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This is a good question. Theoretically an 1/8 teaspoon is enough for a 5 lb batch as per Marianski’s recipes, however we later found that 1/8 teaspoon is hard to measure and not easy to mix in, so we increased it to 1/4 teaspoon in the recipes. Having too little culture is not good, having too much is not bad. The culture is kind of like yeast, having too much yeast (within reason) is usually OK, not enough and the dough will not rise.
The culture is there to ferment the meat and lower the PH (give it tang), this prevents the bad bugs from growing.
If you look at different recipes online they will vary from 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 of entire packet for 5 lb batch.
Through experience we found that 1/4-1/2 teaspoon works well.