Friday, September 5, 2014

Cheese Making

I love going to the store and buying cheese. Making cheese today is similar to making cheese during the 19th century however the tools are a bit different. Below is beginning of an article from The Book of the Farm ©1890 on cheese making.

The systems of cheese-making pursued in this country are numerous. It is a more intricate process than butter-making, affording scope for the exercise of greater skill in manipulation, and of more ingenuity in producing differences in the manufactured article.
In making the hard cheeses of this country the entire milk as it comes from the cow is dealt with. In making Stilton cheeses a little extra cream is usually, and ought always to be added. The cheese-maker has thus a bulky article to handle, and one which requires to be treated with the utmost skill and care commonly called a vat or tub. It may be oblong, as shown in Fig. 449
about 20 inches deep, and 30 to 32 inches wide, and mounted on 3 or 4 wheels so as to be easily moved about, and from one apartment to another. The Vat is if uniformly good results are to be obtained.

Apartments for Cheese-making— In well-equipped dairies there are at least three separate compartments for cheese-making—(r) the milk-room, the curd and pressing room, and (3) t e drying-room. In Stilton dairies there are generally three but sometimes four compartments. A convenient arrangement is to have the store over the other compartments, or perhaps over the curd or cheese-making room only. Some prefer to have the store in a cool dimly lighted ground-floor room.
An important point is to have the compartments as much as possible protected from variations in temperature,— so arranged that the temperature may be artificially controlled independently of the season of the year.
And, as in butter-making, the apartments and vessels must be kept perfectly clean, sweet, and fresh. Bad smells and impurities in the milk are fatal to successful cheese-making.

Utensils.--The utensils required in cheese-making are numerous, but they need not be costly. They usually consist of a milk vat or tub, strainers, curdknives, curd-mill, curd-shovel, curd-rake, cheese moulds or hoops, cheese racks or shelves, cheese-presses, pails, and pans, etc.

Vat—The vessel in which the milk is collected to be coagulated by rennet is made of many sizes to suit different dairies. This is the most modern vat. It has a double casing, so as to admit between the two cases cold water for cooling and hot water for heating the milk and curd. The inner case should be made of the best tinned steel; and the at is provided, as shown, with brass taps, as well as with draining cylinder, siphons, covers, and draining racks, on which the last the curd is placed to strain.

Circular Cheese Tub--Formerly the milk-vat was in the form of a circular tub. In very small dairies these tubs may still be convenient for the handling of small quantities of curd. Indeed there are not a few noted cheese-makers who still prefer the circular tub. With either the round or oblong vat first-class cheese may be made; but the modern oblong vat, with the double casing for heating or cooling the contents, in unquestionably the most convenient.

Heating Curd--In the modern vat with double casing the curd may be heated as desired by circulating steam or hot water between the two cases, which are usually about 2 inches apart. The perfect control which this gives over the temperature of the contents of the vat is regarded by most modern cheese-makers as of the very first importance. There are some who contend that this system is liable to injure the cheese by over-cooking the portions of curd which come into contact with the hot sides of the vat. This risk may be avoided by raising the heat slowly. In the round tubs the curd is heated by withdrawing a quantity of the whey, scalding it to a high temperature, and pouring it over the curd. This has to be frequently repeated, and is a troublesome process.

Curd-mill.—The frame of the curd mill, is usually made of wood, consisting of two bars supported on four legs. On the top is fastened the hopper with movable pins and hinges, and at the bottom of this runs an iron axle armed with pins or teeth fixed on it spirally, and below this again a metal grating. A handle drives the toothed axle, and the teeth pass through the bars of the grating, so that slices of “green” curd when put into the hopper are cut and broken through the grating, and fall into a receiver below. The metal working parts are tinned over 3 and the wood must be of some close-grained variety, and well seasoned, while the framework is sometimes made of iron.

Presses-- Of the cheese press the varieties are numbers. Those most in use my be classed under two kinds, with and without levers. Of the lever-press the varieties are most numerous, passing from the single lever, through the various combinations of simple levers, to the more elaborate one of the rack and levers.
Single cheese Press
The article goes on and if you would like to read the rest of it, here is a link in Google books Cheese Making the article begins on pg 500.

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