Author Topic: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay  (Read 21118 times)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2011, 01:36:57 PM »
You can tell by coagulation. Generally, when it has set, it is ready.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #61 on: January 31, 2012, 02:32:39 PM »
The induction cookers are amazing. Boils water about 3 times faster than even gas.

The induction cooker produces NO HEAT, but uses magnetism to heat the entire pot. So the pot itself becomes the heating element. Aluminum or glass pots or pans do not work with induction. It uses much less electricity and it doesn't heat up the kitchen. VERY fast and you can NOT scald milk or burn chocolate. It has a 210F setting that keeps things just at boiling without actually boiling over. (How many times have we all done THAT on the stove). And when you cut it off, it instantly stops heating with no residual heat. So it's an excellent way to make cheese. Very cool technology. I know some high end restaurants that do all of their cooking by induction. On a professional level, since there is no direct heat, induction cookers can't catch on fire and do not require expensive hoods.
Sailor, I have somewhat of a problem and I think you may have just provided a solution.

My problem is that my dear wife has burned up/melted a number of tea kettles over the years. They are typically porcelain-finished and the porcelain melts as the kettle approaches a warm, glowing red color. Would using an induction cooker reduce the incidence of destroyed cookware of this variety?

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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #62 on: January 31, 2012, 03:23:43 PM »
Pots for induction must be magnetic, so copper, etc will not work. Porcelain over steel usually will. Otherwise, yes, the induction cooker can be a wonderful problem solver. You can just set the cooker to 180F and the pot will keep tea near boiling but never overheat.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #63 on: February 01, 2012, 01:04:20 AM »
Pots for induction must be magnetic, so copper, etc will not work. Porcelain over steel usually will. Otherwise, yes, the induction cooker can be a wonderful problem solver. You can just set the cooker to 180F and the pot will keep tea near boiling but never overheat.
Wow, another problem solved. Boy, this is going to be a great year!  8)

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Offline Caseus

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #64 on: March 31, 2012, 03:02:37 PM »
No, weight/volume. It's to account for variation in cheese recipes. Some need 1%, some 1.5%, some 2.0%, etc.

You always use skim milk, milk powder, or whey powder. No fat.

Yes, for example, if you have a gallon of milk, it is 128 fl ounces. You need 1.28 fl ounces of starter for a 1% inoculation rate.

I have included this in some recipes when I specify bulk equivalent. This is the way cheese was made before DVI starters. I've also posted general guidelines before, like starting with 1.5% and have suggested that people customize the inoculation rate to fit their make requirements. You can make most cheeses with anywhere between .5% and 2.5%, depending on the rest of the recipe.

I don't see where weight is a factor in that chart.  It appears to all be volume amounts.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #65 on: March 31, 2012, 03:09:34 PM »
Is there such a think as an induction unit with low temp range variation (30-40c)?
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Offline luiscaraubas

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #66 on: June 24, 2012, 01:34:56 PM »
I'd like to know the shelf life of a mother culture when it's stored in the freeze.

And very thank you for the information. Really very useful

Luís

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #67 on: June 24, 2012, 01:58:55 PM »
Luis, what temperature?

Usual household freezer, without self-defrost feature? I would say no more than 4-6 months. You can go longer, but if you do, I would reculture a few times to get the culture alive.
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Offline luiscaraubas

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #68 on: June 24, 2012, 02:40:01 PM »
Can I use UHT milk?

Offline luiscaraubas

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #69 on: June 24, 2012, 05:57:34 PM »
Thanks for the fast response, Linuxboy.
Yes, it's a normal house-hold freezer, but with a self-defrost temperature. Another question that's is not clear in my mind is once the culture is frost, what procedure should i do to use the MC in the milk? Put straight in the milk or put in the fridge for some hours to return in the usual consistency?

Offline Boofer

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #70 on: June 24, 2012, 08:12:20 PM »
Luis, I have found that putting the vacuum bag of MC cubes in a bowl of water and letting it thaw there will bring it to a defrosted state fairly quickly and safely. Then you can dry the bag, open it, and pour the contents into the milk. It works well.

At first, I tried putting the frozen cubes into the milk, but they thawed unevenly and it took too long to get to their operational state.

