Using cultures after "best before" date?

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redzed
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Using cultures after "best before" date?

Post by redzed » Wed Feb 17, 2016 21:09

Over the past couple of years we have had discussions here about the longevity and effectiveness of starter cultures. In the past year I have been using Gewurzmuller Bitec LM-1 and Safepro B-LC-007, forgetting about a packet of Mondostart 2M languishing in my freezer for nearly 2 years. Mondostart 2M is a medium fast acidifying culture, and if you were to compare it to Bactoferm products, then F-RM-52 might be the closest. It is inexpensive and available from a number of outlets in Western Canada. I buy mine from Stuffers Supply in Langley. I have always had good results with it, even though the cell count of the cultures is lower than found in the premium brands.

Recently I was making a venison and pork dried cured sausage and decided to ferment it with the expired culture. I added about .75g/kg, about 50% more than the suggested amount and had excellent results. After 42 hours at 21C, the pH dropped to 4.9 from 5.8. So the lesson here is that starter cultures don't just die on the expiry date and we should not be too eager to pitch them. Some time ago Igor Duńczyk wrote on our forum that with time, the cell count or the number of live cells does go down, but they all don't give up the ghost simultaneously. So if using older cultures, add a bit more and you should still have good fermentation. Just make sure you store them tightly sealed and frozen at -20C (-4F).

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Cabonaia
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Post by Cabonaia » Sat Feb 20, 2016 06:16

Hey Redzed - This is a topic I have wondered about for a long time, and I'm very glad to see a post on it. I've got some 1-2 year old Bactoferm cultures in a freezer that I keep at -20F, and have been wondering about them lately. Actually, I have been fully intending to use them and wondering what the results might be. What you have experienced is encouraging!

Cheers,
Jeff
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Post by DaveOmak » Wed Feb 24, 2016 02:58

Thank you for that explanation... It will surely save folks a lot of money over time...
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