Author Topic: Starter culture questions  (Read 1033 times)

Offline Hansadutta

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Starter culture questions
« on: July 28, 2013, 07:12:41 AM »
Forgive me for I do not know.

I started out making my first cheese guided by Mr Rademaker who is not with us any more. (Lovely small book about Gouda cheese) Then I bought the book from Tim Smith which I really love. And I produced some cheeses with unexpected results. They were good.

Since there are more cheeses in the world I bought the book written by Debra Amrein-Boyes. The first thing that I noticed was that she suggested to slaughter kids because they are a source of rennet. I am sure that she meant something else but language can be a very funny thing if you take it litterally. Ha ha.
"The most commonly used coagulant is rennet, which is composed of enzymes found in the stomachs of calves and kids, and is extracted at the time of slaughter."
I also quoted this some time ago but to keep this post readable I felt the need to repeat it. Does anybody know if she had (I mean has) kids?

I also like her book very much but the recipes so far have given me some trouble and I think that I know the problem.
I made a starter culture which I am using. This works well with the recipes from Tim Smith but not so well with Debra.

I found the following. In the recipe from Tim for camembert he suggests 1/4 teaspoon starter or 120ml culture.
Debra also suggest 1/4 teaspoon for the same amount camembert. (No amount of culture is mentioned)
However....
She mentions in another chapter that 1/4 teaspoon can be substituted for 30 ml mesophylic starter!

For me this does not work at all. With these amounts milk stays milk.

Furthermore she mentions that a mother culture can be frozen for a maximum of 3 months. Is this true or can it last longer?

Many thanks for your thoughts.
Hans


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Offline Gürkan Yeniçeri

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 07:44:20 AM »
Hi Hans,

Forget about what books say about the usage of cultures. Every country, producer has got their own ways of packaging and measuring starter cultures.

But one thing is for sure, all of them give some sort of usage measurement on the sachet.

You either obey on usage instructions or prepare mother cultures as explained by Sailor which would be a better way honestly.

I never use the rennet and cultures as it is stated on book recipes as they change from producer to producer.

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 08:24:52 AM »
Dear Gürkan,

Thank you for the advice. I guess that the culture and milk combination that I am using is more according to the one that Tim is using so in my case I should adapt Debra's recipe's accordingly. Thanks for opening my eyes.
Since I am a beginner I need some guidelines and I use recipe's as I use them in cooking food. I was not expecting that a crucial ingredient as starter could be multiplied by 4 times.
I can imagine that this has caused many unborn cheeses going to cheese heaven.
Hans

Offline Boofer

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 09:11:30 AM »
Furthermore she mentions that a mother culture can be frozen for a maximum of 3 months. Is this true or can it last longer?
I made some cheese yesterday using mother cultures made & frozen 15 months ago (April 28, 2012).  YMMV. 8)

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 01:59:11 PM »
Bacteria theoretically double their populations every 20 minutes. The results that you end up with are not just about the amount of starter that you use but the total time and accumulated acid that occurs during a make.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 03:32:13 PM »
One fact that is not commonly discussed is the bacterial phases during lifecycle. There's lag, growth, stasis, and death. Tangential rate of acid development (meaning pH curve) loosely follows these phases. If you start out with DVI, there is a hell of a lot of work those bacteria have to do in order to reach a state of competition and vitality, to where their primary emphasis is on reproduction (meaning rapid metabolism and acid production, because reproduction is strenuous work). It's like when you're going on a hot date... you have to get ready. Same for bacteria, because even ones that primarily reproduce asexually often carry out conjugation.

That long, long lag time means that rate of acid production severely drags at first, but then drastically overshoots later with DVI. With frozen or mother starters, those bacteria wake up a little, and they're good to go.

As for your question, just abandon all those approaches for the recipe amounts. Use the manufacturer suggestions and the equivalent practices for smaller-scale use. Scale down the amounts and you should be good to go.
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Offline FRANCOIS

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 08:30:35 PM »
Most of Daniscos starters (not adjuncts or ripeners) are generally in the 5-10DCU per 100L range.  Bulk (mother culture) is usally added in the 1-2% of total volume range.

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 05:38:14 PM »
Dear All,

Thank you for your thoughts and advices. I also read in Tim's book that you should not keep a starter frozen for more than 3 months so I'm glad with Boofers' starter still working after 15 months.

