Today we’re going to make Brie!!!! This cheeses is awesome and delicious. The tricky part is getting all the cultures together. Making Brie at home looks difficult, but looks can be deceiving! This cheese is easier to make than any pressed hard cheese!
Brie and Camembert are the same cheese, the only difference is the size. Brie is traditionally made in large molds and Camembert small molds.
Camembert or Brie gets its outside crust from a mold called penicillum candidum which is added to the milk. Penicillum candidum is a white-mold spore and it thrives in damp cool places. The white covering forms on the cheese after about a week. This cheese is ready to consume in 4-6 weeks.
2 Gallons of Milk
1/4 tsp. Mesophilic II
1/8 tsp. Penicillum candidum powder
1 Smigon of geotrichum candidum powder (optional)
1/4 tsp. Liquid Calf Rennet or 1/2 tablet rennent dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water
1/4 tsp. Calcium Chloride (optional)
Salt. You want a non-iodiozed additive free flake kosher salt. Diamond Crystal KOSHER SALT is a great brand. If you want to buy in bulk at a good price, take a look at SaltWorks.com. I bought a 30 lb bag of there Sonoma kosher salt and was less than $2 a lb.
- 3 to 4 Camembert molds
- 2 Sushi Roll Bamboo Mat
- Ripening Mat, fine mesh (optional)
- Butter Cheesecloth or reusable cheese plastic cloth
- Dial Thermometer 12” Probe Stainless Steel
- A cold ripening environment 50-54 degrees. I use this wine refrigerator Frigidaire Wine Cooler, best price was at Lowes.
-Travel-Size Personal Humidifier to increase humidity in cave to 80-90% (optional).
- A white bleached and sanitized pillow case (optional)
- 2 Plastic Ripening boxes. I several Sterilite 2.7 Qt. containers, bought them at Wal-Mart
- Cheese wrap or fig leaves or oak leaves (Blanch and spin water out)
- Long handled stainless steel skimmer: Stainless Steel Skimmer
- Long handled stainless steel curd 12” knife: 12″ Curd Knife
- Mini measurements down to smidgen. This is the set I use, Norpro 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoon Set (Including Mini)
- 10-Quart Stock Pot, Stainless Steel pot for soft cheeses. This Norpro is my favorite.
1.) Warm milk to 84 ° F. in a double boiler. Put cheese pot in an enamel canner with the canner rack upside down.
2.) Add cultures, 1/4 tsp. Mesophilic II, 1/8 tsp. Penicillum candidum powder, 1 Smigon of geotrichum candidum powder (optional). Let cultures dissolve on top the milk for 3 minutes. Then stir in well using 20 top/bottom strokes.
3.) Add 1/4 tsp. Calcium Chloride (optional). If your milk is from a cow that just calved or is late in lactation or you’re using store bought milk homogenized and pasteurized.
4.) Add Rennet. 1/4 tsp. Liquid Calf Rennet mixed in 1/2 cup of cool filtered water. Stir in well and then stop the milk from moving. Cover pot with lid. Take out thermometer and spoons. Let milk culture and set until solid curd forms. I’ll take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Do not disturb the milk during this rest. It’ll mess up the curd forming.
5.) Check for clean break. This break will be a softer break than with hard cheeses. Cut curd with a 12″ Curd Knife in 1/2” cubes to make a checkerboard pattern. Let milk heal for 5 to 10 minutes after cutting. (Whey pH should be around 6.3 to 6.45)
6.) Very very gently stir the curds a few times, lifting the bottom curd to the top. The curd can then be poured in a cotton bag (pillowcase) for a pre-draining for 20 minutes or scooped using your skimmer directly in the molds. By draining in a bag, you’ll avoid having to keep refilling your molds. (Whey pH should be about 6.2 PH after draining)
7.) Set up large tupperware container with a cooling rack on the bottom and bamboo sushi mat and Ripening Mat, fine mesh (optional). Place camembert molds on mat. Fill molds with curd. Use your Stainless Steel Skimmer.
8.) Let cheese drain for 3-4 hours or when they’re firm enough to handle, flip in the molds. Flipping is important to get an even surface and all sides are evenly formed. Remove excess whey that accumulates under the cooling rack. You don’t want that whey to ever touch the bottom of your draining cheese. Allow cheese to drain for 12-14 hours.
9.) Sprinkle cheese with salt. It’s about 1/2 a tea salt on each side.
10.) Transfer cheese to boxes you’ll use while aging. Place in ripening room between 50-54° F. If temp is below 50° F, white mold will not grow. White mold should appear in 5-7 days. YOU MUST FLIP YOUR CHEESE DAILY. Also, if any excess moisture is in your container, make sure to wipe it up with paper towels. Excess moisture that accumulates in your rippening boxes will inhibit the white mold growth.
11.) Once cheese is fully covered in the white fuzzy mold, in about a week. Wrap each cheese with either plastic wrap, cheese paper, fig leaves or oak leaves (blanch in boiling water and spin water off). This step is important to keep the rind thin, otherwise your rind will be much thicker. Wrapping the cheese also helps form an even white mold crust and pushes down the white fuzzys. CONTINUE TO FLIP CHEESE AT LEAST EVERY OTHER DAY.
12.) The cheese is ready to eat when the center of the cheese feels soft under your pressure. It takes about 3-4 weeks at 50-55° F.
Recipe adapted from Margaret Morris’ Cheesemaking at Home and Homestead Heritage’s Cheese making book.
Travel-Size Personal Humidifier to increase humidity in cave to 80-90% (optional)
Finished raw milk Camembert / Brie Cheese made at home.
Two batches of raw milk Camembert / Brie draining
Clean break on a batch of raw milk Camembert / Brie homemade cheese!
Camembert aging in cheese paper (from cheese supply stores) and containers (to keep humidity up) with holes drilled in all sides and the top.