Washing The Yukon Rafts – Spruce Wrapped, Beer Washed Reblochon Update.

Now that there is a break in my Cheese Making Class schedule I can play catch up on some the cheeses that I have made.  The one I often get asked about is my latest batch of Spruce Wrapped Reblochon, which I have nicknamed “Yukon Raft”. It has been about a month since they were made and I wanted to give an update as to their progress.

I was waiting for the Geotricum to bloom before I could start washing the cheese with the beer that I had selected, around day 4 I was pleased to see that they were ready to get a good coating of the beer wash.

On day 3 I prepared the mix of Salt, PLA and Yukon Brewery's Yukon Red (an amber ale)

On day 3 I prepared the mix of Salt, PLA and Yukon Brewery’s Yukon Red (an amber ale).

I did learn some interesting things that can be helpful when preparing your wash solution.Always add the beer to the salt, not the salt to the beer, or this will happen.

You get a ruddy big mess you have to clean up before your wife comes into the kitchen.

You get a ruddy big mess you have to clean up before your wife comes into the kitchen.

So as a reminder add the beer to the salt, not the other way around.  I had the little Rafts in my one fridge reserved for washed rind cheeses for the yeasting phase.

They stayed in this fridge for while they were yeasting, but it was hard to control the humidity.

They stayed in this fridge for while they were yeasting, but it was hard to control the humidity.

With that in mind it was time to more the cheese to a ripening box for the washing phase.  Luckily I have several boxes that would do the trick, but only one would be big enough to fit a wood board in.

The perfect marriage of cheese, humidity and wood ripening board.

The perfect marriage of cheese, humidity and wood ripening board.

This setup worked well for me, I was able to keep the humidity between 90 and 95%.  As a bonus, it did keep the smell down too, which made my wife very happy.

I had to take out the toothpicks from the larger cheese and replace with an elastic band.

I had to take out the toothpicks from the larger cheese and replace with an elastic band.

By day two of washing I was starting to see the colour from the beer.

By day two of washing I was starting to see the colour from the beer.

The Geo was showing up like a lovely velvet covering.

The Geo was showing up like a lovely velvet covering.

I use the same washing routine with this batch as the last make, wash the side not touching the wood today, tomorrow flip the cheese and wash the side not touching the wood.  I continued this ways for two weeks and then it was time to wrap the cheese and put them into my regular fridge for their cold aging time.

Vermont Creamery says that wrinkles are sexy.  When it come to the Yukon Raft I whole heartily agree.

Vermont Creamery says that wrinkles are sexy. When it come to the Yukon Raft I whole heartily agree.

Brainy Good ness

This was from the last wash before wrapping, the rind is strong, yet you could still feel that the paste is soft underneath.

Wrinkly goodness

More wrinkly goodness. It is a shame I have to wait another few weeks to try them.

I wrapped them the Sunday after my trip to Grande Prairie and now they are resting comfortably in the fridge keeping the last of the Little Squirrels company.   I will try to have some more pictures up on the Much To Do About Cheese Facebook Page soon.  I will make another update when I try my first “Quality Control” sampling, until then….

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