Author Topic: My first Feta  (Read 1715 times)

Offline JeffHamm

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My first Feta
« on: March 15, 2013, 08:32:07 PM »
Hi,

I've never made feta, so I thought it was time to rectify that.  So far, the make seems to have gone ok, although the curds broke up a fair bit when trying to stir them.  I find they will tend to break up if the curds are cut large and then stirred, but not too bad for smaller cuts.  Oh well, will see how it turns out. 

I do have a couple questions for those with more experience than me with this one.  First, how long should I age it in the brine until it's ready to use?  and Second, how long can you keep it in a 10% brine? 

Thanks.

- Jeff

Feta (Saturday, March 16, 2013) fr. 200 Easy Homemade Cheese recipes
9 L Homebrand Standard (3.3%fat, 3.1% protein; past/Homog)
1/16th tsp calf lipase (in egg cup of warm water)
3 icecubes MW3 (Mad Millie; mesophillic; Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis.)
0.54 ml 750 IMCU rennet
¼ tsp 50% CaCl
10% Brine Solution (800 ml water + 88gl salt + 1 tbls white vinegar + 1 tsp CaCl

1)   Add culture
2)   Warm to 30 C (reached at 11:10 am; 31.0 C)
3)   Add lipase
4)   Ripen 1 hour (11:10 – 12:13; final temp 30.1 C)
5)   Add CaCl
6)   Add Renett (12:13:30 ; floc time 12:28:0 = 14m 30sec 3x = 43m 30sec = cut at 12:57:00)
7)   Cut into 2 cm cubes
8)   Rest 5 minutes (1:03 - 1:08)
9)   Stir 20 – 30 minutes (for softer-firmer result) (1:08 - 1:30)
10)   Rest 5 minutes (1:30 - 1:35)
11)   Ladle in to cloth lined colander ; drain 5 minutes (1:47 - 1:52)
12)   Move to mould (2:00)
13)   Flip every 15 minutes for 1 hour (flip at 2:15 ; 2:30 ; and 2:45)
14)   Let drain for 18-24 hours at room temp, without flipping (3:00pm Saturday - 2:15pm Sunday; 1230g)
15)   Put in container with 10% brine solution.  Leave at room temp 3-4 days.
16)   Move to fridge (moved to fridge on Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6:00 pm)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 12:11:54 AM by JeffHamm »
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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2013, 08:48:47 PM »
Make sure to add some acid (e.g. vinegar) and CaCl to your brine as well, balancing those concentrations with that of the cheese. It should help preserve the right texture of the feta and keep it from going soft and mushy. I've only made feta a couple times, and did not add those things (used just salt and water), and had my feta get mushy.

Offline green zebra

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 09:43:54 PM »
Hi,
I would agree with WovenMeadows...add 1tb CaCl and 1 tsp vinegar to each gallon of brine.

For aged feta place whole cheese in heavy brine for 8 hours per each pound in one wheel

Then transfer to an 8-10 % brine at 50-55° and age for 6-8 months. I have aged mine for as long as a 11 months and the cheese was a little slimy but still very good.

I have made feta a few times and tried as many recipes. The one from Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking is my favourite. No more slimy textures!

Offline H-K-J

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2013, 10:33:36 PM »
I have to admit the wife and I love the feta we get from a Greek gyro place this guy is Greek, I don't know were he get's it but man is it Yummy ^-^
So we will be watching this and is on my to do list :D
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2013, 12:17:23 AM »
Thanks.  I've updated the notes to include the CaCl.  I had the vinegar in there but had forgotten about the CaCl.  I may have to make a bit more if this doesn't cover the cheese.

Anyway, will see how it goes.

- Jeff
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Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2013, 01:48:23 AM »
I made a Feta using a large tablespoon of greek yoghurt instead of the lipase and it was the best I have made. (This was using 2 litres cow and 2 litres goat milk)
I also included the CaCl but no vinegar.
-Bill
One day I will add something here...

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2013, 08:38:47 PM »
Hi,

Ok, it's drained for just about 24 hours, and is good a firm.  The cheese weighs in at 1230g, which is a pretty good yield from 9 litres of milk (about 14% yield).  So, here it is after cutting the first block.  I've cut it into six blocks and placed it in the brine.  Will keep it at room temp until Thursday, then into the fridge.  Had a taste of a small crumb and there's good acidity. 

- Jeff
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Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2013, 11:34:34 PM »
That looks good Jeff. Very well done for a first attempt.  O0
-Bill
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2013, 11:41:25 PM »
Thanks Schencken Slayer!  I'm pleased with it.  I noticed you've used yogurt, which would be a thermophillic version.  I think I've seen others make feta with thermo cultures, but the one I've followed used mesophillic.  Have people compared the two approaches, and are there preferences?

- Jeff
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Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 11:51:22 PM »
I actually used MA100 as the main culture and the yoghurt to replace the Lipase as I didn't have any. (I think it was on the curdnerds site they said to add yoghurt instead of lipase)

Cheers,
Bill.
-Bill
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2013, 07:05:33 AM »
Yoav mentioned that adding some thermo to the culture mix makes it more authentic. I haven't done a feta in a while maybe it's time to try that suggestion.

Offline H-K-J

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2013, 08:47:35 AM »
That is looking great Jeff ;D a cheese to you ;D
Made an Emmentaler yesterday, I think I will try this very soon ^-^
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2013, 11:52:27 AM »
One thing I have found is that if your feta comes out salty tasting due to brine storage, if you place a chunk in milk for a day or so some of the salt will leach out leaving you with a perfectly balanced feta.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2013, 12:37:59 PM »
Ah, thanks Bill.  So the yogurt was to replace the lipase.  Sounds good.

Thanks H-K-J.  I think you'll find this a good one to try.  It's not a long make procedure, which is nice.

And thanks for the milk tip bbracken677.  Will keep that in mind when it comes time to try.

- Jeff
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Offline green zebra

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Re: My first Feta
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2013, 07:48:33 PM »
Hi Jeff!
 A cheese to you on your authentic looking feta! Will have to try a similar mold.

I'm very curious with the ice cube culture method. From this, i am thinking you make your own culture in bulk then freeze in ice cube trays?? I am not familiar using culture this way. Do you know if there is a thread on this topic. I would like to learn how it is done and why.

Sincerely,
Doris