Author Topic: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay  (Read 17010 times)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #75 on: June 29, 2012, 05:44:01 AM »
Quote
Am I correct in that ageing the cheese for 60 days kills any pathogens anyway? 
Yes, unless the pathogen load is extremely high.

Here's my summary answer now that I know what you want to do: go for it. :). If your milk is very clean, you can use it as is and still obtain very consistent results. No need to even change culture amounts. If you want to out of an abundance of caution, you could over-inoculate with 5% each time you prep starter, to help kickstart it and finish faster.
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Offline jersey12

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #76 on: July 03, 2012, 07:44:17 PM »
Awesome thanks for that!  I tried it yesterday (actually started the evening before) with less than 1/8th tspn MM100 in a litre of milk that I had skimmed as much cream off as possible.  I warmed the milk to 30C and within a few hours it had the slight tangy smell of the culture.  I couldn't keep the heat up overnight, but by yesterday morning (about 16hrs in a cool room) the milk was lumpy and 'curdled' looking.  I was expecting it to take a few more hours so went outside, but 30 minutes later a small amount of whey had started to seperate (less than 1cm at the top of a 1 litre jar which mixed back in well).

I had an appointment so it was either freeze it then or leave it for another three hours, so I mixed it up gently and froze it in approx 10ml ice cubes.  I thought I had read on here about the whey seperating and that not being good, but can't find that post again.  Should I ditch this mother culture and start again?  I was planning on trying a 30 minute mozz today as I desperately need to use up some milk, but I did keep some mother culture unfrozen ... so might try another quick havarti as well, but I am wondering what to expect if I do use this culture?

Perhaps next time I should try even less than 1/8th tspn of culture (I need to get a smaller measuring spoon!)
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #77 on: July 03, 2012, 07:50:57 PM »
Quote
about the whey seperating and that not being good, but can't find that post again.
Do not remember reading that. It's perfectly fine. The culture at ambient temps will be population stable for 3-4 days, and then begin to decline. If freezing, it is best to do is as soon as possible after reaching target pH (curdling)

if you use the culture, expect a shorter ripening time, and possibly a faster pH drop. Use acidity, not time as the guide.

Quote
Perhaps next time I should try even less than 1/8th tspn of culture (I need to get a smaller measuring spoon!)
1/8 tsp is good for 1-2 gallons. Depends on your cleanliness. Sometimes, better to over inoculate a bit to ensure rapid acidification.
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Offline jersey12

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #78 on: July 04, 2012, 09:30:39 AM »
Thanks Pav, you are really helping me to make sense of all this!  LOL not sure what I remember about the whey speratig then, I think I am suffering from information overload. :o
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Offline Wolfy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #79 on: August 29, 2012, 04:50:46 PM »
Thank you for the very useful (and cost saving) information.

I understand that the primary intent is to use the Mother Culture immediately and that if it's frozen it will be less viable when thawed and used.
But - if you knew you were going to freeze the Mother Culture - would it be useful to add some non fat dry milk so that the higher casein content buffers the acid produced (explained here by linuxboy) so that there will be more bacteria in the Mother Culture when it goes into the freezer (and hence more when its thawed and used)?
If so, how much non fat dry milk should be used?


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #80 on: August 29, 2012, 05:09:29 PM »
IMHO, that is overcomplicating things. Yes, you can do it. If you do, target ~7% casein content (11% total solids). There are better cryoptoectants out there. If you really want much higher viability, get a cheap centrifuge so you can harvest cells and use glycerin as a cryoprotectant. And if you're getting that fancy, might as well get a stirrer and some ammonium hydroxide so you can adjust pH and increase the cell yield.
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Offline Wolfy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #81 on: August 30, 2012, 11:22:00 AM »
I was just thinking of slightly boosting the bacteria-count without too much additional effort, no need to get as fancy as needing glycerin (thought I store some of my brewing yeast samples that way) or a centrifuge - was just looking for something simple/easy. ;)

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #82 on: August 30, 2012, 11:26:31 AM »
Got it. Then that's a great, cheap, fast way to do it, especially if you're anticipating longer term storage.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #83 on: March 30, 2013, 09:23:12 AM »
I had done this and made pics in February 2012 but I forgot about them. I decided I should add to Sailor's wonderful photo essay with a few things I had observed and incorporated.

Once the milk jugs are finished with their sterilization bath, cooled, and the cultures are added to each one, they are placed in the oven to ferment. The oven maintains a comfortable temp to allow completion away from drafts.

And the Alp D is actually a mesophilic with a little thermophilic assist.

In a nutshell, 1/32 tsp of culture broadens to 64 one-ounce cubes of mother culture. Pretty nice.

