the cave as well (another reason the temperature was higher than normal)
      I could have controlled it by controlling the temperature and the environment better, also the cheese suffered from what is called “late blowing” or formation of gas after it should have stopped. You can add a certain amount of Saltpetre to stop this.

  2. Looks delicious to me! Your next batch will be prettier, I can tell; Look at those nice eyes you have going in the bits that didn’t disappear.

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