Second time making feta with this recipe which is somewhat in-between the two styles in the Caldwell book. I felt like I did everything the same as the previous make, but the cheese weight was 3.5 oz more this time, and the texture is a bit more dense. I can't quite figure that out. However, I like this make and the outcome much better than when I first tried making feta!
One main difference is the large curd size, and the very gentle treatment when "stirring".
Feta # 8 Made 3-16-14
1 gallon non-homogenized, pasteurized whole milk
1/8 scant tsp MA4001
1/64 tsp mild lipase (in ¼ cup water)
1/4 tsp calcium chloride (in ¼ cup water)
0.6 ml calf rennet
Flocculation multiplier of 4
8 percent whey brine
Ripen 90 degrees – actual 91 to 90
Cook /gently stir at 90 degrees – actual 88 to 83
Brine at 4.6 – 4.8
12:50 To temperature at 91 degrees and removed from any heat. Starter and sprinkled on and rehydrated for 5 minutes. Starter stirred into milk and covered to keep warm for one hour.
2:00 Temp 88 warmed to 90 degrees. Lipase and calcium chloride stirred in, then waiting 5 mins.
2:06 Stirred in rennet. Flocculation 12.5 mins. Using multiplier of 4, clean break at 50 mins.
2:55 Cut into vertical columns about 1.5 to 2 inches, and let rest 10 mins.
3:05 Used spoon to gently cut horizontally about 2 inches. Then gently started moving curds with a gloved hand. Moved curds intermittently for 20 mins. Whey pH at 6.5 and temp down to 83 degrees.
3:35 Draining curd by gently scooping into cheesecloth bag. Left to hang for about one hour. Whey was reserved for later use as brine.
4:30 Turned over into basket mold, no cheesecloth. Whey ph 6.1
5:30 Flipped cheese and tested whey pH at 6.0
6:40 Flipped cheese and tested at 5.7 pH.
7:40 Flipped and whey pH 5.3
8:40 Flipped and whey pH 5.2
10:00 Flipped and whey pH 5.1, deciding to leave cheese on the counter until morning.
6:00 AM next day…. Now at whey pH of 4.9. Placed cheese covered in the cave to come to temp with brine.
2:00 PM Into the brine for 8 hours… salt on top.
10:00 PM Out of the brine, weighing in at 1 # 7 oz (23 oz-- prior make 19.5 oz). The cheese was put into cave on mat to dry for 2 days. (Whoops, 3 days)
3-20-14 Into 8 percent brine made from the reserved whey and into standard frig.
4-3-14 Tasty though a bit salty for eating straight! Nice soft crumbly texture, but still slice-able.