This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
" The transition of the insoluble into soluble casein depends upon the decomposition of the phosphate of lime by the margaric acid of the butter; margarate of lime is formed, whilst the phosphoric acid combines with the casein, forming a compound soluble in water.
" The bad smell of inferior kinds of cheese, especially those called meager or poor cheeses, is caused by certain fetid products containing sulphur, and which are formed by the decomposition or putrefaction of the casein. The alteration which the butter undergoes (that is, in becoming rancid), or which occurs in the milk-sugar still present, being transmitted to the casein, changes both the composition of the latter substance and its nutritive qualities.
" The principal conditions for the preparation of the superior kinds of cheese (other obvious circumstances being of I course duly regarded) are a careful removal of the whey, which holds the milk-sugar in solution, and a low temperature during the maturation or ripening of the cheese."
Cheese differs vastly in quality and flavor according to the method employed in its manufacture and the richness of the milk of which it is made. Much depends upon the quantity of cream it contains, and, consequently, when a superior quality of cheese is desired cream is frequently added to the curd. This plan is adopted in the manufacture of Stilton cheese and others of a like description. The addition of a pound or two of butter to the curd for a middling size cheese also vastly improves the quality of the product. To insure the richness of the milk, not only should the cows be properly fed, but certain breeds chosen. Those of Alderney, Cheddar, Cheshire, etc., have been widely preferred.
The materials employed in making cheese are milk and rennet. Rennet is used either fresh or salted and dried; generally in the latter state. The milk may be of any kind, according to the quality of the cheese required. Cows' milk is that generally employed, but occasionally ewes' milk is used; and sometimes, though more rarely, that from goats.
In preparing his cheese the dairy farmer puts the greater portion of the milk into a large tub, to which he adds the remainder, sufficiently heated to raise the temperature to that of new milk. The whole is then whisked together, the rennet or rennet liquor added, and the tub covered over. It is now allowed to stand until completely " turned," when the curd is gently struck down several times with the skimming dish, after which it is allowed to subside. The vat, covered with cheese cloth, is next placed on a "horse" or "ladder" over the tub, and filled with curd by means of the skimmer, care being taken to allow as little as possible of the oily particles or butter to run back with the whey. The curd is pressed down with the hands, and more added as it sinks. This process is repeated until the curd rises to about two inches above the edge. The newly formed cheese, thus partially separated from the whey, is now placed in a clean tub, and a proper quantity of salt, as well as of annotta, added when that coloring is used, after which a board is placed over and under it, and pressure applied for about 2 or 3 hours. The cheese is next turned out and surrounded by a fresh cheese cloth, and then again submitted to pressure in the cheese press for 8 or 10 hours, after which it is commonly removed from the press, salted all over, and again pressed for 15 to 20 hours. The quality of the cheese especially depends on this part of the process, as if any of the whey is left in the cheese it rapidly becomes bad-flavored. Before placing it in the press the last time the common practice is to pare the edges smooth and sightly. It now only remains to wash the outside of the cheese in warm whey or water, to wipe it dry, and to color it with annotta or reddle, as is usually done.