Sunday, August 11, 2019

Cheese Brine (Recipe and Instructions)

Hello Friends :)

Let's make some cheese brine! (Click here for the printable recipe)

In cheese making, all cheeses are salted for various reasons. You can either mix your curds with the salt, rub your wheel with salt or brine your wheel. It's important to salt your cheese because:

1. It slows down or stops the bacteria from converting lactose to lactic acid. Too much lactose in cheese prevents it from ripening.

2. It helps to inhibit certain moulds that are attracted to your cheese.

3. It pulls moisture out of the wheel to help it develop a good rind.

4. It adds to the flavour!

It's a very simple recipe and the brine will last you up to two years. I made 3 liters of brine, which was a little overkill! I think 2 liters would be fine for most wheels of cheese. You just want to have enough in your container so that your wheel floats. In the first photo at the beginning of this post, you can see my Parmesan floating.

Cheese Brine
(Recipe courtesy of Gavin Webber)

Ingredients for 2 liters of brine:

2 liters water
450 grams (or 1 pound) of cheese salt or non-iodized salt
(Iodine will kill your bacteria cultures!)
1 tsp Calcium Chloride
2 tbsp white vinegar


1. Bring your water to 25C or 77F.

2. Stir in your salt.

Note: If you look at recipes for brine, a lot of the time you'll see that you need to reach a PH level of anywhere between 4.9 to 5.3. Most of us don't have a PH meter (or in my case a functioning one!!); so I borrowed a tip from Gavin Webber on how to reach an 18% brine solution:

Toss in an uncooked egg. If it floats, you've hit 18% - which is a good solution for brining cheese!

3. Let sit about half an hour then add your Calcium Chloride and vinegar. Mix well and you're ready to use it.

This is my Jarlsberg floating in brine. To get an even brine, you should always flip your wheel over halfway through the brining time. I've read that it's good to sprinkle a layer of cheese salt over the top of your wheel too. I top the wheel with a piece of plastic mesh, just so it doesn't stick to the top of my container. It's recommended that you put your brining cheese in the cheese cave during the brining time, keeping it around 10C or 50F.


Leanna said...

I love the sunny yellow cheesy background for the new changes you made on the blog. So sweet! I've been keeping a cheese-making notebook and I've been incorporating your blog postings in with the ideas and things I should know on how to make and age cheese. Well, not your actual blog postings but snippets of ideas and recipes.

Rain said...

Thanks so much Leanna! :) I'm making even more the middle of making printable recipes. I'm not too technically inclined - it's a learning curve!! I hope my blog motivates you to make some cheese!!! Have you made any before?