This Wiki Article is a generic recipe for making Mesophilic Starter Culture using store bought manufactured Cultured Buttermilk. Mesophilic (low temperature) Starter Cultures are the most common in making cheese, many new and long-term hobby cheese makers use store-bought manufactured Cultured Buttermilk and the following recipe to concentrate it until they “graduate” to manufactured cultures, some never graduate as they find the wider range of micro-organisms in Cultured Buttermilk gives them better tasting cheese.
- 0.5 liter/2 cups fresh store-bought Cultured Buttermilk (basically a flavor bacteria in skimmilk). Note, this is different from buttermilk, which is what remains of milk after making butter where the fat is removed.
- Set the Cultured Buttermilk in its container on kitchen counter with lid cracked to relieve pressure and allow to reach ~21 C/70 F room temperature to ripen and increase the bacteria population density. After 6-8 hours (less if warmer room temperature, more if colder) the buttermilk should be much thicker like fresh yogurt and sourer than at start. If not thick enough, let sit for a few more hours.
- Use as per cheese making recipes that call for this type of starter, pour remainder into a full-sized clean ice-cube tray and place into freezer.
- Once frozen, to store for future use, remove the cubes and place in a clean sealed labeled container or plastic freezer bag to reduce contamination and freezer burn.
- The resulting ice cubes are each ~30 ml/1 ounce of liquid mesophilic starter. Add cubes (thaw in milk) to your recipe as required. If recipe does not contain amounts then use 1 average sized ice cube per liter of milk or 4 per US gallon of milk.
Tricks & Traps
- If using in first cheese making, ripen culture overnight so that can make first cheese next day.
- To propagate more starter simply thaw one cube and add to 0.5 liter/2 cups of fresh milk, mix thoroughly, and stand at room temperature for 16-24 hours or until the consistency of fresh yogurt.
- Not allowing culture to ripen long enough resulting in weak culture used in cheese making and subsequent improper pH profile.
- Not labeling freezer container/bag and 2-3 months later getting it confused with frozen Thermophilic Yogurt Culture cubes.
- Not using clean ice-cube trays, resulting in contamination of your culture.