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« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 09:34:34 AM by Boofer »
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #84 on: March 30, 2013, 04:13:47 PM »
Boof - what you're doing obviously works, but here are a few things to consider. Looking at your thermometer, you are somewhere around 95F. That is actually a little higher that ideal for mesos. Most mesos that we use like things around 85-90F and may not grow as quickly at 95F. Ironically that is also a really low temperature for thermos.

FYI - one of the ways to slow down the rate of acid production with a meso make is to raise the temperature to 95F or a little higher. That's a little paradoxical thinking, but 95F is beyond the "sweet spot" for most mesos.

So a couple of suggestions: Just incubate your mesos at room temp or around 70F. Takes a little longer (usually 14-18 hours depending on how much you inoculate) but has a nice steady acidification curve. Incubate the thermos around 110-115F. The TA will kick in just 5-6 hours. The LH will take much longer because it's not a primary acidifier. Incubating at the higher temps is much better for strain specific selection and will weed out any stray mesos or other contaminants. Alp has actually talked about this indirectly in other threads when processing his whey for natural thermo selection. I use a dehydrator set on 115F to incubate my thermos.

Alp D or any meso/thermo blend is complicated because you can't really meet the needs of both types. If you incubate too low, you get a predominantly meso culture. If you incubate too high, you will actually kill off some of the mesos. Again, refer back to Alp's whey culture discussion. Trying to do both will end up with a culture that is out of balance compared to the original direct set. So, I don't actually use or recommend a MC for this type of blend. Either use a direct set or make separate Mother Cultures and add both to your milk. This is also why I don't make a MC of a TA/LH blend.

Here's something else to think about. I make an under ripened Aroma B (lower acid) and let that sit for 3 or 4 days at 50F. Then I use this as a base for either Propionic (Swiss) or P. roqufortii (blue mold). Propionic does not feed on lacTOSE, but metabolizes lacTATE. So by letting the Aroma B sit for a few days the bacteria have a chance to convert SOME of the lactose to lactate. I inoculate the Aroma B with a tiny bit of Propionic (or PR) and then incubate at room temp (70F) overnight before using. This is by no stretch a perfect way to propagate Propionic, but I feel that I get a reasonable population for my Gruyeres, etc. I do the same for Swiss types but also add a 1/2 dose of Propionic directly to my milk. Just makes the cultures stretch a little further.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 01:13:57 PM by Sailor Con Queso »
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Offline Boofer

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #85 on: March 30, 2013, 08:07:52 PM »
Good point, Sailor, about the meso-thermo blends and the tendency to overshadow one or the other if MC'd too high or too low.

Looking at your thermometer, you are somewhere around 95F. That is actually a little higher that ideal for mesos. Most mesos that we use like things around 85-90F and may not grow as quickly at 95F. Ironically that is also a really low temperature for thermos.
May be a correction/clarification needed here: one thermometer in the water bath sits at around 200+ degrees for sterilizing the milk prior to culturing. The other thermometer on top of the oven sits at 69 degrees which is where the culturing is occurring (granted, too low for thermo).

I'll have to rethink my MC process for KAZU, MA4001, Alp D...which are all meso-thermo mixes. They may have squeaked by working in some fashion, but not how they were originally designed as dry culture mixes.

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Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #86 on: May 21, 2013, 02:51:44 PM »
I'm glad I found this thread.  My wife is already aclimated to having muliple yeast slants in the refrigerator so a supply of frozen bacteria should be easy to slip into the garage freezer.

Now that it's been explained I see it's no more difficult to do than culturing a starter for an ale and the benefits far outweigh the slight additional effort.  Being able to rennet that quickly with predictable results is a nice timesaver.  Now if I can only get my stupid pH meter sorted out I'll be good to go.

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Offline CNYquesero

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #87 on: June 19, 2013, 10:05:35 PM »
How would I need to scale this up if I was making in 290 Gallon batches? How much time would I invest making mother cultures for 4 makes a week at that size?

Offline linuxboy

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #88 on: June 19, 2013, 10:26:19 PM »
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How would I need to scale this up if I was making in 290 Gallon batches?
Make enough starter to work for your needs at your inoculation rate.
Quote
How much time would I invest making mother cultures for 4 makes a week at that size?
You can get away with a single bulk make and store in fridge. Time depends on your process. If you have it down to a good routine, 30-60 mins. Depends on space, equipment, etc.
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Offline Smurfmacaw

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Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
« Reply #89 on: June 28, 2013, 03:49:08 PM »
Since my milk seems to be fairly high pH here in SOCAL, I'd like to start making mother cultures like this to speed things along.  My question is:  If I make a mother culture to ripen the milk and am using an adjunct culture, should I also make a mother culture of the adjunct or can I just use it in it's direct set form since in all reality it doesn't contribute that much initially but works later in the aging process from my very basic understanding.  My worry is that it wouldn't stand a chance if there is a vigorous ripening culture going when it's added.

thoughts?