Author Topic: How do you make a XX% brine?  (Read 3237 times)

Offline joyofcheese

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How do you make a XX% brine?
« on: June 30, 2009, 01:10:23 PM »
Sorry if this has been covered, I tried to find the answer in this board before posting.

I want to make a batch of feta from farm fresh cow milk (milked Friday, 4 days ago!) tonight. I see the feta recipe posted calls for a 12-15%  brine solution. This links to the brine making page, which seems like it is not quite complete, as the table given is not filled out.

What does an XX% brine solution mean? How do you create one?

I have a feeling it is not well defined, and the author of each recipe might mean something slightly different. If they don't explicitly state what they mean, you might be left to come up with your own interpretation.

It could mean:

% by weight. So 120g salt to 1000g (1kg or 1 liter) water would be a 12% solution. Or perhaps you dissolve 120g of salt in water to make 1 liter, which I expect would be a slightly stronger solution.

% dilution. 120 ml of saturated brine diluted to 1 liter.

% by volume? I am not sure how you would measure this out.

Interestingly, when I ordered B. Linens from thecheesemaker.com, they sent me a limburger recipe that used the % dilution method above to make a 3% brine used to spray on the cheese as it aged.

Thanks in advance for your input. My future feta thanks you too!


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Offline John (CH)

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Re: How do you make a XX% brine?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2009, 08:38:45 AM »
Dave, good question, sorry I hadn't finished off that Brine Making Webpage (I forgot).

So I just updated it including the % Brine calculation/method!

I used this info to build the calculations, my understanding is that % brine is amount of brine in total weight of brine. To get the amounts of salt in the webpages' table I had to back calculate each number.

Any errors or updates just PM me!

PS: If you read through some of the Feta posts there are some good ideas on adding whey etc to brine and how to make less salty when remove from brine.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 09:26:37 PM by Webmaster »

Offline joyofcheese

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Re: How do you make a XX% brine?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2009, 12:13:55 PM »
Thanks for the update!

I ended up going by Ricki Carroll's feta recipe, which called for a brine with 1/3 cup cheese salt to 1/2 gal water. Assuming cheese salt is 230g/cup, that is 76.6g salt to 1892.7g water (1/2 gal of water is 8.34 lbs / 2 = 3785.4 g / 2), which works out to a 4% solution.

Even with this lower concentration brine, the cheese is very salty! It is also slightly dissolving in the brine. Carroll's recipe warns that soaking in brine is not recommended for store bought goat milk, only farm fresh. I used farm fresh cow milk, so I thought I was safe. I drained the brine away from one of my two containers of feta to see if I could save it from dissolving, and it looks like the cubes have swelled and may now mat together. The cheese in the other container, still with brine, looks like it is not matting, but the fluid is slightly milky.

I think the cheese could have stood to have been pressed a bit, rather than just let it press under its own weight. That might have made it hold up better in the brine.

I expect I will rinse what I have in fresh water and use them by adjusting the recipes for the salty flavor.

Will post pics when I get a chance.

p.s. Here is a link found on another post, on the forum about making brine. It talks about adding acid to make a better brine that won't cause defects in your cheese.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 12:57:15 PM by sputicus »