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GENERAL CHEESE MAKING BOARDS (Specific Cheese Making in Boards above) => STANDARD METHODS - Making Cheese, Everything Except Coagulation => Topic started by: Sailor Con Queso on October 21, 2010, 10:39:38 PM

Title: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on October 21, 2010, 10:39:38 PM
There has been plenty of discussion on the Forum about Mother Cultures, but I thought that I would share a little photo essay about how I make mine. Unlike a true Mother Culture, I do fresh innoculations (called a Primer Culture) every time I make a batch to avoid contamination and mutations. This also helps retain the species balance of the original dry culture. Once you have tried this, you will never go back to measuring dry culture.

1- Use low fat or skim milk. I do mine in 4 half gallon batches.
2- 4 bottles fits perfectly in a 10 gallon stockpot.
3- I heat on an induction cooker. Really amazing device
4- I heat to 200-210F and hold for 30 minutes. Note my hand on the induction cooking surface. There is NO residual heat. Very cool.
5- Cooling down. Thermo to 110F and Meso to 90. Notice I put my thermometer probe under the milk bottle to monitor temperature drop. Do not open the milk and risk contamination.
6- Everything gets labeled.
7- Dry cultures ready for inocculation. I keep mine in Nalgene bottles.
8- Adding culture. Just 1/32 teaspoon is plenty. The more you add, the faster it will be ready. Why hurry? I use small doses and just wait 16-24 hours.
9- Meso gets incubated at warm room temperature. Thermo goes back into a 110F water bath.
10- A thermal wrap retains heat as well as an insulated cooler. This is a great setup for yogurt too.
11- After 16 hours or so, pour out a little and test the pH. I shoot for a pH of 4.2 to 4.5 for Meso. This one needs to sit just a little longer.
12- Thermo should be 4.0 to 4.2. This one’s perfect.

Refrigerate and use within a week. Or freeze for use later.

And finally here is a handy little chart and a spreadsheet to calculate how much Mother Culture to use.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Ken on October 21, 2010, 10:56:12 PM
Thanks Sailor, I do a similar thing, albeit on a much smaller scale and use an electric yoghurt maker as the incubator. also very nice induction cooker.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Quebec_Poutine on October 22, 2010, 02:27:28 AM
He great jobs, i really need this kind of induction plate, can i ask you were you get that and the price,coz im in the Philippine and will try to get here but not sure i think will have to order by internet, may i ask if the mesophilic culture can survive more then 1 week only in the refrigerator. coz i notice a few time when my re cultured culture is older then 2 week sometime my cheese is not curdling.

Thanks
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Susan on October 22, 2010, 07:28:22 AM
Sailor, this is a fantastic 'tutorial'.  Especially for us newbies.  Thank you for posting this.  About your induction cooktop.   I see several on amazon and they have several temp setting.  But for all that I could find the lowest setting was 140.  Does yours have a lower setting or you just work with that?  Thanks.
Susan
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on October 22, 2010, 09:15:42 AM
The induction cookers are amazing. Boils water about 3 times faster than even gas. EBay is loaded with them, some as low as $69.95. Wattage is important. Mine goes up to 1800w, the most that you will see unless you go to 220 volts. There are some manual units that you have infinite control on. You can also drop the wattage down and heat slower. But you are right, most of the automatic settings bottom out at 140F for some strange reason. That's perfect for prepping water for a washed curd cheese, but too high for yogurt or mother cultures. So I just heat mine to about 115F, cut it off, and wrap it in a triple layer thermo blanket (shown above). I usually start my cultures late afternoon, and by the next morning, it is still holding at 100F or a little more. Yogurt is usually ready overnight, but since I'm shooting for 24 hours on the primer cultures, I just heat the water bath back up to 110F (really quick with induction) and let it sit a few more hours. At 16 hours I test the pH to see how things are progressing.

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. When making Mozz, yogurt, or Primer Cultures, I set it on 180F and just walk away for awhile. 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. I am putting in several workstations for cheesemaking classes, so this was a very important consideration. With traditional heating plates, my fire marshal would have required a huge hood vented to the outside that would have cost over $15,000. If I were still making cheese at home, I would be doing everything on induction.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: TroyG on October 22, 2010, 12:56:23 PM
I have been chatting a little with Pav about doing this, but I am still struggling with the need. Right now I use all direct set cultures and I weigh them on a gram scale. Now 80% of my batches of cheese are greater than 15 gallons with many being 22 gallons. Seems like I would be making lots of mother culture in order to make my cheese.

So what benefits do you think I would get out of using mother cultures?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: DeejayDebi on October 22, 2010, 01:56:17 PM
Very nice and informative essay Sailor. Love the cooker! I may have to look into that could be a very handy gadget thanks.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on October 22, 2010, 02:53:27 PM
MUCH cheaper - a fraction of the cost of DVI
Better accuracy with bacterial population targets.
No concerns about old or inactive dry culture.
Very little time before rennet. Maybe 15 minutes instead of an hour.
Better acidity at rennet makes for a better curd set. I am getting much stronger curds.
Faster acidification and better pH curves throughout the make.
Efficiency translates into less time. I've cut at least an hour to 1-1/2 hours off of all of my cheeses.
Faster make is very noticable with cheddar types. You really need to watch the pH.
I honestly feel this makes a better quality cheese.

22 gallons would only translate to 42 ounces of Mother Culture. A 4 bottle batch like I make would last you over a week if you were making every day. Really quick and easy to do. Just have to plan ahead.

Here is a chart and dosage calculator in case you missed it above.

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on October 22, 2010, 03:25:28 PM
Just to add a thought, I feel that old world traditions and approaches to making cheese made for better cheese. One of those approaches was to combine evening and morning milk. There was no such thing really as a storage tank, and you couldn't make cheese twice a day most of the time, so you would make it every day in the morning after combining the milks. But, that evening milk sat for 6-12 hours, subject to bacterial action. So it would be pre-acidified naturally and have natural bacterial populations. In my milking, if I leave milk in the cellar at 55-60 from the evening milking, the pH is usually .1-.3 lower (from 6.45 to 6.3 most of the time, goat milk, different for cow). When you add this preacidified milk, what you got were huge colonies of bacteria right away, and some of the protein (casein) had solubilized.

This traditional approach is completely abandoned with the idea of DVI. With DVI, you have a "preripening" stage where you let the bacteria wake up. And the theory is that with that wait, you start at the same theoretical point as using either overnight milk of mother culture. But it's not the case for a few reasons. One, modern culture strains are selected for speed, to acidify quickly. Think about some of our favorite oldest cheeses. Stilton, roquefort, ossau iraty, tommes, etc. They were not cooked for the most part, or cooked just a little to 95-100, and used slow cultures. Modern practices push that to 103-104F, to decrease make times, and use fast cultures. But the cheeses are not as good.  Two, when you add DVI bacteria, you are adding the same number, in theory, but they are at a different stage than live and active bacteria. So even though the number of bacteria may be the same, and the pre-ripening takes care of waking them up, the pH curve is still way different. It's just not the same.

Modern science has tried to reintroduce the physics behind this preacidification by manipulating the milk. One common example is by bubbling Co2 through the milk to bring the pH down to 6.5 (most often used rennet point for cow cheese). Another is by using a small amount (.2%) of FD or MM or similar culture, and then re-pasteurizing. And another is by using glucono-delta-lactone to preacidify, or a harsher acid like lactic, citric, acetic, or formic. And it's all with the idea of achieving this pH drop before going into the make.

For people making cheese regularly, DVI mothers are a brilliant approach.

Troy, the point is just that, that you don't need to maintain starters. You don't need to do the old method of re-inoculating each batch and fighting changes in the culture mix and all that kind of stuff. Simply, create a workflow and one day before each make, figure out the amount of starter you need, boil the skim milk, cool inoculate with a small amount of the starter culture, and let it go. It's basically exactly like making yogurt. It does take a little bit of planning, and some equipment, and a dedicated space, but it's like milking. Once you have it all set up, you can milk 8 does at a time by yourself pretty easily.

Thanks for doing this, Sailor. I have a draft done from a few months ago on different rotation options used in the industry to maintain starters, but, of course, no time to finish completely right now.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on October 22, 2010, 08:37:33 PM
You're welcome LB.

In short a primer culture produces a significantly more predictable pH drop at a really critical time during the make process. Adding dry culture and waiting "X" minutes is just far too inaccurate. It is NOT about the time for ripening, it is about the bacterial activity, the pH drop, and setting the stage for the rennet to do it's job. If you have an old culture or one that has weak activity what do you do, increase the amount of starter? Too much and you get acidic bitter cheese. Increase the ripening time? Over do it and you get the same acidic cheese. Way too variable to get consistent results.

We use the flocculation method to standardize rennet action and curd set. Using a primer culture produces the same sort of standardized predictability with starter bacteria.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Nitai on November 02, 2010, 05:59:21 PM
That induction cooker is like the coolest thing I have ever seen. Unfortunately won't work for the solar system, but still... that is too cool. My mind is reeling with the possibilities. Burfi (condensed milk fudge) without the need to stir constantly to avoid burning! Whoa!
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jakobs on January 14, 2011, 03:52:05 PM
The percentages in the dosage table (1%, 1.5% & 2%), are they the fat percentage of the milk used in the Primer Culture?

Regards,
   Jakob S.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on January 14, 2011, 04:44:57 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jakobs on January 14, 2011, 05:28:12 PM
um... now Im confused.
Are you literally talking about "weight divided by volume"?

I have not seen this in any of the recipes here.

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on January 14, 2011, 05:54:53 PM
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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on January 20, 2011, 06:02:08 AM
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.


Following this with fascination, as usual.  Much like getting a yeast slurry in brewing so that by pitch time there's very little lag (not only ensuring a robust fermentation, but a safer one, as the batch yeast cultures effectively starve off any hope of undesired beasties), this makes great sense. 

The only niggling point - and I know this falls below any sensory threshold, so it truly is niggling - is the "adulteration" of a desired milk with this mother culture, skim milk.  It was much the same for me, when I autoclaved quarts of unhopped, extract wort, as a starter medium for my 15 gallon batches of all-grain wort.  So much so, that I finally went the extra mile and made strictly all-grain batches of starter wort, the autoclaved them for later use. 

