Author Topic: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing  (Read 1954 times)

Offline mrawlins

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Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« on: May 15, 2012, 10:20:21 PM »
It seems like I have to learn things the hard way.  When I try new techniques I read up on them on the forum, do them "my own way" and then after four or five "failures" end up figuring out what people were talking about.  The failures are always edible, but they're not really what I'm going for.

I've mostly aged using natural rinds, but I wanted to get better control in aging some cheeses, so I tried my hand at vacuum sealing.  I had whey pool up in bags within a week of bagging.  I figured I could just let this go.  That was mistake number 2.  Mistake number 1 was not adequately sterilizing my equipment.  I thought I was doing "good enough," and while it may have been for bacteria, it wasn't good enough for yeasts.

I had two provolones and one cheddar with whey in the bag that fermented.  It smelled very yeasty (couldn't tell if it was more like a brewer's or baker's yeast, but it doesn't matter).  The cheeses had a softer texture that I associate more with blues.  They are pretty good on pizza or lasagna.

I've got one provolone in progress that's not bagged yet.  I didn't sanitize that one any better (because I made it prior to my epiphany), but hopefully if I dry it out longer before bagging it won't ferment on me.


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 04:59:24 AM »
Yeast love moisture.  so even if you sanitize your bags with bleach or near boiling water you will still see fermentation if whey accumulates.
Dry longer.
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Offline Chicken man

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 05:13:22 AM »
How would that go with Fetta in a salt brine??

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 07:22:03 PM »
Cut you bags a little long so if you see whey in them you can reseal the bag. If the bag is to short cut a corner and drain the bag.

Offline Chicken man

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 09:51:12 AM »
My thoughts were to seal the cheese with a small amount of whey brine on the cheese.
Is this a good idea or a bad idea?
Ian


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 06:02:17 PM »
Bad idea it makes it funky. Dries on and makes a sour funky taste.

Offline mrawlins

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 01:33:38 AM »
Even if the whey in the bag starts out too salty for yeast, the cheese will absorb the salt and you'll eventually end up with a good spot for yeast.  My current sealed cheese I had to re-seal and it still has a bit of liquid in the bag.  It was a moister cheese to begin with, which may be part of my trouble.  I've got another one that will be bagged soon that was a drier curd, and hopefully that fares better.  I'm not sure how long I can wait before bagging, but drying out more before bagging was definitely helpful.
Thanks for the advice, everyone!

Offline Myrrh

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 02:21:24 AM »
I definitely had that problem a bunch in the beginning. Now I try to air dry my cheeses with adequate humidity for a few weeks before bagging. If I manage to do that right they come out perfect. If not, I get a sourish tasting cheese that is a bit damp with whey - not bad, but no where near as delicious as when I get it right. Good luck!

Offline Chicken man

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 02:44:20 AM »
Thanks for you info everyone.
I guess that means I will have to salt my curds, air dry the cheese then seal it??
Is this reasonable for Fetta??
or do i need to change Tack

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 09:09:54 AM »
I've never vac sealed Feta, just keep it in a jar of brine in the fridge.

I coat my natural rind cheeses with lard after they are dry and leave them in the cheese cave for 2-3 months before vacuum sealing them.  Since I started leaving them this long, I haven't had any more trouble with whey in the bag.


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Offline Myrrh

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 09:16:01 AM »
Same. I make 10 pounds of feta once or twice a month, and I just keep it in brine in a large rubbermaid container in the fridge. It lasts pretty well that way.

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2012, 02:18:53 PM »
@MrsKK,  does the lard coating prevent mold?  And how dry do they need to be before larding?  Any varieties of hard cheese that you don't do this to? 

Offline jerseyknollfarm

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2012, 09:00:46 PM »
I only have this problem if I haven't let the cheese properly dry on the surface before vacuum sealing.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: Lessons Learned: Vacuum Sealing
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 04:24:35 PM »
Sometimes I get a bit of mold, but I just use a knife to scrape it off.  I only use it on cheeses that are aged for at least 3 months or more, so not Lancashire.