8.  The starter is ripe when a curd forms. This curd should be soft and like custard in appearance.

9.  After the starter is ripe, hold it at 50° F. or a few degrees lower until time to use. For best results a starter should not be held longer than a few hours.

10.  Upon examination the curd should be smooth and compact, without gas pockets. Gas shows the presence of undesirable bacteria.

Farm Butter-making (Trueman, Conn. Exp. Sta.)

The farmer will not ask, is it more scientific to make butter than to sell milk, or is it less trouble, or does it take less time and work, but, does it pay ? That question can best be answered by a comparison of the amount received for 1000 pounds of milk by each method.

One thousand pounds of milk equals 465 quarts. At 31/2 cents per quart, its value is $16.27. The value of the same amount of milk made into butter will depend upon the richness of the milk. If it will test 4 per cent of fat, then the 1000 pounds will contain 40 pounds of fat. Under ordinary conditions this will make about 44.5 pounds of butter. This at 35 cents per pound is worth $15.57. Add to this the value of 800 pounds of skim milk and 150 pounds of buttermilk, a total of 950 pounds at 25 cents per hundredweight, equal to $2.37, a total of $17.94 for the 1000 pounds of milk when made into butter. This gives a balance of $1.67, in favor of making butter, to say nothing of the value of the fertilizer material in the skim milk and the profit in having healthy, rapid-growing calves.

It will readily be seen that the side on which the profit will appear will depend wholly on the prices received for milk and butter. If the milk is sold at the farm at four cents per quart and the butter must be sold at 30 cents per pound, then the margin of profit would amount to $2.88 per 1000 pounds of milk, in favor of selling by the quart, provided the milk tests 4 per cent as in the first case.

If, however, the herd in question consisted of well-bred Jerseys, giving milk testing 5 per cent on the average, the result would be somewhat different:

1000 lb. milk ................................. 465 quarts

465 quarts @ 4 C................................... $18.60

1000 lb. milk testing 5%.......................... 50 lb. fat

50 lb. fat .................................. 57 lbs. butter

57 lb. butter @ 30 C............................... $17.10

950 lb. skim milk and buttermilk @ 25 C per cwt....... 2.37

Total ............................................ $19.47

This leaves a balance of 87 cents per 1000 pounds of milk, in favor of making butter.

Bitter milk and cream.

Milk may have an acrid, bitter taste, caused by the cows eating ragweed, an herb which is common in pastures late in the summer. Flavors produced by what the cows eat are most noticeable when the milk is first drawn from the udder, while flavors produced by the growth of bacteria get worse as the milk gets older. The only remedy for ragweed flavor is to remove the cows from the pasture containing the weed.

Bitter milk is sometimes given by cows that are advanced in their period of lactation and giving a small quantity of milk. Such cows should be dried up at once.

Certain bacteria that develop at low temperatures may produce bitter flavors in the ripening cream. In this case the cream is all right when fresh but gradually develops the bitter flavor. This can be stopped by using plenty of steam or boiling water to sterilize thoroughly all utensils, and by using a good active starter to hasten the development of lactic acid. The cream should not be allowed to get old and the temperature should be kept up to 70° F. or 75° F. during ripening.

Why butter will not " come."

One of the most common complaints is that the butter will not come. This generally happens in the fall in herds where the cows freshen in the spring or early winter. When fall comes, these cows have been milking a long time and are not giving much milk. The character of the milk changes as the lactation period advances. The per cent of fat and of solids-not-fat, increases. This makes the cream more viscous, and more inclined to "whip," or to froth up and fill the churn. When this happens, and the churn is full of frothy cream, about the only thing to do is to add hot water to warm up the fat and to destroy the viscosity of the cream. Such treatment will not make the best of butter, but is better than churning all day and finally becoming so discouraged that the whole churning is thrown out.