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Old 04-16-2010, 12:06 AM   #1
Sybil
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Default homemade cheese cultures?

Are homemade cheese cultures as effective as those you can order?

For instance, I've read that you can make an effective mesophilic culture from the right buttermilk; and a thermophilic culture from a good, plain yogurt. If this is true, are the cheeses made from these as good-tasting as those made from purchased bacterial cultures? It would be a long time to wait after making cheese to find out (and it's easier to ask anyone who has tried it ).

Thanks, S.

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Old 04-17-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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i've used both yogurt and buttermilk as cultures. I couldn't really tell the difference between the two, but prefer the buttermilk, as it works well as a frozen ice cube. They work well for fresh cheeses, such as a cottage cheese style or a chevre. I've also had very good results with molded cheeses(blue), but i have gotten pretty poor results from any harder cheeses. They just don't bring any real flavor to the cheese. You're better off with the purchased stuff for anything that needs to age longer than a week or two before eating. Don't bother spending the $ for fresh cheeses though, go with the buttermilk for those.

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Old 04-20-2010, 01:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FromZwolle View Post
i've used both yogurt and buttermilk as cultures. I couldn't really tell the difference between the two, but prefer the buttermilk, as it works well as a frozen ice cube. They work well for fresh cheeses, such as a cottage cheese style or a chevre. I've also had very good results with molded cheeses(blue), but i have gotten pretty poor results from any harder cheeses. They just don't bring any real flavor to the cheese. You're better off with the purchased stuff for anything that needs to age longer than a week or two before eating. Don't bother spending the $ for fresh cheeses though, go with the buttermilk for those.
I had my first feta fail... I used yogurt. A book suggested buttermilk instead, but only 1/4 cup. I don't drink buttermilk, so do you think this freezing method would work on feta?
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:32 PM   #4
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it should work fine. since a lot of the flavor from feta comes from the brining process, i wouldn't think that it would make too much of a difference. i just like the buttermilk because of extended frozen storage.

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Old 04-20-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
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Okay, next question is how much?

For instance, my feta recipe called for one Tbs plain yogurt (and my feta failed)
The Home Creamer says 1/4 of a cup buttermilk
Making Great Cheese at home says 1/2 tsp powdered mesophilic starter
And That's How you Make Cheese! says 2 oz mesophilic starter culture

is there kind of sort of a little bit not really a rule of thumb to use as a conversion?

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Old 04-20-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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Making cheese is an adventure, and is much more temperamental than making beer, for lots of reasons. Some are in your control, some not so much.

The two biggest problems you are going to run into isn't actually the starter, but milk quality and accurately measuring pH. If you have access to quality, local milk that hasn't been aggressively homogenized and pasteurized, and if you can accurately and consistently measure the pH of your milk, then you can make a great tasting cheese.

I've written quite a lot about home cheese making, and I'll add some general links at the end, but John from Cheeseforum.org makes a mean feta. Here is one of this recipes.

http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.p...69.msg274.html

Basic no-press cheese: http://cheeseaday.blogspot.com/2009/...tic-focus.html
Mozzarella: http://cheeseaday.blogspot.com/2010/...ozzarella.html
Rustic cheddar: http://cheeseaday.blogspot.com/2009/...ood-as-it.html

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