Why the CHN-22 is by far the Finest Kind best-seller.

Due to its exceptional ability to produce aroma and flavour, the CHN-22 culture is one of the favourites used by cheese makers with centuries worth of knowledge in traditional cheesemaking countries.

Cheese, sour milk (maas) and sour cream are fermented dairy products which means that the sugars, proteins and fats in the milk are broken down by bacteria. This has three effects – the milk is easier to digest, it can be stored for a longer period of time and the bacteria still present in the product can act as probiotics. But how do you choose which bacterial combination or culture to use?

That’s where Finest Kind comes in – you simply email tech@finestkind.co.za and tell us what type of product you want to make. We will advise you, with 25 years’ experience and a biochemistry background, exactly which combination of bacteria are best.

Our most popular seller by far for the professional as well as the artisanal cheesemaker is the bacterial combination named CHN-22. It produces products with excellent flavour and aroma and it can be used for a wide variety of products. These products include Lactic Cheese, Camembert, Blue Cheese, Gouda, Edam, Sour Cream, Fromage Frais, maas and butter. It consists of the bacteria Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis, Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides and Leuconostoc mesenteroides.

It is a type LD mesophilic culture, which means the bacteria like to grow in a medium temperature of less than 39°C. The LD relates to the Leuconostoc and the Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis, both of which are responsible for the production of CO2 and therefore “eyes” in the cheese and the important flavour component, diacetylactis.

These days laboratories put a lot of effort into producing cultures. The CHN-22 is produced by Chr. Hansen, a global bioscience company in Denmark dating back to 1870. As you can imagine, if the wrong bacteria are included in your packet of culture, you stand to lose the most expensive ingredient in your dairy production namely the milk.

Very few factories have the technology to produce the bacteria and therefore Finest Kind makes sure that it supplies only the highest quality cultures. The bacteria are freeze-dried and packed in aluminium foil packets. The dosage is one 50U packet for 500 litres of milk if making cheese, for 250 litres of milk if making a fresh product such as fromage frais, lactic cheese or maas and for 100 litres of cream if making butter. The 500U packet for 5000 litres of milk for cheese, 2500 litres of milk for fresh products and 1000 litres of cream for butter. For artisanal cheesemakers, the dosage is ⅓ teaspoon per 10 litres of milk for cheese, ⅔ tsp for soft cheese and 1.5 tsp per 10 litres cream for butter.

To use a portion of the packet, cut open a corner, slowly pour out a few granules onto a sterile teaspoon and add to the milk. To close, fold the corner of the packet over a few times and tape down or use a clothes peg. Place the half-opened packet in a Tupperware container. Store the cultures in a deep freeze at -18°C. Make sure the granules remain dry. As the culture is DVS (Direct Vat Set) add the granules directly to the milk at the temperature required for the recipe, but not above 39°C. Let the culture pre-ripen for 30 -60 minutes before adding the rennet and continuing with instructions. The DVS Chr. Hansen CHN-22 culture is Kosher (Excl. Passover) and Halal Certified.

Freeze-dried cultures may be transported at room temperature for up to 10 days without the quality of the cultures being affected. Finest Kind couriers or posts the cultures to all areas in Southern Africa.