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Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture

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SKU: 6732

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Mesophilic Direct Set Cheese Starter Culture or Cheese Making

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Use this versatile mesophilic cheese culture to make flavorful semi-soft and fresh cheeses at home! From Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack to Feta, Chèvre, and more, you'll enjoy the flavor and variety of homemade cheeses using this starter culture.

  • Each box contains 8 packets of direct-set starter culture.
  • Store extra packets in the freezer.
  • Use as directed by your recipe or at the following rate: 1 packet per gallon of milk, 2 packets per 2-4 gallons, or 4 packets per 5-10 gallons.
  • Heat milk and culture according to temperatures outlined in your recipe.
  • Avoid using ultra-pasteurized or UHT milk.
  • Direct-set (single-use) culture, no maintenance required.
  • Having trouble making cheese? Browse our Expert Advice Articles on Cheesemaking or contact us for assistance!


Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture Ingredients

  • Sucrose, Maltodextrins, Lactic bacteria (Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactisLactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris)


Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture Allergen Information

  • This product is manufactured in a facility that also produces products containing soy and dairy.
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free


Shipping Information and Shelf-life

Our Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture is dehydrated and shipped in a barrier-sealed packet. The starter keeps:

  • At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 3 to 4 weeks
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 6 to 12 months
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 12+ months


What is a Direct-Set Culture? 

Direct-Set cultures are a one-time-use culture, they cannot be recultured (i.e. perpetuated beyond the single batch).  Direct-Set cultures are often preferred by cheese makers as they require no maintenance or care.  Simply keep the packet in the freezer and remove the portion for your recipe when it's time to make cheese. Most Direct-Set cultures contain multiple doses to inoculate multiple batches.


Actual product may differ from image shown above.

Questions on Mesophilic Direct-Set Starter Culture

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  • From Cyndee at 4/21/2015 1:00 PM
    • I will moving to a foreign country soon and would like to make my own cheeses. Once my kit runs out, I will not have access to more. Is it possible to make cheese from a current batch?
    • There is a method you can try. It has worked for some, and not worked for others.

    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Shelly at 2/8/2015 12:26 PM
    • I have recipes which call for 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon mesophilic culture. How much does each packet include? 1/4 teaspoon? Can I buy a container with this loose where I can get however much out in 1/8 or whatever amounts?
    • Each packet has 1/8 teaspoon of culture in it. Use as directed by your recipe or at the following rate: 1 packet per gallon of milk, 2 packets per 2-5 gallons, or 4 packets per 5-10 gallons.

      This is the only option amount we have for this culture.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kristy at 10/12/2014 8:35 PM
    • If 2 packets will make up to 5 gallons, couldn't I use 1 packet for 2 gallons? Thank you!
    • We would think so, but those are the instructions from the manufacturer. 1 packet for 1 gallon, but 2 packets can do a minimum of 2 and a max of 5 gallons. Please follow their guidelines for best results!
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From becki at 10/8/2014 6:10 PM
    • Why sucrose?
    • The sucrose acts as a carrier for the bacteria in the starter.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Sarah at 9/19/2014 1:32 PM
    • Some direct set cultures I have seen can be used to make a reculturable starter. Can this one? If so, do you have instructions for culturing? Thanks!
    • This can be used to make a reculturable "mother" starter. Here are the instructions for that process: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/making-keeping-mother-cheese-culture
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Deborah at 6/12/2014 1:00 AM
    • Can this product be used with soy milk and vegetable rennet? Is it dairy free; I am allergic to dairy/
    • This product is designed for use with dairy milk. We would normally encourage experimentation but with a dairy allergy, I would encourage you to check out the wonderful non-dairy cheese recipes in this book: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/artisan-vegan-cheese-book.html
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Lea at 6/4/2014 6:37 PM
  • From Janet at 3/12/2014 9:16 PM
    • How much cheese will this make?
    • The amount of cheese made depends on the recipe used. Most recipes call for 1 to 2 packets for 2 gallons of milk. 4 packets can be used to culture up to 10 gallons of milk. So one box of culture can be used to culture anywhere from 8 to 20 gallons of milk, resulting in an average yield of 8 to 20 pounds of cheese.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Chris at 2/6/2014 1:08 AM
    • It is my understanding that maltodextrin is made from corn. Do you know whether this maltodextrin is non-GMO?
    • All of our cultures are non-GMO.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Ndeye Fatou at 2/4/2014 10:17 PM
    • Hello,

      I would like to know if the dairy contained in the product is from pork or not.

      Thank you,
      Ndeye Fatou
    • The dairy in the yogurt starters is from cows.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

great product Review by MrsJR

I've been very pleased with the quality of the culture and it has worked fabulously! I'll definitely order again.

(Posted on 10/19/2015)

Awesome Review by mntgoatchick

Thank you for providing, love this easy to use culture.

(Posted on 9/14/2015)

Love the Mesophilic Culture Review by Merrie

Thanks so much for the great culture and I am enjoying my wonderful cheese! Keep up the good work. All your products are fantastic and your customer service is a joy. Well done.

(Posted on 9/3/2015)

Works great Review by ketika

I like that the culture is packaged in small foil packets instead of plastic or paper. My partially skimmed cows milk set in about half the time that I've experienced with other brands. That's great since I'm always in a rush to get to the next step. Cheese has turned out tasty too.

(Posted on 8/19/2015)

great Review by whisper38

worked just great for me.

(Posted on 10/7/2014)

Tasty Cheese! Review by Tamarah

I'm new to cheese making, so consider that when reading this. I have made three batches of cheese with this culture. They have all turned out with different consistencies from rather thin to thicker to just right. I'm wondering if the age of the milk I'm using is making the difference?? The thinner cheese was fresher. The taste of the 'just right' cheese was a little tangier too! Great Product!!

(Posted on 6/12/2014)

Mesophilic Culture Review by Farmwife

Worked very well. Price is a little higher than other places, but worth it.

(Posted on 6/3/2014)

Very happy Review by Deb

I haven't used the product yet but I am very happy easy to order and arrived fast love your recipes for cheeses wait for my feta to age them I will see! Look great!

(Posted on 5/9/2014)

great Review by Lyn

this worked great

(Posted on 3/30/2014)

Perfect! Review by Kelly

My first try at cheese making! The culture arrived quickly even in the holiday rush. The culture worked great for goat cheese and I have had very positive feedback from my tasters.

(Posted on 12/30/2013)

Mesophilic culture is the best! Review by Happy Chef

The Mesophilic culture works perfectly everytime for the goat chevre. It gives me the greatest yield and creamiest texture. It is truly excellent also for my feta!

I love it!

(Posted on 12/23/2013)

good review Review by Jeanie

I've used this before and I really like the ease of use and it makes tasty cheese.

(Posted on 12/2/2013)

Happy with product Review by Marti

Product came quickly and has worked perfectly.

(Posted on 11/11/2013)

Mesophilic culture Review by Auggie

This is a very versatile culture. I made a farmers cheese for a customer and she said it was the best she tasted in 30 years of perogi making.

(Posted on 1/10/2013)

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