Cheese # 25: Feta # 3
1 gallon non-homogenized, pasteurized whole milk (Cream-Top Trader Joe's)
1/8 tsp MM100
1/8 tsp mild lipase (in ¼ cup water)
1/8 tsp calcium chloride (in ¼ cup water)
0.8 ml calf rennet (Mad Millie)
Flocculation multiplier of 4
8 percent brine from whey
Started process about 4:30 in the afternoon…. Milk heated over low direct flame with diffuser, to 86 degrees. Starter sprinkled on and rehydrated for 5 minutes. Starter and lipase stirred into milk, covered and wrapped to keep warm for one hour.
Stirred in the calcium chloride, and then the rennet. Flocculation occurred in 11.5 mins. Using a multiplier of 4 that is 46 mins.
Clean break on testing, cut into ½ inch cubes, and let rest 10 mins.
Gently stirred for 30 mins, (recipe said 20 mins but I got distracted) while raising temp to 90 degrees, then rested for 10 mins before draining and reserving whey.
After draining 15 mins, transferred curd to basket mold, turning after 15 mins and repeating a few more times before bed. Left overnight, and part of the next day (about 18 hours in all) with 8 oz weight pressing on cheese. I did not have time to deal with the cheese until the afternoon. Cheese weighed in at 1#, 2 oz.
Per feta recipe on cheesemaking.com the guidance is soaking in saturated brine 8 hours for 1 #, 4 hours for ½ #, so I assume 2 hours for my ¼ # pieces of feta. Then into cave on mat to dry for 3 days. Then into 8 percent brine made from the whey for aging.
!! Just tasted this evening, one week after the make. The cheese is more firm than I wanted. It is able to be cut into little squares, and is not crumbly at all. However, the flavor is very good, and it is not too salty. So if it holds up well in the brine without melting, I shall be happy. I think next time I will let it drain under its own weight instead of adding some weight on top of it.