I guess I'm also influenced to some extent, reading through Jean-Claude Le Jaouen's book (http://www.amazon.com/Fabrication-Farmstead-Goat-Cheese/dp/0960740430); his disdain for the use of both DVI and cow's milk starter seems apparent.

This peculiar hesitation aside, a wonderful solution, if producing regularly.  Thanks Sailor, and LB, as well.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on January 20, 2011, 08:36:50 AM
I'm with Jean-Claude philosophically, but also am practical. When you go to many farmstead producers now, real traditionalists, they'll have an old cave, old make equipment, may even make their own rennet, but when it comes time to culture, many will use DVI.

You can definitely use your own skim milk and propagate, and you can also use whole milk and thin the mix out before pouring it on. Don't have to use powder or whey media or anything like that. That would keep things unadulterated.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on January 20, 2011, 08:51:36 AM
I'm with Jean-Claude philosophically, but also am practical. When you go to many farmstead producers now, real traditionalists, they'll have an old cave, old make equipment, may even make their own rennet, but when it comes time to culture, many will use DVI.

You can definitely use your own skim milk and propagate, and you can also use whole milk and thin the mix out before pouring it on. Don't have to use powder or whey media or anything like that. That would keep things unadulterated.


I hear you; all life is compromise, and it's just a choice along the continuum where we will choose to go.  In the past, I was almost insanely along the "purist" pole - and I'm not saying this hyperbolically, I literally meant it was a problem - so that I almost ran myself into the ground in pursuit of some notion of "perfection" (in my world, that meant doing literally everything in house, from the maintenance of 12 or so mother stocks, to all pastry, all charcuterie, and everything else, in a region where my beloved crew had never seen anything remotely like French cuisine, and had to be trained from the ground up.  I never did compromise, really, with the exception of buying puff pastry...with a skeleton crew of 3, and myself pulling 17-20 hour days, just one element too much for my garde manger to handle regularly. ). 

 I digress.  I also speak from the vantage point of one who buys his milk, at least until such time as I decide to truly learn, and to produce, or not.  In other words,

(http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p316/pkphotodo/emilylitella.jpg)

(I age myself).
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: janesmilk on January 20, 2011, 07:01:33 PM
"You can definitely use your own skim milk and propagate, and you can also use whole milk and thin the mix out before pouring it on. Don't have to use powder or whey media or anything like that. That would keep things unadulterated."

If I were to use whole milk, how much would it need to be watered down before using? Is there a ratio for that? Could I make a 1 gallon mother and water it down to 2 gallons? And what would be the benefits or downfall of doing that instead of buying skim milk, which I would rather not do. I don't have a cream separator.

Thanks for this info, its great!
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on January 20, 2011, 10:41:37 PM
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.

If you dilute the whole milk with water before making your starter, you reduce the milk fats but also the lactose that the bacteria need to feed on. So you would end up with fewer bacteria in the same volume of starter. Look at it taken to an extreme. Suppose you mixed 99% water and just 1% whole milk. Then there would be very little food (lactose) and much fewer bacteria once ripened.

If using diluted milk you would need to compensate and use more starter. This is difficult to quantify and would need to be done trial and error until you find what works for your situation.

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 07, 2011, 10:27:54 AM
Sailor (or others) - based on my experience with the primer, and some comments by Francois, among others, I'm going to try for a slightly higher primer pH than I got last time, shooting for 5.0 at pitching into the vat.  One of the things I'm wondering is if you, or anyone else, knows the effective, continued activity, moving from the primer inoculation to the chilled primer, where activity is effectively slowed to a standstill?  In other words, presuming a 4.5 "warm" pH, then chilling - in the time it takes to chill the primer, LAB are still working, though increasingly at a slower rate.  Any data on the difference?  I plan on measuring, anyway, but if someone has a previous data point to give a loose guide, I'll use that to work from.

I'm seeking 5.0, and will chill at 5.2, as a starting point.  If this seems reasonable, great.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: iratherfly on February 07, 2011, 01:30:13 PM
Sailor, thanks for a fantastic guide!

Sailor and LB - I always used DVI and was wondering about using mother cultures; how do you choose the % of culture to use for what cheese? (or, what is 1% dosage equivilant to in DVI dosage?).  Also, how long can you keep these? Do you freeze any of it?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on February 07, 2011, 10:26:20 PM
IRF - Mother cultures are totally alive and active, so IMHO there is not a practical direct correlation with a DVI. A Mother culture is much more consistent and predictable so you can't really think in DVI terms. Normal dosage is 1%-2% by weight. If you normally use lower doses of DVI, do the same with a Mother culture. Your make style, pH markers, etc. are all a part of the decision about how much MC to use.

I make MCs in batches of 4 and use it the same week. If your going to keep it more than a week, it's easy to freeze. Just remember to reduce the volume to make room for expansion.

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: iratherfly on February 08, 2011, 12:25:46 PM
Thanks Sailor! I've been wanting to try it for a while so this will give me a good idea about conversion.  I just feel that since my batches of cheese are relatively small and place in my freezer is limited, it won't be so practical in the home setup but in production it sure will be!

Do you find them to be less effective when frozen-defrosted?  Do you defrost them or just dump frozen cubes into the cold milk and let it melt as the milk warms up? If so, do you time out acidification from when milk reaches your desired temp (as opposed to waiting for it to reach temp, put cultures in and start timing then)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on February 08, 2011, 12:59:52 PM
I do not do cubes, but 1/2 gallon batches. These could easily be done as pints or whatever so space shouldn't be the issue. IMHO the culture is not less effective when frozen - no different than DVI really. I almost always use fresh, but I would thaw prior to use. I do feel like I'm making much better cheese since I went to MCs. MUCH more consistent and predictable pH curves. Just add the MC and you can rennet within 5 to 10 minutes.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: aram on May 28, 2011, 07:59:16 PM
Hi all, this topic seems kinda old but it was very helpful as I'm completely new at this and seeing how hard it was for me to find the starters I opted to making a mother culture.

Anyway, I gave this a shot yesterday and the milk thickened and the pH registered at around 4.5. I did everything Sailor said however Link 1 (http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/p/133-Mesophilic-Starter-1-packet.html) & Link 2 (http://glengarrycheesemaking.on.ca/starterscultures.htm) suggest I use the entire package (which in my case is 10g) instead of the tiny amount suggested by Sailor.

So my question is: after letting it sit around 24 hours won't the amount of starter I'd have in each cube depend on the initial amount of starter I added?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on May 28, 2011, 09:08:45 PM
If you start out with as sterile media as possible, the tiny pinch is enough for a small amount of medium. Commercially, the bulk rate is 5-10% starter into new medium when starting up a mother, in order to ensure a fast and vigorous initial growth. But those links are just guidelines based on a method that works. MANY other methods work as as well. 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: aram on May 29, 2011, 01:04:15 PM
Thanks linuxboy! So if I follow a recipe from Ricki Carroll's book, when it says to add 4 ounces prepared starter, I might be adding less starter cells because my mother had less to start with, correct? Or the opposite could be true too, depending on how long I let the cells multiply.

The only reason this is even an issue is because I'm afraid I will get inconsistent results based on the concentration of cells I have in my starter and any other mother cultures I propagate from these. However this still beats the alternative of having to pay 7$ every time I want to make a batch. Is there some kind of test that would ensure I have consistent amounts of cells in my starters?

Thanks again and sorry for all the questions, I'm still fairly new at this. :)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on May 29, 2011, 01:27:51 PM
Quote
I might be adding less starter cells because my mother had less to start with, correct? Or the opposite could be true too, depending on how long I let the cells multiply.
It's not just cells. It's viable, thriving cells. If you culture below ~4.6 pH for meso and ~4.1 for thermo, cells start to die off, and they slow down even before then. The good news is that it doesn't make too big of a difference if you use fresh culture from the same day or culture that's a few days old, provided that you refrigerate the starter as soon as it gels and reaches the correct pH.

That's the beauty of bulk starters, they're not concentrated so there's a bigger variance possible and still have consistent results.

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: aram on May 29, 2011, 03:32:20 PM
OK, good to know! Thanks for the info/reassurance. I think sometime I just need to calm down and not worry about the minute details and just experiment :)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: iain 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?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Susan 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

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on June 29, 2011, 02:27:58 PM
Very good Susan. :)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Susan on June 29, 2011, 02:32:00 PM
I have been paying close attention.  You've taught me well!  ;)
Susan
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: iain 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?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: iain 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?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: iain 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: iain 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Trey Magnus 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Trey Magnus 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Trey Magnus on August 04, 2011, 05:27:41 PM
Outstanding, thanks for the quick response.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on August 05, 2011, 12:15:09 PM
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.

I find that the thermos "kick" way too fast when I incubate at 110F. So does my yogurt. 6 or 7 hours is usually more than enough if you incubate thermos (or yogurt) at 110F. So as LB suggests, I lower my incubation temp to 100F and they can go overnight. I do Mother Cultures at the end of my day and the Thermos are good to go the next morning. Mesos at room temp will usually take a few hours longer. If you start getting much visible whey at the top of your container, you have gone too long. It's much better to under incubate than risk over acidification. In your routine, just be consistent in the way you do things.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Trey Magnus on August 05, 2011, 01:50:56 PM
Well your post makes me feel a bit better Sailor.  Yesterday evening I made a 1/2 gallon of TA61 and 1/2 gallon of LH100.  Stuck them in my oven with just the light on (it maintains 100F very tightly) and this morning when I got up I decided to check on them.  It had only been 11 hours (I was expecting 24+) but I decided I would give them a check anyway.  The LH100 was like a thick pancake batter.  Very consistent with no lumps and was at a pH of 4.11.  Perfect.  I quickly put it into ice trays and got it to the freezer.  I was a little confused as how it was ready so fast but very pleased with it.

Then I checked the TA61.  Upon initial visual inspection, it was not as thick so I thought it might need some more time, but when I checked the pH,  unfortunately it was already down to 3.75.  I went ahead and put it into ice trays and into the freezer also but feel uneasy about trying to use it.  I guess I will just toss it when I get home tonight (wonder if it will hurt to feed it to the chickens?) and make another batch of TA61 right before I go to bed tonight and start checking it at 7 hours when I get up in the morning.

Any explanation as to why the TA61 was thinner but already down to a lower pH?

As with everything , this is a learning experience and I am excited about perfecting the processes and using the MC's.

