Among the ingredients in my traditional mozzarella cheese recipe is mesophilic starter culture cubes. Which I’m sure most folks don’t need and those of us who do, don’t have on hand. DIY Mesophilic starter culture is so easy to make it just seems silly to go buy comparatively expensive cultures!
Mesophilic starter culture is a low-temperature cultured product. Just like buttermilk and yogurt. It provides cheeses with bacterial organisms that assist in proper curd formation, taste, texture, and aroma. Of course, this means that if your starter culture is off-tasting, your cheese may be off-tasting as well. There is some security (and extra expense) in using prepared mesophilic starter cultures (like this one). And different mesophilic starter cultures work best for different types of cheeses. (For example, the one I linked to is good for Cheddar, Jack, and Colby cheeses.)
Knowing how to make your own mesophilic starter culture is useful information. It helps you gain a better understanding of the cheese making process. Also, it gives you a greater sense of “self-sufficiency” in the event that you can’t get access to prepared cultures. It’s wise to know how to do something the independent way first. Just to have the knowledge filed away. Once you have learned the new skills set, take advantage of the conveniences available in our modern times. Then you can rest, assured that you’ll know what to do when and if “one day” ever comes.
How to Make Mesophilic Starter Culture for Cheesemaking
- Prepare Cultured Buttermilk.
- Freeze in ice cube trays.
- Save in a storage bag in the freezer until ready to use. One cube is the equivalent of one ounce of mesophilic culture.
Yep, it’s that easy!
Now, the results with homemade mesophilic starter culture will not be as consistent as a manufactured mesophilic starter culture. But if you’re fine with subtle variations in the flavor of your cheese, then this is a perfect, frugal solution!
What cheese will you make next?