The “Beaufort” That Waited

Last July (2013) my friend Addie and I decided we were going to make a cheese together and we both thought that an alpine cheese would be a good choice.  We picked one that had a longer aging time as Addie was off to India for work and would not be back until the fall.  As you can tell by the title of the post we picked a wonderful cheese from the Savoie region –  Beaufort .  Well it is now almost the end of June 2014 , work extensions and cheese making consulting gigs delayed him, but now the wait is almost over,  he returns at the end of next month. I documented the aging of the cheese from the pressing to the current stages, every so often sending an email to tease him about the cheese.  This is the story of the “Beaufort” that waited.

This was one of the last times I used my DIY press.

This was one of the last times I used my DIY press.

After pressing I chose to brine the cheese rather than dry salt it.  It was 1896g after brining.

After pressing I chose to brine the cheese and not dry salt it. It was 1896g after brining.

The rind was pretty solid and had a good knit.

The rind was pretty solid and had a good knit.

I was determined not to vacuum seal this one, so it went into the first of several ripening boxes

I was determined not to vacuum seal this one, so it went into the first of several ripening boxes

After a few days the wild Geo started to show up.

After a few days the wild Geo started to show up.

We did not add any Geo or linens to the milk during the  make.

We did not add any Geo or linens to the milk during the make.

This is just the wild strain I can't seem to get rid of.

This is just the wild strain I can’t seem to get rid of.

After a week there was lots to clean with a simple brine and my lovely brush

After a week there was lots to clean with a simple brine and my lovely brush

This is one of my favourite pictures.

This is one of my favourite pictures.

I made a mistake on my Instagram post about this cheese, the next pictures were taken at 4 weeks old not 2 weeks.

At 4 weeks the Geo had been controlled but some linens showed up.

At 4 weeks the Geo had been controlled but some linens showed up.

The rind was quite smooth and there wasn't much in the way of mould

The rind was quite smooth and there wasn’t much in the way of mould

I weighed the cheese again and this time it was 1539g

I weighed the cheese again and this time it was 1539g

Well I thought that the Geo was under control, fast forward to December.  I had flipped the cheese every week and washing it with a simple brine at the same time.

I was fighting a constant battle with the Geo, but at least it was not blue mould.

I was fighting a constant battle with the Geo, but at least it was not blue mould.

So on l slogged through the mould wars, winning each battle only to see that it had counter attacked.  Honestly I thought of giving up, at one point I did not wash it for a month, that was January.  February came and I thought it was time to wash the cheese to see what was under the layer of Geo and now some blue had shown up.

A month of just flipping produced this.

A month of just flipping produced this.

It was surprised to see how hard it was to get the Geo/blue/what ever else living there, knocked down.

It was back a few days later.  I think I need to blowtorch my fridge.

It was back a few days later. I think I need to blowtorch my fridge.

Now fast forward to April and I noticed that the rind was starting to turn orange and there was some “sweaty sock” (in a good way) smell coming from the cheese.  Please note, this is when I started using a real camera to take the pictures.

I noticed a huge drop in the Geo, but now we had some new visitors

I noticed a huge drop in the Geo, but now we had some new visitors

A few weeks later it was very orange/red

A few weeks later it was very orange/red

Quite fragrant too!

Quite fragrant too!

All of a sudden I was struck with the thought “hey there shouldn’t be linens here” and like an idiot I broke out the brine and “cleaned” rind.  Well thank the cheese gods I did not kill the linens.  Now we are sitting at 11 months old and the rind is almost back to where it was when I “cleaned” it.  Of course it won’t look like a Beaufort, this is Alberta for Pete sake, not France!

11 months and 4 ripening boxes later.  Here it is in all its glory.

11 months and 4 ripening boxes later. Here it is in all its glory.

The "top" is not as bright as it was before, but it's getting there.

The “top” is not as bright as it was before, but it could have been the lighting.

The "bottom" is quite orange and very pretty.

The “bottom” is quite orange and very pretty.

This all happened right Beaufort my eyes...

This all happened right Beaufort my eyes…

Why haven’t I used my trier to take a sample?  I made a promise that I would wait and I try to keep my promises.  I think that the “Beaufort” that waited will worth it!

I had lots of pictures that I did not share here, but I will try to have them up on the Facebook Page soon.20140423-094429.jpg

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