How do I brine my cheese?
After pressing, the cheese is moved to a cool area to stabilize its temperature to that of the brine. (Brining a warm cheese will increase the rate of salt absorption and cause over salting.)
Prepare your brine or, if you have been keeping a good brine, simply pour this into a non reactive pan. A simple brine formula is one gallon of water to which is added 2.25 lbs of salt, 1 Tbsp. calcium chloride (32% solution), and 1 tsp. white vinegar. This will result in a saturated brine at 5.2 pH, suitable for most cheeses.
The brine should be kept as cool as possible. Most folks keep it at 52-54F and store it in the aging area to keep cool. Fresh brine needs to have calcium added because low calcium in the brine will cause the calcium inside the cheese (responsible for binding the proteins) to be pulled into the brine. This will in time cause a weakening of the curd structure and a softening of the rind.
When you place the cheese into the brine, the density of the brine will cause the surface of the cheese to float above the brine and it will not be salted. To remedy this, simply toss a small amount of salt onto the surface of the cheese. It will form its own brine, due to the surface moisture. This extra salt will also make-up for the salt that is absorbed by the cheese.