Thanks again for this thread and all the comments.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on August 05, 2011, 04:17:37 PM
Think of the "TA" as "Thermo Acidifier". I don't know if that is the company's logic, but it is certainly mine and helps me keep from confusing thermo cultures. I think the same way with Meso - "MA" = "Meso Acidifier".

So the "TA's" mission is to gobble lactose and acidify quickly, but it does not do a very good job of utilizing all the lactose. That's where the LH steps in. The LH100 does not metabolize lactose as quickly, however it finishes up where the TA stops. Once the TA hits a certain point in the time curve, the pH drops like a rock. This is one of the reasons that thermo cheeses often stick to cheesecloth and everything else. So that's exactly what you are seeing with the Mother Cultures. The TA acidifies quicker, so it doesn't need to incubate as long. Like I said previously - usually 6 to 7 hours. Another way to manage things is to use less dry culture to prime the milk. Cut the bacteria in half and it will take longer. Bacteria grow logarithmically so it will NOT take twice as long.

From a practical standpoint, your TA has over acidified and will not be as robust as it should be. Many bacteria are still alive and viable, but some will not survive the acidic conditions. You can either use a little more or give it more time to ripen. In any case, use it soon, and don't expect it to last too long, even if frozen. Keep in mind that when using a Mother Culture you are not only adding the bacteria, but you are adding the acid that was produced as well. So you don't want to add too much MC either or your acidity will be lower than it should be at rennet time. Milk for MC is cheap, so personally I would make some fresh.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: fied on September 03, 2011, 09:39:13 AM
A really excellent discussion and far removed from my do-it-by-eye/tradition knowledge.

As a child, I saw how cultures were made by adding the previous day's culture to new milk in quantities enough to fit the current batch of milk; cheese was made every other day. Some of those cultures must have had their origin decades before I was born. I grew up making them this way and didn't know until teenage years that they were they equivalents of yoghurt, sour cream and creme fraiche; they were all just called clabber, a couple for warm milk and one for what was called "hot milk." I don't bother to make them now, but use very good locally made live creme fraiche and yoghurt instead.

I suppose there are two points worth considering about the traditional methods. One is that farmers' wives had a good, if unarticulated knowledge of cheese making, as my family did. The other is that some of the old bacteriological strains cultivated on individual farms must have died out with the increasing industrialisation of cheese making.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Queixo on September 10, 2011, 05:14:45 AM
I've got my first true starter (MA400) now, but given the price I paid for it, the first thing I did was to search for a thread like this.
Thank you Sailor for bringing it up   :)
I've got a new and more reliable pH meter too, so I HAD to do something with my new toys. Inoculated 200 gr of UHT milk with a really tiny amount of MA400. I have a digital scale with an accuracy of 0.01gr which was unable to weigh the starter, so maybe it was around 5 mg. Managed to keep the milk's temperature at 32ºC for 20-something hours and plotted the data. I'm not sure if this is of any use for someone. Here it is, anyway:
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: george13 on September 10, 2011, 05:36:49 AM
Sailor, or whoever may know, if you don'tmind, a slight deviation in cultures but not in topic.  Although P. Roqueforti is a fungus rather than bacteria, is there a way to incubate a similar culture/colony of fungii for later use.  It seems the price of the powder has gone considerably up as of late.  Any ideas? I often thought of scraping some from my blues and saving, but was not sure what else was coming with it.
Thanks
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on September 10, 2011, 06:39:32 AM
Here you go, attached. Old school bread style approach from Hussong and Hammer from Iowa that you can do at home. You can improve on the old method by using modern lab approaches to purify the conidia, such as pureeing the media after fermentation, filtering out the solids, and centrifuging a few times to collect the pure conidia layer that you can then pelletize or freeze outright.

This also works well for aspergillus, for anyone who wants to propagate koji. Make sure your bread has no preservatives.

edit: also see http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php?topic=2273.0 (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php?topic=2273.0) I posted this answer before, the link in that thread is to the paper I attached. Apparently, the link system changed so the old link doesn't work. Just as well, we should have the PDF here for reference, anyway.

Queixo, mate, thanks for being so excited about making an acidification curve chart. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm the only one :) Cheese to you :)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: george13 on September 10, 2011, 07:50:10 AM
Great stuff, thanks.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Tomer1 on September 10, 2011, 09:41:07 AM
I tried the french method using sourdough WW which I intenionally over-acidified to ensure safer enviroment.
I got some cat's hair and white mold in some places but inside where I made the slit, the bread was all blue (green).
I tried making cambazola from it without much success,had some yeast contamination (not sure if its because of the dried culture because I also used a piece of older cam instead of pure PC powder.
Im not sure I want to ruin 10-20 liters of milk just to save few bucks when Its safer to reuse an older piece of my blue cheese.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Delislem on September 13, 2011, 08:01:41 PM
OK, let's see if I got this right.

- I make 1 liter of MC as per Sailor explanation
- I use some for my cheese the next day
- I freeze the rest, let's say, in 10ml cubes
- When I start my cheese I use one of those cubes per liter for 1% or two for 2%

Would that be a good way to do that?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on September 13, 2011, 08:06:35 PM
How much milk are you using. It is 1% by weight of the amount of milk.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Delislem on September 13, 2011, 08:17:52 PM
I'm going by Sailor's table. 8 liters of milk at 1% would require 80ml of MC. I'm trying to figure out if my "system" of freezing in 10ml cubes is a good approach to keeping and using my MC as I'm not making cheese on any kind of scale...yet  ;) ...that would require 1 liter of MC in the span of time it can be used fresh.

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on September 13, 2011, 08:58:31 PM
Oh, sure. So long as you add the right weight of bulk culture per weight of milk, you can freeze however you want.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Mix spanish cheese on November 09, 2011, 12:43:01 PM
if u don´t have ph metre , and only ph liquid , how u know u got it , can i do onother test for know if it´s ok  MC ready?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on November 09, 2011, 01:36:57 PM
You can tell by coagulation. Generally, when it has set, it is ready.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer 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?

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer 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)

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Caseus 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Tomer1 on March 31, 2012, 03:09:34 PM
Is there such a think as an induction unit with low temp range variation (30-40c)?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: luiscaraubas 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
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: luiscaraubas on June 24, 2012, 02:40:01 PM
Can I use UHT milk?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: luiscaraubas 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?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer 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.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jersey12 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:)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: margaretsmall 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
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jersey12 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.

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jersey12 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!)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jersey12 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
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Wolfy 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 (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,2110.msg27085.html#msg27085) 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?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Wolfy 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. ;)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer 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.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso 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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer 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.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Smurfmacaw 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.

cheers

Mike
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: CNYquesero 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?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on June 19, 2013, 10:26:19 PM
Quote
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.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Smurfmacaw 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?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on June 28, 2013, 04:15:24 PM
Not all bacteria are good candidates for Mother Cultures. Adjuncts are often weak acidifiers and have differing growth needs, so they may not set well. In which case you can still use the dried culture. Mother Cultures don't create a "super bug". They are just awake, active, and ready to go to work. So there is no concern that it is going to be too vigorous unless you overdo the starter quantity.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay,
Post by: John@PC on June 30, 2013, 07:15:56 AM
A question about induction heating plates:  I looked over the specifications of several listed on Amazon and while there were several listed under $100 none of these had precision temperature control (i.e. usually would have 10 temperature settings at most).  The only one I found that had precise temperature control was the Adcraft IND-B120V which looks to be the same one Sailor is using.  Price is a bit over $200 incl. shipping.  More $$$ for sure, but if the "plate" acts like a true temperature controller (similar to a sous vide controller) than isn't the extra cost well worth it? 

Thanks to all for this excellent MC info.  I wasn't aware it could be frozen, so I going to give Boofer's ice-cube method a try.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on June 30, 2013, 04:01:22 PM
I doubt that an induction cooker would be precise or stable enough. When you control an induction cooker, you are actually just regulating the intensity of the magnetic field as determined where the pot meets the cooktop. The pot itself becomes the actual heating element.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: John@PC on July 10, 2013, 05:22:07 AM
Made my first set of MCs (MM100, MA4002, LH100 and TA61).  Followed Sailor's guide with exception of making 1 qt. each instead of 2.  All went well until the next morning when I grabbed my pH sensor and found it was not working  :P.  Took the batteries out and noticed some wetness inside (this is supposed to be waterproof ???).  On closer inspection I found a crack in the side that must been source of leak.  So now I had 4 mother cultures and no way to measure pH :'(.  I read through this thread and decided that the consistency of the milk was pretty near where it should.  The thermos did have a very slight bit of whey separation (I should have checked sooner) but went ahead and froze into cubes.

Before next batch I'm going to get a "good" pH sensor.  Question is:  When I thaw out the cubes can I check pH then and decide whether to use them or toss and use the DVI?  Or can I adjust MC dosage based on pH being above or below targets?

In spite of my screw-up with the sensor it is an easy procedure.  In hindsight I probably should have started with one culture for my maiden voyage and started checking consistency earlier.  Thanks for the sage advice Sailor, Boofer and others.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on July 10, 2013, 08:52:58 AM
John, These days I rarely check the pH on my MCs. When the milk sets, they are done. Of course I do these at least twice a week, so I have a consistent routine that works really well. A little bit of whey on the Thermos is OK, but you normally want to stop the incubation before that happens. You do not need to check the pH of the cubes before using. The acid is minimal and what you are shooting for is an elevated level of active bacteria, not a certain pH level. Just go for it.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: John@PC on July 10, 2013, 10:23:34 AM
Thanks Sailor, that makes me feel better.  I was planning on doing a 4 gal. batch for a Tomme (with MA 4000) tomorrow and didn't know whether to use the cubes or the DVI.    My second cheese give-away goes to you for helping take the mystery out of MC's especially for all of us newbies with the excellent essay and feedback.  Heck, maybe you should charge us a fraction of the money we save on cultures  ^-^.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on July 10, 2013, 10:30:52 AM
Quote
The acid is minimal and what you are shooting for is an elevated level of active bacteria, not a certain pH level.
I have found most starters to be so resilient that unless you're dealing with something with high osmotolerance such as bulgaricus or acidophilus, a culture will have roughly the same viability numbers for 2-3 days at culturing temps. That's a wide window of use, all before you put them in the fridge for storage. For freezing, slightly different story, as there's cryoprotectant, pH, and other factors to consider.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: zvi on July 13, 2013, 07:48:04 PM
linuxboy, I left my thermos (Wrapped in a cooler) for about 32 hrs as I couldn't get to them to put them in the fridge. On the LH100 I noticed about 1 1/2" of whey, on the TA 61 I noticed maybe an 1/8" of whey on the top. I saw from the previous post that this won't affect the viability if you want to use it now (or put it in the fridge for a couple of days). What did you mean by " For freezing, slightly different story, as there's cryoprotectant, pH, and other factors to consider." Can I still freeze either of these thermos with decent results...Perhaps let it ripen for a little longer. What do you think?

