Author Topic: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses  (Read 669 times)

Offline Spellogue

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Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« on: July 30, 2013, 08:26:16 PM »
Does anybody have any experience around brining, instead of dry salting, lactic or semi lactic coagulated cheeses? Is this ever done?  I'm wondering what the drawbacks might be. They're rather delicate cheeses and I suppose the biggest risk is their breaking up in the brine.

I had a Valencay type ready to come out of the molds just now and a tub of room temp 18% brine at the ready, so I figured I'd give it a half step of a go.  I tried placing them in the brine mold and all, but there just wasn't enough room so I placed them directly in the brine.  I've flipped them once.  I'm giving them only a 40 minute soak and then they'll be dusted with lightly salted ash on the drying rack.  I was afraid too long of a brine soak might make them too salty.  We'll see how it goes.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 08:49:38 PM by Spellogue »
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 03:18:58 AM »
It's better if the brine is chilled to refrigerator temp.  It arrests pH drop and firms the cheese.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 09:45:01 AM »
I've brined Humboldt Fog style cheeses and it's worked great.  Sorry I didn't keep better notes on it to share but maybe another member who was also part of the fog cheese experiments would remember or have better notes.

Francois, is there a way to figure out brine times for this style cheese by weight?  I'm assuming the calculation might be different than for hard cheeses but am not sure.

Offline Spellogue

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Re: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 01:20:17 PM »
That makes sense to use a cold brine, I usually do and will next time.  it was warmer yesterday because Had it sitting out to facilitate frequently flipping some cams.

These Valencays were probably not the best subjects for my experiment because the knit was a bit weak.  I lost a few bits of curd on the edges and one cheese was nearly bisected.  Nevertheless, I won't call it an abject failure, the cheeses are ashed and set in a ripening box toward an edible end result.  The results may be less than stellar, but I don't consider a cheese a failure unless I wouldn't want to eat it.

Is Humbolt Fog pressed at all?  That would contribute to a better result.  I don't see any problem with brining lactics so long as the knit is strong enough.   I too am still wondering if the brine time should be different than for a renneted cheese.

Sort of lumpy looking, but here they are, poised to bloom:
I can resist anything but temptation.      ~ Oscar Wilde

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 03:46:14 PM »
Brine times are very debatable and there are many opinions regarding cheese composition, times and temps.  As a rule of thumb, and this is only my opinion, I do an hour per kg for soft cheeses and 4 hours per kg for yellows.  Both in saturated, chilled brine.  Salt levels work out fine for us.  Somewhere I used to have some technical papers on brine time versus temperature, I'll see if I can find it.


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Offline Spellogue

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Re: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 03:36:06 PM »
Thanks Francois.   

So you don't treat various types of soft cheeses any differently per se.   By your general guidelines I may have gone a little long, but should be probably be OK on these cheeses.  At btw 8-10 oz. each 40 minutes at room temp might be too long, but I've been brining in an 18% whey brine rather than a saturated one.   

I've been thinking of going to a saturated brine.  Adding salt to saturation seems the only way to be sure the brine stays at the right strength though repeated use without a salinity meter.  Floating an egg seems too unreliable.
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 08:15:16 PM »
It will probably sound very hack, but when brining in small amounts I always make sure there is a solid layer of salt (1cm in a 100L tub).  Then as the cheeses float I sprinkle dry salt on the tops.  That way I never have to add extra salt to the brine and it's always saturated.  It works well for me.

Offline george (MaryJ)

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Re: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 03:39:03 AM »
It will probably sound very hack, but when brining in small amounts I always make sure there is a solid layer of salt (1cm in a 100L tub).  Then as the cheeses float I sprinkle dry salt on the tops.  That way I never have to add extra salt to the brine and it's always saturated.  It works well for me.
Well, cool, then, I've graduated to hack-hood.  Because that's exactly what I do all the time.  8)
If I have to be a grownup, can I at least be telekinetic too?

Offline Spellogue

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Re: Brining lactic coagulated cheeses
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2013, 09:41:29 PM »
Hey, whatever works.  I'll use this method with my next make.  Sounds like a good plan.  I'll just need to shorten my brine times.
I can resist anything but temptation.      ~ Oscar Wilde