Author Topic: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?  (Read 713 times)

Online ArnaudForestier

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Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« on: January 09, 2014, 11:56:32 AM »
It's been a long while, all.  I'm taking some tentative steps back into making cheese, finally got a diagnosis and figured out what's been hampering me for quite awhile.  While the med news isn't too encouraging, I've been baking like crazy and have missed cheesemaking badly; it's really gratifying to see the community continues as always.  Hello again guys. 

I suspect it's a big no, but Pav or others, can you tell me if I've maintained an unopened culture in the freezer, how long it's effective viability and vitality is?  I'd suspect it's also culture-dependent, but I've some SR3, LBC80, MGE, all with a "best by" of roughly summer, 2012.

Hope you all are well, and I hope to enjoy this community once again.  Thanks all. 

Paul

-A special hello to Pav.  I was sorry to miss you in Madison, hope you had a good time and hope our paths do cross sometime in life.
- Paul


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 12:10:34 PM »
Quote
I'm taking some tentative steps back into making cheese,
You crazy, Gallophilic bastard, you. When that holiest of spirits calls us to the task of milk whispering, what power possesses strength enough to resist? We are the somnambulists, the curd incarnate, wrung out of whey slowly by the ebbs and flows of living to be made into the perfect aged cheese. :)
Quote
finally got a diagnosis and figured out what's been hampering me for quite awhile.  While the med news isn't too encouraging, I've been baking like crazy and have missed cheesemaking badly;
*hugs* I was just thinking about you listening to some Estonian Philharmonic pieces... here's to a bit more bodily strength.
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maintained an unopened culture in the freezer, how long it's effective viability and vitality is?
OK, so we're talking typcial freezer with no defrost cycle? Something like -2 or -4 F?
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also culture-dependent
Yep.

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SR3, MGE
corynebacteria types are very resilient. Almost no degradation, maybe 5%.
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LBC80
Reasonably robust strain. Expect increase of 15-20% needed. Or make a mother/primer culture (basic yogurt make, 98-100F incubation) and use the mother.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

Online ArnaudForestier

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 12:18:52 PM »
 ;D

Hi friend.  I am going to do my level best to realize that just because one loves something, one doesn't have to turn it into a profession.  I just bought some goat milk and thought of you, my exceedingly talented, brilliant, and generous friend.  Hope you and the imps are doing well. 

Thank you for the info, shame to toss these out.  I'm going back to square one as my unremarkable cranium has forgotten so much.  So it's...Pav's basic recipe and process for tomme.  Tomme and reblochons, I think, will do it for me!

It's more gratifying than words can convey, that you were the first to post, buddy.  Salut!
- Paul

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 12:37:47 PM »
I did a crazy experiment this winter. I made cheese in what to me was an appalling, unsanitary way... basically start with excellent milk, leave it out for a day or so to up the bacterial counts, no teat wash or anything with the goats, add rennet after warming the milk up a bit, go through a basic tomme. Press with a piece of firewood resting on top. Age at room temp with a shocking level of neglect.  And, it turned out to be delicious. Not my best, and far from refined practice, but tasty. Sometimes, it's the basics that make the most difference. I'm sure you'll do great :)
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 12:44:13 PM »
You always had guts, Pav (I seem to recall bare wood shelving in anything but sterile alpine caves....?).  I think I'm going the other way until I get my sea legs back!
- Paul


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Offline gjfarm

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 08:37:14 PM »
Love your answer Pav -- was just thinking of replying to a previous post that I tend to fly "VFR" (visual flight rules).  Don't have all the fancy equipment, just learning by experience, gauging the look of my cheese during it's stages, my greatly varying house temperatures and humidity, stage of my goat's lactation, etc.  Some cheeses are a little better than others, but nothing that has not been edible.  Maybe in old age I don't need all the subtleties. >:D

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 09:48:43 PM »
Love your answer Pav -- was just thinking of replying to a previous post that I tend to fly "VFR" (visual flight rules).  Don't have all the fancy equipment, just learning by experience, gauging the look of my cheese during it's stages, my greatly varying house temperatures and humidity, stage of my goat's lactation, etc.  Some cheeses are a little better than others, but nothing that has not been edible.  Maybe in old age I don't need all the subtleties. >:D

I often don't worry too much about certain aspects of cheese making.  I mean it seems fairly recent that boiling to sterilize, bleach, etc were a part of the equation.  It wasn't that long ago that surgeons started washing their hands between patients.   :o

Welcome back, Arnoud! 

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 11:34:21 AM »
Thanks, Tiarella.  I don't know if I told this story, but I once worked for Goose Island Brewing Co., very intense on the QC - 18 HAACP points along the production line, and that's just pre-packaging, if I recall...tons of lab assays and floor work all to forbid the nasties from getting into the beer. 

Visited England, Stoke on Trent.  Astonished to see the fellas carrying yeast across what looked to be a former mechanic's garage, in open buckets....and stirring it in with poles and hands, in open vats.  And the beer was out of this world.  I learned a lot there...closed system, with a heavy sanitation routine; open, with good beasties as super-micros, fighting off all would-be evildoers?  Well, the English ale was wonderful. 

