WHAT TO DO IF YOUR FETA IS MELTING IN THE BRINE
Feta is one of the easiest cheeses to make – you can find the recipe by clicking here – but beware if the pH of the cheese and the pH of the brine is not correct when you brine the cheese. Making cheese is all about keeping the bacteria you introduced, such as the White Daily, happy. These lactic bacteria are fussy and like to be kept warm while they reproduce and excrete lactic acid. And that is why, when it is winter, they slow down and the required acid level of the cheese before it goes in the brine, which is 4.6, takes much longer to develop. There is no rush to get the feta into the brine – its just requires some patience – leave it in the moulds until it is the right pH. It could take days depending on the weather. And if its developing some mould put the cheeses in the fridge.
To measure the pH you can use the pH strips as in the picture above. When the middle block with no number on it changes colour to the light green with the number 4.6 on it, the cheese is ready to be put in the brine.
The next step is to make sure your brine has a pH slightly lower than the pH of the cheese – about pH 4.4. Add citric acid to the salt solution until you are sure you are correct. You can find the brine recipe by clicking here. It is also important to add Calcium Chloride to the brine. If you do not add it, the calcium will leak out of your cheese and into the brine and the cheese starts to melt.
Old brine is better than new brine as long as the old brine isn’t full of pieces and mould. You can keep brine for months and just take out the cheeses ready to use, place them in a new clean 5% brine, and then put your newly made cheeses in the old brine to mature. It is important not to cut cheese before placing in the brine. Leave your cheeses whole. You can sieve the brine through cheesecloth if its full of little pieces. Make sure you fill buckets to the very top with brine even if there is just one cheese in the bucket. This is to ensure there is no air in the bucket – it stops mould growing on your brine.
Still having problems making feta? Do not hesitate to email email@example.com.