- I'm still unsure about brining these big cheeses. I'm doing another 12 gallon batch, expecting around 11 - 12 lbs. If I do thickness times weight will that get me the right salt content? I expect it to be about 4.5 inches thick, so around 50 hours in the brine?
- I'm debating whether to do a salt washing or a wine/brine wash. Suggestions?
Sorry that I'm late to the game on this post. For a cheese that size (10-12 lbs, 4.5" tall), I suggest a brine time of at least 24 hours, preferably 36 in a fully saturated brine. That should give you the proper salt levels and firm up the rind surface so that, when it dries, it won't stick to the board. Some cheese makers brine and also dry salt the surface in the cave to help develop the rind the way they want, so you may want to experiment.
To clarify the "sticking" comment, I mean assuming that you only wash one side at a time (the top side) and flip consistently (daily, until the rind develops). Then you cut back on the washing/brushing to what you need, depending on your goals.
The cheese you're making is not too much different from one I make commercially (http://naturesharmonyfarm.com/product/fortsonia/
) and I'm sure yours will come out just as well if not better, given proper aging (52-54 degrees, 90% humidity).