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Old 05-31-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
cheesenbeermmm
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Default Making mesophiolic starter from buttermilk

Hey, I am going to try making my mesophilic starter from buttermilk. I am very much a "do it from scratch" sorta guy. I found some simple directions online, but am wondering if the collective experience out there has any suggestions, warnings, or special steps to take (I'm well aware of sanitation). The directions are basically to leave two cups at room temp for 6 to 8 hours till its like yogurt consistency, put it in ice cube trays and freeze.

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Old 06-02-2009, 03:08 AM   #2
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Im no expert on this, as Ive only done 3 aged cheeses so far, but I do not like using buttermilk as the starter for a cheese. I did it on my second cheese, and it didnt turn out anywhere near the 1st or 3rd batches(both used commercial cultures)

it could be something in my process i guess, but that experience turned me off to using it for that, now for using to make buttermilk that will work great!

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Old 06-06-2009, 05:42 PM   #3
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Well, I went ahead and did it. The milk didn't thicken all that much, but did have a sour taste and smell, so after about 24 hours I froze it in ice cube trays. Next day I did the Bondon recipe in Ricki Carroll's book. It turned out great, but I don't have an example to compare it to one that has been made with a commercial starter.

The cheese has a smooth texture like cream cheese, but a flavor that is a little lemony with light tang, kinda like what ya get from a fresh goat's cheese. Not very strong, and very enjoyable. A cheese that I will definitely make again.

Since this quick cheese turned out so good, I have started thinking I would make some cheddar, but you suggest, ryane, that the aged cheeses aren't quite as good. I don't mind a little different (my homebrews are often a little different, but damn good), but not wild about a lesser quality. Heck, why not try it. Milk is on sale right now. I think I'll give it a go and report back in a few months.

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Old 06-13-2009, 06:14 PM   #4
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Heck give it a shot, like you say milk can be had for pretty cheap

my experience with a cheddar using buttermilk was that it turned out tasting like the cheese powder from box of white cheddar mac & cheese

dunno if your looking for cultures or not but I love both these sites

Dairy Connection - Cultures

this ones pretty good as well, although not as specific in the culture your getting

CheeseMaking - Online Store


Do you plan on making a farmhouse cheddar, or an actual cheddar?

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:47 PM   #5
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As long as your buttermilk isn't PASTEURIZED it will work just fine... (yeah I really should'a read the label first)

I couldn't find a reasonable source for buttermilk that isn't pasteurized so I gave up and bought starter tablets. Thermophilic culture from yogurt is cake though... 1 cup of Dannon in 1 quart of milk scalded and cooled to 122*F, then put it in a sanitized Thermos overnight. Divvy up and freeze just as with the mesophilic starter.

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Old 06-16-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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Though the buttermilk starter seems to be making some decent cheese, I may be finding my interest to be increasing to the point that I'll buy some cultures from a store by fall. At that point my cold spot in the house tends to keep at about 55F, so that'll probly be the best time to get into a cheddar anyway. And if I invest the aging time into it, I want it to be right. I'll be shooting for a real cheddar, though maybe I'll look into a farmhouse for the meantime. Thanks for the links ryane.

Thanks for the thermophilic suggestion Sac. I am very likely to give it a go.

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