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on July 13, 2013, 08:28:38 PM
Quote
Can I still freeze either of these thermos with decent results...
Yes, use within 3 months after freezing.
Quote
Perhaps let it ripen for a little longer. What do you think?
No, do not do this. They're a bit beyond done, especially for LH. Longer times are not too bad for refrigeration. For freezing, it's a lot of stress. Doable more if you have single strains. for something like LH, the ratios will change if you have some abuse (low pH, freezing, etc)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Smurfmacaw on July 13, 2013, 09:10:22 PM
My take on this is that I am a hobby cheese maker.  I don't really have to worry about the bottom line.....for me, a great result is worth a few extra pennies or dollars.  I am totally sold on making a mother culture.  I brewed beer for years and made many pitching cultures which is the way to go since it removes the chances of contamination since the yeast (in the case of beer) has a firm foothold and can outcompete any "invaders".

I have a number of easily sterilized containers that I can put a 1 to 2 percent amount of desired culture in and make it according to Sailor's instructions.  Works a champ so far.  I like it much much  better than just tossing in some dvi powder and hoping.  I'm still having pH meter difficulties so I'm not sure if things are working perfectly but the results are pretty good.  I'm going to buy a Hanna 99161 since my ExStick 100 (and 110) seem to have issues.  I know a lot of people have had no issues but I'm on my fourth meter and it still measures all fresh milk at 6.9 or above....(and yes, I know how to calibrate it and I have made sure i have fresh and reliable calibration solutions.)

To be frank, the timing has been working for me and I am positive the mother cultures are a huge benefit.  My procedure is to take one of my sterilized containers, they are about 8 oz, and fill 90% with skim milk.  I heat to 200 degrees and hold for 30 min.  Then I cool in water until desired temp (85 for meso and 105 for thermo).  Add a small amount of dvi culture and let it set at temp over night.  If thermo, I put it in a cooler filled with 110 temp water so it stays at the right temp......in the morning, the milk is pretty much yoghurt and works perfectly.  We use skim milk for our breakfast cereal so it's a small price to pay.  As far as I can tell, even with an expensive culture to cost is pretty negligible.

This whole process, other than swearing at the ExStick, takes less than 45 minutes the night before the make.  Yes, you save some of the DVI culture, 1/16 tsp vs 1/4 tsp, but that is not the point.  You are making a nice active starter that gets to work right away vice waiting 30 minutes or more to "wake up".

Bottom line - cheese making is fun.  Way fun.

Linuxboy - I'm really into the mechanics (although I'm a physicist, I still really appreciate the science behind my obsessive hobbies....What texts are out there to help me move toward the understanding of what is really happening in a cheese?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on July 13, 2013, 09:23:57 PM
Quote
mechanics

Physics, rheology, or physical chemistry? If you want quantum, that one's easy. If we're looking at a box with cheese in it, wondering if someone has taken a nibble, rest assured when we open the box, the cheese will be nibbled if I'm there. :P.
Quote
What texts are out there to help me move toward the understanding of what is really happening in a cheese?

start here http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,6489.msg46262.html (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,6489.msg46262.html)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: John@PC on July 14, 2013, 07:17:39 AM
This whole process [making a mother culture], other than swearing at the ExStick, takes less than 45 minutes the night before the make.  Yes, you save some of the DVI culture, 1/16 tsp vs 1/4 tsp, but that is not the point.  You are making a nice active starter that gets to work right away vice waiting 30 minutes or more to "wake up"
I made my first mother cultures a few days ago, and made my first cheese (tomme-style) using it two days ago.  I agree with your sentiments as well about the advantages but I think you're underestimating the yield of MC vs. DVI.

Per Sailor's recipe:
1. 1/32 t DVI inoculates 64 oz. mother culture
2.  Assuming 1.5% MC addition rate, 1 gal (128 oz) milk would require 2 oz. MC
3.  Thus a 64 oz. MC made using 1/32 t DVI should inoculate 32 gal milk
4.  Dividing 32 by 1/32 (.03125) gives you 1024* gal. per tsp. original DVI.

Using DVI (as is) @ 1/4 t per 3 gal batch a full tsp. will inoculate about 12 gal. milk.  Unless I've got a bug in the cheese pot::) that comes to a 85x  :o ??? advantage using mother culture?  I put the question mark there because that is really hard to believe and I need a peer review to avoid everlasting embarrassment  :-[.

*For you binary thinkers, does this mean a tsp. of DVI would yield a "10-byte" or 1024 lb cheese"? 
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on July 14, 2013, 03:44:39 PM
I use just 48 oz. for 38 gallons of milk, so I am around 1% on most cheeses. Bacteria double their population every 20 minutes, so I add the MC early as the milk is heating up. This gives the bacteria 20-30 minutes to kick in. After the milk is up to temp, I wait a little while for Mesos and watch the pH. Thermos don't do much at normal starting temps, so there's no real need to wait. I would rather use less and ease into the make instead of rushing things and risking over acidification.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: John@PC on July 14, 2013, 06:10:09 PM
I use just 48 oz. for 38 gallons of milk, so I am around 1% on most cheeses

I was being conservative but if I adjust for your dosage it comes out to 1,621 gal milk per 1 tsp. culture which is even more unbelievable!

For instance, Coozit's 50 DU MM-series culture packet (http://www.getculture.com/MM-Series1.html) says it typically contains 6 tsp. and retails for $11.  Using the mother culture method,  6 tsp. x 1621 gal  = infinity and beyond almost 10,000 gal!!  Assuming if you directly inoculate $ would be around $.14 per gal, and if you use mother culture cost per gal would be 1 tenth of one penny???

I know that $.14 per gal. milk for culture is negligible considering you're spending $5+ for a gal. of milk.  It's just that the difference in efficiency is so huge.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Smurfmacaw on July 14, 2013, 06:20:52 PM
Engineers = Arithmetic........You guys! ::)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: John@PC on July 14, 2013, 08:06:52 PM
Engineers = Arithmetic........You guys! ::)
Hey, what's wrong with math considering physics focuses on watching a bouncing ball?  I suggest a truce and here's a piece offering: I've got a Reblochon I've been ready to cut for a week and even though it's small (1 lb.) I'll send you a slice.  I did some extra washing with b linens and it's VERY aromatic so maybe I should reconsider as it could shut down every Fed Ex distribution hub between here and San Diego. 
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Smurfmacaw on July 16, 2013, 08:21:05 AM
The math part I'm pretty decent at, it's when I add all the numbers and try to make the answer come out (i.e. the arithmetic part) where I get sloppy.  The little math refresher I'm taking has really sharpened me up on that though since the LMS they use takes no prisoners when it comes to getting the numbers exactly right.  Truce accepted though - I've been meaning to try a Reblochon.  I'm slowly conditioning my wife to like stinky cheese.  We had an Epoisse the other night and she commented that once the rind was removed it was really good.  Even my daughter liked it.  I've got a Tomme that has a washed rind and a nice orange glow is showing through the color of the wine wash.  Not too stinky but I think it's going to be good.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: John@PC on July 16, 2013, 06:01:57 PM
This was the first "successful" cheese I've made using b. linens as stated above and I plan to make this on a regular basis.  My wife loves blues and was ambivalent about the "stinky's" but she (and I) loved this cheese.  Great aroma (pungent yet not overpowering), and a taste like a medium aged brie on steroids. 

I've been watching your Tomme posts  with interest and made my own Tomme-style a few days ago.  Did my first washing (brushing) today with a light brine with a 10th of a smidgen of b. linens.  I never really realized how important it is to follow the washing protocol until I did this reblochon.  This is a 4 lb. Tomme so I will follow protocol better this time  :). 
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on July 23, 2013, 09:49:42 AM
I recently had some questions about using outdated DVI and how that might relate to Mother Cultures.

The irony is that it doesn't matter how old the DVI cultures are when making Mother Cultures. Look at it this way. For simplicity sake assume that a "fresh" DVI has 100,000 active bacteria per teaspoon. Use 1/32 tsp and in X amount of time at the right temperature you have a perfect MC. Two years later that same DVI will have lost potency as some of the bacteria die. So if 50% of them die you now have only 50,000 active bacteria per teaspoon. This makes a huge difference when used directly in milk. However you still just use 1/32 tsp as a starter for the MC. The bacteria that are still alive will wake up and ultimately produce the same strength MC. I have packets of DVI that are over 2 years old.

There have been posts recently about cost savings/yield with MC. While that is definitely true there are many other reasons to use the technique. I feel like I get better quality and more consistent cheese. I am making 4 quarts of MC right now - MM-100, Aroma B, TA-61 and LH-100 - based on my production schedule for the rest of the week.

Ed Puterbaugh
Boone Creek Creamery
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer on July 24, 2013, 08:11:46 AM
There have been posts recently about cost savings/yield with MC. While that is definitely true there are many other reasons to use the technique. I feel like I get better quality and more consistent cheese.
I like the convenience of grabbing a pre-sized vacuum bag of MC cubes, typically 8 cubes for a 4 gallon batch, and adding them to the milk. I don't have to crack open and violate the vacuum-sealed culture bag that contains everything. My ripening times used to be quite long, but now come down to renneting within an hour or less of adding the mother culture cubes. Good stuff.

