You’ve made a lovely batch of Feta. It’s been salted and aged and now you want to store it for use later on.
You’ve followed the instructions and put it in a salty brine. A few days later, it starts to soften, go slimy and ‘melt’ in the solution.
What’s happening to make your Feta melt?
When your Feta melts in it’s brine during storage, it is often due to either the brine having a lower calcium level, which causes the calcium to leech out of the cheese and change the structure.
Or the pH level of the cheese is too high which means you basically don’t have enough acidity and again, calcium leeches and the cheese goes slimy and melts.
How Do You Prevent Your Feta From Melting?
- Use your whey, with the salt added, instead of water to make your brine. Your whey should have the correct pH and calcium balance for your cheese.
- Add a little Calcium Chloride (CaCI2) to your brine to balance the calcium levels.
- Add vinegar or citric acid to your brine, but not too much!
- Age your cheese at room temperature for at least 3 days after dry salting so that the surface of the cheese toughens and the acidity is high enough to withstand the brine.
If you really can’t get your brine balance right and your Feta melts every time don’t get too stressed about it. Simply change your storage method and keep it in Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a mason jar instead.
I sometimes do this for a change anyway and add a mixture of Garlic and Rosemary, which is lovely! I then reuse the oil for salads or cooking afterwards.
This is also a good storage method for those who don’t like their Feta too salty since there is obviously no extra salt take up from the Olive Oil.
Feta Cheese In Brine How Long Does It Last?
How long does feta cheese last in brine is a common question that we receive. As long as the feta stays submerged in the brine it should have a shelf life of 6 months. But, with how delicious it is I doubt it will last anywhere near that long.
Brine Solution For Feta
A brine solution for feta can be found on our post Using Saturated Brine Solution In Cheese Making
Do you have any questions or comments about Home Cheese Making? Join the discussion over at the Curd Nerd Forum. We would love to hear from you!