How to Make "Feta"

by Ben Panella

Feta -typically a sheep curd, brine aged cheese is a great cheese for beginners and requires a couple specialty goods that can be used to make a plethora of soft cheeses. Lets get started!

Supplies

  • 1 Gallon Cream top whole milk
  • ¼ Teaspoons Goat/lamb lipase
  • ½ Tab Rennet
  • ¼ Teaspoons MM 100 mesophilic starter
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Fine weave cheese cloth
  • 12 Quarts Stock pot
  • 1 Thermometer
  • 1 Quart jar
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    MM 100 mesophilic starter-----Order online. I picked it up from cultures for health. http://www.culturesforhealth.com/mesophilic-direct-set-starter-culture-danisco-mm-100.html

    Step 2

    Goat and lamb lipase also ordered online. You can use live cultured buttermilk..so I've heard. This is what gives feta that great taste!

    Step 3

    Rennet tabs also ordered online. Keep the three ingredients double bagged in the freezer until each time you use them. Don't save the remaining half tab unless using same day for another cheese.

    Step 4

    Cream top whole milk. This is from TJ's but is actually from Strauss Creamery. If you want sub goat milk in or if you can find it sheeps milk.

    Step 5

    Pour milk into 12 qt pot and bring milk up to and hold at 90F

    Step 6

    You will need a decent thermometer for this

    Step 7

    Add lipase and MM100 stir for 20 seconds then stop movement of milk. Cover and wait an hour, keep at 90F.

    Step 8

    After an hour passes add 1/2 tab crushed rennet, mixed in a tsp of water, stir it into milk for 20 seconds. Cover and let curd set up 30-40 minutes, hold milk at 90F.

    Step 9

    Check for a "clean break" insert knife couple inches in curd at an angle, tilt knife perpendicular to curd and pull knife out. If curd breaks cleanly and whey rushes into break you're clean!

    Step 10

    Use a vertically held knife cut 1/2" slices in the curds, make a kind of checkerboard pattern. Now hold the knife at a sideways 45° angle and retrace your cuts, making several rounds at deeper depths

    Step 11

    After cutting curds let rest for 10 minutes. Then gently stir curds, stir again every 10 minutes for a total of 40minutes. Keep temp at 90F

    Step 12

    Line a colander with cheesecloth placed over a pot and carefully pour the curds and whey in.

    Step 13

    Cinch up the cheesecloth and lightly squeeze out whey. Hang up bag to drain. Save the whey for brining, making ricotta, mixed w/ dog food, or watering on plants.

    Step 14

    After 3-4 hours flip cheese or else you get a stalagmite looking ball.

    Step 15

    After 24 hours of hang drying cheese, cut cheese into 1-2" blocks apply salt on all sides.

    Step 16

    Cover and keep on counter for 2-3 days to harden up, resalting everyday and draining whey from container.

    Step 17

    After 2-3 days on the counter put the feta chunks into a quart sized canning jar and mix 2 cups of bottled water with..

    Step 18

    1 oz salt. Homemade feta can get really salty, you can soak overnight what you plan on eating the next day in plain water. This recipe isn't too salty.

    Step 19

    Fill the jar almost to the brim. This water/salt ratio gave me about a 6.5% salt solution plus all the salt already on the cheese bumped it up to ~8%. This is on the low end of salt brines.

    Step 20

    Age in fridge for 1-4 weeks if you can avoid the temptation, the longer it sits the stronger the taste gets.

    Step 21

    After a week test out a piece and see if its good! Hopefully you'll enjoy😜

    Step 22

    Now you try!