Author Topic: My 2nd Feta  (Read 835 times)

Offline JeffHamm

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My 2nd Feta
« on: June 16, 2013, 01:06:15 AM »
Hi,

Finished off my first feta today (see photo below).  It was getting a bit soft and slimy in the brine, so I think the next time I'll shift to storing in oil after a few weeks in the brine.  Anyway, after I started and grabbed my previous make notes I noticed the first batch was 9 L and this was now going to be 11.  The curds filled the mould to the very brim, but they are in there.  Tomorrow, we'll see how it's formed up.  It's draining down quite a bit, but still a way to go (lots of time).  I was very pleased with this the first time so hopefully it's good again. 

Feta (Sunday, June 16, 2013; raining) fr. 200 Easy Homemade Cheese recipes

11 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.)
0.6 ml 750 IMCU rennet in egg cup water (might have been a touch under)
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 8:10 am; 30.3 C)
3)   Add lipase (put in warm water around 7:50 ish)
4)   Ripen 1 hour (8:10 – 9:10; final temp 29.5 C)
5)   Add CaCl and warmed back up to 30.2 C
6)   Add Renett (9:15:30? ; floc time 9:34:00 = 18m 30sec 3x = 55m 50sec = cut at 10:11:00) – yes, under
7)   Cut into 2 cm cubes (10: 17)
8)   Rest 5 minutes (10:22 - 10:27)
9)   Stir 20 – 30 minutes (for softer-firmer result – 22 minutes last time) (10:27 - 10:52)
10)   Rest 5 minutes (10:52 - 10:57)
11)   Ladle in to cloth lined colander ; drain 5 minutes (11:20 - 11:25)
12)   Move to mould (11:30)
13)   Flip every 15 minutes for 1 hour (flip at 11:45, 12:00, 12:15, and 12:30)
14)   Let drain for 18-24 hours at room temp, without flipping (12:30 pm Sunday - 5:30pm Monday; 1714g)
15)   Put in container with 13.5% brine solution (140g salt + 900 g water).  Leave at room temp 3-4 days.
16)   Move to fridge (??day, June ??, 2013; ??:?? am/pm)

Taste on ??day;.
Made ricotta, got 420ish g.  Added 6g salt.

And here was our supper.  Prawns in olive oil, with onions, garlic, garden fresh parsley, tomatos (froze them, then put boiling water on them to remove the skins, and when they thaw they are mush and perfect for sauce), bit of salt and pepper.  Basically, cook the sauce up in a large cast iron fry pan, simmer for 30 minutes to thicken the sauce, add the prawns, cook to almost done.  Move to a oven dish, crumble  100g of feta on top, bake at 170C for 12 minutes or so, and enjoy!  Both Genesta and Gregor gobbled this down, which was nice.  Vanessa and I were not shy either. 

- Jeff
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 01:02:44 AM by JeffHamm »
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 01:06:41 AM »
Hi,

Ok, it drained a bit longer than 24 hours, closer to 30, but it was quite big.  Ended up with 1714g of feta!  It seems to be nicely solid though.  So, here it is before I sliced it into slabs to go into the brine (13.5% solution, 140g salt in 900g water + 1 tsp 50% CaCl solution and 1 tbls white vinegar).  This will sit in the brine for 4 days then move to the regular fridge.  Hopefully it's as tasty as the last make.  After a month in the brine I'll probably shift it into olive oil to preserve it better.  Will see how that goes.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 03:23:19 AM »
That's an impressive block of Feta, Jeff.
Mine was still OK in the brine after 8 weeks, how old was yours?
-Bill
One day I will add something here...

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 01:16:30 PM »
Thanks.  Mine was about 12 weeks.  I think after 4-6 weeks, moving to oil would be safest.  The brine will have salted it plenty by then, and the oil is a better long term storage medium.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2013, 04:59:20 PM »
Moved this into the fridge yesterday.  There were two spots of blue mould, about the size of a pin head, on bits sticking out of the brine.  I cut them away and flipped the cheese.  I also poured some olive oil on top thinking the cheese would stay submerged under the oil, but it appears the cheese will float through that as well.  Anyway, the cheese was still good and solid feeling, so it's not melting on me.  Flavour not very strong, but the other batch increased in flavour over a few weeks, so this should too.

