Author Topic: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!  (Read 2049 times)

Offline iratherfly

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Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« on: November 07, 2010, 03:13:30 AM »
Okay, so I am embarking on a cheese experiment which is unlike anything I've ever done before.  This is going to be my 7th commercial recipe (my own formula) and I've been working on it for quite sometime now, but my formula is incomplete. Here's the deal:

I am not allowed to use any salt! (I can use up to 1/8 teaspoon per gallon, that's nothing).  This cheese is taking its flavors from elsewhere and its milk characteristics must shine through without any saltiness. This is to be a 25-40 day semi soft, surface ripened, cow's milk cheese. Of course I cannot create any significant surface flora without salt, which means no surface bacteria (and no protection from competing pathogenic bacteria) this will just be a slab of curd. 

Who is the genius here that can suggest a good substitute for salt which isn't salty but promotes surface flora?  Or, do you know of a good surface bacteria that I can use without salt? I can play with humidity and pH, can even use yeast and sugar, just not salt. Anyone?


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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2010, 03:25:29 AM »
Potassium chloride.  That is what's used in commercial low salt cheeses.  You get the protection of Cl without the alleged negative health affects of Na.  I don't think you can go 100% KCl though, but it's not really my area of expertise.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2010, 02:18:39 PM »
But isn't Potassium Chloride always salty tasting?

Also, I thought that Potassium Chloride is anti fungal and may prevent bacteria, you think that Geo and PC would like it?

If so, how much would you use in comparison with Kosher salt for example? And would you maintain the same pH and %RH ?

The consideration by the way is not health, it's more about flavor.

Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2010, 02:31:41 PM »
Yes, it is salty tasting.  It's one of the main reasons it is used an alternative, it has a similar flavour profile.  i didn't know flavour was why you wanted to change.  Maybe PM Linuxboy to see if he can think of a Cl that would work.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2010, 09:33:29 PM »
Yes, to rephrase what I am asking here:
"How do I remove all the salt flavor from a cheese and still being able to grow Geo and PC on it?"

I suppose your response confirms that I wasn't totally dumb, being unable to find a non-salty alternative nutrient for Geo/PC.

What do you think of sugars?

Will PM Linuxboy too now!


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2010, 09:55:23 PM »
What is your goal for removing the salt flavor? Are you doing this to make a low sodium cheese or is there a certain flavor profile that you are going for?
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2010, 11:49:51 PM »
So you want it to not taste salty at all? You can't use a 1 or 3% spray?

I like salt in my cheese, even lactic curd needs a little. But, I have suspended culture in buffer solution before and sprayed that on directly and the mix grew. IIRC, that curd didn't have salt at all

Sugar is no good, won't work, wrong substrate. You couldn't do quality control. Sugars +cheese only works for processed cheese or cheese food products.

Some p candidums also will grow without salt, don't recall offhand which.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 01:33:28 PM by linuxboy »
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 01:12:23 AM »
Okay, I think I need to explain myself. You guys are going to kill me for even agreeing to this experiment but should I succeed, I may have one of the top chefs in this country hooked.  Didn't want to talk about it until I have a prototype and photos but here's the deal: It's a sweet cheese. Very sweet. The cheese is desert. Think of it as a naturally cultured cheesecake.

It's an aged chocolate ganache really. We are doing it in two versions. The first is a big square (Telaggio size) of double cream cow's milk chocolate ganache that is suppose to age to the texture of a triple cream. It's suppose to be "death by chocolate" rich.
The second version has the shape of a pretzel and 3% salt is allowed on the crust. It will actually give it that sense of old fashioned chocolate covered pretzel.

I know, I know; this is a ridiculous concept but judging by early texture-only tests, if only there was no salt and lots of that Swiss chocolate made of peruvian Criollo cacao beans, oh my, oh my

So now that you understand what I am trying to do - any ideas? Has anyone done anything like that?

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2010, 09:28:04 AM »
Oh, sure, that explains it. Yeah, if you use a custom growth media as your spray base, you could get it to grow. Very tricky, you can't use debromyces in the mix. Want me to make you up a media recipe?

