Author Topic: Culture  (Read 2455 times)

Offline Wayne Harris

  • Wine and Cheesemaker
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Posts: 1,937
  • Cheeses: 53
  • Wayne Harris
Culture
« on: December 19, 2008, 04:55:39 PM »
I, like many here, have a favorite type and favorite brand of cheese.
For me, it's Rembrandt's Gouda. 

This is the type of cheese I would ultimately like to create.

I was thinking last night, as I often do, about what cultures would be required. So I did a bit of research and there seems to be some leeway.

Most standard gouda recipes call for cultures that contain:
(LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis 
(LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris 
(LLD) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis

Others add:
(LMC) Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris


So,  I was wondering,  can I call Rembrandt and ask?  They probably would not divulge that information.  So next I thought,  "Can I somehow obtain a starter culture from the cheese itself?"   

I mean, the enzymes are still technically alive, right?

Here is what I was thinking.  Crush a sample of the actual cheese, combine that with some whole pasteurized milk, and then leaving it sit at room temp for about 12-18 hours.

I cannot think of a reason why that would not work.

Thoughts?

Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline John (CH)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Katy, Houston, Texas, USA
  • Posts: 4,070
  • Cheeses: 60
Re: Culture
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 12:30:34 AM »
Agree, live cultures, thus why not make from the same cheese, I have done so with blue cheese.

FYI, I had the privilege of tasting this cheese and a couple other older ones last summer, wonderful.

But I think Rembrandt is aged 2+ years and if i remember correctly, any of your cheeses will be lucky to live to 6 months ::)!

Offline Tea

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,914
  • Cheeses: 27
Re: Culture
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 02:23:55 PM »
Theoretically it should work.  It will be an interesting experiment.  I was just reading up on the Manchego recipe and it reminded me that when Dagger did that cheese he mixed his own blend of cultures, which at the time he seemed happy with.  Would be lovely to know how this went over the maturing process.

So it would be interesting to try some different culture combinations yourself, and see what difference it makes.
Keep us informed.


Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: Culture
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 04:22:50 AM »
Interesting idea. Mostly I don't try to copy any cheese I can buy out there. I like making my own version as the stuff you like is readily available. Still an interesting concept. You could call them it will never hurt.

You can try some investigative techniques.

1. Call and get the names of everyone you talk to. Find out who their buyer is for cultures, pretend your a competitor culture saleman, make up a business name, and either find out at that point what they buy or who they buy from. Then either call the cheese company's buyer and say your from "the company they use" and say your new to the company and what to know what they have in stock as your checking your inventory...or some plausable story. Or you can call the company that sells them the culutres and say you from "so and so cheese company" and ask if you have any oustanding order because you found an old invoice and was curious about....blah blah blah...

One of these techniques should work to see if they'll tell you what cultures they use. But remember cheese is so much more complex than just cultures. It's the heat schedule they use, the amount of acid they let develop, the amount of rennet and set time, the amount of salt, the presure they use in the press, aging techniques, and most important what kind of cow, what season the cow grazes in and what it grazes on.

If you want I call the company and work my deceptive magic and see what I can come up with.

If that fails just take a road trip with the family, take a tour and ask lots of questions. And at the end of the tour if you don't get the info sneak back at night and dumpster dive and find the packages.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

  • Wine and Cheesemaker
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Posts: 1,937
  • Cheeses: 53
  • Wayne Harris
Re: Culture
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 08:11:33 PM »
Well, I don't think i have the chutzpah to pull that off.


But i do have a more practical question.  Suppose I were to use a piece of existing cheese to make a "starter" culture. 

How would i know if it 'took' ? 

If i were to taste the starter culture, what should it taste like?  what shouldn't it taste like?
If I were to look at it's viscosity, what should or shouldn't it look like?
etc etc.

I guess the real question is this, how can i look at my starter and say "Yep! looks great!"
or  "Nope, i failed"
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: Culture
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008, 01:31:56 AM »
Have you ever made a culture before? If not, then you should read up on how to prepare a starter, it's basically the same for wine making. But if I were you and  were trying to create the same bacteria I would suggest that like making a regular culture to sterilize everything, but my one big suggestion is you have to isolte you test batch from everythig else, the tiniest bit of air will ruin your sample by introducing foreign bacteria into the mix.

Basically you won't have any luck. The problem is when your incubating the test sample the most dominate bacteria is going to be the one the comes forward. The problem is you listed about 5 different bacterias they use and you wouldn't know which one it is. You can try and then you might have something unique.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Wayne Harris

  • Wine and Cheesemaker
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Posts: 1,937
  • Cheeses: 53
  • Wayne Harris
Re: Culture
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2009, 09:26:14 AM »
I have been re-thinking my DVI starter culture amounts:
I have been using Dairy Connection's rule of thumb (1/8tsp/gal).

But according to this:
CHR recommends 500g starter per 5000/liters of milk.

This works out to ~.37g per gallon. 
(my math is below)

My question is this.  Is this what others use?
I ask this because I believe that I may have over-inoculated my last batch.

