Author Topic: Slimy Feta  (Read 2247 times)

Offline dbudge55

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Slimy Feta
« on: June 26, 2012, 01:37:01 PM »
Just made my first Feta using the 200 easy recipe. The make went exactly as the recipe indicated except the floc time was a bit long. Anyhow, I put it in a 10% brine and adjusted the PH to 5 using white vinegar. It's been in the brine for about 24 hours now and the cheese is still firm but it has a "slimy" coating. The brine is still relatively clear but starting to cloud just a little bit. I added a teaspoon/gal of cal chloride just now thinking it might be a calcium problem.

But is it normal for it to get a slimy coating during brining?
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2012, 02:37:59 PM »
Sounds like a calcium problem. If the calcium in the brine is low, it will pull calcium out of your cheese.
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Offline dbudge55

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2012, 03:15:32 PM »
Sailor, thanks. Should I take the cheese out of the brine and let it dry a bit. Also, I read somewhere here to add 1 tsp/gal of brine to correct the calcium problem. Is that what you know?
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2012, 05:44:42 PM »
I don't make Feta, so I can't speak specifically to that cheese. But if it were me, I would remove from brine, add calcium, and then put the cheese back in. I'm sure there are many threads on Feta and/or brine if you search the Forum.
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Offline dbudge55

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2012, 08:54:18 AM »
Well, maybe I saved this one. I took the cheese out of the brine and scraped off the slime with the back of my curd knife. After adding the CaCl the cheese has been in the brine for about 18 hours and it has stopped "melting." I've read most of the threads on feta "slime" here and next time I'll follow the advice of using the whey to make the brine. Intuitively, it seems that the whey would have a higher calcium content without modification and, with a PH meter, maintaining the correct PH is easily adjusted.

I'm wondering if using the whey the PH can become too acid and, if so, how would that be corrected?

I'll report on the outcome in another 48 hours of brining.
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Offline kevindv10

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2012, 09:01:30 AM »
Any luck?

I recently made feta with a whey brine and the cheese turned slimy, but I have yet to purchase a PH meter so I'm kind of blind as to what the cheese is sitting in. I measured salinity to about 11%.

Out of curiosity, did you dry salt the cheese before brining?

Offline dbudge55

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2012, 09:24:38 AM »
No, I didn't dry salt the cheese at all. I've read here some doing that instead of brining and, in fact, that's called for in the feta recipe in Artisan Cheese Making At Home.

But the cheese turned out OK. I added cal chloride to the brine and it still got a bit soft at the rind but not as bad as what happened in the first day. I just cut off the soft 1/8th inch of the surface and all was well. But I was still worried that putting it back in the brine would cause the problem again so I cut it up, made a huge Greek Hillbilly salad and gave the rest away vacuum sealed to family members telling them to eat it sooner rather than later.

But I had other make problems that weren't as bad. First, the cheese ended up much less crumbly and softer than I wanted. Not so much that it made it bad but it wasn't what I had hoped. I drained it for 18 hours and the recipe called for 18 to 24 hours before brining. I'm going to go the whole 24 on the next make. Also, the 200 easy recipe called for cutting the curd to 3/4" cubes. My make shift cheese harp cuts 1/2" so I did it freehand and the constancy of the cut wasn't too good. But if I'm to assume (and maybe this is a mistake) that a smaller cut leaves a dryer cheese I think I'll use my harp in the next make and see what happens.

I plan to do another feta make next week and I'll update the post here.
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Offline dukegus

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 10:10:58 AM »
I had the same problem with you and solved it the same way.
Whey brine rules for feta cheese :)

Sounds like a calcium problem. If the calcium in the brine is low, it will pull calcium out of your cheese.

From fundamentals of cheese science
"Such an effect is responsible for the "soft-rind" defect and swelling in cheese, and it is attributed to "salting-in" (solubilization) of the cheese protein in dilute NaCl solutions."
So it's not calcium but cheese protein.

I plan to do another feta make next week and I'll update the post here.

If you want to go by the book for you next feta cheese, I read some greek scientific papers that suggested 1 day dry salting and then brining in 7% brining solution(always whey based brine) for a couple of months.

Offline dbudge55

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 10:22:13 AM »
Thanks. How long do you think it should be dry salted before putting it into the brine?
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Offline dbudge55

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 10:23:28 AM »
Sorry, I have a reading defect this morning. You've already answered me.
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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 10:46:34 AM »
Dukegus, do you have any idea what kind of brine is used for feta in the vat, the percentge of salt and how long it is aged?
By the way, I had the same problem with the slimy outside of my last feta...
I made my last feta a bit softer and less crumbly on purpose, just by cutting the curd a bit bigger.
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Offline dukegus

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 01:59:46 PM »
Dukegus, do you have any idea what kind of brine is used for feta in the vat, the percentge of salt and how long it is aged?
By the way, I had the same problem with the slimy outside of my last feta...
I made my last feta a bit softer and less crumbly on purpose, just by cutting the curd a bit bigger.

I'm not very experienced but as the paper suggested 1 day dry salting and 2 months in 7% brine(whey based)
in wooden barrels gave the best organoleptic results... That's what I'm gonna try with mine, though it's not a wooden barrel but
small plastic tupperware container...

Offline kevindv10

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 10:48:22 PM »
For what it's worth, I just made another batch of Feta. I made a couple changes and the results are great.

The biggest change is that I made this batch with pasteurized goat milk rather than homogenized cow milk. Other than flavor I don't really know what effect the different milk has on the finished product.

The other change was dry salting at room temperature for three days. After that I brined in whey and the cheese turned out dry and crumbly. I also skipped the lipase because I was using goat milk, but the flavor is pretty mild so I'll add a small amount of lipase next time.

Offline bbracken677

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Re: Slimy Feta
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2012, 10:57:25 PM »
By accident I discovered how to make a spreadable feta  lol
My first batch was a bit soft...lots of moisture. By the time I got it dried and crumbly enough, it was a bit salty.
I had read somewhere that wasnt a problem, that before use just soak it in some milk (which would draw out some of the salt).
I put some in milk and then something came up and I wound up leaving it soaking in milk for 3 or 4 days.
The result was a very soft feta....I packed it into a plastic container and used it kinda like cream cheese. Amazing flavor ...also if added to a cheese sauce gives a really nice dimension to it.