Author Topic: Storing brine?  (Read 1621 times)

Offline steffb503

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Storing brine?
« on: January 04, 2012, 05:17:08 AM »
Where and how should brine be stored?
If in the fridge it seems to take up an awful lot of room.
What is the warmest it can be kept?


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Offline Crystal

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012, 02:37:18 PM »
Sorry i dont know this one Steff, just wanted to say that i love your website, and if im every over your way, in this life time, i'll pop in and visit your farm! ;)
I dont know what to put here...
Crystal ;-)

Offline steffb503

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 05:24:25 AM »
Well thank you Crystal. We would love to have you!

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 11:15:40 PM »
We brine in our ageing room.  Our temp is 54f.  We cover our brine tanks simply with wood which serve the dual purpose of being our first shelf that the cheese dries on once out of the brine.  We keep our brine fully saturated.  We don't have a fancy setup, we just filter periodically by pouring through cheesecloth.  Our current brine is about a year old.  I'm not saying this is perfect, it's just what we do.  I wish I could give you better specifics of what is standard in the industry.  This is the second dairy I've worked at , and the previous also used this method. 
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2012, 11:26:00 PM »
Quote
Where and how should brine be stored?
As cold as possible, in as sanitary place as possible. There's no single right answer. You have to consider the risk of contamination, and how it all fits in with your overall design, workflow, and methods. The biggest threat vector to brine are halophiles (salt loving flora), which include listeria when brine is less than saturated. For extremes of brine management, you can look at a traditional cheese, like parmesan, where brine stays in vats and salt is constantly added, or a modern factory, where brine is microfiltered and UV treated, or filtered and injected with hypochlorite (chlorine).

Quote
If in the fridge it seems to take up an awful lot of room.
Then store it somewhere else. Not trying to be flippant, just pointing out there's no single right approach. Weigh the risks and what your inspector will agree too. Obviously, if you never make up new brine, you have to treat it differently (boiling, filtering, storage conditions, etc) than if you make up new batches every few months.

Quote
What is the warmest it can be kept?
Are you asking at what temperature will bacteria grow? For biggest pathogen, listeria, 34F stops it. Anything above, listeria will grow unless brine is saturated. But again, this is not to say you need to keep brine at 34F. Weigh the risks and consider your sanitation plan and decide what works for you.

Maybe a better approach is to post your brine management plan and ask for feedback and suggestions for improvement or critique? There's no one-size-fits all. I mean, there is, but it's ridiculously expensive and in almost all cases, unnecessary.
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 08:22:32 AM »
I too keep a saturated brine vat at 54F in my aging room. I filter and add hypochlorite weekly to fend off molds and pathogens. My brine is now over a year old. Many traditional European cheese makers never change their brine. Keep in mind that the temperature of the brine effects salt uptake.
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Offline zenith1

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 08:58:34 AM »
Steff I have to defer to the real experts here but I would always err on the side of safety when public health is concerned. I store mine at 40F, and replace it monthly because the smaller volume. Because you sell to the public I would follow LB and Sailor's guidelines. The bottom line is adhering to the state requirements and you level of comfort with your procedures. I have attached an interesting extract about the subject.
Keith

Offline Crystal

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 02:22:38 PM »
Oh, i didnt know you could use it again..? Is that after you put cheese in it?
I dont know what to put here...
Crystal ;-)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 03:38:48 PM »
Crystal, yes. Some makers never make new brines for decades, just keep adding salt and filtering time to time.
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Offline Cloversmilker

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 10:24:44 PM »
Crystal,  I keep my brine in a jar in the frig.  Its used on average once a week for brining a cheese at room temp.  Once a month I strain and boil it before it goes back into the frig.


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Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 10:35:03 PM »
I too keep a saturated brine vat at 54F in my aging room. I filter and add hypochlorite weekly to fend off molds and pathogens. My brine is now over a year old. Many traditional European cheese makers never change their brine. Keep in mind that the temperature of the brine effects salt uptake.
Hey Sailor, just curious as to how much chlorine you're adding.  I presume you haven't had an issue with tasting it in the cheese.  I've considered it as an added safety, but a little hesitant lest I ruin a batch of cheese!
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Offline steffb503

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2012, 05:05:32 AM »
Zenith I am having trouble opening that. Do you have a link?

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 11:08:56 AM »
Calico, My vat has about 25 gallons of brine. After every brining I filter by hand with a fine mesh aquarium net and add about 4 tablespoons of chlorine. Any residual chlorine dissipates by the time the next cheese is ready to brine. It's important to wipe down the sides of a brine tank because that's where a lot of nasties can grow. I periodically add salt and check the pH. Other than that, it's all natural. Been going for over a year. There's no way that I would use a brine vat without adding chlorine. Has zero effect on taste if you wait 24 hours after dosing. In Italy I have seen natural brine tanks that are maintained at ambient temperature. However, I have no idea whether they dose with chlorine or not.
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Offline Crystal

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 02:08:25 PM »
Well there you go, i never knew that! Not that i brine much yet, but some day i might and im glad i know this! Thanks!
I dont know what to put here...
Crystal ;-)

Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Storing brine?
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2012, 12:43:12 AM »
Thanks, Sailor, good to know.  Appreciate your help as usual.
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