Author Topic: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?  (Read 3199 times)

Offline Lennie

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pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« on: January 21, 2010, 06:39:58 PM »
I am picking up 2gal of fresh goat milk tomorrow night, wanting to make some nice feta.  I have Ricki Carroll's book as well as Tim Smith's, but wondered if you all have any additional tips.  Specifically, what pH do I shoot for with the direct add culture, before adding my rennet?  Any other markers to be aware of?  And would you add lipase to goat milk feta?  I suppose you all brine this cheese?  When I buy it, it is usually in good-sized blocks in what must be a brine.  We particularly like Bulgarian feta.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2010, 07:53:12 PM »
For rennet add after culture ripening, you're looking for a delta pH of .1. So, for example, from 6.6 to around 6.5, rennet.
Flocculation multiplier of 4x
Whey drain pH of 6.0-6.2.
Cut into pieces for brining at 5.4-5.5 for a firm style. Else, leave in molds to acidify until 4.5-4.8 for normal styles.

That is for a firmer style. For a softer style, drain pH is on the higher end (6.2), and don't cook as long, and let it drain in the molds to acidify before brining.

End pH should be at 4.5 if you like a sour feta to 4.9 if you like a creamier one that's not as crumbly. Yes, lipase is a must for flavor.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 11:25:22 PM by linuxboy »
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Offline Lennie

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2010, 09:01:25 PM »
Could you be more specific?    :o

Thanks, I'll try and follow that as best I can.

Offline mtncheesemaker(Pam)

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2010, 09:35:09 PM »
Hi Lennie;
I make goat feta regularly, from fresh milk. I have adapted a recipe from Fias Co Farm. They are online and have their recipe there. I don't use lipase.
I don't have a pH meter yet but think that would be very useful. I am attaching my adaptation of the recipe here.
I think the goat milk makes a delicious cheese.
Best of luck,
Pam

Offline linuxboy

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2010, 11:51:01 PM »
Oh sorry, I didn't realize you wanted a recipe; thought you just wanted pH targets. Peter Dixon has some, they look similar to the notes I have for my makes.

http://www.dairyfoodsconsulting.com/recipes_bulgarian.shtml
http://www.dairyfoodsconsulting.com/recipes_greek_feta.shtml

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Offline Lennie

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 06:53:31 AM »
I was making a joke Linux.  Your info was exactly what I was asking about.

But I'll peruse all of the recipes before embarking on this.  I'm paying $8/gal for the milk so I'd like to have it come out reasonably close the first time.

Thanks everybody.

Now if only John would spend some time comparing these recipes and summarizing the results...hint hint!

Offline Lennie

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2010, 06:09:42 PM »
Picked up the milk tonight, the lady milks an Alpine goat.  Milk looked nice and creamy, and didn't appear to be separating much although I'll be sure and top-stir a little.

Tomorrow morning I make feta.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2010, 10:35:03 PM »
Lennie
linuxboy
  • I haven't made Feta with goat's milk, and it is a subjective thing, but I thought you only added Lipase with cow or sheep's milk to get the piquant taste, not with goat's as already built-in.

Offline Lennie

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2010, 07:35:10 AM »
No stores in our immediate area but when we visit Champaign IL there is a great Med store with fresh fetas, thats where we first got Bulgarian feta which we love.  We always stock up on cheeses and spices, place is called the World Market.

I wondered why this milk wasn't separating like I remember fresh cow's milk doing.  My grandparents were both dairy people, honestly I couldn't stand fresh cow's milk as a lad.  Not even on cereal.  Too much of a city kid I guess.  After all, Hannibal is a metropolis of 18,000, biggest town in Northeast Missouri.

I added 1/4tsp lipase in my 2gal of milk, even though the milk supposedly has some I didn't want it coming out too bland, nor too sharp.  I thought this would be a compromise for batch #1.

Starter is in at 86F, starting pH was 6.5.  Just about where Linux estimated.

Offline Lennie

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2010, 08:27:13 AM »
The pH did drop to 6.43 at 30min and 6.39 by the full hour the recipe called for, so that seems right on the money.  Rennet in now, stirred only for slightly under a minute although Carroll's directions say "stir several minutes".  I think its well-mixed.  I checked coagulation with a floating toothpick, looks like only 6min from the rennet things are coagulated so I'll let it go 24min and cut.  The recipe called for an hour.  I'll also check for a clean break to be sure the curd is ready to cut.



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Offline Lennie

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2010, 10:57:06 AM »
I made a mistake, and failed to heed my next pH target.  I cooked the curds at 86F with stirring for 20min, they looked pretty good so I drained them.  Only after I'd drained did I remember to check the whey pH, it was 6.34.  Sadly above even the upper boundary Linux posted.  I suppose this cheese will be overly soft as a result, although I thought the curds looked pretty firm.  I could still see some of the bigger curd looking rather soft, but most of it was nice.  I'll let it drain a good 6+ hours and then see what things look like.  If it is going to be soft I probably shouldn't brine it should I?

Offline John (CH)

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2010, 11:45:01 AM »
With my softer Feta's I haven't found brining makes them much softer, certainly doesn't help through.

FYI, high % brine keeps it longer but does make a very salty Feta.

Offline Lennie

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2010, 12:18:26 PM »
I may not brine at all.  It doesn't seem as though the fresh feta in the deli case at the World Market is so salty.  Do you suppose they take brined feta and soak it in milk or something to lessen the salt?  Or simply use a lower salt brine?

Oh and the goat whey ricotta came out nice, it seemed to have some curd left in the whey as well.  Made a good yield of ricotta that is draining now along with the feta.

Offline Lennie

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2010, 07:55:31 PM »
I cut the curd, some into 1x1" curds plus four large pieces.  All in a 15% brine.  Teh curd was quite stiff and kind of rubbery, I wonder what some aging will do.




Offline linuxboy

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Re: pH Target for Feta? Any Other Tips?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2010, 12:03:01 AM »
The stiff curd was because you drained whey at a higher pH. Aging should take care of it some, but I doubt you will get a crumbly feta, if that's what you were going for. It will be a more sliceable cheese than feta normally is.
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