Author Topic: Another batch of Feta  (Read 174 times)

Offline jmason

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Another batch of Feta
« on: June 03, 2015, 05:49:29 PM »
So tomatoes on the vine were on sale this week.  While rearranging the fridge to fit the groceries, my eyes fell on the feta container, then on the tomatoes, ding, insert light bulb turning on over my head.  So I sliced up some of my homemade bread, a tomato, and upon fishing a chunk of feta out of the brine I realized there are only 2 chunks of feta left (well 1 1/2 now) due to my generous nature and trying to keep my sons mother happy (Sent her a fair amount from my last batch), but I digress.  So I put tomatoes on the bread, feta on the tomatoes, little sprinkle of basil (dried was all I had at hand) and drizzled olive oil over top of everything.  Oooh my Gaawd this is like soooo narley (picture teenage girl speak).  But seriously it was sooooo f****** good!  Isn't it the simple pleasures that are the best?  So back to the law of diminishing feta.  I was planning an easy weekend, then my son says pizza, and I realize that I haven't attempted mozzarella  since that first misguided attempt at cheese making, but hey that was then and this is now, it's time for another crack at it, "pizza on Friday" I volunteer.  Then the discovery that I am almost out of feta, so what can I do but make more.  After all I'm not paying those silly prices for a feta that is no where near as good as what I can make (or mozzarella for that matter, that is if I can actually make it this time).  So mozzarella tomorrow, feta on Friday, and camembert on Saturday.  This is gonna be one seriously milk curdling week.  So check back in a few days for the recipe and process I use, it's nothing special, just a normal feta recipe but this is a cheese forum and I am making cheese, and no matter how simple, feta really is a blessed, crumbly, creamy, salty little bit of joy.  Well I think so anyway.

And so here it is

6/5/15
2 gal whole p/h milk
1/2 tsp cal chlor
1/4 tsp mild lipase dissolved in 1/4 cup filtered aged water (hey I like the goaty tang in my feta)
2 oz meso culture
2 oz thermo culture
1/4 tsp calf rennet in 1/4 c aged filtered water

Heat milk to 86 F (though I often overshoot and end up at 90 with no apparent harm to the cheese)
Add cal chlor, lipase solution, and cultures to the milk
Let ripen 1 hour
Add rennet
Flocculation  occurred at 16 minutes, 4x multiplier = 64 min.
At 64 minutes after adding rennet cut curd to 1/2 inch
Rest 10 minutes and stir briefly, stir every 15 min. stir 3 more times over the course of 1 hour.
Drain curds into cheesecloth lined colander (I am actually doing 2 in square molds, but my son thinks the flying saucer shape I get by molding in the colander is cool so I kinda gotta do that to keep him amused) and let drain 1 hour, 30 minutes for the square molds, until first turning.  Many people use ricotta baskets, I just don't have any yet. The Square molds I fill directly without cheesecloth.  After the first turning I stack the 2 square molds, reversing them at each turning so the top is on the bottom and versa visa.  The cheesecloth gets removed from the big one in the colander at the first turning and it continues the rest of the draining naked.
Flip and drain-
Flip and drain
Flip'n drain                             flip and drain times to be added as I do them
Flip'n drain
6-8 hours in a 26% brine, with the addition of 2 Tbsp cal chlor and 1 tsp vinegar/gal
Store and age in a 8% brine (I may do a 5% brine this time to make it a tad less salty) also with the addition of 2 Tbsp cal chlor and 1 tsp vinegar/gal

This is such an easy and stress free make and the results so overshadow the commercial versions that it is well worth doing.  And the feta is delicious and useful in so many ways.  It can be eaten after a week of aging, less perhaps if you're desperate, but it really improves with a month or more of aging.  I had a feta that I had a couple of pieces age for a year and it was quite nice.  I tend to give it a few days in the 8% brine at room temperature before moving it to the cave or fridge.


to be continued
John

And BTW
    I was planning on a camembert make this weekend but unless I get caught up on all the other projects and/or get bored I guess I will put that on hold for the time being.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 11:45:27 PM by jmason »
"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it's a friend with chocolate."  Linda Grayson

Offline jmason

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Re: Another batch of Feta
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2015, 10:00:43 PM »
a few pics from the make
"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it's a friend with chocolate."  Linda Grayson

Offline Kern

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Re: Another batch of Feta
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2015, 11:59:53 PM »
John:  A cheese for the story and maybe another when we get a report on the aged feta!   ;)

Offline jmason

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Re: Another batch of Feta
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2015, 09:48:59 AM »
Thanks Kern,
The feta came out of the brine yesterday.  Posting a few pics of the cheese at that point.  It weighed in at 2 lb 13.7 oz out of the 26% brine.  I put it into an 8% brine to age.

John
"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it's a friend with chocolate."  Linda Grayson

Offline Kern

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Re: Another batch of Feta
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2015, 03:40:19 PM »
In addition to the NaCl your 8% brine should contain about about 2 tablespoons of liquid calcium chloride and 1 tablespoon of acetic acid per gallon.  Caldwell says 1 tablespoon of calcium chloride but I found that my Feta got slimy in this.  I have had no problems with 2 tablespoons.  Ideally, the amount of acetic acid should be that required to bring the brine pH down to the cheese pH.

Offline jmason

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Re: Another batch of Feta
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2015, 03:58:14 PM »
yup, their in there.
and probably a little heavy on the CaCl2, just didn't write down my brine recipe, maybe I should have in case a newb tries this make, I'll edit it.

Thanks for being sure I knew though, one of these times it will be something I overlooked.

John
"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it's a friend with chocolate."  Linda Grayson

Offline jmason

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Re: Another batch of Feta
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2015, 12:44:28 PM »
Ok the feta is not from this most recent make but from a make I did in the middle of April I think, Haven't tasted the new batch yet but seeing that there are only about 2 oz left I'm sure I will soon.  Quite delicious, it really is a great simple cheese.

John
"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it's a friend with chocolate."  Linda Grayson