All of which comes to nothing since one chevre in, I'm already getting geeked again.  I am indeed, as Pav put it so characteristically poetically, a gallic bastard. (Well, OK, there is the rest of that beautiful paragraph....  ;D).
- Paul

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 12:21:22 PM »
Well I have to admit that I very much admire all you cheese geeks and sometimes wish I was like that.  I guess for me either life is too full of the rest of the farm work to find time to geek out or I'm lazy.  I haven't figured out which yet.  I guess it also helps that I don't sell any cheese.....it's all eaten by us and friends so it's okay that each make comes out differently even when I use the same recipe.  Variety is the spice of life, right? 

Back to bread and sweet roll baking now.  The sweet roll dough is a yeasted dough from fresh ground einkorn flour and the filling will have black cumin, coconut sugar, cinnamon, walnut and currents along with some organic butter of course.  I sure do love to eat.   ;D  and I promised to bring food for the commute to a farm conference tomorrow and provide bread for the day of slaughter on Sunday so I have to bake whether I want to or not.  Food everywhere! 

You are going to post photos of your amazing cheeses, right?  I need a dose of cheese photos.

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 12:37:46 PM »
...and I admire and thank you farmers.  Thank you, Tiarella.  I'm no geek - I just learned so much from Pav, Francois, Sailor.  It's all forgotten and I'm digging up old texts again.

Here's some pics.  The first is one of the last Gruyeres I made, off of summer Ayrshire milk.  The reblochon pics were either me being too &*%%&^$ impatient to eat this stuff, or slipskin, from too aggressive a washing regimen. 









- Paul


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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2014, 01:29:31 PM »
Wow, thank you so much for posting so many photos!!!  What is in the third photo down?  THose looks totally lovely to me.  The others make my mouth water also!   I have to try Reblochon again sometime.  I tried it too early in my learning curve and it went off the road.  I did have some interesting "what is that" style of cheeses.  I used a Reblochon recipe but I must have messed up either in the make or the aging.  You'll see from the photos that they look too firm.  I don't remember now how they tasted.  I think I aged them in a room too cold and not quite humid enough even with them in mini-caves.  But hey, it was better than pouring the extra milk out onto the ground, right?

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2014, 01:40:29 PM »
Wow, beautiful, Tiarella!  I think your cheese looks wonderful!  I really want to make vacherin mont d'or, with the bark as you've done - are these from your wood?  My wife's family is up in the U.P., tons of birch on her grandad's place...have to try it sometime.

The third photo is of tomme grise, where I used the rind from a bought "tomme de bois noir" from Herve Mons to culture up my wheels...and otherwise blasted out my fridge with mucor....! Check out Jos's (Oude Kaas) makes, too...really cool.
- Paul

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 02:22:34 PM »
Thank you!  I don't think I've used the bark in the traditional way and I haven't yet heard of others using birch bark.  I thought it was all spruce.  I first tried it when I made a shitake Brie that consisted of 2 halves with ground shitake mushroom between them and coating the entire outside.  Because the whey was still draining it made it slippery and the top half wanted to slide off until I gave it a birch bark girdle.  I also like the bark because I'm struck with confusion about all this sterilize everything during the make and then putting cheeses into caves which assuredly are not very sterile.  (well, some are but many traditional caves are not) I wanted wilder rinds, more creative aging, etc. 

There's my shitake Brie make photos from my first trial here:  http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10578.msg80087.html#msg80087

My second batch humbled me.  I forgot to salt it because I was too busy creating a tutorial for it.    That batch sure was beautiful but it tasted horrible. I loved how rustic they look. 
There are here: http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,10706.msg80912.html#msg80912

I had some B. linens visit a third batch.  It created a very stinky cheese that no one around here really liked but maybe someone with more love of stink would have loved it.  I had one dinner guest who liked it and I sent a wheel home with him.  The chickens wouldn't even eat the other one.

 I am going to gather my courage someday and make a Morel Brie when my neighbor has a successful Morel hunting day again. I didn't dare this year after my shitake fails.  Or maybe I'll try black trumpet mushrooms.

Offline Boofer

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2014, 09:18:15 PM »
Paul, welcome back! I missed the depth you brought to all things Tomme and Beaufort.

Good to have your perspective active here again.

What's with the lightstick in the first pic? ;)

I didn't want the following small piece of Pav's Prose to go unnoticed.
When that holiest of spirits calls us to the task of milk whispering, what power possesses strength enough to resist? We are the somnambulists, the curd incarnate, wrung out of whey slowly by the ebbs and flows of living to be made into the perfect aged cheese. :)

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Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

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Re: Hello again, all; and shelf life of ripening cultures?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2014, 05:54:00 PM »
Hey Boof!  Thanks for the welcome back, but the only thoughts I came up with were heavily drawn from Pav, et al.  Afraid I'm going to have to do some studying again, just to recall some of what I once knew. I miss that lightstick....for now, it will have to be a memory only, as I concentrate on tomme and reblochon.  Beaufort, once I've my sea legs back. 

Great to see you're active as ever, making and posting your thoughts, friend.  Nice to be back among you guys. 

Paul
- Paul