Milk turned into a curd with wine, is by no means so good as that which is done with rennet-water alone. The curd and whey do not separate so completely: the curd is less firm, and the whey less clear; the latter being thick and white, instead of thin and greenish as it ought to be. Neither is it so light and wholesome as when turned with rennet.
Rennets of the best quality can be had at all seasons in Philadelphia market; particularly in the lower part, called the Jersey market. They are sold at twelve, eighteen, or twenty-five cents, according to their size, and will keep a year or two; but have most strength when fresh. You may prepare excellent rennets yourself at a very trifling expense, by previously bespeaking them of a veal butcher; a rennet being the stomach of a calf. Its form is a bag. As soon as you get the rennet, empty out all its contents, and wipe it very clean, inside and out; then rinse it with cold water; but do not wash it much, as washing will weaken its power of turning milk into curd. When you have made it quite clean, lay the rennet in a broad pan, strew it over on both sides with, plenty of fine salt; cover it, and let it rest five days. When you take it out of the pan, do not wipe or wash it, for it must be stretched and dried with the salt on. For this purpose hold it open like a bag, and slip within it a long, thick, smooth rod, bent into the form of a large loop; wide at the top, and so narrow at the bottom as to meet together. Stretch the rennet tightly and smoothly over this bent rod, on which it will be double, and when you have brought the two ends of the rod together at the bottom, and tied them fast, the form will somewhat resemble that of a boy's kite. Hang it up in a dry place, and cut out a bit as you want it. A piece about two inches square will turn one quart of milk, a piece of four inches two quarts. Having first washed off all the salt in several cold waters, and wiped the bit of rennet dry; pour on it sufficient lukewarm water to cover it well. Let it stand several hours; then pour the rennet-water into the milk you intend for the curd, and set it in a warm place. When the curd is entirely formed, set the vessel on ice. Rennet may be used with good effect before it has quite dried.