I need to redo some MC selections this week. I've run out of Aroma B for one.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: David Helmers on July 24, 2013, 09:44:39 AM
I usually just use the DVI, but saw the advantage to mother cultures, so I made a batch of MM100 and innoculated my milk with this last Sunday. This was my standard Caerphilly make that I do all the time, so very familiar with it. This time I got a very noticeably more diacetyl aroma; the whole room smelled of butter. The milk was at 90°f. The mother culture didn't smell any more buttery than you'd expect for MM100, just the cheese milk during the make. I usually ripen the DVI at 90°f for 45 minutes, and it usually smells like the mother culture I made.
Dave in CT
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: John@PC on July 25, 2013, 06:08:58 PM
Noting that the milk sterilization process before inoculation is a time/temperature function, can you achieve the same degree of sterilization at a lower temperature (<200F) if a longer time is maintained?  Also, is anyone out there familiar with the Budde method of sterilization? (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/buddeized+milk)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: bgreen on August 05, 2013, 01:39:28 AM
Hi
Can someone clarify for me when the milk is heated up to 200 degrees F.....in the pot of water is the milk in the container completely sealed or has the lid been cracked to relieve pressure.... wanting to avoid exploding milk.... thanks
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on August 05, 2013, 08:01:19 AM
The bottles are sealed because you need to sterilize the lids as well. Don't over fill the containers and do NOT boil the milk and you won't have pressure problems.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: bgreen on August 06, 2013, 02:55:12 AM
Thanks Sailor.... a making my first culture tonight... cheers
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: bgreen on August 06, 2013, 03:07:03 PM
Hi

Well i have been making my culture over night of Flora Danica.... used low fat milk of 1.5% fat.  Think i have followed all the instructions.... pH when i started was 7.1.  after about 12 hrs sitting in a water bath at 21 Celsius the pH is now 4.71... aiming for 4.2 to 4.5.  My question is re the consistency of the milk.... it looks like it is separating a bit with some lumps and almost has a curdled look to it... is this what is supposed to happen or is something going wrong..... Thanks for your guidance again

Cheers Bruce
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on August 06, 2013, 03:45:08 PM
Quote
after about 12 hrs sitting in a water bath at 21 Celsius the pH is now 4.71... aiming for 4.2 to 4.5.
Why? You're at colony saturation now...

Quote
it looks like it is separating a bit with some lumps and almost has a curdled look to it... is this what is supposed to happen
yes, you made curdled milk, so it will look like curdled milk. Your temp at 21 C is a tad low, but depends what you're trying to accomplish for strain dominance.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: bgreen on August 06, 2013, 06:10:47 PM
Hi Linuxboy

Thanks for your reply....

after about 12 hrs sitting in a water bath at 21 Celsius the pH is now 4.71... aiming for 4.2 to 4.5. 

In the instructions Sailor indicated this was the target range for meso culture... i assumed that should be what i should be aiming for.

yes, you made curdled milk, so it will look like curdled milk. Your temp at 21 C is a tad low, but depends what you're trying to accomplish for strain dominance.

I was wanting to make a culture that i could then user as the starter....  is it supposed to have more the consistency of yogurt rather than curdled and lumpy?  Also what would be the desirable temp is 21 C is a bit low.

Will this be usable as a starter culture?

Thanks for the help

Regards Bruce
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on August 06, 2013, 06:45:43 PM
Quote
In the instructions Sailor indicated this was the target range for meso culture... i assumed that should be what i should be aiming for.
Read the whole thread, there's a bit more to it. You can wait that long, but it's not required.

Quote
is it supposed to have more the consistency of yogurt rather than curdled and lumpy?
Not really, no. Depends on your milk. Should be vaguely like buttermilk.

Quote
Also what would be the desirable temp is 21 C is a bit low.
I would target more like 23C for FD. You want a balance between aroma/flavor and acidifiers. Multi-strain and undefined strain starters are more tricky to culture out. Commercially, they culture the blend under different conditions and then re-blend to reach the target strain ratios.
Quote
Will this be usable as a starter culture?
Sure, it has active bacteris.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: bgreen on August 06, 2013, 11:14:21 PM
Thanks again Linuxboy  .. i might throw this culture and start again after rereading the whole thread.  I will try letting the milk sit at 23 C degrees while it does its thing :). 

So in reading your comments, i could have stopped when the milk started to thinken up rather than waiting for a specific pH level?

Cheers Bruce
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on August 06, 2013, 11:18:07 PM
Quote
i could have stopped when the milk started to thinken up rather than waiting for a specific pH level?
Basically, yes. Because that corresponds to a pH of ~4.8, which is a tipping point when meso bacteria don't reproduce all that much any more. Your viability numbers are not going to be drastically higher by waiting longer.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on August 07, 2013, 08:20:07 AM
Don't pitch your culture. It will be fine.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: bgreen on August 17, 2013, 05:11:39 PM
Hi all

Well after making my primer culture... i got to try it out this weekend on my first cheese.... i had been getting frustrated with using direct set cultures... with my milk having a ph of about 6.73 i was finding i was often waiting 1 - 3hrs for the ripening!...  Well with this after adding the Primer culture i was at my ph target within 10 mins!

Thanks Sailor!
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer on August 18, 2013, 08:41:23 AM
i was often waiting 1 - 3hrs for the ripening!...  Well with this after adding the Primer culture i was at my ph target within 10 mins!
Congratulations on seeing the light! A cheese to you for this realization.

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on January 14, 2014, 02:45:09 PM
Sailor, nice to be back and see this thread again.  Once I went to primer cultures, I never looked back.  You've my eternal gratitude for this, and so many other contributions.

Unfortunately, I'm starting over again.  I'd like a water bath system that can do double duty - maintain the inoculated primer cultures at their needed temps, and a square configuration - i.e., not a stockpot stacked in another one - for cheese makes.  The induction cookers I've found are over $200, will keep looking but that's a bit much for me, given that the purpose I'd have for the cooker is exactly as Sailor has laid out above. 

Any food warmers I've seen - that would be controlled by a PID, as Yoav showed so well, or by John@PC's elegant solution - cannot handle a 6" deep hotel pan, so a 5 gallon tomme make is out (it took Pav reminding me one can, er, stack stockpots to get the benefits of doing makes with water heating).  Anyone have any thoughts?  Either an idea where to obtain an induction cooker that would do the job, but is under $100, or a square water bath solution, controlled, that could handle 5 gallons of milk?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on January 14, 2014, 08:34:09 PM
Hi Paul, glad to see your virtual face around here again.

Unless you are trying to be really strain specific, I don't see the need to over engineer the MC process. We make MCs at least every other day and have developed a very workable protocol.

Mesos are VERY lightly inoculated at the end of the day before we go home. The sterilized/cooled milk is around 90-95F and we simply wrap a towel around the bottle to slow down heat loss. The warm milk gives a turbo start to the bacteria for a couple of hours and then it incubates at room temp for the rest of the night. Next morning the culture is fresh and ready to use.

Thermos are a little different. We make these first thing in the morning, start with milk around 115-120F and inoculate a little heavier. (More bacteria means faster ripening). We incubate in a dehydrator at 115F but you can just put the bottles in a pot of 120F water and wrap with towels. You can also use an insulated food bag or drink cooler. Our Thermos are done within 4 to 5 hours before the end of our work day. Because of a lag in the pH curve, many Thermos come on strong towards the end so it's important not to allow them to over-ripen. When they have visibly thickened to a medium yogurt texture, stop the process and stick them in the fridge.

Keep in mind that commercial cultures that are a blend of Meso & Thermo are not good candidates for making MCs.

I like uncomplicated, practical solutions. :)

Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on January 14, 2014, 08:50:24 PM
Thank you, Sailor, both for the welcome and for your help.  Simple is good.  Reality has finally drummed that into me, I'm afraid - though I will fight to complicate things, to my dying breath it seems. ;D

Looking forward to this so much - just tommes and reblochons, no therm makes for the time being.  Your system is perfect and was such a boon when I first saw it and implemented it.  Thanks again, sir.   :)

Paul
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: SwiftPint on January 21, 2014, 07:52:10 AM
Great guide,  loads of really useful info here.

Quick question.  Raising the milk for the starter to 200f is to pasteurise it right?
If I am using store bought milk,  it will already have been pastuerised and packaged in a sterile environment.  So, can I get away with sanitizing the outside of the milk bottles?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on January 21, 2014, 08:39:04 AM
If you take an unopened bottle of store bought, pasteurized milk and leave it on your kitchen counter at room temperature for a few days, what happens? It spoils. That's because there are lots of bacteria and other microbes that can and do survive pasteurization.

So, the purpose of heating the milk is to sterilize it, not pasteurize. There is a big difference.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: SwiftPint on January 21, 2014, 10:09:12 AM
ahah,  got it.  That makes sense.  Thanks Sailor!
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 04, 2014, 09:48:02 AM
Sorry if this has been covered - I think it's been covered with respect to using a blend, something like Alp-D, but not specifically this.  I plan to do a reb make, closely following Yoav's recipe and thread.  My bent would be to do a MC for the meso (here, in the absence of meso B, using FD), and direct set for the thermo, here, in the absence of MY800, using thermo B. 

I can do a MC for both, but effectively, given the primarily meso (if higher meso range) nature of this make, with thermo's as stabilizers, enhancers over a longer haul, I presume - any issue with just doing a meso MC and adding the therm., directly?  I expect not?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on February 04, 2014, 10:01:36 AM
You should definitely not do a MC for a blend of Meso and Thermo. Not sure why you want to do a MC for the Meso and a direct set for the Thermo. I do MCs of both and then just add them at the same time to my warmed milk when making cheese. Combining a MC and a direct set can be done, but seems confusing for getting the proportions right.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 04, 2014, 10:09:57 AM
OK, will do that, Sailor.  To be clear, I didn't mean blending both and then doing a single MC with both strains, but rather a meso MC, and on the day of the make, adding the meso MC and then direct set thermo.  Recipe calls for 1/8 tsp of both for direct set, so I was going to do 1% b.e. on the meso MC, and 1/8 tsp thermo direct set. 

Sounds like it will be better to do a MC for both, and if the recipe calls for equal percentages of direct set both, doing an equal b.e. addition for both.

Thanks for the help,

Paul
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on February 04, 2014, 10:32:57 AM
If you combine a MC of a Meso and a direct set of a Thermo, you should consider the difference in the culture dynamics. The Meso MC will be much more active the instant that you add it to your milk. The Thermo DVI on the other hand will have to spend considerable time rehydrating, waking up, and becoming active. So, the proportions after 30-60 minutes will NOT be the same as what you started with. Say you start with a 50/50 theoretical mix. Because the Meso is going to grow so much faster, after an hour you may have an 80/20 Meso to Thermo ratio.

