Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Feta, Take 3

I am determined to make good feta! Actually the 2 batches I have made previously have tasted just fine, but melted into the brine after just a day or three in the refrigerator. That is NOT how feta should store!

I didn't do anything different with the 'make' of this third feta, it is the same recipe as here. What I did do differently (based on input from other cheesemakers who initially had the same problem) was twofold. For one, I let the curds drain for 24 hours in the bag, as opposed to 3-4 hours in most recipes.
Secondly, after the cheese was cut into slabs from the hunk above, I salted it and left it at room temps for 3 days to harden. (See photo at top.)

Half-gallon jar with feta slabs, ready for chilled brine

Then I made a batch of light brine with whey as the liquid, and covered the cheese. I added 3 mL calcium chloride to the half-gallon of brine, in addition to 400 grams of salt.

So far, so good! The brine is not clear because I used whey and not water, but if my 'advisors' are correct, this feta should keep for months if I don't eat it all first (which is likely with warm weather produce coming on; I love feta on salads).

Update: I made the feta on April 22, and put in the brine April 26. So far it is holding well!!


  1. Darius,
    Why the calcium chloride? I've got some feta holding and tomorrow will be the day it goes in the brine. I understand you can cure in whey, but what is your whey-light brine-calcium chloride recipe and what information can you have to share about what your advisors said regarding the above brine?

  2. Feta becomes slimy as Calcium ions transfer from Feta to brine. When you add Calcium chloride to brine as CaCl2, you balance the concentration or they migrate from brine to Feta, keeping the cheese firm.

    I made an 18% brine with whey, and added 3mL calcium Chloride to half a gallon. (16% brine is the minimum to halt bacterial growth.) I haven't tasted it yet for saltiness, but if it is salty, I can just soak it in milk for a bit.

    Here's one link of advice:

  3. Thanks for the information. I'm really wanting this feta to turn out well so I appreciate all the scientific and helpful information you give. Feeling better, I hope?

  4. You are welcome. I try to pass on everything I can.

    Yes, feeling better, but not up to par yet.

  5. we never have enough to worry about long term storage or longish storage... we can eat massive amounts of cheese here cuz it is sooooooo good!


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