If I only want one strain of geo and PC, which strain should that be? Right now I'm looking at Artisan Geek. We have
PC-ABL is a traditional strain of Penicillium Candidum. Great for thin rinds in Brie and Camemberts, as well as the very thin rinds required for Loire style goat cheeses such as Crottin, Valençay and Sainte Maure, or Northern Italian styles such as bloomy Robiolas.
Thin - low with medium-low density
Very low proteolysis
PC-HP6 is a specialty strain of Penicillium Candidum. It is traditional in many ways, featuring bright white appearance, moderately rapid growth, and medium-low thickness (height/density). It has high proteolysis and medium-low lipolysis. Its specialty is its great ability to grow together with P.Roqueforti, making it ideal for mixed-mold cheese such as Cambozola, Montbriac or Blue Brie. It works especially well with Danisco Choozit PS for that purpose, but can work with other blues. It can also be used on its own (or mixed with other PC strains) for any traditional bloomy cheese that requires Penicillium Candidum.
This strain of Penicillium Candidum is known for its anti-mucor capabilities. Use it with bloomy rinds that seem to get contaminated by unwanted molds. Alternatively, you may mix it with other strains of PC to increase the biodiversity of your rind and reduce the chances of contamination and competition. SAM3 features strong proteolytic and lipolytic properties, medium density and height, with low aromatic profile, so it can be used instead of or in conjunction with traditional strains.
PC-VB is a traditional strain of Penicillium Candidum. It has solid proteolytic activity but low lipolytic activity, making it well-suited for situations where gooey texture is desired without an overwhelming flavor, or when dealing with high fat content such as with Double/Triple crème styles. It will also work very well blended with other strains of P.Candidum. It features medium growth height and medium mold density and medium aroma, positioning it as an all-around great all-purpose strain.
Of those, I'd incline towards the first or last. Perhaps something in between would be my idea of niceness. Not a super thin rind, but with a bit less proteolytic activity than the VB? Like, not super strong but just nice when it starts getting soft?
And then there's geo. I mostly need this for the purpose of bloomies.
Geo 13 is a classic strain of Geotrichum Candidum, perfect for lactic goat and cow milk cheeses as well as Camembert and Brie. It grows slowly and develops good texture with medium flavor. Its texture is somewhere between the moldy look of Geo 17 and the yeasty look of Geo 15.
Geo 15 is a yeasty strain of Geotrichum Candidum. It is great for cheeses that require a smooth surface, or pre-yeasting cycle; perfect for washed and mixed rind cheeses like Reblochon or for wild, smeared, or brushed rind Tommes. It will also work well in bloomy and lactic cheeses. When comparing with Geo 13 and 17, the Geo 15 strain features a creamier color, it is less proteolytic, and has a slightly lower optimum growth temperature. It does not develop the "brainy"/"wormy" texture of some other Geo strains. Geo 15 will typically start off as a slimy covering but after it has been covered with other moulds it may grow through them as a dry loose top layer dusting (less mycelium, more arthrospores).
Geo 17 is a mold-like strain of Geotrichum Candidum. Works very well in combination with Penicillium Candidum; great for traditional lactic and bloomy cheeses. It is ideal for the creation of "brainy"/"wormy" looking rustic rinds. It has more texture than Geo 13 and Geo 15 yet has similar flavor strength. It has a similar white color, proteolytic activity, and optimal temperature to Geo 13 but it grows at a faster speed, more like the Geo 15.
What, in your experience, works best?