Also try just spraying it on after diluting in sterile water. Might grow as is.
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 10:53:58 AM »
Sure Linuxboy, I would love to have such formula.

Why can't I use debromyces? Do they rely on salts to grow? Is there an alternative yeast I can use?  I usually use KL71 which is Kluyveromyces (as opposed to Debaryomyces, both are Saccharomycetaceae however) Man I love having those reference guides to look at whenever I need them!  I could never spell it on my own :)


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2010, 11:15:45 AM »
kluyveromyces lactis should be okay. They have different metabolic pathways. The Saccharomyceta have all sorts of members, and the pathways differ in terms of how they digest. Debromyces would grow too quickly on a sweeter substrate. You could actually use it, I suppose, but you'd need to cut the amount down.

Let me create something, then. You should be able to make it up, dissolve the mix, and spray directly.


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2010, 12:10:45 PM »
Can't wait. This is awesome! Love those community-generated cheeses

Here is the datasheet on the KL71 - just in case you need it. (attached below)  Thanks Linuxboy!

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2010, 12:56:54 PM »
What I would do is give the spores some regular culture media so they wake up and start growing, then spray that on, and once they are exposed to oxygen, they will start forming the mycelium and start sporulating.

Your choices are PDB (PDA, basically, but no agar), PDY, MDB, or similar.

here's the recipe to accommodate a wide variety of yeasts and fungi, for one liter:
- 20 grams dextrose
- 4 grams potato starch
- 3 grams MgSO4, the 7 hydrate (epsom salt works well)
- 0.5-1.0 grams yeast extract (for the b vitamins, for the cell walls)
- .5 tablets of an all-in-one vitamin pill (for misc vitamins and trace elements)

Make that up, and boil (use pressure boil if you have it) for 30 minutes (or autoclave at 121C, per usual lab protocol). Then chill, and inoculate at about 75F.  If you want to make the agar version for slants, add 15 grams agar powder to the above.

You can use store bought potato flakes for the starch, it works better, actually. Or whole potatoes (different amounts, of course). And for the dextrose, that's just corn sugar. You can find it at a homebrew place. Yeast extract is nutritional yeast, you can get it at a bakery supply place or supplement store.

You can also propagate most yeasts and molds on this medium. Propagate, not continuously culture. For continuous fermentation, you need something else. Just in case you were wondering :)

Let me know if you get stuck.

Oh, once you do inoculate, use up the spray or toss. Don't make up a large solution. After the culture mix becomes turbid (2-3 days), it will rather quickly kill itself with all the toxins it will produce. useful life is maybe 3-4 days.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 02:17:17 PM by linuxboy »
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Offline Jason M

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 05:53:19 PM »
OK, I'm SO new to this I have absolutely no right to comment on this thread but it was interesting and figured oh well!  I'm new to cheese but I can brew the hell out of beer!  So....

How about a beer brine minus the brine part?  I would think an unpasteurized micro brew would work great.  Something that already has yeast in an inactive state but not killed off.  No pasteurized brew here though!  You'd need the yeast alive in the beer.  That should kick it up a notch for the cheese.  Either a soak or a daily brushing on of the beer.

If I'm not totally off on this one I would think the brewers yeast would interact with the surface of the cheese.  You could also experiment with the flavors.  A raspberry hefeweizen or a chocolate stout would be cool with the chocolate.

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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Substituting Salt! Now there's a serious challenge for ya'!
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2010, 06:14:10 PM »
Jason, When I tried to use anything but an ultra-dry beer, I got runaway yeast. This is for normal aging, not vac bagged drunken cheese. Sadly, I've also had at least two commercial products I can recall where someone tried to use a microbrew for the wash. Both were awful, suffered from runaway yeast flavor.

Irather, you have to engineer a surface that would promote growth without salt. The one I gave you should be a good start. If you want to add beer flavor to the rind, there's a way to do this too, in the spray (NOT by adding beer, I'm talking synthentically). Or wash later after 10 days, after it has bloomed. 85-90% RH after washing to knock down the mold, and serve in 1-2 days after washing so the flavor is fresh. It would require the chef to have a small in-house affinage room if you wanted to wash with beer after. But it would be a product unlike any other.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 06:57:19 PM by linuxboy »
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