Author Topic: Starter Cultures - Beginner's Initial Order  (Read 515 times)

Offline Wolfy

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Starter Cultures - Beginner's Initial Order
« on: August 31, 2012, 07:28:21 PM »
I was hoping for some help in selecting a basic set of cultures to buy since we are just starting our cheese making journey.
I know the answer depends on many factors, and there is no right or wrong solution, but still ... some guidance would be good.

While many of you may find our cheese-tastes boring, the of styles on my list to make include; hard cheeses (cheddar, cheddar like, Italian-styles), Danish-style feta, ricotta, and some small amounts of cream cheese, sweet washed rind and white mould cheeses.

I plan to make 'mother cultures' from small portions of dried commercial culture, so small pack sizes should be fine, cheaper and last a while (and allow more variety).

It's possible we'll buy cultures from overseas so shipping will likely be a contributing factor to purchase a few at once.

We may try to re-culture and save/freeze the cultures.  I read that some cultures (one of Abiasa's I think) are 'stable' in that they are able to be re-cultured with the same balance of bacteria, while others are laboratory-mixed and cannot re-cultured and maintain the same mix.

If there is a set of cultures (brand/name) that can be used for those cheese styles and with the other considerations in mind, I'd appreciate an idea of what to look for - so far I get confused about anything more specific than 'Mesophilic' and 'Thermophilic'. ;)

Rennet and Lipase are also on the shipping-list (have Calcium Chloride and salt), so other than milk, for the cheeses above, are there other critical ingredients I missed?
(Will not be making too many white mould cheeses at first, so thought would try to culture some white mould from a shop-purchased cheese).

Thanks in advance for any/all help.


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Offline Bob

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Re: Starter Cultures - Beginner's Initial Order
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 09:54:23 PM »
Hi Wolfy, welcome to the forum! I'm from Nar Nar Goon, just outside Melbourne.

I buy all my supplies from Cheeselinks, at Little River near Geelong. Have a look at their website, cheeselinks.com.au  they have a really good online shop and for orders of a number of items, the postage is economical. I'd recommend buying their Type A and B mesophyllic cultures as well as some  Type E thermophylic, then you will have all you need to get started. Of course, they also have rennet , hoops,  vats, temp probes etc so you can everything you need. Give them a call, and Jan or Lynne will be very happy to help you. (I have no commercial interest in the company, just a very happy customer!)

Cheeselinks also run great cheesemaking courses across Victoria, so I can recommend them to get you started on the right path.
Turning liquid milk into solid gold!

Offline Wolfy

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Re: Starter Cultures - Beginner's Initial Order
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 11:30:05 PM »
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the reply (I lived in NNG for a number of years). :)
I've looked at (and considered) Cheeselinks, having heard good things about them elsewhere.  However, their larger sized cultures are not cheap (and likely far too big for what I will require anytime soon), and - it appears - that similar are available elsewhere at 1/3 or 1/2 the price, and even though we live less than 100km away, the shipping charge is the same shops who have to ship the same items 1000's of km.  So while I don't doubt the quality/freshness of their product, I'd be willing to risk longer shipping if it saves a fair bit.

Offline Bob

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Re: Starter Cultures - Beginner's Initial Order
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2012, 12:35:53 AM »
Yeah, that's fine Wolfy. I'm happy to take a "no risk' approach as I don't want to waste my time and money on a failure  ;) , so buying from a site that I trust suits me. But I know costs can get out of hand with this hobby so it pays to shop around. Look forward to hearing how you progress.

Footy finals at the Goon today, can hear all the sirens and horns from my place! Seniors came 6th this year and were knocked out last weekend, but the Reserves are in with a great shot of winning their 3th straight premiership!
Turning liquid milk into solid gold!