Well, the baby cheeses are doing their thing, and developing that white penicillin mold all over the outside. That’s going to become the outer rind, so that the inside of the sheep’s milk cheese can ripen into creamy & oozy deliciousness.
When we last saw our intrepid Cooler Cheeses, they looked like this:
And throughout the week they’ve developed more bloomy white mold:
And as of this morning, they are completely covered with a layer of bloomy white penicillin mold, which makes me a proud cheese mamma:
It’s not been all easy around here. You’ll notice there’s one less cheese in the cooler as of this morning… that’s because one baby cheese is now in cheese quarantine!!!! Earlier this week, I went over to my baby cheese that had cracked on the first day, and flipped it (as you do), and saw this:
See that, up at the eleven-o’clock-spot? A dark patch. AHHHH!
Close up, it looked like this:
That’s a bit of rust-coloured mold, but there’s nothing to produce rust (no metal racks or any metal) in my cooler, so my teacher’s advice was to quarantine this baby cheese.
So I brushed the rusty spot to discourage unwanted mold growth, and now this sad baby cheese lives by itself in its own ecosystem in the fridge:
As of this afternoon, my Quarantined Cheese is looking pretty happy… and I brushed the heck out of that rusty spot again, which now looks light yellow. And you can see that the bit where it cracked has also filled in with its own bloomy white mold:
The other side is changing in texture to a rind like storebought Camembert… a little more like plastic than like fuzz. Cool.
My other Fridge Cheeses are ripening along at their own slow & steady pace; none of them are fully covered with the bloomy white rind yet.
The one in the top-right corner (of the above photo) is the Plain Fridge Cheese, and it’s developing its bloomy rind the fastest… but it also seems quite fragile. When I went to flip it, it stuck to the skewers and broke a bit, and you can see the oozy ripened cheese underneath. But it doesn’t have all of its rind yet!
The Bourbon-Brine-Rubbed-Cheese is developing its rind slowly but surely, even as its surrounding skewers are growing their own bloomy white mold:
The Bourbon-Brine-Soaked-Cheesecloth-Wrapped Fridge Cheese (BBSCWFC) is growing little bursts of penicillin blobs… but an awful lot of it stuck to the cheesecloth. I think I’ll change the cloth on this one more frequently… I had left it so long because it was still wet (lesson learned).
So I rewrapped the BBSCWFC in freshly soaked Bourbon-Brine-Cheesecloth and put my homely Fridge Cheeses back in their slightly-too-cold home.
Soon it’ll be time to wrap up some of my cheeses and store them so that the ripening process slows down. I’m at the halfway point of affinage (aging my baby cheeses), so I’ve got 2 more full weeks until they have to make it to cheese class for my final presentation. I feel like my baby cheeses are now teen cheeses, with all the appropriate teen angst attached!