Recently, our Year 9 STEM class made camembert cheese which is now maturing for 10 days until it has formed a large mould culture around the cheese. This white mould culture is penicillium which protects the inside of the cheese from harmful microbes that might land on the surface of the cheese while it’s maturing for 10 days. When the camembert cheese is wrapped, the white mould squashes down into a thin white surface around the cheese which you eat. It’s very healthy for you too. 

Our cheese makers are very proud of their efforts as they produced a beautiful creamy, soft curd while successfully removing the watery whey out of the curd during the cheese making process. Students learnt the science behind cheese making from knowing how healthy bacteria, penicillium mould and rennet (a solidifying agent) can be mixed at certain times with milk at around 380C. This produces the cure (immature cheese) which is further processed to drain out as much whey (type of cheese water, see pictures). The curd is then placed in hoops for settling to give the round shape. The whole process takes about 5 hours by hand. After another 10 days the camembert is wrapped and placed in household fridge temperatures (approx. 40C) for 4 to 6 weeks to fully mature into a flavoursome camembert cheese. 

Our 9 STEM Camembert Cheese Makers are Reba Baker, Mya Lee, Grace Bell, Max Anderson, Sam Teinaki, Joseph Ryan, Lachlan Ryan, Rhiannon Field, Zoe van Es, Isabella Dewar, Rohan Bugg, Isaac Turner, Nathaniel Brooks, Ava Radford, Kaviru Indralal, Aayush Timalsina, Caleb Morgan, Alex Vucicevic, Chris Vucicevic, Olivia Gunningham, and Emily Kirkpatrick. 

Many thanks to Benedict Hurkett our 9 to 12 Lab Technician for ordering all the ingredients, checking all the cheese groups had the correct equipment and doing the essential preparation work before the two days of cheese making.  

Thanks to our 9 STEM class for your impressive behaviour and cooperation during our cheese making sessions. Enjoy eating your camembert cheese in 4 weeks’ time with your parents. 

Mr Darren Cox 
9 STEM Class Teacher