QA4 – I Stored My Feta In Brine And Now It’s Too Salty!

By on 10/08/2011

Feta Too SaltyStoring your Feta in Brine is the most common way to preserve this cheese, but what do you if your Feta ends up too salty to enjoy?

Everyone enjoys different levels of salt and Feta is a cheese that has a saltier taste associated with it due to the aging method and the usual preservation method. In fact if you ever get the chance to eat a traditional Feta from Greece or Cyprus, it’s likely the cheese will be much more salty than any other Feta you’ve eaten.

But, after the hard work you put into your Feta, it can be disappointing when you end up with a batch of cheese that is inedible because of too much salt.

So why has your Feta become so salty?

Perhaps your brine is more saturated with salt than you intended for it to be (check here for Brine mixing ratios if you’re unsure), or perhaps your Feta has taken up more of the salt due to it’s particular structure from the making process? All cheese makes end up slightly different, no matter how closely you follow your normal recipe and the salt uptake can vary from batch to batch.

Either way, by the time you want to eat your cheese, it’s ended up far too salty to really enjoy it and you might be wondering if this batch is only good for the bin.

Don’t be tempted to throw it out. You can reduce the salt content of your Feta following these instruction:

  • Rinse the amount of Feta you want to use under water and then allow to drain
  • Put your Feta into a container that is big enough for the cheese plus another 25% room for liquid
  • Add fresh milk until it covers the cheese and put the lid on
  • Leave for 1-2 days – the milk will draw out some of the salt from the Feta over this period
  • Check the salt levels and if when you test the Feta it is still too salty, pour out the milk and then refill, leaving it for another 1-2 days before testing again.

Another way you can use Feta that is too salty is to use it in dishes or recipes where the other ingredients can balance the salt. For example, salty Feta in a crisp fresh salad can knock down the overwhelming salt taste and provide a nice contrast of flavors and adding salty Feta to Filos or other starch dishes and adding no additional salt can again balance the salt taste with the other flavors.

Do you have a question about cheese making? Post it in the comments below and Curd-Nerd will answer your question in a new post as soon as possible.

7 Comments

  1. charlie kiggans

    04/05/2012 at 2:48 am

    how do i get a more crumbly/firm cheese—mine is delicious but the texture is more like cream cheese with a feta taste—-

    • curdnerd

      22/05/2012 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Charlie

      The more whey that is expelled from the cheese, the firmer and crumblier it is. I find that to get a firmer, crumblier Feta, I need to have brined my cheese for at least a week. This isn’t usually a problem as I store my Feta in brine so while eating it fresh might give me a creamier, soft cheese, a week or two later I have lovely crumbly Feta (my preference). Also, after the make, when the cheese has been cut and salted, I leave it out on the bench for a good 2-3 days to help ripen it and expel more whey. I also find that this helps with the ‘melting’ problem Feta makers sometimes experience.

      I hope that helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

  2. cia

    18/11/2012 at 1:46 pm

    I did not boil the water I used for brine for my feta. I did use cal chor and set the ph to my curd. I want to use this 20% brine for future batches. Did I make a mistake by not boiling the water?

    • curdnerd

      09/02/2013 at 4:24 pm

      It’s not absolutely imperative to boil the water, as long as you know you have a good, reasonably clean source of water.

      Where I live, there is no real need to boil our water, but I still do just to make sure. I could just as safely get away with not doing so I’m sure.

  3. edward

    17/05/2013 at 2:24 am

    Stirring the curds longer (30 min or more) gives a firmer cheese as well as longer draining indeed.

  4. Sevket

    31/01/2014 at 10:28 pm

    Hi my brined feta is both salty and has been melting in brine, I ve got my answer to salty part but what does that melt? Is that why it’s too salty? Too much salt causes feta to melt? Thanks

    • Curd-Nerd

      03/02/2014 at 3:40 pm

      Hi. Check out this post about why your Feta might be melting. Hopefully it gives you some answers but if not, let us know and we’ll see what else we can suggest : )

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