Author Topic: Brine For Aging Cheese In - Acidity vs Cheese Acidity > Using Whey After Making Rocotta  (Read 970 times)

Offline george13

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I understad that the two ph values should be somewhat close.  If my brine pH is a point lower than my cheese, could this lead to cheese swelling.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Why do you think it would swell? Where do you think that would come from? At what point in the make are you asking about?
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline george13

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Once I place feta cheese into the brine for aging.  Wondering if the brine is more acidic than the cheese, could it break down the outer layer of the cheese making it porous.  Just trying to figure out some defects.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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When using brine, you need to balance the pH and the calcium content. Otherwise calcium can leach out of the cheese. Acidity can travel into or out of the cheese depending on equilibrium.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
www.boonecreekcreamery.com

Offline zulzie

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well, for sure you want to use whey as the base for your brine....you want to match, as best you can, the concentrations of ions and "stuff" inside the cheese, and the brine....if  you use water as the base, this water based brine will rob the cheese of calcium, magnesium, whatever.....and from what i understand, this will make for soft cheese....this is what i've read

i don't pretend to know the chemistry of what is going on.....just from what i've read and experienced.....i age my brining whey to a ph of 4.4 or so......leave warm whey from a cheesemaking session in a 5 gallon bucket.....age it overnight, or more, until the ph is correct.....skim off any butter, etc from the top........i make a "11#" brine by adding enough salt to 8.3 pounds per gallon whey to bring the mix up to 11 pounds per gallon....again, you are trying to match the salinity of the cheese ......remember!  i salt my feta slices, then pack them into the bucket.....this procedure makes its own packing fluid....it is nice clear greenish non buttery whey....its being filtered by the cheese in the bucket, as the salt penetrates the curd.....so, any brining whey you add to this bucket to top off the bucket will only amount to maybe 10% of the volume anyway......if you want to be scientific, i guess you could do a density measurement of the salty whey that happens in the bucket...and mix your "extra" brine to match that.....practically, i would just make sure the brine that you add to top off the buckets is slightly saltier, and slightly more acidic, than whats in the bucket naturally......

Offline george13

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If you don't mind, I'll tell you what I did with one of these batches of brine.  Once the whey was expeled from my feta making, I separated all the whey, raised the temp to 195F added some vinegar and made ricotta.  Then took the leftover liquid/whey after the ricotta make, added the proper salt, also added CaCl, checked the ph to be 4.6 and then used for brine to my feta.  Do you think that making the ricotta, robed the brine of something essential to brine.  I guess that is why I added the CaCl to make sure I had those ions for the cheese. 

Offline zulzie

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yah, that does not sound like a good idea!  you are messing around with a bunch of things there....the ricotta robbed the whey of its last solids...and who knows what happens at boiling to all the other stuff in there...i sure don't!  and then you are adding an unknown quantity of cacl, salt, vinegar....please!  you would have to have a complete lab with a bunch of expert chemists to analyze that situation....and they would probably &^%$ it up as well!

salting the feta IN THE BUCKET, to make its own whey/brine is the best......the cheese and resulting salty whey "have made their chemical peace" just from the process alone...they have reached equilibrium by definition........i have never had soft cheese this way.....some not as hard, some a bit creamier, but never swelled.....only had swelled cheese when i played around with other things.....

 when you add a bunch of other factors into the equation is when you cause problems......as usual, KISS....cheesemaking is mysterious enough , without adding extra variables.... quoting an old margarine commercial......"its not nice to fool mother nature"....and boy oh boy did that one hit the mark!  as in, its not nice FOR YOUR ARTERIES, to fool mother nature!

i can't recommend the gallon bucket/gallon camembert mold method enough.....the cheese slices you pack into the bucket are easy to handle, and open up the cheese for proper salt penetration.....the widget on top to hold the top layer under the brine keeps mold OUT......the cheese is an easy size to cut up later for sale.....vacuum pack, or pack in smaller containers with salty whey.....and, if a bucket goes bad, (usually its a whole batch, obviously, but)...its only a gallon, not a fiver....

one more hint.....take a long knife and slide it next to the salted slices as you pack the bucket.....to allow air so escape from the bottom of the bucket....these slices fit tightly in the bucket...the mold is also the same shape as the bucket, it tapers to the bottom.....so, pack the bottom slice into the bottom of the bucket, with the taper in the correct direction....