- Jeff
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Offline Spellogue

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2013, 10:01:40 PM »
Feta was one of the first cheeses I made when we got the goats five years ago.  I made it twice and never since.  The second time I stored it in brine for too long and it dissolved. perhaps my coagulation time was too long.  I'm ready to try again.  I just ordered a taleggio mold with divider and some lamb lipase, among other things, from Yoav.  They should arive tomorrow.  Can't wait!

It's interesting to know that you found the flavor mild in light of the calf lipase you used.  Perhaps I made a good choice in ordering lamb lipase.  I'm confident it won't be too strong for me, but friends and family might.   Lots of folks say the like feta when I tell them I make goat cheese. It can be made with any milk; ewe's milk is most traditional, but the majority of the Feta available today (at least in th US) is from cow's milk.  I don't know why I've held off this long.   It isn't a very complicated cheese, but it's really not as simple a make to get right as many assume it would be.

I'm watching your progress with keen interest.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 01:23:35 AM »
I just had another sliver and it's coming along nicely.  It's just takes a bit of time for the flavour to develop.  It's under the oil now, so that should help preserve it as well.  I'll bottle it in oil after 4 or weeks or so though.  Do post your make when you get to it.

- Jeff
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Offline Spellogue

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 12:57:47 AM »
  It's under the oil now, so that should help preserve it as well.  I'll bottle it in oil after 4 or weeks or so though.

By "under the oil now", do you mean that you have a layer of oil floating on top of the brine? 

When you "bottle it in oil" are you intending to remove it from the brine and submerge it in just oil?  Once "bottled" will you store it at room temperature, in the cave (60F?), or in the fridge? 

I've stored cheese in oil in fridge and the oil solidified, all fine once brought back to room temp, but a bit of a nuisance to have to wait to serve it.  I didn't think the oil flavored or penetrated the cheese much when it was solidified.  I'm wondering if cave temps would change the oil viscosity substantially? 

How safe is it to store cheese in oil at room temp for longer periods?  I just put some chèvre balls in olive oil with herbs d'Provence and want to keep them at room temp for. A month or more, but not sure if I should 't keep the jar cooler.
I can resist anything but temptation.      ~ Oscar Wilde

Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 02:02:20 PM »
By under the oil I just mean in the brine with the layer of oil on top and the cheese is no longer poking out through the oil.  When I bottle it in oil, I'll just put it in a jar with extra virgin olive oil.  I would probably store it in the fridge.  Others might know better about how long you could store it at room temps in these conditions.  Might depend, in part, on how strong a brine you keep it in at first.

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.

Offline MacGruff

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 04:39:18 PM »
Olive oil will coagulate in the fridge and really look terrible (Speaking from experience....   A)  ) Once taken out of the fridge and allowed to warm to room temps, it converts back to what you would expect.

Other oils do not have that issue.


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Offline Spellogue

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 06:16:32 PM »
I wanted to keep the cheese in oil at room temp to promote infusion of the oil into the cheese. I suspect if it were to firm up at lowr temps that would be less effective.  My concern is with food saftey.  If I recall correctly I believe I've seen jars of oil cured cheeses on the shelf at stores, but I don't know how they were processed of if preservatives were added.  I've made herb infused oils and such, but haven't stored perishable items in oil.  Mary Karlin's book directs one to store them in the fridge.

I might try some other oils in the fridge too.  I'm really in no rush.
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2013, 04:07:16 PM »
Hi,

Bottled this in oil yesterday.  Still have a few pieces in brine, but figured I would get this into long term storage.  It's turned out pretty good, not quite as sharp as the first batch, but I suspect as it ages it will increase a bit.  Also, after taking the photo today, I noticed the water at the bottom of the bottle.  This is what was still on the cheese after removing it from the brine.  I'll stick a straw down and remove as much of that as I can.

- Jeff
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Offline H-K-J

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2013, 04:34:37 PM »
I have wanted to try making feta, as nice as yours looks as soon as I am able, this will be one of my wanna makes. :P
A cheese to you for another great looking cheese  ;D
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Offline JeffHamm

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Re: My 2nd Feta
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2013, 04:53:07 PM »
Thanks H-K-J!  I've just sucked off the brine at the bottom with a straw ; oily brine is not entirely a favorite, but it's what we do to help the cheese! ha!  Anyway, I suspect you'll have no problem with Feta.  It's a good one for people just getting into cheesemaking because it doesn't require pressing, and it is ready to eat very soon.  And, most importantly, it's tasty! :)

- Jeff
The wise do not always start out on the right path, but they do know when to change course.