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SECO Step by Step - Homemade Camembert Cheese

Submitted by: Vicki (Minnie) Australia

I originally made this camembert cheese when doing the best cheesemaking course in Brisbane. I highly recommend this course and believe that it's the best money I've ever spent and in the long run saved me money. For discussion or questions about these steps please go to our cheesemaking and home preserving forum.

FIRST: Day before making cheese incubate starter

Put 1/4 teaspoon E starter (from cheeselinks) into a fresh bottle of UHT milk (or UHT skim milk). Stand in water heated to 37 degrees celsius overnight or until it reaches a yogurt like consistency.

 

Note:1

We stand in a plastic tub with a fish tank heater set and leave overnight.

Starters are then put in the fridge and can be used for up to 5 days. To start another take one tablespoon of the prepared starter add to a new bottle of UHT milk and freeze. When ready to use take out 2 days prior to cheesemaking and thaw in fridge. DO NOT FREEZE the original incubated starter.

Note2:

Brown water in sink is iodine/water mix used as a sanitiser for implements and hands.

STEP ONE: (Next morning - Heat milk)



Pour 5 litres of full cream milk into your double boiler (water in the bottom boiler so the milk doesn't burn), bring the tempurature up to 40 degrees (celsius) and then pour into a plastic tub sitting within a larger tub containing water with fish tank heaters set to hold water at 37-40 degrees.

 

Note: Milk used is full cream milk, pasteurised or raw... not homogenised.

STEP TWO: Pour in the starter and penicillium candidum

Hold milk at the temperature and pour in 100ml of the prepared starter.

Add a pinch of penicillium powder and give a stir.

Leave for 45 mins.

 

Note: Milk is kept in container of water at 40 degrees celsius for entire process until put in moulds.

STEP THREE: Add Rennet

Add rennet 2ml of rennet mixed into 40ml boiled cooled water, put lid on container and leave for 30 mins to set.

 

STEP FOUR: Check the curd

Check that the curd is set.

STEP FIVE: Cut curd

Cut curd into 20mm 'cubes'.

 

STEP SIX: Allow to sit

Leave undisturbed for 30 mins.

STEP SEVEN: Stir

Stir 'gently' once, just turn a bit and then stir every 30mins for 2 mins three times in total.

STEP EIGHT: Hoop

Pour off half the whey and ladle (soup ladle) curds into moulds with some whey evenly into approx 4 moulds (we found three made them thicker, so depends how you like them.) on a draining tray.

Turn moulds after 10mins, 30mins, 3 hours, 5 hours, 8 hours. Keep in moulds overnight.

 

Note: Enure the tray doesn't have too big a spacing as the curds will fall through. We're experimently with different ways of being able to successfully turn the moulds and will repost when we find a method we like best.

STEP NINE: Brine

Next morning mix up a brine solution of 1 part salt (not iodised) to 4 parts water and place cheese in the brine solution for approx 30 mins.

STEP TEN: Dry

Remove from brine and dry at room tempurature for 24 hours.

 

Note: Due to high humidity and heat we only dryed for approx 4 hours without ill effects.

STEP ELEVEN: Ripen

Place cheese in 'cheese cave' with ice bricks underneath and put on lid. Approx 11-15 degrees and humid.

Turn daily and replace bricks with fresh ones each day.

STEP ELEVEN: Getting mould

Mould will start to form.

Take care not to rip mould from cheese when turning.

STEP ELEVEN: Wrapping

When mould is at the desired thickness, wrap in alfoil and place in the fridge to continue ripening.

Leave for at least two weeks before trying your cheese.

Cheese will continue to mature in the fridge.

STEP ELEVEN: Ready to eat

Here's our camembert - it was absolutely the best flavour and textured camembert we've ever had.

Note: This camembert was made with raw (unpastuerised) milk, flavour and texture are different with pasteurisation, which is entirely up to the cheesemaker if they pasteurise or not.