Author Topic: Ripening Cultures - From Store Bought Cheeses  (Read 1765 times)

Offline John (CH)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Katy, Houston, Texas, USA
  • Posts: 4,069
  • Cheeses: 60
Ripening Cultures - From Store Bought Cheeses
« on: June 29, 2008, 11:08:39 AM »
Cultures or bacteria are "culturable" or self replicating given the right conditions. This is sometimes done with starter cultures made from store bought buttermilk and yogurt.

My understanding is that this is repeatable but the more times repeated, the more possibility for weakening or contamination from where you started from, correct?

I'm on my third cheesemaking using existing store bought cheeses as ripening cultures. My first a Blue Cheese, I used some store bought cheese that I slurried in with some milk and mixed into the curds after separation from the whey. Similar with my second where I mixed some diluted Gruyere cheese into the curds before pressing. My current cheese, my second try at Blue Cheese I've added mixed and diluted store bought blue cheese into the milk before adding rennet.

Which is correct or better and why and will this give the desired culture and thus flavour to my cheese?

Anyone have experiences ding this?

Also, as I'm soon going to have 1 kg of blue cheese, can I freeze the remainder of the store bought blue cheese for future use as an innoculant or will freezing kill the microbes?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 11:10:32 AM by Cheese Head »


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


Offline DaggerDoggie

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: West Oneonta, NY
  • Posts: 218
  • Cheeses: 5
    • North East Xterra Club
Re: Ripening Cultures - From Store Bought Cheeses
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2008, 12:18:57 PM »
I highly doubt the freezer will kill the microbes.  Most of the commercial cultures I have bought recommend storing them in the freezer and will last up to a year in there.

Offline John (CH)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Katy, Houston, Texas, USA
  • Posts: 4,069
  • Cheeses: 60
Re: Ripening Cultures - From Store Bought Cheeses
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2008, 12:47:44 PM »
Yep, didn't think enough, good point. I was just thinking how cheese after freezing loses it's texture, in the freezer it goes!

Offline Tea

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,914
  • Cheeses: 27
Re: Ripening Cultures - From Store Bought Cheeses
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2008, 04:22:48 PM »
All my cultures, lipase and white spores are stored in the freezer.
I have purchased some yoghurt cultures but am yet to use them.

I do know that you can make yoghurt successfully time and time again, just be reserving a fresh amount of yoghurt from your previous batch and add that to your warmed milk.  My mother made yoghurt that for years without the need for any cultures. 

With the DVS cheese cultures that I use, I can keep back 1tbsp of the prepared culture and add that to the next lot of milk to make the next batch without the need of adding more powdered culture.  This apparently can be done 4-5 times before you need to start a fresh batch.

Hope that made sense.

Offline mako

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
  • Cheeses: 5
Re: Ripening Cultures - From Store Bought Cheeses
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2009, 07:12:30 PM »
OK, I'm just dredging up a bunch of old topics here, as I chew my way through every ounce of information I can find on this site. What a great resource; Thank you all.

I wanted a sort of semi-standardized way to use store bought cheese to replace powdered cultures, cuz they're expensive, and hard to get locally, and powder's kinda a hassle to deal with (measuring, rehydrating, avoiding clumps, etc.). Really, it's not standardized at all, but it's sensible, repeatable, and, more importantly, seems to work.

Here's my method. I take 2oz of store-bought camembert (or my own, assuming it turns out, which it seems to be doing), and 6oz of filtered, boiled, cooled water (store-bought distilled would probably be easier, but whatever). Then I sterilize a pot, an ice cube tray, a fork, a strainer, and some tongs, and bring another pot of filtered water to the boil.

Then I use the sterile tongs to grab the hunk of cheese, and dunk it in the boiling water for ~2 seconds. I don't know how necessary or effective this is, but I remember it from some old advice about how to make steak or tuna tartare at home -- pasteurize the outer layer, as the interior of a piece of raw muscle will be sterile. My idea was that the candida or roqueforti will have colonized the interior of the cheese, outcompeting anything else, so killing off any pathogens which might've made their way to the surface of the cheese would be a good safe plan.

After that, just dunk the cheese into the cooled water, mash it with the fork (probably give it a few minutes to get soft) until most of the bits are dissolved, and pour it through the strainer into the ice cube tray. you should get about 8 disgustingly off-white cubes of inoculum. Pack 'em in a bag and label. I used 2 cubes of p. candida in a one-gallon make, but I imagine one would do fine. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to how long they'll stay potent in the freezer, but I'd say... longer than expected, but not as long as powdered. They're hearty little creatures, anyway.


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


Offline MrsKK

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Wisconsin
  • Posts: 1,862
  • Cheeses: 61
  • Default personal text
Re: Ripening Cultures - From Store Bought Cheeses
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2009, 08:01:59 AM »
Makkonen,
Thanks for posting your method of creating cultures from an existing cheese!  I would have never thought to sterilize the outer layer.  It makes perfect sense.

Once I'm ready to delve into blues, I will definitely try this.