Now, that being said, Mesos are going to grow much faster at warm milk starter temperatures anyway. Thermos grow, but they aren't going to hit their optimum until a cheese is in the cooking phase at 100F or more. So from a practical standpoint, the beginning ratio with a blended MC/DVI may not be critical anyway.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 04, 2014, 10:34:31 AM
Thanks, Sailor, hadn't thought of that.  Perfect, much appreciated!
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 06, 2014, 10:31:31 AM
Just a data point, doing reblochon today.  Pre-matured milk with both meso (FD) and Thermo (MY800) MC.  Milk came into the vat at pH 6.66.  CacL at 1/4 tsp/gallon, so for 4 gallons milk, 4.9 ml CaCl. 

On adding both MCs (5 ounces each), drop was strong - 6.52, when target is 6.55 for renneting. I renneted immediately. Floc time was 5:30, so this is all going way too fast - renneted on the basis of 75ml/1000 lbs (2.6 ml/4 gallons milk).  Temp is 94F.  I used 1% b.e., so next time I think I'll use less meso MC, and go with the thermo as DVI to see.  Back to the vat....
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer on February 06, 2014, 02:00:28 PM
Just a data point, doing reblochon today.  Pre-matured milk with both meso (FD) and Thermo (MY800) MC.  Milk came into the vat at pH 6.66.  CacL at 1/4 tsp/gallon, so for 4 gallons milk, 4.9 ml CaCl. 

On adding both MCs (5 ounces each), drop was strong - 6.52, when target is 6.55 for renneting. I renneted immediately. Floc time was 5:30, so this is all going way too fast - renneted on the basis of 75ml/1000 lbs (2.6 ml/4 gallons milk).  Temp is 94F.  I used 1% b.e., so next time I think I'll use less meso MC, and go with the thermo as DVI to see.  Back to the vat....
Wouldn't this be better suited for the Washed Rind (http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/board,85.0.html) section?

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 06, 2014, 02:03:31 PM
Boof, it's more about the acid and renneting profile I experienced using two mother cultures, something I've never done before.  As we talked about DVI v. mother cultures above, it's germane.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Boofer on February 06, 2014, 02:14:32 PM
It just seemed like you were starting a Reblochon thread....

-Boofer-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 06, 2014, 02:18:01 PM
Nope.  More about a regular way of going about things for all my cheeses.  Until I source (again) good fresh milk, I'm intrigued by inoculating pasteurized with a mother culture, in a prematuration; and with mesos and thermos both going into the make, as discussed above, I think the experience today is germane and, I hope, helpful to others.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on February 06, 2014, 10:10:07 PM
Pre-matured milk with both meso (FD) and Thermo (MY800) MC. On adding both MCs (5 ounces each), drop was strong - 6.52, when target is 6.55 for renneting. I renneted immediately. Floc time was 5:30, so this is all going way too fast. I used 1% b.e., so next time I think I'll use less meso MC, and go with the thermo as DVI to see.

FWIW, several observations. The Meso FD is a very slow acidifier. The MY800 is actually a Meso/Thermo blend of Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactococcus lactis, and Lactoccus bulgaricus. The Lactococci are both Mesos. The L. lactis can be a fairly rapid acidifier, depending on the strain. Just as important, the FD (Flora danica) also contains L. lactis, so you are double dosing a meso acidifier.

As I said previously, IMHO you should not make MCs from meso/thermo blends. The results are too unpredictable for me. Your inoculation rate was 1% for both the Meso and the blend, so your total inoculation was 2%. IMHO, that is too much when using MCs, especially for a Reblochon. Slow and steady wins the race.

Unless you have a REALLY expensive lab grade pH meter, the difference between 6.52 and 6.55 is statistically irrelevant. Most low to medium grade meters have a margin of error of .05 or more, so don't sweat over a couple of 1/100ths. Your strong initial drop was NOT caused by the action of the bacteria on your 4 gallons of milk. Instead, what you experienced was the acid already produced in the Mother Cultures. That is a very positive reason for using MCs, but also a good reason not to use too much.

Based on the Floc time, your real problem was using WAY too much rennet and that effects the rest of the make and beyond - well into aging.

So, my suggestions remain the same. If you want to use MY800 or any Meso/Thermo blend, don't use a MC approach. Since the FD is redundant for L. lactis, you can just drop that and do the MY800 as DVI. HOWEVER, the FD also contains L. diacetylactis which adds a buttery flavor. So I would do a MC of the meso FD and a MC of the thermo S. themophilus. That leaves the L. bulgaricus. This little guy does not do much for initial acidification but plays a bigger role in aging so it can be added as a DVI adjunct culture.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 07, 2014, 06:11:15 AM
Thank you, Sailor, generous and helpful as always, and boy did I miss the boat.  Apologies to all, I hope my misguided thinking didn't steer anyone wrong.  It occurs to me I might be running into the same issue on using this method with MA4001, a go-to culture blend I use a lot (I culture it at meso temp). 

At any rate, I knew the quick acidification wasn't due to any ripening in the vat, and presumed the instant drop was due to instant, added acid from the two cultures.  I just couldn't figure out why, given my presumption of thermo for the MY800.  Now I know. :-[  The only thing I might try - just an experiment, knowing it's shortcoming as it's still playing with MC and a blend - is to inoculate with half the amounts of each culture, and see what I end up with in the vat, and with the finished cheese.  But that presumes I would culture up the MY800 in the meso range...whereas it's a blend so...likely a non-starter.  FWIW, I cultured the MY800 up at 110F, presuming it's a thermo.  So would presume I effectively stymied most of the meso culturing, rendering them useless.  All told, quite off, obviously, and thank you, Sailor, for pointing me in thr right direction, again.

The renneting still puzzles me, but as Boof pointed out, I don't want to hijack your thread, Sailor.  I went in at 7.5 ml/100 lbs milk (2.6 milliliters/4 gallons batch milk), the low end of the 7-9ml/100 lbs milk range, so wondering if here, too, I've spaced something. But I can take it up in another thread.  EDIT: 75-90 ml SINGLE STRENGTH rennet per 100 # milk.  That would explain it.....argh! 

I hate using DVI now, and have, since embracing your method so heartily.  But it seems I'm stuck, with some things.  Probably wouldn't be the worst to follow Yoav's recipe to the letter, and that includes DVI.  That, too, is another thread and will pick up there.

Thank you again, Sailor.

Paul

Edit:  It occurs to me - I know the likely answer is no - but given the thermo element of the MY800 is for stability and latter-stage flavor aspects, how would you (Pav, if you're around, as well) feel about doing 1/2 the vat inoculation for each MC, and each MC was ripened not at FD=90F, MY800=110F, but both are ripened at meso temp?  Leaving ST and the bulgaricus to essentially "rest" until woken somewhat more in the vat (at 94F), and in latter stages of affinage?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on February 07, 2014, 01:46:58 PM
Quote
FD=90F, MY800=110F,
Should be 80F for FD and 95-98F for MY
Quote
but both are ripened at meso temp?
What does that mean? meso covers a lot of ground.

Quote
Leaving ST and the bulgaricus to essentially "rest" until woken somewhat more in the vat (at 94F),
ST grows reasonably well at mid 80s. LB delbrueckii does need mid 90s. It's a range... thermo and meso are misleading as labels.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 07, 2014, 01:53:31 PM
Thanks Pav.  I think what I'm trying to do is essentially squeeze the impossible into a loved paradigm.  Using Sailor's recommended meso temp for the MC of 90F, somehow trying to come up with a decent MC of the MY800, as well as the FD, and then inoculate each at, say, 0.5% b.e.  It seems it's not possible, too much complexity in the blend of thermo and meso strains - which squares with what Sailor's been trying to tell this obdurate one all along. 

ps:  do you have a source that talks about the temp optima, or is it just gleaned from wide reading (and a good, clear mind...ahem)?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on February 07, 2014, 02:23:45 PM
Mostly, I read through all the patent collections of all the culture biotech companies to figure out the strain and specie specifics. And also chatting with industry people. And experiments.  No chart handy.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 07, 2014, 02:27:12 PM
Shucks, gotcha, Pav.  Can I borrow your brain, then?  I promise I'll give it back mostly unscathed from such gross disturbance to its peace.  ;D
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: shotski on February 08, 2014, 11:15:53 AM
Not sure if this has been covered or not but. I thought I read a formula for using expired liquid rennet ( 1 Year past ) and meso II and meso III. Thanks in advance.

John
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on February 08, 2014, 05:28:30 PM
hmm? rennet does not expire. It gradually loses strength until it has no clotting activity left. Not sure what you mean... what kind of formula? to what end?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jwalker on February 08, 2014, 06:59:55 PM
Just a data point, doing reblochon today.  Pre-matured milk with both meso (FD) and Thermo (MY800) MC.  Milk came into the vat at pH 6.66.  CacL at 1/4 tsp/gallon, so for 4 gallons milk, 4.9 ml CaCl. 

On adding both MCs (5 ounces each), drop was strong - 6.52, when target is 6.55 for renneting. I renneted immediately. Floc time was 5:30, so this is all going way too fast - renneted on the basis of 75ml/1000 lbs (2.6 ml/4 gallons milk).  Temp is 94F.  I used 1% b.e., so next time I think I'll use less meso MC, and go with the thermo as DVI to see.  Back to the vat....
Wouldn't this be better suited for the Washed Rind ([url]http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/board,85.0.html[/url]) section?

-Boofer-

Hmmm ..... I;m glad his wasn't moved to another forum , I have been folowing this thread closely and have learned a lot about  mother cultures .
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: ArnaudForestier on February 08, 2014, 08:35:43 PM
Jwalker, I just hope my inane mishaps didn't screw anyone up...scratching through the dark to re-learn stuff Pav and Sailor once taught.  But thanks for the nod, this is a fantastic thread, agreed. 

Pav, this jogged me to realize I didn't quite answer one of your questions:

Quote
What does that mean? meso covers a lot of ground.

Meaning, I thought to do this:  come in at a prematuration of .1-.15% each for FD cultured up (now, given your optima, doing it at 80), and MY800 cultured up at, say, 96F.  And in the vat, adding in each MC at 0.5% b.e. 

