This evening, I started the production of my starter culture for this season. On Friday I aim to make either a Mutschli or a Raclette with this culture, which takes 2 days to produce.
The concept of this culture is, I am isolating native bacteria out of raw milk in order to make cheese in the future. There are two basic ways to do this, using the 1-day or the two day method.
I am using the two day method, where a quantity of milk is prepared and incubated, then used to culture a second-round of milk which will be used to culture the cheese produced on the third day.
The one day method just places the product of the first day of preparation directly into the vat to make cheese.
The two day culture is stronger and more diverse,
the one day culture is safer because there is less opportunity for the culture to get infected or contaminated.
This time of year, 2-day cultures are pretty safe.
The process I used is, (all temps. are Celsius)
take 1 quart of raw, uncooled milk. I got mine straight from the cow and made it immediately into culture.
This milk was flash heated to 61 degrees
then IMMEDIATELY flash cooled to 42 degrees.
I allowed the milk to rest for about 2 or 3 minutes, then repeated the process.
This was done a total of 3 times, BUT
on the last round I heated up only to 55 degrees and cooled down to 40 degrees.
Now the culture is incubating in a thermos.
The theory is, this treatment will isolate streptococci pretty well, giving me a good lactic acid starter.
Tomorrow, I will start the second round. The second round will serve to diversify the culture, and get some lactobacilli into the mix. This is accomplished by not treating the milk as thoroughly.
In fact I will actually make two batches, in one I will inoculate milk that has only been heated to incubation temps. In the other, I will inoculate milk that has been heat treated once.
Doing this, I will have one batch that has a diverse flora and let it set, and I will have another that gives the streptococci a chance to get stronger. I want these to be my strongest strain after all.
On the third day, the two batches will be recombined, and a certain amount will be added to some milk perhaps an hour before I start making my cheese.
I will make probably a 20 gallon batch, for this I will use 1 pint of the finished, mingled culture.