Experimentation with Cheese Brining..

Cara makes the Berkshire Bloom, Hillside, and Cricket Creek Fresh.  She has the dynamic job of making three different cheeses on one day – since they are our three cheeses made from pasteurize milk we separate the milk for the three recipes after it is all pasteurized together.  The day after these cheeses are made, the Berkshire Bloom and the Hillside need to be hand salted.  Since she is making so much cheese it becomes extremely time consuming to salt them all, basically taking up her entire morning.  Two weeks ago we discussed the possibility of putting the Hillside into a brine, as we do for the aged cheeses.  Last week Cara tried it out and the results were fascinating.  The cheeses that came out of the brine were much more flavorful and complex than the cheese that was hand salted.  This wasn’t surprising to me since the brines are full of minerals, whey, and other milk residues that come out of the cheese.  We were very pleased with the result. In order to determine how long these little cheeses should be brined for, we decided to do a few trials – 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and 40 minutes.  On the initial tasting we liked the 30 minute brine the best, with the 20 minute a close second.  Thanks to Cara’s great idea and experiment, we will now save hours of time and produce a tastier cheese!