I have the feeling that by starting this post I have taken one step forward and 10 steps back. I checked the instructions on my culture and it simply says to use 1% of the volume of the milk. Regardless of the cheese you want to make. That sounds a bit to easy. I suppose that bacteria will feel much better at home in different kinds of milk.
Another thing that is very puzzling is that when I read the recipes in Tims' book. They often mention 1/4 teaspoon of direct set culture and then mention 60 ml for one cheese and up to 235 ml of mother culture for another cheese. So far I have made nice cheeses from his recipes but where can I get these special "flexible" teaspoons?
Regards,
Hans


Offline linuxboy

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 06:02:37 PM »
Quote
simply says to use 1% of the volume of the milk. Regardless of the cheese you want to make. That sounds a bit to easy.
This is generally correct, unless you need to adjust the pH curve of the cheese, like you generally do in cheddar, mozz, camembert, and a few other cheeses.
Quote
I suppose that bacteria will feel much better at home in different kinds of milk.
Not really, no.
Quote
60 ml for one cheese and up to 235 ml of mother culture for another cheese.
This is what I meant by the above for changing the concentration. Sometimes, you want a slow initial acidification (gruyere) and sometimes, you want really fast acidification (mozz), and sometimes, you want something steady (gouda). The strains matter, too.
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Offline NimbinValley

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2013, 12:37:39 AM »
Forgive me for I do not know.

The first thing that I noticed was that she suggested to slaughter kids because they are a source of rennet. I am sure that she meant something else but language can be a very funny thing if you take it litterally. Ha ha.
"The most commonly used coagulant is rennet, which is composed of enzymes found in the stomachs of calves and kids, and is extracted at the time of slaughter."
I also quoted this some time ago but to keep this post readable I felt the need to repeat it. Does anybody know if she had (I mean has) kids?

Hello Hansadutta.

I have just read this thread from the beginning and the piece above amused me...I guess its a translation issue but in English a baby goat is called a 'kid', as well as young (human) children.  So when she suggests to slaughter a 'kid' she is referring to a baby goat!

NV


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Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 08:26:32 AM »
Hi NV.

I had no idea that a kid could also be a baby goat. That could lead to some very funny misunderstandings if you live on a goat farm. (Or if english is not your first language.)

Thanks Linuxboy. It has become a bit clearer. I think that I have to re determine the amount of starter when I use the recipes from Debra's book because when I follow her sugestion it takes much longer to get something that can be cut.
I will try to use the amount of starter that Tims book suggests because when I follow his recipes the timing is very accurate. (In the few recipes that I made so far)

Which still leaves me with one point that is not clear to me. In one recipe he will mention 1/4 teaspoon direct set culture or 60ml starter culture and in another recipe he will mention 1/4 teaspoon direct set culture or 235ml starter culture. (Both for the same amount of milk.)
How can that 1/4 teaspoon stay the same when the amount of mother culture is so very different?
(I was hoping to compare the "teaspoon amounts" between the 2 books so I could calculate the mother culture amount for Debra's book.)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 08:55:46 AM »
That's more of a typo than the conversion.
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Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 02:09:02 PM »
Hi Hans, which recipes of Tim Smith are you comparing? I have the same book but I can't recall reading this typo (but I suppose like linuxboy it's a typo...)
I suppose you have a set of small spoons? E.g. Blokker sells them...
By the way, did you see my answer on the dutch board?
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Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2013, 03:42:47 PM »
Forgive me for I do not know.

The first thing that I noticed was that she suggested to slaughter kids because they are a source of rennet. I am sure that she meant something else but language can be a very funny thing if you take it litterally. Ha ha.
"The most commonly used coagulant is rennet, which is composed of enzymes found in the stomachs of calves and kids, and is extracted at the time of slaughter."
I also quoted this some time ago but to keep this post readable I felt the need to repeat it. Does anybody know if she had (I mean has) kids?

Hello Hansadutta.

I have just read this thread from the beginning and the piece above amused me...I guess its a translation issue but in English a baby goat is called a 'kid', as well as young (human) children.  So when she suggests to slaughter a 'kid' she is referring to a baby goat!

NV

Or maybe she has neighbor kids like I do.....I've thought about harvesting a little rennet on occasion....... >:D

Offline Hansadutta

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Re: Starter culture questions
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 11:47:31 AM »
I hope you're not getting sick of this post but I am really puzzled.

In Tim's book (I have the english version. Not the Dutch.) all the following recipes ask for 1/4 teaspoon mesophylic direct set culture but have the following amount of mother culture:

Monterey Jack, Cotswold, Cantal, Halloumi, Pyrenees, Feta, Caerphilly, Cheddar, Stilton. All 60ml

Then there are the following with different and even very different amounts:

Colby, 90ml
Gouda, Edam 235ml
Camembert 120ml
Neufchatel 240ml
Muenster 240ml

This seems too many to be a typo. So it keeps me completely puzzled what this magical 1/4 teaspoon is.

And basically why I started all this: How can I use Debra's recipes since she does not mention amounts of motherculture? I can't substitute her teaspoons with Tim's.
Or would my only option be to buy a 1/4 teaspoon and direct set culture?

Hi Herman, I did see your message but I did not have the time to check it yet.

Hi Smurfmacaw. Now that you mention it; She does not explain which one she means.

Hans