Washed Rinds, Cheese Making and Interviews-What a Week That Was!

It has been a busy week here at Much To Do About Cheese’s World Headquarters and out at Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese, a week of working at my day job, a week of cheese making, cheese washing, cheese interviews and prepping product for market too.  As I type this I literally ache from the lifting and washing wheels of cheese and from bending over a vat for several hours.  It is a good ache, one that I will definitely get use to.  So where to start?  How about with the my Rebel Reblochon….Rebel Reblochon – Update (Yeasting and Washing)

When I left the last post I had put the cheeses into the cave at 16C and with a 95% RH and I was waiting for the Geotricum to bloom and for the yeast in the ARN to start to do its thing.  I figured that would take me to about Wednesday/Thursday, so I wanted to inoculate the two washes with a little more ARN, 12-24 hours before using it.  I had two washes to prep.  One is a simple brine, the other is Midnight Sun Espresso Stout from Yukon Brewery.

When I check on Wednesday night I noticed that I had some Geo bloom on the sides and a slight “sliminess” on the top, I wanted this as it was another sign that the Geo was active.  So it was time to start to wash the cheese with the various washes

The larger two were showing the same indications that the smaller three where showing.  These cheeses have a pretty regimented washing cycle.  First you sprinkle some coarse salt on the top of the cheese then you wash the top only with you wash solution and put the cheese back into the cave.  The next day you take the cheese out flip them, sprinkle salt on new top and the sides this time.  Then you wash the new top and the sides and then put them back in the cave.  The next day you flip the cheese, salt and wash the top only….you repeat this process for 2 weeks or longer.  I will cover the next steps in a future post.

I am planning on giving a week by week update to these little beauties up to the point where they will be wrapped and put into the regular fridge for longer ageing.

Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese News!

As you may know I am now working for Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese (formerly Smoky Valley Goat Cheese) as a cheese maker,at Markets and Marketing.  We have been away from the markets for a few weeks to sort out our product line and sort out some production issues.  But we should be returning to market next weekend in Edmonton at the new French Quarter Market  and the following weekend we will be adding Callingwood Market to the list. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.

On Thursday of this week, I took the day off from my day job to come out and make Redwater, our Caerphilly Style Cheese aged with ARN, because Gail Hall from Seasoned Solutions was coming out with Bridgit Ryan from City TV Edmonton to film a segment to promote her culinary tour of the Smoky Lake Area on June 16th.  I timed the make so that they would arrive at either the cutting of the curd or the part where we work the curd by hand.  They were running late so they arrived during the cheddaring process.  Leslie and Alex explained about the company and how we get to the cheddaring stage.  I was then interviewed about what was involved in cheddaring the curd, while I was doing it.  I was surprised to have a microphone placed so close to me that I hope I passed on the information correctly.  I will post a link to the segment once it airs next week.  We ened up with 7 wheels that weighed in at almost 4 kg each.  We also washed every cheese we had in the ageing rooms to make them “camera ready” and move them into the finishing room.

This is my view during my lunch break...I can get use to this.
This is my view during my lunch break…I can get use to this.

I was back out at the farm on Saturday to make a batch of Callingwood, our other Caerphilly Style cheese which we will have an announcement about soon, but as happens to me at home a bit, we had the curd shatter on us.  I am not sure why, we had a weak curd set and I had hoped that cooking the curd would have firmed things up,but it did not.  I figured that I could save some of the curd and we would have a product that we could salvage.  When life gives you shattered curd, you can always make cottage cheese.

What should have been a 3-4 hour make ended up taking 6 hours with the rescue, we cleaned the vat and loaded it up with 300L of Goat Milk to make our Semi-Lactic Goat Cheeses.  We make a Valençay Style cheese which will now be called Muttart after the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton (we did have one called that before which was done up with herbs de province as a coating but this is better suited to our Valençay, and our Saint Maure (a bloomy rind log) which will be called Lodgepole after the Lodgepole Pine, the Official Tree of Alberta.  It has been a busy week and next week will be the same, but different.

As always visit Much To Do About Cheese on Facebook to see more pictures and to join in some good cheese discussions.

Go and make some cheese.


2 Comments on “Washed Rinds, Cheese Making and Interviews-What a Week That Was!

  1. Glad to hear what you are doing. I did look for Leslie or you at the market today…:(
    Miss you very much with our project as I am doing the Buttermilk Blue, the mushroom infused Camembert and Valencey all at once. The camembert is not turning white… a few patches, and that is all and it has been 11 days. The blue looks good. I think one of my Valency is acquiring a slip skin. AH!
    Aging all of these is not easy. Every day I take them out, clean each ripening box, turn them and back they go…
    If you plan another backbreaking day like that – and know in advance, give me a call and hopefully I can give you a hand.

    • We should have all our ducks in a row shortly, French Quarter only next weekend as Leslie and Alex are at the Farm for the tour, then the following weekend is suposed to be Callingwood and French Quarter.
      I am trying to get caught up on the washed rinds, I will have to skip the blues which won’t be too hard seeing I am not a fan..
      Will email you about the other things.


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