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Offline jersey12

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #71 on: June 28, 2012, 09:01:05 AM »
If you start out with as sterile media as possible, the tiny pinch is enough for a small amount of medium.....I suggest if you have great aseptic handling to use less culture than those links suggest. And if it's questionable, then use more of a pure culture to ensure a fast growth, and then propagate forward.

When you use less culture, remember bacteria multiply every 15-20 minutes. So if you use 1/3 the amount and wait an hour, it's the same as using a huge amount. Problem is that during that hour, if you have other strains or bad bacteria, they multiply, too. Make sense? In the end, the amount does matter somewhat becausein industry, to help ensure consistency, we drastically over-inoculate.

I have just received my cultures today (MM100, Flora Danica, TA61, MA11 and a Camambert Meso + Mould blend) and would like to create mother cultures from each of them (primarily to be self sufficient for longer), but just wanted to check a few things before I go ahead and make it up.  I will be using milk from my jersey cow - we prefer to use it raw, is it ok to use it raw for the MC or should I pasturize it first?

I would probably make only 1 or 2 litres (1-2 quarts) of each mother culture at a time and freeze it in trays to use over a month or two - if its ok to use raw milk to make the MC, how much DVI should I add to the milk (purely guessing from LB's quote above that I should add a bit more than if it was pasturized milk?)

Sorry, I am very new to cheesemaking so this may be a silly question...but is it possible to be successful with creating MC's if you don't have a ph tester, an induction cooker or climate controlled room to be able to follow Sailor's steps exactly? Eg: if the temp can be maintained for 6 hours but not 16-24hrs, would adding a bit more DVI be better than letting the temperature drop too low and will it still work properly if the ph ends up as say 4.9 or 5.2 instead of 4.2 to 4.5 for Meso/4-4.2 for thermo?

You can make a Mother Culture from whole milk. The problem is that it will get really thick and difficult to pour. But still possible. Or as LB pointed out, just thin the whole milk starter with more milk just before you use it to make it easier to pour.

Another silly question -if I was going to freeze the whole milk starter and it needed thinning - would I add extra milk after defrosting prior to adding it to the vat or prior to putting the starter in the freezer trays?

LOL - and one last silly question, can I make a mother culture from the camambert meso+mould blend DVI or does the mould alter things?

As a complete newbie I *really* appreciate all the knowlege that is so freely shared on this forum:)
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #72 on: June 28, 2012, 09:18:34 AM »
Quote
is it ok to use it raw for the MC or should I pasturize it first?
Think about the consequences of each choice. If you use sterile medium, such as boiled milk, then you will be propagating forward only the inoculant that you introduce. If you use raw milk, it might have all sorts of bacteria and yeasts and fungi in it, and you would then be propagating both those native flora, and the introduced inoculant. Either way is fine, but they have different outcomes and purposes. It might be that your raw milk contains some amazing local flora, in which case, it's a great idea to use raw. Or it might have pathogens, in which case it would be disastrous.

Quote
how much DVI should I add
To what end? You want to skip the pasteurization for convenience, and then try to overinoculate to compensate, so that your native bacteria cannot compete? Sure, that's one option. Up to you how much to overinoculate. Pick the application based on the results you want to achieve and your purpose and strategy. If you don't know, list your goals and I will detail the procedure.
Quote
but is it possible to be successful with creating MC's if you don't have a ph tester, an induction cooker or climate controlled room to be able to follow Sailor's steps exactly? Eg: if the temp can be maintained for 6 hours but not 16-24hrs, would adding a bit more DVI be better than letting the temperature drop too low and will it still work properly if the ph ends up as say 4.9 or 5.2 instead of 4.2 to 4.5 for Meso/4-4.2 for thermo?
You have to consider that inconsistency is the enemy here. So if you have no way of keeping the temp steady, sure, overinoculate to speed up the process. No pH meter is no problem. I already posted, that as soon as milk coagulates, that's a good time to freeze or refrigerate, as you are near bacterial saturation levels.  The pH levels, although important, are not critical. In fact, after 12-18 hours, most starters will remain in a state of having similar colony counts for 2-3 days. Proper freezing and storage is far more important in maintaining viability.

Quote
would I add extra milk after defrosting prior to adding it to the vat or prior to putting the starter in the freezer trays?
Two problems with using whole milk: One, in unhomogenized milk, the cream rises. As it does, it will take bacteria to the top with it, creating bacterial gradients. Commercially, we agitate reaction vessels when producing starter. Two, cream makes it thick.

