Author Topic: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?  (Read 663 times)

Offline Jessica_H

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Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« on: November 12, 2011, 07:38:11 PM »
Hello all!

I haven't made cheese in almost 6 months.  I just pulled all my supplies back out.  One thing I had was a freeze-dried package of flora danica.  I DIDN'T put it in the freezer (thinking I should have).  I just stored it with some other stuff.  Now it's sticky and brown...like moisture got in there.

Has anyone had this happen?  Any opinions on if it would still be good?

TIA!


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Offline smilingcalico

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Re: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2011, 09:36:28 PM »
I've had that with some pc before.  Mine still worked.  My best recommendation for you would be to really work it into a glass of milk.  I suggest a clear glass so you can see any lumps that might still be in there.  With the back of a spoon, smear it against the side of the glass, scrape it off, repeating till the lumps are gone.  Let the glass of milk sit out overnight or 24 hours.  If it becomes yogurt like in consistency, it is still active.  When you go to use it for cheese, use the same procedure, but no need to let it sit out overnight. Oh, and while you are at it, that yogurt like stuff could be used as a bulk starter culture, no need to toss it!
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Offline opalcab

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Re: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 10:14:57 AM »
My Floria Danica did go bad after 9 month in the freezer so i need to replace it with new. I keep my stuff in the freezer in a plastic container and some things lasted 10 to 11 months
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 06:08:25 PM »
I would buy some fresh one, its not very expessive and is is cheaper then ruining a batch of cheese.
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 10:08:28 PM »
I would bet that the culture is weakened but still alive, in which case you can still make Mother Cultures. Lots of discussions on the Forum.
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 10:15:23 PM »
I think Tomer has a point. The lost cheese and related heartbreak will cost more than a new bag of Fl-Dn.  I still have unopened packages from 2009 that work well and I am using a package now that has been open for about 8-9 months and is still good.

Rule of thumb however is that if it gets wet/sticky, it has enough moisture for the bacteria to live and run through its lifecycle, eventually dying because the moisture in the air doesn't have sugars or proteins to sustain its life. It may work and possibly be weaker. But then again, the brown sticky stuff might as well be a contamination that you don't want to inoculate into your milk

The best way to check for activity is to heat a cup of fresh milk to 86°F. Fresh milk should be standarized to around 6.8°F. Put some Fl-Dn in it (1/16th tsp?). Wait 3-5 minutes to reconstitute and then mix it thoroughly as you would with cheesemaking (not incorporating too much air). Let it stand (you can cover it) in maintained temperature. You should see at least a 0.2pH drop within a couple of hours, or the next day it should be in the 4.3-4.8pH. If not, than it's no longer working.

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2011, 12:32:28 AM »
"Officially" , manufacturers say to dump the stuff when it clumps (which is sign for moisture).
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Offline Jessica_H

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Re: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 04:23:44 PM »
Thanks for the great tips!  I thought it was good at first because I had a nice  thickness on the top of my milk...then I stirred it and remembered that I was using raw whole milk and the cream on top had thickened but the milk below was just water.  *sigh*.  I already have more ordered.  I loved the smell...very sweet, but figured it probably wasn't a good thing  ;D

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Freeze Dried Starter Culture - Sticky & Brown, Use?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2011, 02:01:26 AM »
The sweet smell is probably yeast - which explains the color