Q. I made Taleggio using your recipe, but my cheese never got greasy. At this point, about 2 weeks later, there is really no evidence of Bacteria Linens (Red) growth, even with washing. Any ideas on what went wrong?

A. This usually means the cheese did not retain enough moisture. Proper moisture in the cheese body is critical for a good washed rind. Cutting curds too small, stirring curds too much, or developing too much acid will all cause low moisture in the finished cheese.

Q. Hi I am very interested in making this cheese but I don't have the yogurt culture. Is there a substitute culture that I can use? 

A. The others that may work are the TM81 and Thermo B cultures. However, the results are going to be slightly different because they need more time to develop acid. You will need to give these 45-60 minutes to ripen, rather than the 30 minutes specified in the recipe when using the yogurt. The Yogurt is ready and working out of the jar as a mother culture.

Q. When making Taleggio, can I use the Y1 culture itself, instead of making the yogurt? 

A. Unfortunately, no. The yogurt needs the longer makeup time before it really becomes effective. It is essentially a mother culture when made up as yogurt. Adding the culture from packet will not work.

Q. I made a taleggio type cheese recently. It was delicious but it had some bitterness - not overwhelming but detectable. 
A. There is sometimes confusion between bitter and acidic.

It's pretty common for folks starting out to develop excess acidity (a tangy flavor or bite, not sweet). This can be caused by over-ripening before draining or by not draining well before molding and allowing late acid to develop in the aging.

Bitter is a more of a harsh flavor that can be caused by excess rennet being used or in not allowing the cheese to ripen well. A stalled aging will leave middle weight proteins in the cheese that have a bitter flavor. sometime longer aging will break down past this stage, to the smaller proteins and amino acids that provide the character flavor of most cheeses.

Q. I have a question about the brine for this cheese. With other cheeses I have made, the brine has a pH of 4.7. When I made your brine, the pH was well over 5.6, so I dropped the ph to 4.7 and I’m brining like that. Was that the right thing to do?

A. Taleggio is a relatively sweet cheese. We normally target the brine pH at 5.3-5.5 for this cheese; 4.7 would be more for Feta.

Q. I made the Taleggio and I believe I followed your recipe closely. I brined it, dried it, then put it into a ripening box in the cheese cave at 50 degrees. After a week, I washed it with the brine/B. Linens solution. However it has not exhibited any sliminess or color change. It looks great, smells nice. Did I do something wrong or should I just let it go and let nature take its course.

A. If you gave it the time at warmer temperature before moving to the cave, then perhaps the body was too dry after draining. Make sure you limit the stirring and make correct cut size for more moisture. The dry cheese tends to pull the wash from the surface. Keep going with the wash, as specified in the recipe, and you should see it develop the rosy/orange rind.

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