Author Topic: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump  (Read 1024 times)

Offline Slemps

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First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« on: August 03, 2013, 07:12:59 AM »
Hi All,

I'm waiting for my first ever Feta to be ready for curd cutting.

I'm hoping this turns out ok but things seem to be going well so far.

I've used 6 litres of Jersey full fat milk (not raw) and 2 litres of goat full fat milk (not raw)

I've added 0.1g of OV100 DVI culture and 1.05tsp animal renet.

The other day I bought an aquarium heater and a small aquarium pump to create a water bath in my sink at about 30C. It's worked amazingly and after getting the milk to the right temperature on the hob, I floated it in the sink and it has kept a very stable 30C



Temperature looks good.

Milk in.

I calculated my floc time to be 11:45 after I put in the renet and I should be cutting my curds in about 18 mins.

Fingers crossed all goes well!

Sam.


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Offline Slemps

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2013, 09:14:20 AM »
So my Feta is now draining in it's mould.

I cut the curd into 2cm cubes, waited 5 mins, then stirred gently for 25 mins.

Cutting went fine but once I started stirring the curds seemed to break up very quickly. Also, the whey was pretty cloudy.

I let rest again for 5 mins before draining in a cloth lined colander for 5 mins. I then transfered it to the mould and have been turning every 15 mins. I have one more turn and then I will be leaving it drain for 24 hours.

I'm not really sure what it is meant to be like as this is my first real cheese but it seems to be draining well and firming up. It's still pretty soft but seems to be holding together ok.


Cutting

Resting

After a min of stirring.

After 25 mins. Are the curds suposed to be this small?


Fingers crossed for tomorrow when I get to see the result.

Offline Slemps

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2013, 05:30:45 AM »
Right, I can't put the final pics up yet as I need to upload them first and can't from here.

The end result certainly looks ok, it does look like others I have seen on here.

I'm not sure how it should taste before being brined but it doesn't taste much like Feta yet!

Hopefully that will change. I have it in a 10% (vol) brine with vinegar.

S.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 05:33:52 AM »
Love your aquarium heater and pump set up!!!  Not sure why I hadn't thought of that.  Hmmm.   

Good luck....keep us updated.   :)

Offline Slemps

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 08:46:19 AM »
Thanks Tiarella,

It works really, really well, I was surprised. The only downside is that the heater max is about 32C. However, good enough for many cheeses.

Back to my Feta. After being in the brine for 2 days, I had a taste. The texture has changed a lot and it is much firmer and slightly crumbly now.

I'm a bit concerned with the flavour though. The brine is 10% and it tastes very salty (I like things pretty salty and it's very close to being too salty for me). Also, I can taste the vinegar in the brine. I used 1/4 cup per litre which seems like way too much.

I'm not sure what to do. I have no more whey so I can't make another whey brine.

Anyone got any ideas? Should I leave it in the brine or make a water version with less salt and vinegar?

S.


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Offline Gürkan Yeniçeri

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 12:21:01 AM »
Slemps, keep it in the brine for maturing.

When you are going to eat it, remove a piece from the brine and keep it in a bowl covered with milk. I don't know how long but it should loose its vinegar taste and saltiness in about an hour I think.

Also vinegar taste should disappear naturally in the brine after a while.

Offline JimSteel

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 12:48:36 PM »
Sounds like a lot of cow to goat ratio.  I've made it with both pure cow and pure goat milk.  The cow milk variety only tasted like salty hard stuff.  In my last batches I have been using cow milk and lipase that I got from "New england cheese" and am getting excellent results.

It's possible there isn't enough lipase in your batch since only 25% of it is goat milk.  I'm not too familiar with the science behind mixing and combining milk types though.

After a few days of room temp brine ripening, see if there is any improvement though.

Offline MacGruff

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2013, 07:14:29 PM »
Sounds like a lot of cow to goat ratio.  I've made it with both pure cow and pure goat milk.  The cow milk variety only tasted like salty hard stuff.  In my last batches I have been using cow milk and lipase that I got from "New england cheese" and am getting excellent results.

How much lipase did you use and for what quantity of milk?

I've made Feta many times and agree that with cow's milk it comes out too dry and too salty. I've started making it in the Bulgarian Feta style which is creamier and due to also dry salting it (and using a 5% brine), it comes out much more to my liking. However, I would not mind trying it with some Lipase to see what it does...

Offline Slemps

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2013, 08:08:52 AM »
As an update two an a half months later.....

I've eaten a fair amount of the Feta now but there is still more in the brine (in the fridge). The flavour is pretty good but it is a bit too salty and I can still taste the vinegar slightly.

However, after soaking in milk for about an hour, the saltiness and vinegar flavour disappear and I am left with a really nice tasting cheese! The texture is great too.

I'm pretty chuffed with it as a first attempt and looking forward to making some more.

Thanks to everyone for your help.

S.

Offline Juan Fries Widdat

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Re: First Feta - Using Aquarium Heater & Pump
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2013, 02:30:13 AM »
I like soaking the feta in olive oil to displace the salty taste.
With cow milk (raw and unhomogenized) I always use strong lipase.
Cow feta will be less dry if it is not worked so long.
When I made a trial with skimmed milk it was bland (they call it LIPase because it works on lipids - another uh,duh me) and very hard and crumbly.
They say my motto should be pro cras tenere.
I'm gonna look it up tomorrow.


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