Author Topic: Starter Culture Purchase Advice - For Baby Swiss, Jack, Romano & Swiss Cheese Making?  (Read 2280 times)

Offline FarmerJD

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I am ordering today for my next few cheeses (Jack, swiss, romano and baby swiss) and was wanting advice on what to get.

1.I saw on peter dixon's site that the baby swiss only calls for meso culture. Is that right? And which one is best for this? He said MM100 or aromatic.
2. I have always used a buttermilk culture for cheese but while I am ordering I thought I'd get a standard meso culture or 2. On dairy connection I see they recommend a different one for gouda and cheddar. Any input? Is there a disadvantage to using the aromatic for some cheeses?
3. U. of Guelph says romano needs L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus. Is this what everyone here uses?
4. Any suggestions on which lipase is best for which cheese?
5. Can you culture propionic just like meso and thermo?

Thanks for any input.


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Offline DeejayDebi

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For the baby swiss I use either EZAL MM100 or Mesophilic Aromatic Type B or Flora Danica with some Proprionibacteria. I prefer MM100 I use a lot of that.

For Jack I use MA 11.

For Romano I use TA61 and LH100.

For Swiss/  TA61 and LH100 and Proprionibacteria 50.
For Swiss and Baby swiss I have also used Probat 222 and Choozit Alp D.

Hope this helps.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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I use TA-61 and LH-100 for my thermo cultures. TA-61 is S. thermophilus.  LH-100 is L. helveticus and L. lactis.

The S. thermophilus bacteria in TA-61 is a rapid acid producer, but does not do a good job of completing lactose breakdown. So you generally do not want to use TA-61 by itself. That's what the TA-100 is for, but the ratio is very important.

When making regular Swiss types, I use a 50/50 mix of TA-61 & LH-100, plus Propionic of course. This blend will take longer to break down the lactose and the bacteria will be active longer.

When making Italian types like Parmesan or Romano, I use a blend of 20/80 - 20% TA-61 and 80% LH-100. Because there is less TA-61, the cheese does not acidify as quickly. And because there is much more LH-100, lactose will be broken down much quicker. This allows enzymes, like Lipase, and proteolysis to kick in sooner. Good Italian types depend on a lot of enzymatic activity over the course of several months or more to develop really sharp flavors.

You can buy premixed blends of TA-61 & LH-100, but those "store bought" blends ignore the ratios. I prefer to custom mix my own.

When making Baby Swiss, I agree with Dixon on the Meso cultures. I use a blend called Meso Aromatic B to get diacetyl flavor and additional CO2.

I keep 2 kinds of Lipase - Regular (mild) and Italian. I use the sharp Italian version in all of my hard Italian cheeses like Parmesan or Romano. I use the mild in Mozzarella & Provolone.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline FarmerJD

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Exactly what I needed to know. thanks sailor and debi!