How to Age Brie Cheese at Home

Sliced wedge of Brie
Sliced wedge of Brie (Image: brie with bread & grapes image by Yorkie Paul from Fotolia.com)

Age brie cheese at home to intensify the flavor and creamy texture of its interior. Traditionally brie is made by heating raw cow's milk to around 98 degrees F and adding rennet, an enzyme from the stomach of cows, to cause the curd to coagulate. The curd is pressed into small rounds and inoculated with mold. This mold is allowed to age for at least four weeks before being sold. All the conditions under which a cheese is made and aged will work to determine the final flavor profile of the individual brie.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Paper towels
  • Vented plastic container
  • Root cellar or basement
  • Temperature and humidity meter
  • Cool mist humidifier (optional)

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Carefully cut away any packaging surrounding the brie, using a sharp knife. Do not puncture the moldy rind.

Fold a slightly damp paper towel until it is small enough to cover the bottom of a small vented plastic container. Add air vents to any sealing plastic container by using the point of the scissors to make five small punctures in the lid.

Place the container holding the brie in a dark basement or root cellar that maintains temperatures between 40 degrees and 45 degrees F and a relative humidity around 85 percent. Basic electronic weather meters that read both temperature and humidity are available at most hardware stores.

Regulate temperature and humidity in the basement or root cellar for two to four weeks or for up to a year. Supplement the humidity levels without raising the temperature by using a cool mist humidifier. The rind will slowly darken and dry to a crumbly texture.

Bring the brie cheese up to room temperature by resting it in the kitchen on a cutting board covered by a dry paper towel for 90 minutes.

Cut into the room temperature cheese and serve small pieces that include part of the rind. Once you have cut into the cheese's rind, the entire disc of brie should be eaten or loosely wrapped and stored in the refrigerator overnight to be finished the next day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Brie also can be warmed in the oven until the center begins to melt. Serve the warm brie with dried fruits and candied nuts.
  • Aging brie for almost a year will give the cheese a very dark rind and strong earthy taste. This cheese often is referred to as brie noir in France.
  • Growth on the brie that is not dry and light or dark brown may be a sign of unwanted mold. Aging cheese in an environment that are too warm or moist may cause these growths and the brie should be discarded.

References

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