Author Topic: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay  (Read 15058 times)

Offline iain

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2011, 01:24:30 PM »
This might be answered elsewhere in the thread, but I couldn't find it. Do you store the mother culture in the refrigerator or at room temperature?


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Offline Susan

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2011, 02:10:22 PM »
I'm not the expert but I am sure it is the refrigerator.  Once you grow the bacteria and get the culture where you want it, you then want to slow things down (refrigerator) until you are ready to use it.  Otherwise they will use up all of their food and die.  You can freeze it if you are not going to use within a week.
Susan


Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2011, 02:27:58 PM »
Very good Susan. :)
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Offline Susan

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2011, 02:32:00 PM »
I have been paying close attention.  You've taught me well!  ;)
Susan

Offline iain

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2011, 08:02:40 AM »
Another mother question: how would you gauge correct ripening time without using a ph meter? Mine is currently on the fritz (giving wildly inaccurate readings and refusing to be calibrated) and I'm still waiting for an adequate response from my vendor before plonking down money on a new one (this one is only three months old).

I guess my real question is this: what would be a good temporary time conversion? If my recipe calls for, say, 4 gallons milk, 1/4tsp meso, and a ripening time of 60 minutes and I instead use 5oz of mother, how long should I ripen?


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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2011, 09:59:03 AM »
There are a couple of visual clues.

1- The milk will thicken up to a runny yogurt consistency, even with skim milk. Stop and refrigerate.

2- If you go too far, whey will start to separate and float to the top. You want to avoid this or the acidity will kill off some of the bacteria. Better to under ripen than over.

I do thermos for about 8 hours in my dehydrator at 110F and mesos for about 18 at room temp. So, I start thermos in the morning and mesos in the afternoon. Exact timing depends on the culture and the quantity that you use to start. I use just a pinch of bacteria.
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Offline iain

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2011, 11:45:12 AM »
Thanks, Sailor, but what about timing during the actual make. Without a working ph meter, how do I adjust a recipe that assumes DVI to using a mother?

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2011, 02:48:27 PM »
A Mother Culture uses bacteria that are awake, multiplying, and have already produced a fair amount of acid. So, you can pretty much skip the rippening time altogether. In other words, if a recipe says add bacteria and wait 45 minutes - DON'T. Just add the MC and get your rennet ready. By the time you do that, the milk is slightly acidified and ready for rennet. This alone saves a half hour or more with every cheese you make. Really important if you are making cheese for a living.

The MC generally provides plenty of acidify for the initial drop, but you are looking for around a .1 drop in pH after adding the MC. In other words, if your milk starts at 6.65 then you rennet at 6.55.  The beauty with MC is that you can adjust up or down to make this happen every time. The general rule is add 1% to 2% of MC by weight. So, start with 1.5%, do the math and figure out how much you need for your batches of cheese.
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Offline iain

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2011, 03:08:41 PM »
Ah - that makes sense. Thanks. I'm going to start making some cultures next week and we'll see how it goes.

Offline iain

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2011, 09:33:52 AM »
So I made some mothers two weeks ago - on the 15th. I made much more than I could use within a week and froze most of it, according to plan. Due to an unexpected drop in milk production, though, I haven't been able to get through all that I had in the refrigerator. It still smells and tastes fine. It is a bit bubbly but not really any different in appearance than it was the day I made it. To me, this all indicates it is fine to keep using.

What do you all think? What would be a sign that the starter is past its prime? I'm using a commercial refrigerator, holding around 35º F.


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2011, 09:49:00 AM »
I would not. Appearance is nothing; bacterial count and viability are everything. You'll likely get acidification, and it will make a cheese, but it will lack consistency. Depending on the type of culture it is and your handling technique, you may be able to propagate it forward one generation without affecting quality or ratios of composition.
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Offline Trey Magnus

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2011, 03:06:44 PM »
First of all I want to thank you Sailor for these instructions.  DVI is so expensive and any time savings I can get (in the make) is also greatly appreciated.  MC's are truly a win win.  A cheese for your efforts!  ;D

So I made my first Mother Culture this past past Friday evening; some MA11.  Following Sailor's instructions, I did my best to keep it at "warm room temperature" so I closed off the laundry room (while my wife was washing and drying clothes that evening) and that kept the temp (at least for the first 6 hours) in the mid-low 80's.  First thing Saturday morning, I checked on it and after only 12 hours the pH was already down to 4.21.  I quickly set some aside for the Colby I was making that day and froze the rest in ice trays.  As I poured it into the trays it was fairly thick and there were some chunks.  I think the low-mid 80's is a bit too warm and (for Meso) I will try our normal house temp of 75 next time.  Easy enough.

The 4.75 gallons of milk made a 4.85 pound Colby and all seemed OK.  It hit (more or less) the expected markers during the make.  The flock time was a bit low, 7 minutes (I followed the manufacturers instructions), and it made a fine curd.  Without out the best temp control (on my electric roaster) it got a little too hot (while cooking) and caused me to have to wait longer for it to hit the pressing pH but all in all it was not bad for my first one.  At least it felt, looked and smelled good after pressing.

I hope that it is truly OK, and that the rest of the MC will work as well with other cheeses.  As far as the MC pH already being at the bottom of the range, I question whether the frozen stuff will be any good.  Any thoughts here would be appreciated.  I would rather chunk $12 worth of MC than waste $120 worth of milk (and my time) making bad cheese.

Trying to get ready for this Saturdays Parm, I need to make some TA61 and LH100.  The instructions are more specific for that (110F for 16-24 hours).  Not having the best equipment right now (no Induction cooker), I am trying to find something (easy) as close to 110F as possible.  In my oven, with just the light on there is a very stable 100F.  My question is, will 100F be enough for the TA61 and LH100?  Will it still work fine and just take a little longer or is 100F too cool to work?  Thanks in advance.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2011, 03:25:40 PM »
Quote
My question is, will 100F be enough for the TA61 and LH100?
Yes, but might favor TA growth. In the final cheese, not a drastic difference. Watch the pH, try to cold crash it as soon as you hit the markers.
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Offline Trey Magnus

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2011, 04:44:37 PM »
I guess that was a bit unclear.  I am not mixing the TA and LH together.  I will be making separate MC's with each.  Just concerned that they can multiply properly (and in a reasonable time) at only 100F since that is so much colder than 110F.

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2011, 05:12:34 PM »
You're fine, thought you meant a blend. 98F is about the lowest I would do for a bacilli and 92-94F for TA. Typically 105-110 is optimal. You'll still get there, but it will take longer.

It's actually fairly common in commercial rotations to culture at lower temps and cycle through every 24 hours. That way the next day, the culture is just right and not overacidified.
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