Author Topic: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment  (Read 2889 times)

Offline riha

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Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« on: September 16, 2009, 06:48:38 PM »
Well, perhaps not great, but experiment anyway.

I have made 3 batches of Feta and have been very pleased with the results. I have read several Feta recipes and they have basically three different methods of salting the cheese before storing: sprinkling, brining, and skipping the salting step.

As a curious cheese scientist student I want to know how the different salting methods effect the outcome. So I decided to divide my next batch into three different ways of salting. Furthermore, I will store half of each in strong brine and half in mild brine.

The recipe I used:

ingredients
  • 10 liters fresh milk
  • 1/4 tsp MM4001 mesophilic starter
  • 1/2 tsp mild lipase
  • 10 ml liquid rennet

procedure
  • Heat milk to 32°C
  • Add the starter and the lipase, stir well. Let the milk ripen for 60 minutes.
  • Add the rennet, stir well. Let the curd form 60 minutes.
  • Test for clean break. Cut into 1cm cubes.
  • Let the curds heal for five minutes.
  • Heal for 30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Let the curds settle for 5 minutes.
  • Pour into a colander lined with a cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth to a bag and hang for 4 hours.
  • Turn the cheese. Let it hang for 24 hours.
  • Cut the cheese into smaller pieces, salt and store in brine.

After hanging I divided the cheese (1650g) into three not-so-equal portions. My guesstimation missed a bit and I ended with one 400g block and two bigger ones. No matter.

The first one (exhibit A) I chopped into 3cm cubes and stored half of it in 14% brine and half of it in 8% brine. No additional salting.

The second one (exhibit B) I dumped into a saturated brine for 5hours and 30 minutes. This estimate is based on Peter Dixon's “8 hours per pound of cheese”. I had two 330 gram blocks. After brining, I chopped them into 3cm cubes and stored in 8% and 14% brines.

The third (exhibit C) one chopped into 3cm cubes (surprise), and salted by sprinkling the surfaces with salt. I used about 10 grams of salt for 400 grams of cheese. These cubes were left for 3 days in room temperature to mature and then stored in 8% and 14% brines.

Now they are all happily in their brines, waiting to mature. I was thinking I'd test the taste/structure every two weeks. Starting now.

Pics:

Everything ready.

Handy spoon holder & too much milk.

Curds cut.

Draining.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 06:55:24 PM by riha »


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Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 06:49:47 PM »
More pics.

After 4 hours of hanging.

After turning and 24 hours of hanging.

In 6 pieces.

In brine.

Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 06:51:25 PM »
Still more pics.

Salted by sprinkling.

All the cheeses in a row. Two rows actually.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 07:09:39 PM »
Very nice lookking cheese and a really good write up there gal!

Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2009, 07:13:22 PM »
Just to set things straight, am a male. Even if I do have a ponytail :)

Or did I you mean I should get a life?


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 07:21:05 PM »
LOL That's twice now I got the genders wrong.  Sorry! I have a cousin named Ryha and she's a girl. Silly me. I'm sorry!

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2009, 09:08:12 AM »
riha, great review, looking forward to your tasting results!

You used "fresh milk" assume it was cow's milk as you added lipase? Also, was it raw or store bought past & homogenized milk?

Like your hanger and especially your spoon/ladle holder!

Offline Christy

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2009, 02:52:21 PM »
Really wonferful looking feta! I had the same questions as John about the milk.

Christy
Providence Hill Farm and My Blog
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Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2009, 09:14:54 AM »
Sorry, I mixed up the terms. I meant raw milk when I said fresh milk. It's organic milk from a nearby farm. No pasteurization or homogenization. And from a cow, yes. Unfortunately no goat or sheep milk available here.


Offline Ginger

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2009, 10:58:47 AM »
I use the recipe from Fias Farms website.  I use store bought milk with calcium chloride and after it sits in my rubbermaid container for about five days I put the pieces in a gallon size ziplock and throw the bag in the freezer.  This has worked out well.  Ginger


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Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2009, 12:01:18 PM »
What's a rubbermaid? I have never heard the word.

Also, do you freeze your feta? Those ziplock bags sound like a good idea. I'm always out of glass jars, even if I like them for all preservation purposes.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2009, 04:12:42 PM »
riha
Rubbermaid is a brand name for those plastic products like bowls and boxes and everything else made today from plastic. A big company here in the states that's been around forever. They've all but put Tupperware (another plastic bowl company that speciallized in home party sales) out of business.

Offline Ginger

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 09:53:41 AM »
After the cheese is hung for 24 hours, I cut it into cubes and it sits in the container for 5 days.  I drain it every morning and evening and after the 5th day I put the cubes in the plastic bag and put the bag in the freezer.  I don't brine the feta.  It thaws out quickly and is always handy when I need it.

Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 10:10:45 AM »
Debi, thanks. We have Tupperware here as well, but Rubbermaid was a mystery.

Tomhog, I thought you froze a bags full of brine and Feta. That's more logical. But why don't you brine your Feta? I think it's very handy. Ready to eat all the time one piece at a time and (practically) never spoils.

Do you make soft or crumbly Feta?

Offline Ginger

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 10:51:45 AM »
It is crumbly when it thaws out.  I guess when I started making feta I was very leary of the brine and didn't want to worry about the cheese dissinigrating in it.  I froze it and that is the way I always do it now.  Maybe the next batch I make I will try the brine.