Author Topic: A Mother Culture fan I am..  (Read 602 times)

Offline John@PC

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Hartsville, SC
  • Posts: 247
  • Cheeses: 15
  • Default personal text
    • Perfect Cheese
A Mother Culture fan I am..
« on: August 06, 2013, 04:09:04 PM »
Inspired by Sailor's fine pictorial essay on mother cultures and all the great comments I made a run of 4 cultures (2 mesos and 2 thermos) and decided that MCs were the way to go.    I did make some adjustments as in a good week I may make 10 lbs. of cheese so I decided to cut the amount in half (one quart per culture) using sterilized glass canning jars.  That did ok but with the double-boiler set-up it was awkward and demanded a lot of attention to temperature control. 

Thinking about how to make the process simpler for the small-scale cheese maker I came up with the system described below.  It doesn't require much equipment and you can use milk from a gallon jug to reduce costs:

1.  Equipment:  Two heavy-duty (3 mil) 1-qt ziplock bags; 1 qt. measuring cup; perforated plastic tray to hold bags; crock pot and thermometer. 

2.  Setting bags in measuring cup helps when filling.

3.  Bags go into tray or small colander that fits into crock pot.

4 & 5.  Heat to 200 deg. F and hold for 30 min.

6.  You can use the hot water to sterilize trays.

These were mesos (MM100 and MA4002) so all I had left to do was to cool the bags to room temp and wait for it to thicken (took about 14 hr.) and pour into the trays. 

The crock pot took about 3 hrs. to heat the water so next time I'll determine how much water is needed, heat it to boiling in a stock pot
and pour into the crock pot and add the bags, using the pot to maintain temperature above 200F.  The slowness of the crockpot to heat is an advantage when sterilization temperature is reached, as there is little risk of exceeding boiling temperature.  Also, as crocks heat around the sides rather than from the bottom it eliminates hot-spots.


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,029
  • Cheeses: 177
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: A Mother Culture fan I am..
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 07:55:41 AM »
Excellent addendum, John.

A cheese for your inventive and imaginative improvements. 8)

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline John@PC

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Hartsville, SC
  • Posts: 247
  • Cheeses: 15
  • Default personal text
    • Perfect Cheese
Re: A Mother Culture fan I am..
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 03:52:13 PM »
Excellent addendum, John.

A cheese for your inventive and imaginative improvements. 8)
Thanks Boofer.  When I read Sailor's original post and your (and others) comments it finally sunk in how advantageous culturing is.  It's maybe less so for the occasional cheese maker but I like it and plan to continue to do it.  In fact I had some mini-baggies and measured out 1/32 tsp (which is what I used for each quart) of my cultures.  Using my leftover Chosit MM100 I made 8 baggies of 1/32t and 12 of 1/4t in case I wanted to do direct inoculation.  It still blows my mind that the 8 "little" baggies (total of 1/4 t) will inoculate about 200x the gallons of the 12 large baggies (total of 3 t) :o

Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,029
  • Cheeses: 177
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: A Mother Culture fan I am..
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 06:40:24 PM »
Quite the assembly line, John. Seems like a lot of work.

Do you freeze your cultures?

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline Smurfmacaw

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: San Diego
  • Posts: 229
  • Cheeses: 25
  • Default personal text
Re: A Mother Culture fan I am..
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 09:43:43 PM »
I've got  bunch of one quart jars (p&H goats milk) that I use the night before to make a starter.  I use Sailors technique but only for enough for the makes i'm doing the next day.  I'm doing this as a hobby so I don't really have to worry about cost.  I generally make a half quart of mother culture (2 cups to the rainmen).  Enough to facilitate  alittle extra but still cheap. 

Overall it pays for itself by reducing my time for the initial culture.







s


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,029
  • Cheeses: 177
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: A Mother Culture fan I am..
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 08:13:01 AM »
a half quart of mother culture (2 cups to the rainmen).
;D

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline John@PC

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Hartsville, SC
  • Posts: 247
  • Cheeses: 15
  • Default personal text
    • Perfect Cheese
Re: A Mother Culture fan I am..
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 05:54:45 PM »
Quite the assembly line, John. Seems like a lot of work.

Do you freeze your cultures?

-Boofer-
Really not much work at all.  I've always worried that every time I open up that Chosit package I'm letting in moisture and degrading the bacteria over time even though I'm vacuum bagging and refreezing.  Packing in pre-measured baggies should be easier in the long run because I can just clip a corner and pour the 1/32 tsp into the milk without risking contamination of the rest. 

I do freeze per your instructions in Sailor's original post which leads me to a question:  Is there any reason you can't add the frozen cubes directly to the milk without pre-melting assuming you add a little bit of ripening time?  I had been pre-melting in a plastic bag before adding to the milk.  The last two times I made cheese I added the cubes directly to the milk in the pot, let them melt and waited 10 min before adding rennet.  I would have checked pH but my sensor is not working.

Offline Boofer

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Parkland, Washington
  • Posts: 4,029
  • Cheeses: 177
  • Contemplating cheese
Re: A Mother Culture fan I am..
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 09:44:21 AM »
I do freeze per your instructions in Sailor's original post which leads me to a question:  Is there any reason you can't add the frozen cubes directly to the milk without pre-melting assuming you add a little bit of ripening time?
Yeah, with the last couple makes with cubes they went into the cold milk to be brought up to temp with the milk. No problem. With the melted cubes, I believe the cultures get a chance to start just a little earlier as the milk comes up to temp.

-Boofer-
Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.