Okay, it’s time for a little update on this whole cheese adventure I’m having. The Belper Knolle cheese has been hanging out and aging in the fridge for a few weeks now. I have been a little lax on the whole remove the lid thing but for the most part it seemed to be going well.
A couple weeks ago I had a little escape with Ben to visit Indiana Sand Dunes National Park. (great park but that’s for another day) Before I left I should have done a day of open lid to let moisture out. I saw the condensation on the lid and knew it would bring issues but in the process of prepping and packing it slipped my mind and I left for four days without taking care of the cheese….
Upon return the first thing I did was check it and what do you know…. Mold… Now it wasn’t a lot. A few pucks have a little fuzzy mold on it. I was disappointed and assumed I’d have to chuck them all and give up but before I did I wanted to make sure to do a little research and see if this is normal and/or safe.
I love technology and information in this day and age. It’s so quick and easy to look up and find answers online. I did a google search and came across a cheese making forum that allows amateur cheese makers to talk about what they are making and how things are going along with find solutions along the way.
Belper Knolle cheese is supposed to get a mold-like rind in the aging process. The fuzzy mold I had was not the right kind of mold but I’m also not the first one to have this happen. Many others have allowed the humidity to rise a little more than it’s supposed to and that leads to this fuzzy mold to grow. Before you get concerned I want to point out that most molds that grow on cheese both on purpose and on accident are not harmful to us. Yeah maybe make your stomach angry if it’s not used to it. Maybe change the flavor a bit or bring the fuzzy texture of mold. BUT not that bad for the cheese.
Others that have had this problem have done two things to fix it. The first is to simply remove the mold and let the aging continue. Remove the lid and allow humidity to drop to prevent any mold immediately but there is a chance it can come back. The second option is for small amounts but a simple vodka spray will help disinfect the area and clear out the mold. I decided why not do both!
A little brush to clear the majority of the mold and a little vodka to sterilize it and help prevent it from coming back. I took the containers out and got two new ones to transfer the cheese to so that I could deep clean the contaminated ones. I used a paper towel ripped into smaller pieces to clean up as much of the mold on its own. Most of the spots were completely gone in a swipe or two. A couple of them had gotten big and started to get a blueish-green color. I assume this may be similar to mold used to make blue cheese but I’m not completely sure. After each spot was removed I used a cotton ball dipped in vodka to sterilize the spot and placed the clean cheese into one of the new containers for further aging.
The whole process wasn’t that difficult and only took about 5 minutes to do. They looked a lot better and with new containers I don’t think there will be much of an issue. This time though I will make sure to open the container as soon as I see some condensation building up so that this whole mold issue doesn’t happen again. At this point maybe 1 month left of aging? We’ll see what happens…
Want to see how I got to this point? Check out the first part of this cheese adventure here!