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Having 35% weight loss after only 8 days indicates some issue with drying. As you pointed out you may have some case hardening where the outside dried but the inside is still moist. Is there a reason you used B-LC-007 culture instead of T-SPX? This culture has some bio-protectant.
Successful fermentation is the key to even drying. As for consuming a product that has not completely dried, we would not recommend it.