Basic Ingredients for Cheesepalooza
- It can be purchased as liquid which usually has a 1 year shelf life and must be kept in the fridge, or in tablet or powder; powder and tablet rennet can be stored in the freezer for several years. Most companies sell tablet/powdered rennet in set batches; if you are worried they won’t use all of it, purchase the smallest amount they sell and go from there, or purchase with a group and divide it.
- One bottle of liquid rennet will do for the whole year and then some
- It does not matter where you get it as long as it is not chlorinated; a bottle of Evian will do; I purchase it in 4L jugs at Superstore, a mega store in Edmonton
- It does not matter where you get it as long as it is non-iodized; it is important to read the label as some companies will add anti-caking/clumping agents, you don’t want that. Ian buys “pickling salt” at Bulk Barn, a mega store in Edmonton: 1 kg lasts a good year
- This can be bought at brewing supply stores in the Untied States, or at Bulk Barn or Bosch Kitchen Centre in Edmonton
Calcium Chloride Solution (CaCL)
- You can buy this in 30% solution from various cheese making supply companies, or, if you can find “Pickle Crisp” by Bernardin which can be picked up at certain grocery stores you can buy it and make your own 30% solution as it is pure CaCl
- 30 grams Pickle Crips + 70 grams of distilled water = 30% Solution by weight.
- Note: you do not use CaCl if you are using raw milk and do not have to use it if you are using pasteurised milk, but you will get a weaker curd set without it
Cultures (Mesophilic and Thermophilic)
- Most of these come in packages of freeze dried culture
- Each package contains enough to inoculate/start 100 to 500 litres of milk
- One package of culture should do you for the duration of the challenges
- Making a Mother Culture of each would be beneficial to help extend the culture and it must be stored in the freezer. (List coming on which cultures) Think of a mother culture as similar to a sour dough starter.
- Mesophilic Culture – Active Cultured Buttermilk (Store bought buttermilk)
- Thermophilic Culutre – Active Culture Yogurt (Store bought Yogurt)
This includes molds for Camembert/Brie, Blue Cheeses
B. Linens for some of the washed rind
Propionc Shermani for Jarlesberg
Lipase for parmesan
They will all come in set amounts, usually in small packages; again you can do a group purchase and split.
B. Linens/White Mold/Blue Mold:
Take the rind from a cheese you bought or a sample of blue cheese and put it with some distilled water in a blender or food processor and blend until you have a slurry; you then add the slurry to your milk when the directions call for you to add to the mold or b linnens etc. Ian has a post here about it called “Do you like that rind? Want to have it on your cheese?”
As far as I know there are no substitutes for Propionc Shermani.
Note: If you use raw milk you do not need to add lipase; it is in the milk already. It is destroyed by pasteurization.
More Advanced Cheese Making Supply Information
Which Geo is best for my use?
When it comes to Geo, there isn’t as much a variety as I would hope to see in the market place.
- Danisco Choozit line as the most dominant in the market
- Danisco makes 7 types of geo but only 3 of them are readily available in freeze-dry form and sachets that are suitable in size/dosage for creameries and home users; these are the Geo 13, 15 and 17 which you see everywhere
- by characteristics, it should be 15, then 13 and then 17
- Geo 15 acts more like a mold: smooth surface, late blooming powdery white, mild flavor and proteolysis. Great for semi soft to hard cheeses such as Reblochon and Tomme. Okay for Camembert/Brie. 15 makes a smooth coating (like mold) and powdery late blooming. It is mild in flavor and a great de-acidifier for the surface.
- Geo 17 acts more like a yeast so the surface is more “brainy” or “wormy” which effects the rind texture and look of the cheese. It is more flavorful and can get more aggressive. It is fantastic for lactic cheeses such as Crottin and Sainte Maure. Can also work well on Camembert/Brie with.
- Geo 13 is in between the 15 and 17, more flavor than 15, less “brainy” appearance than 17. This is an ideal classic strain for Camembert/Brie, Cambozola, Saint Marcellin and can also work well with lactic goat cheeses. Okay for Tomme and Reblochon styles.
- Hansen is difficult to get and has very short expiration dates
- Sacco is probably one of the oldest companies in the world to produce cultures and rennet and they make great stuff but in North America they are new and few dealers have them
- a few other companies make some great strains of Geo
Which Pen C is best for my use?
As far as PC goes, the offering is much more diverse. The differences are mainly variables of growth speed, height of the mycelium, density of the mycelium, aromatic properties, lipolysis and proteolysis strength, and whether or not the strain has anti mucor properties or can work with in combination with blue molds.
All around classic strains are
- ABL, VB, and Neige
- Neige :Classic white mold. Characteristics: Moderate proteolytic activity, Low lipolytic (aroma), High surface density and height. Generally used to achieve moderate-slow ripening time with low aroma.
- ABL: Classic white mold. Characteristics: Low proteolytic activity, Moderate lipolytic (aroma),Low surface density and height. Generally used to achieve moderate-slow ripening time with high aroma.
- VB: Classic white mold. Characteristics: High proteolytic activity, Low lipolytic (aroma), Moderate surface density and height. Generally used to achieve moderate-fast ripening time.
- HP6 is suggested for using with blue
- Classic white mold. Characteristics: High proteolytic activity, Moderate lipolytic (aroma), Moderate surface density and height. Generally used to achieve moderate-fast ripening time: Camembert, Brie and various white bloomy rind cheeses
- SAM3 has anti-mucor properties: Anti-mucor strain
- Medium height and density,
- very rapid growth
- Proteolysis and lipolysis adapted to this rapid growth
- PC SAM3 LYO 10 D can be used in all type of substrates, even highly mineralized. It is particularly adapted to inhibit mucor contamination
- PC SAM3 LYO 10 D provides a whiteness appearance and stability beneath the wrapper, speed of moulds growth and ageing stability, enzymatic activity , aroma development and inhibition of contaminants
- Classic white mold with Anti-Mucor properties. Helps inhibit black mold. Characteristics: High proteolytic activity, High lipolytic (aroma),Low surface density and height. Generally used to achieve fast ripening time with high aroma.
It is very common to mix 2-3 strains of PC together in one cheese.
Which Blue Culture is best for my use?
As far as blues go, the variations are usually in color (ranges from pale to blue to dark green), aromatic properties and most importantly, the texture. There is a huge difference in the strains as some will render your cheese flaky and crumbly and others will render it super creamy. The prices of these moulds have skyrocketed in the past couple of years. Being that the strains are indeed so different from one another, it is difficult to recommend a “go-to” strain:
- the strains from Hansen in the past few months and have gotten some really great feedback from producers who have not tried them before
- PR1 and PR3 from Hansen
- PR1 is blueish green, mild, aromatic, firm/crumbly, has medium lipolysis and very low proteolysis. It has a nice balance where it’s not too strong for a cheese that isn’t creamy (you feel the blue much stronger in a less-creamy cheese)
- PR3 is bright green, strong, aromatic, creamy, has medium lipolysis and high proteolysis. The creaminess it brings into cheese stands up for its strength.
- PS from Danisco is blueish-green, mild, medium-fast. Great for combining with PC such as HP6. PA is another good alternative to it.