Author Topic: melting feta in brine  (Read 3051 times)

Offline bec1986

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melting feta in brine
« on: August 28, 2008, 07:41:03 PM »
ok my first attempt at feta has failed - oh well is the only way we learn. have seen that a lot of recipes only hang feta my recipe lightly presses then you cut it. that all went very well then it said to make a whey brine because brine has to be acidic or cheese melts in the brine. cubed the cheese put in jars of brine and threw in back of fridge and forgot about for 2 days. the result was all my cubes have melted into soft curds floating on the top of the brine.

any ideas? am planning on making another batch this arvo its great to put in hubby's lunches going to try adding garlic and wont be cubing will leave in a block i just dont want it to melt.

oooh noticed too that others just seem to invert the feta...no pressing?


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Offline Tea

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2008, 04:15:44 PM »
Hi Bec, and I'm sorry I can't help you.  I have only made fetta one way, and it has always worked.  Have you had a read through the recipe section.  There are about 4 different fetta recipes in there, with the results of some of them posted.  Maybe something in there might help you pin point what when wrong.

Offline bec1986

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2008, 05:52:06 AM »
i found out what the problem is, i made a second batch this time followed the recipe word for word and did it in a block not cubes - it melted in the brine  :'( the bright side is it made a beautiful lasagne sauce. the problem is the cold weather here. i let it drain for the required time but its going soft not hard in the brine because the acidity hasnt developed enough, the more acidic the harder the feta too close to neutral and it will melt. with the cold weather here and my cold kitchen the good little guys that make cheese cheese dont grow fast enough so next time ill leave it hang for twice the time and see what happens. apparently feta starts to stink to high heaven while draining with the development of acidity and mine only ever had a mildly cheesy smell too.

Offline Tea

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2008, 04:16:42 PM »
Bec where did you hear that fetta should stink?  If you have added lipase to the milk, it will definately have a stronger and unique smell about it, but I would in no way say that it stank!
I think I am going to have to try the 'hanging" method of making fetta so that I have a better understanding of what you are all experiencing.
I have found that the quality of the milk and how much I play with the curd, for me, determines how hard the cheese sets.

Offline bec1986

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2008, 05:30:25 PM »
i probably should have explained a little better, the day i made this feta room temp in my kitchen was about 10-12 C, i searched and searched and found that its about the acidity and my cheese cultures definatly wouldnt have been groing very fast at all at those temps. i didnt think it mattered after the heating and maintaining curds but when it says room temp it means roughly 20-24 C i think. next time ill just foot the electricity bill and use the electric heating or hang or drain my feta in another warm room.


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Offline Likesspace

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008, 08:47:35 PM »
Hi guys....
Totally new here, but I have been making cheese for the past few years and I think I have the answer to this problem.
The problem (in my opinion) comes from improper acidity in the brine solution.
I used to make a lot of Mozzerella and Provolone and always had a problem with the cheese surface melting while brining.
I would turn out these awesome looking balls of cheese and would take these melted looking globs out of the brine. This was especially a problem with the provolone since it would have to sit in the brine for up to two days.
I finally figured out that the improper acidity in my brine solution was causing this problem. The water/salt solution was not the same acidity of my cheese so melting and leeching occured.
The solution is really quite simple......
Instead of using water for the brine solution, save the whey that comes from the cheese you just made. They whey will be the exact same acidity as the cheese and will keep any melting or leeching from taking place.
I simply strain my cheese over a cooking pot.....add the proper amount of salt to the whey and allow my cheese to brine in this solution. Since I've been doing this, I have had no further problems.
One caveat I can offer though is this......don't forget what you learn.
Just last weekend I made one of my best looking provolones to date and then proceeded to place it in a water/brine solution. it was only when I went to turn it the first time that I realized I had forgotten all about my whey/salt solution to this problem.
I can really be an idiot at times.  ;D
Hope this helps someone out and btw......great forum.
Dave

Offline Tea

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 01:39:08 AM »
Hi Likesspace, and thanks for this imput.  I made bocconcini on the weekend for the first time, having successfully made mozz and provolone on a number of occassions.  All went well until I placed the balls in the very weak brine water.  They leached and melted something terrible.  My thoughts at the time were maybe they should have gone back into the whey, as that might have preserved them better.
You post confirmed what I was thinking, so I will give it a go when I next make bocconcini.
Glad you are enjoying the forum.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 02:03:12 PM by Tea »

Offline Likesspace

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 06:54:50 PM »
Tea,
Give it a try...I think you'll be happy with the results.
Now, I have a question for you....
What is bocconcini?
I don't think I've ever heard of it which makes me want to make some as soon as possible.
 ;D
Could you possibly post a recipe for this cheese so that I can give it a try?
I would be greatly appreciative.
Dave

Offline John (CH)

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 09:41:50 PM »
Likesspace/Dave

Welcome to the forum and great ideas/posts, keep em coming!

Offline haemish762

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2008, 02:18:54 AM »
because brine has to be acidic or cheese melts in the brine

Hey all, i am a bit confused. From the chemistry i did back in the day i understood adding Salt to water made it less acidic and more Alkaline. I found a good brine mix to be 200g to 1L water. I found that going to a mild brine left the Fetta very squishy and soft. I have had only soft fetta since i started making it, even then it did not dissolve/melt.

On a side note, the 'tails' that were left over after light pressing and general left over bits of fetta i squished together then boiled in a saucepan for about 2 minutes, salted water. I then took the melted cheese out and kneeded it like you would do for Moz. The little cheese i made i then brined for a day .... what a nice little cheese, great on salad... had it actually made it that far. I am going to try and make it on purpose next time.

cheers Haemish


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Offline narelle

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2009, 03:51:53 AM »
you have to put vinegar into your brine  it depends how long you want to keep it. it will keep in the fridge for 1 month in a plastic container. also you can marrinate it in conola oil or vegetable oil and it will keep in the fridge for ages olive oil will go hard in the fridge
if you are what you eat then i'm a mixed breed

Offline Tea

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2009, 02:08:47 PM »
Dave my apologies, I have somehow missed this post of your's.  Bocconcini is very similar to mozz but is in small balls  then stored in a very weak brine solution.  They are very soft and milky, and can be marinated before used if you want.  Great to tear up into a salad or for melting on sandwiches or pizza's.
I will post the recipe later for you.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 09:05:57 PM »
Tea,
I would really appreciate the recipe. It sounds like a fun cheese to make and something different.
Thanks for the follow up.

Dave

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 10:34:53 PM »
Dave -

I think you'll find that most of what they sell in dellis at the supermarket floating in the bowl is really Bocconcini not mozzarella. Most places use the name mozzarella because people know what that is. ATleast that what I find here.

Offline RRR

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Re: melting feta in brine
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2009, 09:32:02 AM »
I'm getting in a bit late on this thread, but...

I make fetta in a draining bag, then cut the fetta into 3/4 inch slices. I then put the slices in a container and allow them to sit at room temperature for a day or two...depending on the temp of the room. This seems to allow the acid to adjust. Then I put the fetta into the brine solution. I think it's all about the ph of the fetta matching the ph of the brine.