Author Topic: Brine For Brine Ripened Cheese In - % Salt  (Read 1493 times)

Offline John (CH)

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Brine For Brine Ripened Cheese In - % Salt
« on: February 01, 2011, 07:04:31 PM »
There have been several discussions on brine for ripening cheeses such as Feta in, most regards to using a saturated brine or 16% salt brine, the generally accepted minimum % salt to long term inhibit growth of unwanted microorganisms. There are also some Wiki Articles on salt and brine including brine for ripening cheese in.

But most people (me included) find Feta aged in 16% or higher brine too salty for taste (unless in a cooked dish) and thus before using on salads etc often remove from brine and soak a little in milk or water first to reduce the % salt.

Most commercially made Feta is shipped either crumbled dry of with a little bit of brine, generally too small an amount to measure the salt content. So from local Eastern Mediterranean store here in Houston I asked for 3 baggies of brine with my Feta purchase, to ensure enough brine to measure the % salt. Older pictures of Feta's after removal from large shipping containers being sold by the pound here, last pictures are of shipping containers, I bought the Bulgarian Feta. The server ladled the brine into baggies from a big bucket in a fridge, which was full of brine probably from the shipping containers of a mix of commercial Feta's. I measured it at 8.5% salt.

Also, notice the brine, looks very whey coloured, expected as this is brine the cheese has been shipped in, also notice price of this purchase at USD4.89/lb vs 15 months older linked pictures at USD4.29/lb, 11% annual inflation!

My next batch will use ~8.5% salt brine to get a less salty taste, even if it means it won't last years in fridge as less than 16%.


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Offline KosherBaker

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Re: Brine For Brine Ripened Cheese In - % Salt
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 12:12:44 AM »
Would be interesting to see how long the Feta will keep in the 8.5% brine and how salty it is going to taste. Are you going to age it at room temp? If yes, then will you be doing it without any salt?
Rudy

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Brine For Brine Ripened Cheese In - % Salt
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 02:33:15 PM »
Sorry for delay, finally made a new batch of Feta!

Meanwhile member george13 made a batch at 8% but still found it too salty.

So the batch I've just made is at 6%, will let you know how it tastes later.

Also while making that batch, I used whey for brine and measured enough salt to make a 6% brine, but my salometer measured it at 8%, so I think the whey did not have a SG of 1 the same as water (sorry did not measure the whey first). Using that experience, the commercial brine provided in the 3 baggies above also, from the colour looks like whey based brine. So the 8.5% I measured in the original post could be incorrect and the actual % salt ~ 6.5%.