Author Topic: My 2nd Tomme  (Read 5484 times)

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2012, 04:16:31 PM »
Good point about the huge difference in the salt usage; and even though salt is pretty cheap, there's the environmental issue of disposing the brine. Could you just confirm that you  sprinkle the appropriate amount of salt over the cheese straight after it's been pressed at the rate of 100gr/2kg cheese? Do you massage it in?
Margaret


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2012, 05:29:47 PM »
Yes Margaret, but good salt like cheese salt or pure Kosher salt with no anti-caking additives and iodine can still cost $3 for a 3 Lbs package. Should you really spend $2 (2/3rd of a package) on salting one cheese? If you think of it, that's more money spent on salt per lb of cheese than on cultures! (and do you really want to buy salt all the time if one box can last you 30 tommes?) It adds up.

The salt guidelines are different from cheese to cheese. Reblochon needs about 1.5% salt. Blue needs 3%, Tomme I usually do at 2%-2.5%.  If you know the weight of your cheese, calculate the salt it needs and add about 15% to make up for salt that is going to spill around the cheese and not make it.

Roll the cheese in it or toss it on the cheese Try to be even but it's not critical because the osmosis will make the salt travel in your cheese at all directions anyway and within minutes. In many cases it will look like A LOT of salt and you will need to pile up more salt than would stick to the cheese. Rub it if you want (and if the cheese isn't too soft). It encourages rind formation.  Come back to the drying rack an hour and be amazed to to find out that this huge pile of salt has been dissolved. The top surface will be very wet so turn the cheese over and come back 10-12 hours later to check on it. Couldn't be any easier!

Offline margaretsmall

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2012, 05:53:56 PM »
Thanks Yoav, I'll do this next time.
Margaret

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2012, 06:38:04 PM »
Quote
I really dont like brining, I find that I often overshoot the final pH target - espacially during summer.
I prefer to dry salt and put it in the cave to stop acidification untill salt is well diffused.

That's why it's important that your brine be cool, like the same temperature as your aging room cool. My brine tank is on the concrete floor next to my aging shelves, so that keeps the cheese good and cool while it's absorbing the salt. Brining cheese doesn't just add salt, it also develops the strength of the rind, and has some effect on the texture of the cheese as well.

If you don't have a cool room, you might try brining it in the refrigerator. if you have enough room to.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 07:13:26 PM by Alpkäserei »
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 06:52:05 PM »
I reuse my brine as I can store enough to do one cheese in the refrigerator.  However, I might give dry salting a go, just to try a different technique.  I like to have many strings to my bow, but not too many irons in the fire.  And , after that brief decent into the depths of metaphor land, I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

- Jeff
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2012, 07:08:12 PM »
A stitch in time saves nine...I too save my brine, but have wondered (20%) how often I should replace since no doubt some of the salt leeches out, at least, I think more salt than fluid does and I have no way to determine salinity. So, t'would be better to close the barn door before the cattle have left rather than after. Besides, you may want to make sure you put the cart after the horse!!

haha

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2012, 07:16:34 PM »
I learned that every time you put cheese into the brine, you sprinkle a handful of salt over the top of it. That way the salt content of the brine is kept up, as you are always adding more and more salt. This brine is kept the entire season.

As long as those stringy sea monsters don't start growing in it, you can keep the brine as long as you please. Though maybe boiling it every now and then is a good idea to kill anything that might be trying to colonize.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2012, 07:37:06 PM »
Yah, every now and then I just re-boil it.   I try and keep it at a saturated level, or near to, so I keep some extra salt in the bottom of the container so that when I put the brine back in the bottle it can take up any missing salt that the cheese took.   Just make sure you put some calcium chloride in when you first make it up or it will leach it out of the cheese. 

- Jeff
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2012, 02:00:57 AM »
If you toss salt until salt no longer dissolves and you see it collecting at the bottom, you know that the brine is fully saturated (26.5% approx).  Cheese soaks up some of the salt so just feed the brine salt until you see it collecting on the bottom again so you know you have re-saturated it. As long as the liquid is clear there is no need to replace it.  The salinity is so high that nothing can really grow in it anyway

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2012, 11:36:04 AM »
You'd think so, but I've had slime grow in it already at full saturation.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2012, 03:01:03 PM »
Hi  Alpkäserei,

Did the slime grow in it, or come from the last cheese?  Could it be butterfats, or whey proteins, etc. 

- Jeff
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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2012, 04:32:26 PM »
so, it's a living organism. It happens when your brine is stored in too warm a location, or exposed to the light, or both. It's more like a stringy slimy almost algae like growth, I'm pretty sure it's just a bacterial growth though.

Also, I never learned about adding calcium chloride. In fact, I'm fairly certain the Swiss would be horrified at the idea. Just salt an water. But also, the first cheeses made each season are an inferior cheese. I guess that sort of prepares the brine for the good cheeses to be made a little later on.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2012, 08:07:20 PM »
Ah, yes, ok, "It's ALIVE"
I would think that the early season cheeses would lose calcium to the fresh brine but by the time the good cheeses are made the levels are fine. 

- Jeff
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2012, 04:09:10 PM »
You'd think so, but I've had slime grow in it already at full saturation.
Are you sure it's not something the cheese left behind which just bonds together by enzymatic activity?
Does that grow IN the liquid, or on the surface?
In any event, pathogens are unable to exist in this salinity.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Tomme
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2012, 06:12:29 PM »
I've mixed 1/40 tsp of b.linens in a brine of 4g salt to 100 g water (about 3.8% brine) and given the cheese a wipe with a damp cloth of this mixture.  I've decided that I'll try and build up a bit of a washed rind, but not too strong, just enough to get a bit of control over what grows on it, and then let it go wild.  Partly because my first attempt to do this split, so I've got the humidity up in the box.  Also, this make has a much firmer feel to it than the last one, so I think it will be less prone to slumping and stretching and tearing the rind (and it has more support underneath it).  We'll see how it goes.

- Jeff

P.S. Washed it twice now, Sunday Sept 30th, and Tuesday Oct 2nd.  Will wash every other day until some b.linens activity spotted and then smeared around the whole cheese.  I don't want it too far along, as I do want other volunteers to show up as well.
P.P.S. Another wash on Thursday, Oct 4th.  There appears to be some evidence of b.linens showing up.  The surface seems to be taking on a discolouration, so we should see something soon.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 02:13:33 PM by JeffHamm »
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