Brevibacterium Linens (BL 405)


Types of Cheese Wash Rind 2 BL 405 can be used on

BL 405 can be used on all lactic curd, soft and hard styles that require a washed rind surface.  Cheese include Epoisse, Langres, Mariolas, Livarot, Muenster, Pont L’Eveque, Vacherin, Raclette, Reblochon, Oka, Port-Salut, St. Paulin, Bel Paese, Limburger. BL403 Can also be added to White Mould cheeses to change flavour profile.

Dosage and pack size

·         Large size (10 Dose) will inoculate 1,000 to 5,000 litres of milk (foil sachet).

·         Small size will inoculate 150 to 800 litres of milk (1.4 Dose in a screw cap bottle).

·         Cheesemaking: Add ¼ to ½ drop spoon to 8 litres of milk.

·         Washing (morge): Add ¼ to ½ drop spoon to 200ml of 3% to 4% salt solution.


·         Contains Brevibacterium linens.

·         B. Linens imparts a distinctive creamy light orange colour to the rind of the cheese

·         It is a member of the Corynebacteria family.

·         It develops Methanethiol which is a precursor to the distinctive sulfur flavour.  It also produces complex earthy aromas and flavours.

·         BL 405 will only grow on the surface of the cheese. It is important to note that B. Linens is acid sensitive. In order to grow B. Linens, you need to have a low or neutralised acid on the surface of the cheese (pH between 6.5 to 7.0 is ideal) for B Linens growth.

·         BL 405 is more effective in developing a washed rind if it is combined with other smear bacteria. A blend of surface ripening cultures (see cheesemaking tips) should be considered.

·         BL 405 starts to grow within several days of production but is not fully developed for a few more weeks (be patient).

Cheesemaking tips for getting the best from this culture

·         The following cultures will neutralise the acidity on the surface of the cheese, assist the B. Linens to grow and add additional flavour:

  • – Geotrichum Candidum (while Geo is salt sensitive and can struggle with salt washing, it produces a powdery growth on the cheese surface.  That will help to dry the cheese surface at packaging).
    – DH 40 (yeast) is good for neutralising pH (better than CU 77)
    – CU 77 (yeast) is also is a great pH neutraliser but produces more aroma (fruity aroma) than DH 40 and Geo.
    – SX 34 can be added to the milk during cheese making to produce a creamy coloured rind, earthy raw milk type of flavours, digest proteins and this stimulates the B. Linens.  SX 34 does not help with acid neutralisation but grows within the curd/paste of the cheese with no oxygen.
    – One or all of Geo, DH 40, CU 77, SX 34 can be used at the same time by adding to the milk during cheese making and/or to the morge wash solution to provide different levels of B. Linens growth and flavour development
    – B Linens is a mesophile (opt. 20°C – 30oC), but will grow slower at temperatures below 10oC.
    -Requires a minimum of 2% to 5% salt. It is salt tolerant up to 12%. eg. Linens will be active at 30% of its full capacity with salt at 10% and 67% of its full capacity with salt at 5%.
  • The salt in the water should match the salt in the cheese. For soft paste washed rind cheeses, for example, it will be 4-5%. For a Reblochon, 2-3% salt. For most pressed paste cheeses, 4-5%.” Too much, and the salt will be absorbed by the cheese and will cause the rind to thicken. Insufficient salt “will modify the mineral composition of the surface and draw calcium from within the cheese to the surface.” This will result in rinds that squeak, through a defect known as ‘eggshell’. When the cheese dries, these minerals will crystallize.
  • Use boiled then cooled water. Straight tap water could be contaminated with Pseudomonas.

·         The washed rind flavour and colour will continue to develop with more washes of the cheese, apply less washes if you like a gentle washed rind flavour or more washes if you like a stronger washed rind flavor.

·         Wash solutions (morgue) should be changed after a few washes.

·         The cheese being washed needs to be have a well oxygenated (lots of fresh air is a key to success, so turn your cheese regularly) but it is important to keep at least 85% – 90% humidity atmosphere to accelerate the development of colour and aroma by the B. Linens.

·         The Wash Rind cheese should never be excessively wet or conversely allowed to dry out.

·         If several wash rind cheeses are being matured, wash from the oldest cheese to the youngest cheese.

·         Washing should be 3 times a week for the first 2 to 3 weeks. As you start to observe the pigmentation of B. linens, you can slowly spread out the washes to 2 x week and then once a week.

·         B. Linens can also be added to white mould cheese at the same time as the white mould spores and Geo are added, but no washing is required. The B. Linens may grow just a little on the surface during the ripening and storage phases to provide a low level of washed rind flavour that enhances the white mould flavour.