Washed rind cheese

The original washed rind cheeses were made by monks in Northern France and derive their name from the process of regularly washing the cheese in brine (salt and water mix), wine, beer or other bacteria producing agents.

It’s this washing process that makes the surface of the cheese responsive to accepting the bacteria known as Brevibacterium linens. Over time, the rind will become a sticky orange colour that darkens as the cheese ages.

Washed rind cheeses can be soft, semi-hard or hard and should have a sweet, earthy taste with a hint of nuttiness.

However, be careful that the cheese doesn’t over ripen and become ammoniated, that is to say, it strongly smells or tastes of ammonia.

Shopping list


  • Un-homogenised cow’s milk
  • Type E cheese starter for a modern recipe or Type B starter for a traditional recipe
  • Rennet
  • Salt
  • Aroma culture (Brevibacterium linens)
  • Colour (optional)
  • White mould spores (optional)

Specialist equipment

  • Cheese basket (P00627 basket is recommended)
  • Cheese cloth or drainage mat
Washed rind cheesemaking
Other cheese-making recipes.

Cheeselinks offers an extensive range of cheese-making recipes, from classic cheddar to blue cheese and everything in between. Try one today.