How long to brine cheeses?

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    Werner Krieg

    I’ve tried in vain to find adequate brining times for naturally cultured cheeses that I’ve been making and I would love to have a definitive answer. To clarify, I don’t use any commercial cultures, instead I allow the cheese to obtain its own specific culture from the bacteria that are available. I’ve been doing this for years with relative success but I would like to refine a few of my steps, hence this research. Because of this, I also hesitate to use the recipe of any specific cheese, although my cheeses do tend to resemble cheddar or gruyere or the like in their texture and density. I’ve heard of the rule of thumb that I should brine the hard cheese for one hour per pound(450g) per inch(2.5cm) thickness of the cheese. Now this makes no sense to me since those two calculations always yield drastically divergent results. Maybe there’s a very specific size or size ratio of cheese that works with this rule of thumb? Or should I perhaps add or multiply the results of the 2 separate calculations?
    Some clarity on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks,

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