Author Topic: Swiss Brining  (Read 433 times)

Offline tnbquilt

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Swiss Brining
« on: February 25, 2013, 11:18:41 AM »
I made a Swiss on Saturday. It looks good to me.

I used Al's recommendations on the cutting on the curd that he had posted for someone else. The recipe I have been using cut the curd into 1/4" pieces, and then stirred for 40 minutes. So I cut it about 1/2" the first time, and stirred for 20 minutes, and then cut it 1/4" and stirred for another 20 minutes. I didn't really stir that long, just every now and then to keep it from matting. I've made my recipe many times, so I wanted to see what difference this would make in the cheese.

I wanted to ask about brining. I always make whey brine, use it for that cheese and then discard. I make the brine, and put it in the cave to cool while the cheese is in the 12 hour press. Then I take the cheese out of the press and put it in the brine. The cheese is room temperature, and the brine is 50 degrees.

I read in my new book by Gianaclis Caldwell that the cheese and the brine should be the same temperature. It says that it keeps from shocking the cheese so that the pores on the outside of the cheese won't close up and prevent the salt retention.

How does everybody else do this? Do you use cold brine and cold cheese or room temp brine and room temp cheese?

I think I did room temp on both once and the cheese swelled up, so I started cooling the brine. Maybe I should be putting the cheese in the cave for a couple of hours before dropping it in the brine.
Tammy


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Swiss Brining
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 11:38:04 AM »
Quote
cheese and the brine should be the same temperature. It says that it keeps from shocking the cheese so that the pores on the outside of the cheese won't close up and prevent the salt retention.
I don't quite understand this statement. Can you help explain it a little more? The reason I do not understand it is because:
- Generally, higher temp brine results in saltier cheese
- Generally, lower temp brine results in more moisture left in the cheese (meaning either the pores do not close with lower temp brine, or there is some other mechanism involved and temp is not a large factor)
- Concentration more than anything else affects the porosity. Temp more affects the viscosity of the moisture in the cheese.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Swiss Brining
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 11:39:13 AM »
Quote
Do you use cold brine and cold cheese or room temp brine and room temp cheese?
Cave temp brine and room temp cheese, or whatever the temp is at target pH.
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Offline tnbquilt

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Re: Swiss Brining
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 02:13:57 PM »
That's what I've been doing cave temp brine and cheese right out of the press.

The book says Idealy cheeses are put into the brine at the same temperature as the brine. This helps prevent shocking the exterior of the cheese and reducing the permeability of the rind to the brine (kind of like closing up your pores by splashing cold water on your face. )

I had not heard that one before so I was wondering if my procedure was wrong.

My Swiss is always good but I am looking to improve where possible.
Tammy

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Swiss Brining
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 03:16:02 PM »
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his helps prevent shocking the exterior of the cheese and reducing the permeability of the rind to the brine
If it really mentions porosity, then IMHO that is not factually accurate, as porosity seems to decrease with higher temps (it's not intuitive, but that's what studies have found). There's more to permeability than porosity. Maybe Gianaclis is just using the wrong words to describe the phenomenon. Because the end result is as described, that the cheese will not have as much salt as when using cold brine and cold cheese.

If you took a really warm, cheese, say 90F, and put it into very cold brine, say 45F, what happens is that salt will still penetrate, the porosity is quite good. But the rate of that ionic movement is slower than with warm brine. As a result, the movement of whey into the brine is slower. So you get a salt gradient with more salt at the surface. This higher salt gradient draws more water to it, which makes for a softer outer layer. That does affect the salt uptake, but it has very little to do with porosity.

In contrast, say you cooled a cheese down so that it is more in line with normal brine temps of about 50-55F. It would have less of a gradient, and more salt, and as much or more moisture.

In practice, this isn't a big deal, as you can use brine concentration to more than make up for any issues.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Swiss Brining
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 08:43:50 AM »
That's what I've been doing cave temp brine and cheese right out of the press.
That has been my process as well. Cave temp is 50F. I also use whey-brine for that one cheese and if I'm not making another cheese within the next day, I dump the whey-brine. Seems to work well for me.

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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Swiss Brining
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 12:55:52 PM »
regarding stirring
the proper procedure is to stir it very slowly and constantly. this will give you a nicer, more uniform curd
as to brining
we take our cheeses directly from the press at room temperature and place them in the brine tank.
this brine is located on the floor of our aging room. this floor is concret
being so located, the brine will be a few degrees cooler than the air in the room.
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Offline tnbquilt

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Re: Swiss Brining
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 05:01:22 PM »
I feel better now.

I can't wait to see what cutting the curd in stages did for me. After that I will be settled with this recipe and I can move on to perfecting the next one. One down many to go.
Tammy