Starter Cultures

Links to new products, fermentation businesses, and other commercial enterprises that might be of interest.

Starter Cultures

Postby bacteriaguy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:53 am

I have no connection to any of these companies. I am just reporting sources of starter cultures for anyone who might not realize how easy it is to find them.

Most of them can be found right at your local grocery store:

1. Lifeway Kefir (plain). I've tried a lot of them and this one is my favorite so far. It produces a robust culture that is capable of reculturing many times. It does prefer warmer temps (80 degrees)

2. Mountain High Yogurt (plain). This is actually my second favorite yogurt to use as a yogurt starter, but unfortunately I can no longer find my favorite (Cascade Fresh) at the grocery store anymore. Mountain High has all the bacteria you will need to make really delicious and tart yogurt.

3. GT Classic Kombucha (Original). Sadly it is dificult to find the classic (alcoholic) version of this, but if you can find it you can use it to make a scoby and starter fluid to make kombucha at home that tastes just like GT's. Simply pour a bottle of it into a sterilized mason jar, cover it with coffee filters (2-ply) secured with a rubber band, and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of weeks and you will have a robust scoby to use.

4. Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots (various flavors all work fine). This is a small glass bottle of the pickling/sauer kraut brine and it is loaded with bacteria. You can use it as a starter culture for veggies. I put a splash of it in a jar of milk and let it sit out at room temp, covered with coffee filters, for a few days. it will separate the milk into curds and whey, and then you use it to culture milk at room temperature over and over again. You get the same kind of bacteria you would get from making sauer kraut but instead of taking over a month to build up trillions of bacteria, these will do it in milk in about 24 hours or so.

5. Frozen Natto. If you have an Asian grocery store with a frozen foods section, you can usually find natto, and from it you can get Bacillus subtilis. If you can't find it that way, then you will have to order it through the internet. Cultures for Health and also Gem Cultures has it in powdered form. It will culture sterilized milk (briefly boiled milk) at room temperature or in a yogurt maker. The first time takes more than a day to separate into curds and whey, even in a yogurt maker. It prefers some air, so cover it with a few coffee filters secured with rubber bands. Or put a lid on it loosely.

6. Buttermilk (plain). A lot of people don't realize that store bought butermilk will re-culture in fresh milk over and over again. You can also make creme fraiche by simply adding it to cream and letting it sit out (covered) at room temp for 24 hours.
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