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Mesophilic Direct Set Culture

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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 eight packets. 
  • Store extra packets in the freezer for longest life.
  • Direct-set (single use) culture.
  • 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.
  • Browse our many Cheesemaking Articles and Recipes and learn to make your own cheese today!


Cheesemaking Troubleshooting Advice:

Having trouble making cheese? Browse our Cheese Troubleshooting Articles or contact us for assistance.

Mesophilic Direct-Set Culture Ingredients:

  • Sucrose, maltodextrins, Lactic bacteria (Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactisLactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris)
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free

Shipping Information and Shelf-life:

Our Mesophiic 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

Allergen Information:

This is a gluten-free product. It is packaged in a facility that also produces products containing soy and dairy.


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Questions on Mesophilic Direct Set Culture

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  • From Shane at 7/9/2013 6:24 PM
    • is the mesophillic direct set culture gluten free? Does it come from a dedicated gluten free facility?
    • While this culture does not contain any gluten, it does not come from a dedicated gluten-free facility.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Dariela at 6/9/2013 1:15 AM
    • Can this be used with non dairy milks? Any recommendations for which milk will yield a decent tasting result? My infant son is allergic to milk and I make most of his food from scratch. I'm looking to make some cheese to give him a little more variety to eat. Thank you!
    • This cheese culture is not well-suited for making non-dairy cheeses.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Miranda at 2/6/2013 4:00 AM
    • I'm unable to get raw milk on Oahu. Is it possible to make a soft cheese with this culture from pasteurized, homogenized milk ("store-bought" milk from the cold dairy case)?
    • This culture will work well with store-bought homogenized, pasteurized milk however, ultra pasteurized (UP) or ultra high temp (UHT) milk would be problematic.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Pete at 11/28/2012 5:33 PM
    • If I am storing these cultures in the freezer, when I go to use them do I need them to "thaw" or can I just use immediately as the recipe says.

    • They can be used almost right away as they will thaw quickly at room temperature.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Melissa at 11/11/2012 5:02 PM
    • If I use the direct set culture, do I still need to use rennet to coagulate the milk to make hard cheese? What does "direct set" mean, does it mean it already has rennet in it?
    • This direct-set culture does not contain rennet. Whether or not you need to add rennet will depend on the recipe you are using. "Direct-set" simply means it is a one-time-use culture, and cannot be recultured from one batch to the next.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Caitlin at 9/11/2012 2:52 PM
    • Is the Lactococcus lactis in this starter derived from dairy or plant material (aka is it vegan)?
    • The culture does contain some dairy; it is not vegan.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Brite at 9/5/2012 6:22 PM
    • I am allergic to maltodextrin- what do you recommend in place of this product? I'm new to cheese making but I'm having a hard time finding starters that don't have added chemicals that cause problems for me.
    • Mesophilic Aromatic Type B Starter Culture does not contain maltodextrins. It is a little more strongly flavored than the mesophilic Direct Set Culture, so it may or may not be appropriate for your recipe.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kathy at 5/1/2012 10:25 AM
    • To make cheddar cheese, do I skim the cream (fat) off the raw milk first or do I leave it in the milk? Or does it matter?
    • Definitely leave it in! Also give the cultured milk a good stir before adding rennet. If you skim the cream off, your cheddar will be very dry and crumbly and won't press properly.​
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Robin at 2/17/2012 11:00 AM
    • How is this different from the Chevre or Feta cultures?
    • The direct set mesophilic culture contains more strains of bacteria than the chevre or feta cultures. You can certainly use the chevre or feta cultures in the same way as you would use a mesophilic culture, since chevre and feta ARE mesophilic (cool temperature loving) cultures. However, you won't get the same depth of flavor in your hard cheeses, and your chevre and feta won't have quite the same "tang".
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From KC at 11/13/2011 8:48 PM
    • Does this starter contain dairy? I am trying to make a non-dairy cheese with nut milks for people with dairy allergies.
    • The carrier for this starter is sucrose and maltodextrins. No dairy is involved.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

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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