I made goat milk Brie for the first time this fall. It is ripe and ready to eat now. I have been anticipating this day for many weeks! I cut into one of the Brie wheels today..... Mmmmm...
In the photo below you can see the perfectly ripened cheese! It tastes SO good. It has a wonderfully complex flavor. When you first taste it ... you taste the earthy flavor of the cheese ripened by the white molds ... and then as the flavor develops on your tongue ... it is a mild cheese with a sort of buttery flavor. It is absolutely delicious!
When I made the Brie cheeses earlier this fall, I followed the recipe very closely. The timing and temperature are very important to develop the correct pH for the white mold to grow on the cheese rind. Brie is a cheese with a high moisture content and a higher pH than most cheeses. It has to be handled carefully during the making and ripening processes.
I inoculated the cheese milk during the making process with a mixture of penicillium candidium and geotrichum candidium for the white mold to grow on the rind. This is a cheese that ripens from the rind to the interior of the cheese during the aging process. Some cheeses, such as cheddar, ripen from the inside out.
It took a few days at room temperature for the fresh made cheeses to get all white and fuzzy ... and then the fuzzy mold smoothed out.
After wrapping the Brie cheeses in a special cheese paper, they went into the large fridge/cooler to age at around 50* for several weeks. I flipped them over regularly to keep the moisture balanced in the cheese.
The photo below shows one of the Brie cheeses after being wrapped in the special cheese paper for a few days. The cheese paper has an absorbent layer that goes next to the cheese and a plastic layer that goes on the outside. It is breathable so the microorganisms in the cheese and the white molds can have the oxygen they need to grow. The special cheese paper also keeps the cheese from drying out during aging.
You can see a sort of red/brown color on the rind of the Brie. This is from a bacteria called brevibacterium linens. This gives an added flavor component to the Brie cheese. You see this red bacteria most often on the rind of munster cheese.
I made 4 of the 5" wheels and 3 small ones that are about 4oz each. I call these Baby Brie. You can see the white mold is still a little fuzzy on these Brie cheeses in the photo below.
I am very VERY pleased with my first attempt at making Brie cheese. I just wish I had made more of it before drying the goats off in preparation for kidding season! This is definitely a cheese that I will be making a lot of this spring when the does have their kids and I have lots of milk again!