When you want to expand your home cheesemaking skills, adding mesophilic and thermophilic cultures to a recipe lets you make several kinds of cheese.
Do you like Camembert, Edam, Swiss, Havarti, Feta, Monterey Jack, or Neufchatel? Mesophilic mother culture is necessary to create these cheeses.
If you prefer Romano, Provolone, Parmesan, Emmental, or Gruyere, a thermophilic cheese mother culture is necessary.
Some recipes require you to use both. When you know how to make them at home, you’ll save some money and have more fun with your cheesemaking work!
How to Make Mesophilic Cheese Cultures
A mesophilic cheese culture works better at moderate temperatures. That means your milk is going to be lukewarm.
You can start your mother culture by following these steps.
1. Create a sterile environment by boiling a preserving jar for about five minutes.
2. After cooling the jar, fill it with raw, skimmed milk until there are about two centimeters of headspace remaining. Close the lid tightly.
3. Place the jar with milk in a deep pot so that the water level comes above the lid. Please bring it to a slow boil for about 30 minutes.
4. Remove the jar with milk from the boiling water. Allow it to cool until it reaches room temperature.
5. Remove the lid. Add the appropriate amount of freeze-dried mesophilic starter culture to the milk while it is at room temperature.
6. Close the lid tightly. Swish and shake the jar so that the culture mixes into the milk thoroughly.
7. Continue to keep the jar where the milk can remain at room temperature. You should start seeing a gel form at the top of the fluid in about 18 hours.
8. If you don’t see the gel forming after 24 hours, it probably needs a warmer location to encourage coagulation.
9. The culture is ready when it looks like yogurt. It should pull away from the jar’s sides cleanly when usable.
How to Make Thermophilic Cheese Cultures
If you want to make a thermophilic mother culture for your cheese recipe, follow the same steps to create a mesophilic one.
The only significant difference between the two methods occurs in step five. Instead of using a freeze-dried mesophilic starter culture, you’d use a thermophilic culture.
Changes to the incubation period are also necessary when making a thermophilic culture. After you allow the milk to reach room temperature to add the starter, you must return it to a hotter environment. It must remain at 43°C for up to eight hours to create the coagulation effect.
How to Store Your Mother Cultures
Once you have made your mother cultures, you can leave it in the jar for use in your recipe. It will remain good for about seven days.
If you have leftovers that you want to store, the freezer can help you to preserve your work. The best method to use is to place the liquid into ice cube trays. Once it freezes, put them into containers to store for up to six months.
The ice cubes can also start a new culture at a ratio of one for every 10L of milk.
For a more in-depth look at How to Make a Mesophilic Cheese Culture watch this video
Video Credit to Dave’s Homestead