Author Topic: Can I press cheese in the fridge?  (Read 2107 times)

Amosunknown

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Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« on: February 21, 2009, 11:09:18 AM »
I am on my third attempt to make feta, the first batch I screwed up the culture, the second got infected with yeast (I did not respect the requirements of sterility in all my equipment). Because of the yeast screwing up my last batch iam reeeally worried about this batch getting contaminated... would pressing it in the fridge be okay, or useful, or should I just forget about it?


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 02:19:23 PM »
Hello Amosunknown and welcome to the forum. Hope you don't mind but I've moved your post and this thread to the Brine Preserved Board.

You could press cheese in the fridge but I think everyone here presses it at room temperature.

For Feta, probably Tea & I have made the most posts, but neither of us press feta, we just let it naturally gravity drain. Initially I hung the curds in a cheesecloth bag, now I find it easier to let gravity drain in my camembert hoops as I get a drier Feta, Tea drains hers in molds.

If you could describe what you are doing and with what type of milk, hopefully we can advise better.

As well as several feta making records and recipes I built a Feta Cheese Making Recipe with Tricks, Traps and pictures on the website.

Offline Tea

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 03:42:08 PM »
What John said.  If we know what you are doing, it is easier to help troubleshoot.
Leaving at room temp also help the lipase flavour to develop, so I would think that keeping them in the fridge all the time, the flavour would not develop properly.

Amosunknown

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 08:59:33 AM »
Thanks for moving my post... I am sure I'll screw up my postings until I figure this forum out. Thanks for fixing it for me!

I am using raw fresh goats milk. And a culture free recipe, in that all I am using is plain yogurt and rennet tabs.

I ended up just pressing it on the counter instead of the fridge... and this morning I went ahead and cut it and put it in its brine. no swiss cheese holes this time! I am wondering if I should just gravity drain the curd from now on, instead of putting it in my little mcguivered press.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/amosunknown/

You'll see my failed batch and my press on there.

Any tips you can give me are great! I dont have money or access to any cultures at this phase of my learning, its already enough of an expense to buy the raw milk. We'll have a goat soon enough and I'll be better off.

My biggest question right now... I cut the cheese and put it in the brine- but its floating. Its not supposed to float, is it?

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009, 09:31:48 AM »
Amosunknown

Thanks for the link, that is some MacGyver type press you built! Looks like a little bomb! I think that's the one off of Fauk webpage? FYI there's a whole bunch more presses type info and posts in this board.

All my Feta's have used cheap store bought pasteurized, homogenized whole cow's milk, and last few with addition of Lipase to get the "correct" the flavour. I think if you are not using Sheep's milk you need to use Lipase, Tea, please correct me if I have gotten it the wrong way around. For starter culture I originally used a homemade one Mesophilic one, now I use manufactured Meso Starter culture, both work. Using yogurt as a starter culture is doable but is it's a Thermophilic Starter Culture, which most Feta recipes that I've seen don't call for. There are quite a few posts in this forum on tablet or junket rennet if you want to search. Most users are not happy with results. Lastly, my Feta's all float in brine. Where in world are you? It would help to frame answers and on how to get your costs down.

I'm hoping Tea in Queensland can offer better advice as she uses Goat's milk.

PS: Cute kids in pictures!


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Amosunknown

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 09:39:58 AM »
I think then, maybe I might have gotten this batch of cheese correct. I will know in a couple days once its had time to flavor in the brine and stuff. Its not melting in the brine that I can tell, even the little "flaps" of thin cheese that was pressed out the bottom of the press are holding up.

I am in upstate NY, a bit outside of the adirondack park.

I used recipes that I found online, I actually couldnt find any for any culture except for the ones on Fias Co's website. I think she must  have just the best site that I have found so far. Fiascofarms.com I think is the address.

I wonder if I can just let the feta hang (I have also jimmied up a little hanging spot over my enamel sink counter with the aid of two screws in the bottom of my cabinet... lol! Iam high tech over here!) and drip until its dry enough to cut and brine. I've seen where a lot of people do, even for a couple days, but I wasnt sure if I should because of this recipe I have been using.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Feta-Cheese

I am encouraged to know that feta floats. lol. I actually halved that recipe this time, so i could have enough milk to repeat or change if I needed to. Seems to have worked well.

what company/site do you buy cultures from? And how long to cultures last? And why cant I just make my own culture? Like how someone might make a yeast sponge, cant I grow my own culture from a packet to start?... probably not worth it, but I'd like to know how if its possible.

Amosunknown

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2009, 09:40:50 AM »
ps, thanks- I think I must have the cutest kid ever. I see how that can in no way be a mothers biased opinion.. HA! ;D

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 10:09:24 AM »
Our daughters are still cute but 17 & 15 year old cute ;D.

Thanks for the link to the recipe you used, I don't know why they would use yogurt for a starter when they don't high heat treat the milk and as above, junket rennet tables are poor. I think that Feta in the link sinks as it's been pressed and thus much drier than mine.

The recipe on CFO webpage that is basically a combination of mine and Tea's and learning's and I think is better.

On hanging to gravity drain, it is a lot of weight, hope those screws are strong, if you look at a couple of my records, I've used a hook and best of all is a camera tripod. But I now just use hoops with mats, Tea uses baskets.

I've built a listing of Cheese Making Supply Stores, if you search this forum on the different store's names you'll see members impressions of them.

Manufactured culture's last ~1-2 years if you store them in freezer. You can make your own Feta Meso starter culture, follow the link above to the recipe unless you want to buy a manufactured one.

On rennet, the only store bought I've found in Houston is Whole Foods grocery chain, and even then was only in 1 of 2 stores.

Cheers . . .

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2009, 10:16:50 AM »
PS: I just checked our sticky post of members locations and New York USA is already there are other member(s) here from that state, you could post where to get rennet locally in the New York State Board in the Geographic Boards if want.

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 03:11:19 AM »
If your cheese is contaiminated then your sterilizing routine needs some work.. ;)

A lot of us on here use a spray bottle of diluted star san and just spray everything that comes in contact with the work area. Short of that you can boil everything and use hot water and soap for the counters.

You can press or hang in the frig but it's going to dry out the cheese very quickly.

The cheese in your pics looks very good.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.


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Amosunknown

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2009, 10:59:55 AM »
This time around I was sure to use diluted bleach in water to rinse everything before I used it- even down to the cheese cloth. So finally I have figured out the routine that works! I have to say that it honestly was quite simple to get a good product once I understood the process.

What cheese should I try now? I've mastered Feta, yogurt, and kefir... Maybe I should give mozzerella a go?

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2009, 01:46:46 PM »
I would get some star san if I were you and going to continue to make cheese. It's simple to use and food safe and doesn't have to be rinsed. The problem with bleach is you really have to rinse a lot until the smell is gone or else every thing smells like bleach.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Tea

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2009, 03:04:11 PM »
CH you will need lipase if you use either cow or sheep milk.  None required with goat.

Amosunknown I use baby steriliser for cleaning everything.  I usually use bleach to clean the sinks and benches etc.

Great to see that you finally have made a success batch.

On the kids!  We're allowed to be biased.  It comes with the territory.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Can I press cheese in the fridge?
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 09:04:34 PM »
Interesting chese press there Amos! I love the kid pix too what are they doing? Looks like alot of discussion going on up there.

Should be use the soap? NAW we don't need no stinking soap!