Cheese # 26: Feta # 4
1 gallon non-homogenized, pasteurized whole milk (Cream-Top Trader Joe's)
1/8 tsp MM100
1/8 tsp mild lipase (in ¼ cup water)
1/8 tsp calcium chloride (in ¼ cup water)
0.8 ml calf rennet (Mad Millie)
Flocculation multiplier of 4
8 percent brine
I enjoyed the last feta (#3) so much that I decided to make another and see if I could make it less firm – more soft and crumbly- by stirring for a shorter time, and not using a weight to help press it. The make was planned just the same as last time with those 2 changes….
Milk heated over low direct flame with diffuser, to 86 degrees. Starter sprinkled on and rehydrated for 5 minutes. Starter stirred into milk (forgot lipase until later) covered and wrapped to keep warm for one hour. Checked the temperature after one hour and it had gone up to almost 90 degrees, I think due to retained heat in the cast iron diffuser.
Stirred in the lipase and calcium chloride, and then the rennet. Flocculation occurred in 10 mins. Using a multiplier of 4 that is 40 mins.
Clean break on testing, cut into ½ inch cubes, and let rest 10 mins.
Gently stirred for 20 mins, (last time I did 30 mins) while holding temp to 90 degrees, then rested for 10 mins before draining and reserving whey.
After draining 15 mins, transferred curd to basket mold, turning after 15 mins and repeating a few more times before bed. Left overnight, and part of the next day. (Last time I put an 8 oz weight on it.)
I cut the cheese into quarters, then soaked in saturated brine 2 hours. Then into cave on mat to dry for 3 days. Then into 8 percent brine made from the whey for aging. The cheese still seems more firm than I want it to be.
I am happy to not have the melting problems any more but am wondering about texture.
Anyone with suggestions for making it less firm?