Author Topic: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment  (Read 3297 times)

Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2009, 06:06:23 PM »
Okay, here's some results. Time flies when you're having fun and this Feta got to the age of four weeks before the first taste. For some reason it feels my cheddars and goudas are not aging as fast as the rest of the world.

Anyway. Opened all the cans today and took test bites out of every one. There was a very direct correlation between saltiness and hardness. The saltier cheeses were harder.

All cheeses in 8% brine were softer than their counterparts in 14% brine. Also the batch that had not been salted, just dropped into the brine was a bit softer than the other batches. The one salted by soaking in saturated brine was hardest and also saltiest.

There was no other difference in taste or structure. (Except in one jar where there seemed to be some blue mold and the cheese had a slight taste of it). I didn't really expect any differences in taste the recipe being the same. I did think the structures would have been a bit more varying. All the cheeses taste very good and beat most shop-bought stuff hands down.

This being said, they are all still too salty for my taste. I rinse them before use but I'd really like a feta that wouldn't be so salty but would still be solid and crumbly enough to stay in cubes when I use it in a pizza or salad.

Today they made an excellent salad and now they are back in my basement for further maturing.


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Offline Tea

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2009, 03:43:49 PM »
Morning Riha, I cant' remember if I said this earlier, but traditionally fetta is stored in a 12-15% brine solution.  If the cheese is too salty for your taste, just soak in milk for an hour or so before using, this will draw out some of the salt.

Glad to see that the experiment was worth it for you.

Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2009, 05:39:32 PM »
I've read this advice before from this forum but the problem is that I don't really want to soak my cheese in milk before using. Call me silly :) I accept rinsing it under running water, which doesn't really do anything to the saltiness of the cheese, just gets rid of the brine.

Do you know why it's soaking in milk, not water that works? At least that's what's recommended here often.

All experiments that leave me edible cheese, are good experiments. I'm wondering what to do with the one with a mold problem. Sort of blue feta. Weird.

I was thinking of trying to make firmer curd by either cooking a bit longer/hotter or draining longer. Of course there is the problem of how low can you drop the brine concentration without compromising the shelf life of the cheese.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2009, 09:25:49 PM »
Riha, great experiment and interesting results, so in general 1) lower the brine % salt the softer the cheese and vice versa and 2) the one pre-soaked in sat brine was the hardest.

I'm with you, seems wrong to soak in milk to reduce saltiness. Not wrong in that it doesn't work, just wrong in that I don't feel good about discarding that milk and that's not what you do with Feta's from store.

I think the control of the hardness needs to come in the cheese making stage, not so much in the salting/brining. My Feta's are also too soft whereas Tea were initially too hard. Maybe somewhere in there is the clue.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2009, 10:46:24 PM »
Nice thread Riha. Very informative.

I think the saltiness is what I don't like about feta. A few bites and I feel like I've been hiking through the desert for hours.


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Offline riha

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2009, 08:31:16 AM »
I like feta very much, but mine seems to be a lot saltier than any shop-bought variety. Same thing with halloumi. I know they are supposed to be salty and I like them that way but too much is too much.

John, nice to hear I'm not alone with my opinions. What comes to your conclusion number two, I think it's just the fact that the pre-soaked was the saltiest. I have no way of controlling how much salt is absorbed in brine soaking compared to dry salting. So I guess I would just say lower the salt %, softer the cheese.

Quest continues. These made an excellent feta-paprika pizza yesterday. It's awesome to make a pizza using cheese you have made yourself!

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2009, 12:03:13 PM »
The stuff in stores sometimes comes in a vac pack with a little brine in the pac I wonder if you mixed the brine and just poured a little in a bag and sealed it, if if would be enough to brine the cheese?

Offline Tea

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2009, 02:40:40 PM »
Another key to saltiness is how much extra room you have around the cheese for brine.  The cheese should fit the storage container snuggly, then just fill around with brine.  It shouldn't be swimming in brine.

CH with my recipe I have found the more I play with the curd during cooking, the harder the resulting cheese.  It I only turn the curd twice during cooking, (IE: once every hour) the result is a lovely creamy cheese, which personally, I prefer.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2009, 06:57:55 PM »
Those are lovely fetas Tea what's in them?

Offline Tea

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2009, 05:27:30 AM »
Chopped basil and garlic.


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2009, 10:04:08 PM »
Ahhh a girl after my own heart!

Offline Tea

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2009, 02:25:08 PM »
It's getting to that time were I need to make some more fetta, so I should do this one again.  They disappeared super quick.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2009, 03:13:47 PM »
I can see why!

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2009, 06:02:17 PM »
Tea, you said:
Quote
CH with my recipe I have found the more I play with the curd during cooking, the harder the resulting cheese.  It I only turn the curd twice during cooking, (IE: once every hour) the result is a lovely creamy cheese, which personally, I prefer.

After letting the freshly cut curds rest, I only cook for about 30 minutes at 32°C/90°F, how long and at what temp are you cooking for and are you still using raw cow's milk? Thanks, John.

Offline Tea

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Re: Riha's feta #4 – The Great Feta Experiment
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2009, 02:52:27 PM »
Mine comes to the same temp 32C, 60-90 mins to set, then turn over gently every hour for two hours, then drain whey.  It is during this period if I play with the curd that the result is a harder cheese.

Yes, if I can get it I use raw milk, otherwise it is the Mungully which is pasteurized only.