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JulieEcho
julieecho
Rohnert Park, CA
Post #: 1
During last Wednesday's meet up, David and I discussed Valencay. That discussion has inspired me to try my hand at making it. I now have all the ingredients and hardware I need to make this cheese, but I do not have the experience. I need to calibrate the hygrometer, which seems easy enough. Please post advice and your experience regarding making this cheese. I sure would appreciate it. Being that I have only made fromage blanc and chevre so far, I feel I am wading into deeper waters and could use your experiences to guide me.
David M.
user 14210710
Santa Rosa, CA
Post #: 1
Hi Julie,
The recipe I followed is on the Beverage People website. here. The instructions are good. Getting the humidity right is key to having the mold bloom through the ash. First few times I made it without using a hygrometer and it turned out OK. You can increase humidity in the ripening box by placing a folded-up wet kitchen towel into a corner of the box. Just place it on the ripening tray. Good luck! David
JulieEcho
julieecho
Rohnert Park, CA
Post #: 3
Thanks David, for your advice. I think I will try my hand at making this cheese in the next few weekends. Hopefully, I will have some to bring to the next meetup.
JulieEcho
julieecho
Rohnert Park, CA
Post #: 5
Any advice on how to get the humidity and temp in the correct zone? The molds have been in my fridge for two days. First morning: 38F/92%. Second morning: 39F/99%. I keep moving the cheese around to different zone, hoping to find a warm spot, but now the humidity seems to be rising. It is a an old fridge, so that is something I need to contend with.
David M.
user 14210710
Santa Rosa, CA
Post #: 2
Most fridges may be too cold for cheese ripening. I have been successful with Valencay by moving the ripening box from kitchen counter to fridge and back a few times.

If you're using the damp towel method to increase humidity you can also open the box and let some water vapor escape. The open box will also allow air to circulate. If the ripening box is getting damp on the bottom or side walls you can remove the condensation with a paper kitchen towel. These will help to reduce the humidity a little.

Other recipes quote 50-55F as the ripening temperature.

If the fridge is too cold it might be worth experimenting with a cooler and a little ice. Or find a clean cool place in the house.




JulieEcho
julieecho
Rohnert Park, CA
Post #: 6
Thank you for your suggestion. I have moved the cheese into a smaller ripening bin and placed the bin into a small igloo like cooler. I will add ice and/or ventilate as needed according to the hygrometer. After 4 days in the much-to-cold fridge, I hope the cheese develops as planned in its new environment.
JulieEcho
julieecho
Rohnert Park, CA
Post #: 7
Mold! White mold! <3
I have never been so happy to see mold.
Kathy L.
user 19076521
Group Organizer
Santa Rosa, CA
Post #: 7
Hurray! This is a great suggestion! It's how we keep our wine "cave" in the 55 degree range.
JulieEcho
julieecho
Rohnert Park, CA
Post #: 8
Thanks for all the advice! I think this is turning into a success story. :)
JulieEcho
julieecho
Rohnert Park, CA
Post #: 9
Today I brought some Valencay to work for everyone to try. Everyone loved it. At this time it is really quite ripe and strong tasting. In my opinion, it is just right! The only thing is: the center of the cheese is a little gritty rather than smooth and creamy. Does that mean anything?
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