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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Cheese Making Forum > Help With Feta
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:55 PM   #1
BigBlue
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Default Help With Feta

Tried to make this cheese from Fankhauser's site.

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/Feta.htm

I followed the directions exactly and even added 1 gram of calcium chloride to the whole milk that I used. After 18 hours it was just about as thin as milk alone, so in desperation I added some more yogurt. Now it has thickened a little and taken on that yogurt taste, but definitely not a clean break. At least this tells me that the yogurt cultures were good. I should also add that I used the other half of this rennet tablet to make blue cheese a week or so ago, so I feel like it was okay, unless opening the package and replacing this half and then in refreezing it ruined it.

I am at a complete loss as to what could have gone wrong. Has anyone had this problem before? Suggestions?

Thanks.


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Old 05-12-2011, 07:22 PM   #2
Nateo
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I've never made Feta before, but if you're not getting a clean break, that sounds like you don't have enough acid. The purpose of the yogurt culture was to grown lacto bacteria, which would lower the pH of the milk and curdle it. I've made a lot of soft cheeses, like paneer or ricotta, but I always just add 88% lactic acid until I get a good break, instead of trying to grow my own lacto.


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Old 05-12-2011, 07:30 PM   #3
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When you say 88%, is that the concentration of the acid itself? Do you warm the milk and keep adding a little at a time until it curdles?

I've been brewing for about 10 years and just recently decided to try my hand at cheese. I had a similar experience a while back trying to make mozzarella cheese. Basically, I'm not having very good luck and I'm getting tired of dumping milk. Is there a better site, than Fankhauser's, for recipes?
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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88% is the concentration of acid. That's the most common form of lactic acid I've found. I got it for my mashes, but it's super useful for cheesemaking too. I've never seen a recipe for cheese that called for lactic acid, but I think that's only because it's not assumed to be readily available, not because it's unsuitable for cheesemaking.

I picked up a book from my LHBS called The Home Creamery. The recipes aren't particularly useful in themselves, but I've gotten a lot just from looking at all the recipes, figuring out what they're trying to do, and using my brewing knowledge and tools (like lactic acid) to get the results I want.

Cheesemaking is a lot like brewing. All types of cheese have basically the same ingredients, and it's just small differences that make different kinds of cheese. I approach cheesemaking the same way I approach brewing. I look at a lot of different recipes, condense the info to the core, and then make my own approach.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:25 PM   #5
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Given the fact that it appears like I made yogurt (which I will discard), I'm guessing that 1/2 of a rennet tablet is not enough. I just don't know what else it could be. I also think that 1 tablespoon of yogurt is not enough for 1 gallon of milk, although Fankhauser warns against getting the milk too acidic.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:09 AM   #6
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follow these directions and you will never fail. http://fiascofarm.com/dairy/feta.html

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Old 05-25-2011, 01:19 AM   #7
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That's funny. I tried that recipe a few days ago and it worked perfectly. I did however, add a full rennet tablet. I think this may be my problem. I've had these about a year and always kept them in the freezer, but after going to their site and learning about their date coding, they appear to have been out of date when I bought them. Oh well, live and learn.

Thanks to every one for their help and yes, that is a solid feta recipe.


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