Limburger cheese recipe

Limburger cheese is often confused with Münster cheese, which is produced with the help of thermophilic bacteria. In a sense, Limburger is very similar to Backstein cheese (Backsteinkäse), or Latvian cheese. The most characteristic feature of all these cheeses is the process of washing/cleaning the rind with Brevia bacteria/salt solution, which gives these cheeses a characteristic aroma (smell), taste and protects against unwanted mold.



    Preparing (1h 40min)
    • Before starting, we should disinfect all surfaces and dishes that may come into contact with milk.
    • Determine whether milk is suitable for making cheese. It has to go through the bactericidal phase (cold milk from the previous day usually works). If you have a PH meter, the PH level of milk should not be outside the PH 6.55–6.75 range (which is very rare).
    • Pasteurize milk: heat it to 65 °C and keep it at this temperature for 30 minutes. Can heat up to 70 °C and hold for 15 minutes.
    • Quickly cool the milk, for example, in a cold bath to 35-36 °C (it could take 15 minutes), or heat the already pasteurized milk.
      Processing (2h)
      • We add cheese cultures Lactoferm MSE 1.2gr., Geotrichum candidum 1.2gr., Micromilk Brevibacterium Linens 0.5gr.
      • We wait 5 minutes and stir the cheese cultures into the milk.
      • Adding calcium chloride (2.5ml) and rennet (1.5ml) and stir into the milk within 60 seconds (at this stage the temperature of the milk should be 35C). Calcium chloride and rennet before adding to milk, first must be diluted with 50ml of clean water.**
      • After adding a rennet, start the timer to determine the flocculation point. Generally, the flocculation point for most of the cheeses is 4. That means that if the milk has thickened (forms a curd) within 12 minutes, you can move on to the next stage only after 48 minutes (12x4 = 48 minutes).
      • Cut the curd into 0.5-1cm cubes, approximately.
      • After 5 minutes, carefully divide it even finer (about half) with a whisk.
      • Slowly and gently stir for 20 minutes.
      • Leave for 5 minutes and pour the whey out from the top.
        Pressing and salting (6h + 12h)
        • Put the cheese mass in a mold intended for soft cheeses for 30 min (the press is not needed).
        • Turn the cheese every 30 minutes during the 3 hours and leave it overnight.
        • It should be salted the next day. The salting time is 2.5 hours in a saturated salt solution, if the thickness of the cheese does not exceed 3 cm.
        • After salting, leave the cheese at room temperature for 12 hours, then dry it with paper towels and put it in a container to maintain 90-95% humidity in a regular household refrigerator at 7-10C for 5 weeks, turning the cheese upside down every day and making sure that the surface of the cheese is not too wet during the first weeks.
        • After a few days, you should start washing/cleaning the cheese. This will depend on the humidity in the container it is in, as it is important that the cheese is not too moist and that it does not crack under the influence of dry air. As soon as the crust becomes drier, occasionally clean the cheese with a wet cloth stored in a specially prepared 5% salt solution with added Brevibacterium Linens, which will form a natural protective layer and give Limburger cheese its characteristic aroma (smell) and taste.
        • It is preferable to wrap in foil for further storage after it is ready.

        Tip: the success story of this cheese lies in the ripening. If the cheese is too moist, Geotrichum Candidum bacteria will take over and the cheese will be very bitter and may even become too soft (like Brie cheese). Cheese can also be made without these bacteria, it is not so critical, it is important to have Brevia bacteria, which is a prerequisite. The amount of this Brevia bacteria can also be adjusted depending on the desired result. Some homemakers add a very small amount (on the knife blade) of this Brevia bacteria.
          We look forward to your feedback!

          * Freshly milked milk has bactericidal properties for a few hours, during the so-called bactericidal phase, when bacteria suppress reproduction. Cooling the milk prolongs the bactericidal phase. If the milk is obtained in strict compliance with sanitary regulations and rapidly cooled to +40 °C, the duration of the bactericidal phase is 24 hours and more. At the same temperature bactericidal phase period, impure milk has at least two to three times shorter temperature. The duration of the unrefrigerated milk phase is, on average, 2 hours.

          **The time of milk coagulation (thickening) depends on the quantity of calcium chloride and rennet. It can be adjusted for best coagulation time, which should ideally be 12 minutes. For instance, if the first time your milk has thickened after 20 minutes, then increase the next dose of enzyme.

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