Also, there is a reference to a "ripening culture", as well as a "normal starter culture".  Anyone know what this is?  This is pitched in the milk at the same time.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 09:31:41 AM by Wayne Harris »
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline Cartierusm

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,864
  • Cheeses: 17
Re: Culture
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 03:25:36 PM »
Wayne there is no answer to that question. All batches of cultures are different in terms of strength. So 125 DCU bad of MA11 is going to differ in weight to another bad of the exact same stuff. When they manuf. the culture they fill the back based on strength of hte culture. THis is directly from Danlac. So the only way to be sure how much to use is get a new bag, let's say MA11 125 DCU. 125 x 10 liters / 3.75 =333 gallons of milk it will acidify. Then pour the contents into a tared container on an accurate scale, note the weight and divide by 333.

BTW all manf. have different weight too. Meaning MA11 from Danisco will probably be pretty close to each other in terms of other pouches but other manuf might be totally heavier.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Likesspace

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Southern Illinois
  • Posts: 773
  • Cheeses: 20
    • Middleton Street Weather
Re: Culture
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2009, 09:06:47 PM »
Wayne,
I've never tried making a culture from a commercial cheese, but I have heard of several people doing so.
From what I understand, if the culture is still alive and active, the resulting homemade starter will have a yogurt like consistancy after 18 -24 hours.
I would way that it's certainly worth a try.
I mean, what's the worst that could happen? You lose a few gallons of milk and/or, don't turn out the end product you had hoped for.
On the other hand.....if it does work........
Well, can you say "holy grail" of cheesemaking?
Whatever you decide, let us know.
Btw, your math was too much for my tired brain at this point. Hell week is over (as of 5:00 this afternoon) but it seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.  :)

Dave

Offline John (CH)

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Katy, Houston, Texas, USA
  • Posts: 4,070
  • Cheeses: 60
Re: Culture
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2009, 08:11:30 AM »
Wayne, checked your math (beautifully laid out) and agree.

But I also agree with Carter, culture's come in different concentrations, different strengths both initially and when used depending on storage before during and after shipping, and age. Plus by it's very nature, a starter culture is self replicating, thus I don't think amount at start is critical, rather the conditions and timing.

I've never made a starter culture but like said in my post above, I've used bits of ground up store bought blue cheese for my three blues and they've all taken easily, but that was a mold, not starter culture. But like DaggerDoggie I also used some store bought Gruyere in this batch and ground it up and added to a standard Meso starter but it frankly didn't taste much like a Gruyere :-\.

Offline Wayne Harris

  • Wine and Cheesemaker
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Posts: 1,937
  • Cheeses: 53
  • Wayne Harris
Re: Culture
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2009, 10:52:26 AM »
I hate it when carter is right.

Mainly because it usually happens immediatly after I think i figured something out.

:(
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline DeejayDebi

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 5,803
  • Cheeses: 95
    • Deejays Smoke Pit and DSP Forums
Re: Culture
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2009, 03:08:18 PM »
It can be done. I haven't done it personally for cheese but I hae done id for beer. I have read of people who do it for cheese. Try it! Make a smaller batch and experiment - sounds like this could be a great adventure for you and your data would be beneficial to us all!

Offline thegregger

  • Medium Cheese
  • ***
  • Location: Novato, CA
  • Posts: 51
  • Cheeses: 1
  • Default personal text
Re: Culture
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2009, 12:36:24 PM »
Wayne:

I would approach this problem from a different angle.  Why not make your own Gouda from an existing recipe?  Next, after you age it, you could compare it to your "reference cheese", the Rembrandt Gouda.  Then, you could identify the differences in taste and texture, and modify your recipe accordingly.

Whatever approach you take, keep us updated.

Greg

Offline Wayne Harris

  • Wine and Cheesemaker
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Posts: 1,937
  • Cheeses: 53
  • Wayne Harris
Re: Culture
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2009, 12:38:30 PM »
Greg,  that is the only option i have unless i can get their recipe, or am able to derive a starter culture from their cheese.. 

I can only dream.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline linuxboy

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ukiah, CA
  • Posts: 3,986
  • Cheeses: 199
  • www.wacheese.com
    • Washington Cheese Guild
Re: Culture
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2009, 12:47:21 PM »
It's a bit tough to prepare a culture from an existing sample because bacteria die off in cheese rather quickly after 30-60 days. That's one of the reasons raw milk cheese is considered "safe" after 60-90 days. Most bacteria cannot handle the acidic conditions and lack of immediate food (sugars). The proteins that make up cheese are not ordinarily digestible by bacteria. It is actually the rupturing of the cell walls of cheese cultures+enzymes that help to give various cheeses their flavor through proteolysis and lypolysis. So especially with an aged cheese, it would be difficult to reculture a sample due to low cell viability. That and you'd need sterile lab conditions.
Taking an extended leave (until 2015) from the forums to build out my farm and dairy. Please e-mail or PM if you need anything.