Author Topic: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...  (Read 498 times)

Offline SimonB

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Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« on: April 18, 2013, 09:00:49 AM »
Hi!

My wife got me a 'cheese making kit' a couple of years ago which I forgot about until recently, having a look through it all I have replaced the enclosed Rennet which had since passed it's sell by date. The weekend before last 6th/7th April I had a go at making the 'mother culture'. Out of this I have a jar in the fridge with approx 1 1/2 pints of culture in and I also poured some into an ice cube tray to freeze for later as I read somewhere.  I'm hoping so far I am along the right lines(?) but I have A LOT of questions on the next steps, I hope this is OK to ask.

1. When making the mother culture I was supposed to keep the mixture at 22°(I think) for 24 hours. I wrapped it in blankets stuck the thermometer in and tried to keep it at that temperature as best as I could. It wavered slightly across that period though. Is this how you go about it? Didn't seem very accurate!

2. How long is the 'mother culture' in my fridge going to last? A few recipes I've seen seem to only suggest needed 100ml of mother culture, is the majority of my culture going to go to waste unless I knock out a few tons of cheese ASAP?

3.  What does 'Fresh Raw Milk' actually mean? I have only ever bought milk from a supermarket - whole, semi or skimmed?

4. On the rennet bottle it has a quick recipe for a soft cheese, but all it states is add a few drops to boiled water. It doesn't state how much water, this undisclosed amount of water seems to pop up in few places which leaves me clueless.

5. The frozen culture I have, what do I have to do to this next time round to use it?

That is all I can remember of the top of my head!Sure there is more.

Thanks

Simon



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Offline meyerandray

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Re: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 02:13:53 PM »
Hi Simon, Welcome.  I am not one of the expert members, but will try to answer a couple of these questions until a more seasoned veteran chimes in.
Quote
1. When making the mother culture I was supposed to keep the mixture at 22°(I think) for 24 hours. I wrapped it in blankets stuck the thermometer in and tried to keep it at that temperature as best as I could. It wavered slightly across that period though. Is this how you go about it? Didn't seem very accurate!
I don't think a slight fluctuation will be detrimental, and the blankets is what I usually do when I can/conserve, and have never had problems.
Quote
2. How long is the 'mother culture' in my fridge going to last? A few recipes I've seen seem to only suggest needed 100ml of mother culture, is the majority of my culture going to go to waste unless I knock out a few tons of cheese ASAP?
I have NO IDEA how long a mother culture will last in your fridge.  I have a cheesemaking book that advises against making mother cultures until you are a bit more seasoned as a cheesemaker, so I have never looked into it.  They are live bacteria though, so I imagine they have eat or go dormant.  Maybe in the freezer you could be more sure that they will be dormant-remember this is all just me guessing and using possibly flawed logic.
Quote
3.  What does 'Fresh Raw Milk' actually mean? I have only ever bought milk from a supermarket - whole, semi or skimmed?
Fresh, Raw milk means non-pasteurized, non homogenized, and from a very recent milking (like the morning milking, or at the latest, the previous evening.  Hygeine is very important when using raw milk, if you have access, make sure that it is a source that uses clean milking practices (clean the udders before milking, possibly use a hygenic milking machine) and that the milk is very quickly cooled after milking, or that you buy it straight out of the teat.
[quote*4. On the rennet bottle it has a quick recipe for a soft cheese, but all it states is add a few drops to boiled water. It doesn't state how much water, this undisclosed amount of water seems to pop up in few places which leaves me clueless.[/quote]
about 20 drops of water per drop of rennet should work-although I can't remember where I read that.  For a recipe I made the other day, it called for 1.5mL of rennet and 30mL of water, if you want to do the math from there...I don't feel like it right now
Quote
5. The frozen culture I have, what do I have to do to this next time round to use it?
Do you mean the mother culture?  I don't know, I'll wait for someone else to chime in here, I don't know about dosing (sp?) mother culture and have never seen quantities referenced in the recipes I have come across so far.
Good luck,
Celine

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Re: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 02:19:02 PM »
You should familiarize yourself with this Forum thread.

Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
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Offline SimonB

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Re: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 03:16:35 PM »
Celine - Thanks for the help. Think most of that makes sense apart from I'm not sure where I'm supposed to get milk straight from the teat!

Sailor - Looks complicated!

Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 06:46:58 PM »
Did your mother culture thicken at all? I don't see that you mention it. If it does, its a sign that the cultures are alive and working. If it didn't, they are probably not. "A couple years" is a long time for freeze-dried cultures to last well.


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Offline SimonB

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Re: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 03:45:28 AM »
I don't think it did thicken much no! This kit that I was given obviously isn't too great, instructions are very basic. All it said I should expect if the culture is ready is that it smells clean and sharp, which doesn't even mean much to me!

Offline SimonB

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Re: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 03:18:59 AM »
Ok, Im not making a great start at this  :D I forgot about it at the back of the fridge. Bearing in mind it is a few weeks old is it best chucked? I can confirm it has gone firm though, there is an almost creme brule consistency form surrounded by water as below:


Offline Tomer1

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Re: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 10:06:13 AM »
I wouldnt use a weeks old starter, the bacteria count is likely low and you might got some cold tolerant bacteria in there which you dont want in your cheese.
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Offline BobE102330

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Re: Hello my name is Simon and I have a problem...
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 05:29:36 PM »
While I understand Sailor's use of mother cultures for consistency, as an infrequent cheese maker I find adding DVI cultures to the warm milk easy and reasonably consistent.  I suspect my poor process control has had more to do with my differing outcomes than the amount of culture that inoculates the milk.  I go in cycles making a cheese or two a week then stopping when my cave gets too full.  With that random schedule, even freezing mother cultures (that will keep a month, IIRC) results in a lot of waste.