Trying to basically get the meso characteristics of each of these cultures in the milk, using prematuration, as a kind of pastiche of using raw milk, for now; and avoiding my gross overuse, as Sailor pointed out, in the vat of essentially 2% meso. 

I realize this is likely ridiculous, given the fact MY800 is a meso/thermo blend, with all its problems with respect to MCs, also as Sailor has pointed out and as I get (be nice to know what strains I'm using in the cultures I'm selecting :-[).  But this was the thought, as an experiment. 

Lotta words, do I make any sense, what I'm after?  Interestingly, for a cold fridge of say, 39F, Yoav suggested DVI and using about 50% of the vat inoculation in the prematuration, for about 24 hours or so (longer if colder, and shorter - and less prematuration dosing, perhaps 25% or so, only, if warmer, with the balance to be used in the vat). 
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: shotski on February 08, 2014, 09:17:09 PM
hmm? rennet does not expire. It gradually loses strength until it has no clotting activity left. Not sure what you mean... what kind of formula? to what end?

You are right linuxboy it was the penicillium roq. that has an expiry date of 22\05\2013. It has been kept in the freezer will it still work? As for the Rennet I thought Jeff posted a formula as to how much more rennet to add the older the rennet is. i.e. if 3\4 of a tsp for 13-15L after 6 months it would be 1tsp and after 1 year it would need 1 1\4. something to that effect.

thanks John
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: JeffHamm on February 09, 2014, 01:28:39 AM
I posted a formula to work out how much rennet one would need of a different known strength (i.e. I have some 750 strength rennet, and 280 strength, and 65 strength, in IMCU - I needed to work out how much of the latter two to use based upon the fact I knew how much 750 strength rennet was required), but not a "decay function" for rennet strength over time.  To be honest, I've been using that 750 strength stuff for a few years now, and haven't noticed any drop in potency.

- Jeff
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: shotski on February 09, 2014, 07:55:43 AM
Thanks for the help linuxboy and Jeff for the replies. My mistake.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: linuxboy on February 09, 2014, 11:07:02 AM
hmm? rennet does not expire. It gradually loses strength until it has no clotting activity left. Not sure what you mean... what kind of formula? to what end?

You are right linuxboy it was the penicillium roq. that has an expiry date of 22\05\2013.
That means just a little bit more than nothing. In hypotonic solution, mold spores last for more than a decade. Realistically, you have 4-5 yrs of life in that packet.
Quote
It has been kept in the freezer will it still work?
Yes.
Quote
As for the Rennet I thought Jeff posted a formula as to how much more rennet to add the older the rennet is. i.e. if 3\4 of a tsp for 13-15L after 6 months it would be 1tsp and after 1 year it would need 1 1\4. something to that effect.
Depends on the degradation curve. Check your floc for a make, adjust for subsequent makes based on the practically known degradation.

thanks John
[/quote]
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: shotski on February 09, 2014, 09:04:06 PM
Thank you very much for your help. I plan on making a stilton and a spiced gouda this Thursday.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Curdtastrophe on October 23, 2014, 10:30:05 AM
This is great information!

Thank you!
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: felku on February 26, 2015, 08:11:47 PM
Sorry for reviving this thread. I was trying to do the mother culture thing with a thermo starter . I don't know if I'm doing things the correct way but right now I'm getting a ph of 5 and I'm getting like a yogurt consistency but is also separating from whey. Is this normal?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on February 27, 2015, 09:14:13 AM
It will be fine but you incubated it a little too long. Use less bacteria when you start the MC and incubate a little less time.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: awakephd on February 27, 2015, 10:26:17 AM
Sailor, is it the texture or the pH or both that indicate too long? I've never made a mother culture, but have thought about it ... I'm curious about what the outcome should be, especially in terms of pH.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: felku on February 27, 2015, 10:30:52 AM
It will be fine but you incubated it a little too long. Use less bacteria when you start the MC and incubate a little less time.

Thanks for replying I was confused because the ph readings I was getting. Next time I will pay more attention to the consistency of the milk
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Stinky on February 27, 2015, 03:17:06 PM
How long do the ice cubes last before losing strength?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on February 28, 2015, 09:40:09 AM
We make fresh Mother Cultures every day. I used to test pH, but now we just go by consistency. What we are looking for is a little bit of coagulation, like a medium thin yogurt. That is where the bacteria will be at their optimum efficiency. We let mesos incubate at room temp overnight. We do thermos at 110-115 for about 6 hours. Beyond these limits the bacteria will produce too much acid and they will start to die in their own acidic waste. That will be very noticeable with the whey starting to separate. If that happens, the culture is still very viable, but not optimal. Less bacteria in the beginning means incubating a little longer, but you also stretch out your dried cultures. We use just 1/16th tsp for a gallon of skim.

Frozen MC cubes really don't go bad, but Mother Cultures are cheap & easy to make, so I wouldn't keep them more than 6 months. Fresh means that the bacteria are awake, reproducing, and ready for a quick lactose meal. It's easy to make just 12-16 ounces at a time, so just make enough to fill one ice tray. Better yet, make it fresh every time. You will use 1.5-2% MC, so around 4 ounces for a 2 gallon make. If you are doing the cube thing, measure how much goes into the cube tray and you can deduce how many cubes to use for each make.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Stinky on February 28, 2015, 03:12:44 PM
Well, see, I make many small batches of a variety of cheese. So ice cubes seems to be the only way this is worthwhile.

Thanks for replying. I think I may do this with 4001 sometime. It's used in a lot of things, and I don't have very much of it right now.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on February 28, 2015, 03:24:30 PM
MA 4001 is a blend of mesophilic lactic acid cultures plus a thermophilic Streptococcus thermophilus. Because it is a meso/thermo blend, it is not a great candidate for a Mother Culture. If you incubate at a meso temperature, the thermo will be suppressed. If you incubate at thermo temperatures, you will kill the mesos. In our shop we make 2 separate MCs - 1 meso and 1 thermo - and blend them together.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Al Lewis on February 28, 2015, 03:30:19 PM
So let me ask a question you may have already answered Sailor.  Once made would I store these in the fridge or in my cave or do I freeze them in an ice cube tray?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Stinky on February 28, 2015, 03:44:15 PM
MA 4001 is a blend of mesophilic lactic acid cultures plus a thermophilic Streptococcus thermophilus. Because it is a meso/thermo blend, it is not a great candidate for a Mother Culture. If you incubate at a meso temperature, the thermo will be suppressed. If you incubate at thermo temperatures, you will kill the mesos. In our shop we make 2 separate MCs - 1 meso and 1 thermo - and blend them together.

Ah, I see. Well, these are probably the cultures I use most in order...

4001
Thermo C
Thermo B
Meso II

I have a few others, but I'm sort of trying to reduce it to that. So at that point should I mix a meso and thermo together, if so, which one?

I also have a bit of Aroma and Ma100 on hand, as well as a tiny bit of Meso III
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: munteaniur on June 30, 2015, 08:46:20 AM
WOW! That is one useful thread!
I've a quick question.
Adding culture. Just 1/32 teaspoon is plenty. The more you add, the faster it will be ready. Why hurry? I use small doses and just wait 16-24 hours.
In the instructions provided by the seller (I bought something similar to Flora Danica) I read that you need to add the entire sachet to 1l of milk and wait for 16-24h. Is that so or he's trying to make me buy another sachet?  :D

Thanks, you are my heroes!
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: IllinoisCheeseHead on June 30, 2015, 10:16:44 AM
I do also think that these ideas are just about perfect.  My problem is that lately I have been dealing with late blooming issues that seem to be correlated to only cheeses made with this process and after discussing with culture manufacturers, unless we use a complete sterile environment to inoculate the mother culture, you are creating a potential problem. 

A home made "Laminar" flow system might resolve these issues and I may just do that in the future.  For now I switched to DS and just in case I am using HOLDBAC-LC as well.

I really need to find a way to do these cultures again because the benefits are clear.

Thanks
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jmason on June 30, 2015, 10:41:46 AM
I really don't know that a laminar flow hood is required.  When I was in college we had one and I used it but most sterile transfers were done on a lab bench with no hood at all.  A simple hood makes things even easier.  But that being said there is no substitute for proper technique.  You can contaminate with a flow hood or without if your technique is lacking.  If you are really nervous spraying the air and surfaces with a Tbsp of bleach in a liter/quart of water will knock down most airbornes, wipe your hands and arms down down with 70% isopropyl and dip all utensils in boiling water (which you should be doing anyway).  The techniques are much like canning and there are plenty of videos out there about that.  Close windows 30 minutes prior and turn off all fans/ac/ventilation in the area to allow the air to settle.  Yoev had a method that precultured the dvi prior the the cheesemaking that seems a great alternative and with all the dvi cultures on the market there are plenty of options.

John
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: IllinoisCheeseHead on June 30, 2015, 11:46:54 AM
I don't think any of my issues are related to lack of cleaning.  I am a chemist and understand and practice sterilization to the nth degree.  I think that in an environment that is not dedicated to cheese making/fermentation, having pets it is virtually impossible to stop air borne contaminants.

I disinfect the entire kitchen with germicides used in the restaurant industry where contact time is less than 30 seconds.  The only thing I can't control is air and spraying the air with bleach does not really provide controlled for airborne particals.  Ozone would be a better answer perhaps.

According to Danisco, many cheese makers and fermenters use the techniques mentioned here and it is widely accepted.  That said, they also stated that these cheese makers often use a different room to prepare the culture or use laminar flow hoods or things of the like.

The challenge here is that the mother culture creates a perfect environment for anything to grow, including the type of bacteria that causes late blooming that is most often not even killed in pasteurization.  Perhaps ultra pasteurization would do it, I just don't know.

Maybe the making of mother culture and combination of HOLDBAC is the answer.  I am not ready to give up at all.  Just need to make sure the only thing I grow is the bacteria I want and nothing else.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jmason on July 01, 2015, 08:09:31 AM
Misting the air is not about killing airbornes as much as it is about knocking them out of the air.  And yes pet dander is a big issue.  But I disagree that a laminar flow hood is gonna solve your issues automatically.  They are a great tool, I own one, don't use it in cheese making and it currently resides in my storage unit.  But hey if you want to spend 350 plus and have that big thing hanging around, cool.  A commercial cheese making facility perhaps should have one most artisan cheese makers do not, commercial or otherwise.  I guess my point is that throwing money at a problem doesn't necessarily make it go away.  When I was in micro class there were some people that could make sterile transfers and some that couldn't, it was my second time sitting through a micro class, and truthfully I was amazed that anyone could do sterile work in that lab, it was messy and open to students all day with little or no monitoring.  The first time was a micro class for medical lab techs, taught by medical lab techs, and second day we were working with pathogens.  That first class gave me my technique, the second expanded my knowledge but technique was never emphasized as a priority, oh the perils of a liberal arts education.  Sorry if I sounded preachy, not my intent, just don't know that this is the route to solve your problem.  Good luck.  Sailor, sorry for hijacking your thread.