To answer your question, thin it out by putting the starter in a bucket, adding milk, and mixing thoroughly. Or close a jar with starter and milk added and shake it. Even whole milk will still pour after coagulating, but it will be chunky.

Quote
can I make a mother culture from the camambert meso+mould blend DVI or does the mould alter things?
Not in the same way, no. And the changes necessary make it too much work for home production. I would buy a packet of just mold powder and use that.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 09:29:39 AM by linuxboy »
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Offline margaretsmall

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #73 on: June 28, 2012, 05:42:02 PM »
I use a yoghurt maker to make mother culture (as well as yoghurt of course). It's a Breville, cost about $60, takes 1.5l of milk. Pour in UHR skim milk, sprinkle over about 1/10 teaspoon starter granules, leave a few minutes to hydrate, whisk in, set for 10 hours and wait. The last batches I made (1l of each, mainly because UHT comes in 1l packets), the meso needed more than 10 hours, the thermo was set in 10. I've never tried reculturing, safer to make a fresh batch every time.
Margaret

Offline jersey12

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #74 on: June 29, 2012, 03:11:48 AM »
Thankyou so much for the detailed reply! 

Quote
is it ok to use it raw for the MC or should I pasturize it first?...Think about the consequences of each choice. If you use sterile medium, such as boiled milk, then you will be propagating forward only the inoculant that you introduce. If you use raw milk, it might have all sorts of bacteria and yeasts and fungi in it, and you would then be propagating both those native flora, and the introduced inoculant. Either way is fine, but they have different outcomes and purposes. It might be that your raw milk contains some amazing local flora, in which case, it's a great idea to use raw. Or it might have pathogens, in which case it would be disastrous.

I'm confident in the sanitation of my milking methods, health of my cow and quality of the milk which I keep a close eye on each milking - we drink the milk raw and I plan to use raw milk for my cheese, but of course until some symptom or sign develops, its usually not possible to know if there are any pathogens in the milk.

I've seen the health benefits of using raw milk vs P/H store bought milk for several people first hand and would like to maintain that in my cheese - even if it means less consistency in precise results, I'm ok with that and in some ways actually like the anticipation/mystery of how a new cheese will taste;)  LOL and I understand that the process may well involve some epic failures along the way.

Please don't get me wrong, I'll pasturise the MC milk if its needed as I can see the validity of propagating forward only the inoculant that I introduce, I'm just trying to understand how it all works - is it a case that doing so will ensure that higher numbers of 'good' bacteria would limit the production/outcompete any possible pathogens introduced in the cheese by using raw milk for the rest of it, or will using raw milk negate the 'benefit' of pasturising the milk used to create the mother culture, making it an unnecessary step in the process?  Am I correct in that ageing the cheese for 60 days kills any pathogens anyway? 

Quote
how much DVI should I add...To what end? You want to skip the pasteurization for convenience, and then try to overinoculate to compensate, so that your native bacteria cannot compete? Sure, that's one option. Up to you how much to overinoculate. Pick the application based on the results you want to achieve and your purpose and strategy. If you don't know, list your goals and I will detail the procedure.

Yes partially for convenience, but more so what I am trying to understand is if its really beneficial to pasturise the mother culture milk or essentially an unnecessary step seeing as the the rest of the milk use will be raw and therefore may contain potential pathogens. I don't have a purpose and strategy really, I am just making cheese for my family's consumption, 1 or 2 times per week in maximum batches of 8-12 litres (2-3 gallons), our aim in general is self sufficiency/self reliance and we wish to avoid as much 'consumerism' as much as possible - my primary purpose for wanting to use mother cultures is to limit the amount/frequency of DVI that I need to purchase, plus have the convenience of simply adding a specific number of 10ml ice cubes of frozen MC according to the volume of milk I am using.

LOL ok thinking about it further, it takes more than three hours getting the milk from the cow to glass bottles in the fridge twice a day, not to mention feeding and caring for other livestock, running a business and looking after a family, so convenience and time saving is one of my goals:)  I am really only interested in making a few different recipes of basic semi-hard cheeses (eg gouda, harvati, edam, tomme), cream cheese, mozarella and cottage cheese - so nothing too complicated or time consuming.

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