John
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: IllinoisCheeseHead on July 01, 2015, 09:29:10 AM
I think I may have confused you in my answers.  I am not going to spend 350 in a laminar flow.  I may think of a way to make one to assist me but that is not likely.  That said, until I move cheese making to a room I can control better and ozone (I do have an ozone machine) I am going with no starter culture for now.

Wait..... I could use the ozone machine right now when I am inoculating starter culture.  That is actually the answer for me since I am already handling all types of complete sterilization.  I just need to handle the air contaminants.....hum....Need to think about this but may switch back to starter culture if I feel that I can create sterile air and I think I can with the ozone :)

Thank you :)
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on July 01, 2015, 11:11:08 AM
The MC is not your problem. When you make a MC you inoculate with thousands of good bacteria that out-compete any bad bacteria. Since Clostridium (which causes late blowing) is a spore former, it would not wake up and suddenly burst into action during the short time needed to incubate the MC and any lingering spores would be at a really low (sub-clinical) level. Environmental contamination during the actual make is much more likely since you have a longer exposure time to open air. ie- when making a MC you open the lid, add the starter culture, and quickly close the lid for the duration of incubation. VERY little environmental exposure time. Whereas, during a make, the milk is constantly exposed to open air.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: IllinoisCheeseHead on July 01, 2015, 11:17:28 AM
I would agree to that.  The Holdbac-lc should assist.

I am moving to a new house and there I have a room dedicated to cheese making.  Maybe there the issue will be less, not to mention that I will be in another state.  The issue for me, 100%, is not sterilization but rather air contaminants.  Most likely because of the AC vent in the kitchen blowing right to the cheese (as discussed in another thread).

Thanks Sailor.  I am going to make starter culture in an ozoned room and at least take that variable out of the equation.

Thanks
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: jmason on July 12, 2015, 07:46:23 PM
I'm going to assume that since you said you are a chemist that you know that ozone is a potent oxidizer and will oxidize your lungs as easily as it will "cook" microbes.  Be safe.

John
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: IllinoisCheeseHead on July 13, 2015, 09:39:17 AM
Thanks John. 

Indeed.  I am aware of the effects of Ozone and do take precautions.  One of the benefits of Ozone is that it is a very unstable molecule which breaks down into Oxygen .  As a rule, its half life is 30 minutes and you need more than 0.10ppm to be out of compliance with OSHA for an 8 hour exposure.  When ozone is generated, it immediately begins the attempt to revert back to oxygen.  I can revert back by Oxidation (reacting with organic materials such as odors or reacting with bacteria.  It's half life continues at a fast rate and because rooms are not sterile or dust free, or for that matter free of things that can oxidize, it is considered safe to enter a room after 30 minutes of ozone treatment.

Thanks
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on August 13, 2015, 09:31:52 AM
UHT milk still has thermophilic spoilage bacteria, so do NOT assume that you can use UHT to avoid the sterilization phase. Use very little starter to inoculate the sterilized, and cooled milk. The more you add, the faster the MC will be ready. That concept is also true when using the MC during a make. If you want acid production to proceed more quickly, use more MC in the beginning. The balance of acid production, the final pH, and the flavors of the finished cheese is a part of the artistry of the cheesemaker.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: kosztmark on August 30, 2015, 02:43:47 AM
Hello Everybody!

I have spent a few month on reading this forum. A lot of information :).
After I have read this thread I started making cheese with mother culture. I managed to make MC from almost all types of culture but LM-57. I have tried to make it several times  with different temperature condition and quantities but without any success. for example: the quatity 1 litre of milk (it is always the same) 29C, with 1/64 tsp DVI; 29C with 2% B.E. DVI (it was more than 1/64 tsp); 37,5C with 2% B.E. The temperature was hold during the ripening. nothing happened after 20 hours. I have not measured the pH of any trial but the milk remained liquid.
Could you help me how to make LM-57 mother culture?

thank you very much in advance.
Mark


Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: kosztmark on September 26, 2015, 12:50:36 AM
I would like to to make a batch of cheddar with RA21. I have read somewhere in the blog that Sailor makes or made cheddars with the RA series as far as I remember a primer culture of it was used.
Sailor, could you help me on what temperature you inoculate this type of culture?
Making a mother culture of a mixed strain culture depends on the cheese inoculating temperature?
Reading the thread it was not suggested to make MC of mixed strain cultures. I am a bit confused but would be very happy if there is a solution.

Thanks,

Mark
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on September 27, 2015, 12:56:23 PM
RA21 is a mesophillic culture. Just follow the instructions in the beginning of this thread.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: kosztmark on September 29, 2015, 03:24:31 PM
thank you very much for your help Sailor!

-Mark-
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Rosepetal on November 03, 2015, 01:11:05 AM
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.
Hi linuxboy,
Hoping to find you back on-board.
I've made a few cheeses using recipes from a book where the % of mother culture is specified and differed depending on the cheese being made (Example - Romano cheese - Add 200 ml of prepared Type C starter fro each 10 litres of milk, i.e 2.0%).  Since searching a few different websites, I've found other recipes that I'm keen to try but I'm struggling to figure out what the equivalent % rate of mother culture is to eg.- 1/4 teaspoon of DVS starter.  Is there some sort of standard either by the manufacturers or someone qualified who may have figured it out?
Any help or guidance would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on November 03, 2015, 08:34:47 AM
The amount of Mother Culture used determines the rate of acidification during a cheese  make. More MC in the beginning means that there are more bacteria that will produce lactic acid more quickly. Less MC means that acidification will happen slower throughout the make. By adjusting the amount of MC used, you control not only the acid throughout the make, but continued acidification during pressing, and the ultimate pH of the finished cheese.

The exact amount is not critical but a good starting point is around 1% by volume. For example a 2 gallon make is 256 ounces. 1% of 256 is 2.56. So you would use around 2.5 ounces of MC. You can adjust this to fit your make habits, the type of cheese, and even your schedule. If you want a cheese to finish quicker, use more MC. I prefer a slow and steady make, so we generally use just 1/4-1/2% depending on the cheese.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Rosepetal on November 04, 2015, 02:19:39 AM
Thanks Sailor Con Queso.  I guess, I'll see if there are any consistencies in the book I have in relation to type of cheese v % of MC, otherwise I'll start with 1% and see how it goes (although this completely goes against my anal retentive personality when it comes to matters of precision in the kitchen). 
I've only ever used DVS to make MC. (much more economical as you've pointed out in this post).
Thank you also, for the MC charts for dosage calculation.  I've downloaded them both and have found it most helpful especially the conversion chart for the majority of us using the metric system.  When will the US join the rest of the world?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on November 04, 2015, 11:43:07 AM
Actually one of the reasons I use MCs is because of my anal retentive personality. I find MCs MUCH more accurate and consistent. And it's easier to adjust the dosage.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: NimbinValley on November 04, 2015, 04:59:18 PM
Sailor do you make two separate mothers for both mesos and thermos?  I should go back and read all 13 pages of this thread and see if this has been covered already so a yes or no answer will be fine thanks.  NV.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Stinky on November 04, 2015, 11:20:48 PM
Sailor do you make two separate mothers for both mesos and thermos?  I should go back and read all 13 pages of this thread and see if this has been covered already so a yes or no answer will be fine thanks.  NV.

You have to make mesos and thermos separately, as they require different incubation temperatures, or so I understand it.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: NimbinValley on November 04, 2015, 11:53:25 PM
oops.  Sorry. Thanks for that.  Hopefully it will stick this time!
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Duntov on August 19, 2017, 05:27:45 PM
Maybe I missed it but I want to know if adding an adjunct such as Flav 54 is okay.  Will it multiply as-well?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on August 20, 2017, 03:02:15 PM
Adjuncts can be Meso or Thermo and they may primarily consume things other than lactose. If so, they are not a candidate for Mother Cultures. I personally would not do a blended MC containing adjuncts because you might upset the ratio and balance of the starter bacteria. I would try to do a MC of the adjunct, like Flav 54. If it successfully works (i.e. produces acid & coagulates the milk) then use it on an as needs basis.
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: mobius on August 20, 2017, 03:40:30 PM
So newbie question, trying to wrap my head around mother cultures...if you can use powdered whey for the culture, how about using leftover whey from cheese making to make the mother? Is that possible?
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Duntov on August 20, 2017, 04:42:36 PM
Adjuncts can be Meso or Thermo and they may primarily consume things other than lactose. If so, they are not a candidate for Mother Cultures. I personally would not do a blended MC containing adjuncts because you might upset the ratio and balance of the starter bacteria. I would try to do a MC of the adjunct, like Flav 54. If it successfully works (i.e. produces acid & coagulates the milk) then use it on an as needs basis.

Thank you Sailor.  My motivation for asking is to reduce costs primarily due to the high cost of FLAV 54.  I have been getting good results with cheddars using RA 21 (blend of meso & thermo) and FLAV 54.  I was hoping to combine all together to make a true mother culture and then freeze into cubes.  But if I understand you correctly, this 'cocktail' could give poor results due to their interactions.  But my simple mind pushes me to ask; how is this different than adding freeze dried to the actual cheese make where they will interact as-well?   
Title: Re: Making Mother Cultures - A Photo Essay
Post by: Sailor Con Queso on August 22, 2017, 09:16:26 AM
Flav 54 is just Lactobacillus helveticus, a thermo, and can be done as a MC, or just use an LH culture. Because the RA21 is a blend of mesos & thermos, it is not a great candidate for making MCs. What temperature do you incubate it at? If you incubate at meso temps, the thermos won't grow efficiently. If you incubate at thermo temps, you will kill off the mesos. I strongly suggest making separate meso & thermo cultures and blending them into your make.