1902 Encyclopedia > Dairy


DAIRY. Milk, either in its natural state, or in the form of butter and cheese, is an article of diet so useful, wholesome, and palatable, that dairy management, which includes all that concerns its production and treatment, constitutes a most important branch of husbandry. The physical conditions of the different countries of the world have determined in each case the most suitable animal for dairy purposes. The Laplander obtains his supplies of milk from his rein-deer, the roving Tartar from his mares, and the Bedouin of the desert from his camels. In the temperate regions of the earth many pastoral tribes subsist mainly upon the milk of the sheep. In some rocky regions the goat is invaluable as a milk-yielder; and the buffalo is equally so amid the swamps and jungles of tropical climates. The milking of ewes was once a common practice in Great Britain ; but it has fallen into disuse because of its hurtful effects upon the flock. A few milch asses and goats are here and there kept for the benefit of infants or invalids; but with these exceptions the Cow is the only animal now used for dairy purposes in this country.

Breeds.—Cows of every kind are used for the dairy ; but there are several of our native breeds of cattle which are called par excellence " the dairy breeds." An account of these has already been given in the article AGRICULTURE, vol. i. page 388. Whatever the breed, the quality is much influenced both by the age of the cow and by the way in which she is fed. So clearly is it ascertained that the milk of cows not exceeding four years of age yields a larger proportion and richer quality of curd than the milk of older animals, that it is customary in some of the cheese-making districts of England to draft off the cows to the grazier after they have borne two or at most three calves each.1 Cows that are prized for their pedigree, however, are of course kept for longer periods, and few will part with a good cow so long as she continues to yield abundance of milk. In large well-conducted dairies, especially where, as in a yearly increasing number of cases, shorthorns are kept, the cows are fed so well that they are sold to the butcher at very nearly their original cost as milch cows.

3 In those districts it is usual to rear one heifer calf for each three cows, and to have the heifers to calve for the first time at 3 years old,— so that the young stock of all ages are equal in number to the cows. As many pigs are kept as suffice to consume the whey,—the proportion, in summer, being one pig to two cows.

Food.—The influence which the food of the cow exerts upon the amount and qualities of her milk has always been recognized ; but at one time a large yield of milk, free from any unpleasant taste, was made the chief object of regard. It was accordingly the practice in new-milk dairies to feed the cows principally with soft sloppy food, such as boiled turnips, brewers' grains, and distillery wash. The milk produced from such food contains an undue propor-tion of serum, and is deficient in butter, caseine, sugar, and phosphates—the very elements which give to milk its value as an article of food, and fit it so peculiarly for build-ing up the frame of young animals. When these elements are wanting in the cow's food they are to a certain extent supplied to her milk from her own system; and hence it is that cows which give a very large quantity of milk generally lose the fat and flesh which they had accumulated before calving. In order, therefore, to maintain the condition of the cow, and enable her to give milk of the best quality, it is necessary that her food contain an adequate supply of the requisites for good milk. Her food, in short, must be substantially the same as that found most useful in feeding cattle for the butcher. It is now pretty well ascertained that the fattening process is accomplished most economically by giving a moderate allowance of linseed or other cake, and of the meal of beans, Indian corn, and other grains in addition to the pasturage, green forage, roots, and fodder, which constitute the bulk of the food of such animals. The following approved dietary for milch cows is taken from a Report on Harvey's Dairy Company, Glasgow, by H. M. Jenkins, E.G.S., published in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 1871.

" During the seven winter months, when the cowsremain entirely in the byre, the daily food commences with draff (distillery refuse) about four or five o'clock in the morning, mixed with bean, pea, or Indian meal, preferably the first-named, unless beans are too dear, when mixed kinds of meal are substituted. Linseed cake is occasion-ally given at this time to cows beginning to run dry, and also in spring to those that require a little laxative. After the first milking, viz., about seven in the morning, as much distillery refuse as they can take is freely given, and at eight o'clock either oat-straw or hay (if possible). The latter is generally rye-grass hay of the irrigated fields which are held by the Company. The next feed consists of raw turnips or cabbages, given about ten o'clock, and at eleven the cows are milked for the second time. The afternoon meal is given at two o'clock, and consists of steamed meal, turnips, and draff. At four o'clock some fodder, generally straw, is placed in the mangers, and between four and five more draff is run in. Some turnips are always put in the steamed food. At five o'clock the cows are milked for the third time, and are afterwards made up for the night.

'' During the summer the cows get nothing in the byres but a little draff in the morning, when they come in to be milked, except towards the fall of the year. They are then allowed some fodder at mid-day; and in a bad season they get a little meal with their draff in the morning. They are kept on the pastures all day, but are brought up to the steading to be milked about eleven o'clock, as well as at night."

The ordinary management of cows in the cheese manu-facturing districts is of a much more simple and less expensive nature than the above. In Ayrshire the cows generally begin to calve early in March, and they are all giving milk by the time when the pasture is ready for them. That time varies in ordinary seasons from the middle of April on fine early land to the middle of May on the colder soils of the uplands. The female calves from the best cows are reared on most farms. The calved cows get two meale of cooked food daily. The cooked food con-sists of chaff and turnips or mangold, boiled together, with bean and Indian corn meal added. The other food con-sists of hay or straw produced on the farm. The chaff and meal are frequently given, especially in backward seasons, for some time after the cows are on the pasture, On bare inland farms good managers use meal of some kind during a considerable part of the summer. In hot days, or cold boisterous nights, the cows are sometimes kept in the house and supplied with a little food. In August, when young grasses are failing, the cows are fed partly on second clover, or on vetches, and later in autumn cabbages and soft turnips come in to supplement the pas-tures. When the weather becomes inclement the cows are kept in at night, and get hay or straw with good supplies of turnips. The turnips are reduced in quantity when the cows are put dry, which may be from one to two months before the expected time of calving, and the dietary is improved again when that time approaches, Where butter is made, mangold or turnips have to be given in a judicious manner, on account of the flavour. With the turnips given soon after milking, and a little nitre put into the shallow vessels in which the milk is cooled, there is little danger of unpleasant flavour. Mangold is most valuable in the latter part of spring. Its feeding quality is then at the best, and turnips are not so good. But for quality of milk, carrots are the best food of all the so-called root crops.

Gorse, bruised and chopped,has been found a suitable kind of green winter forage for milch cows. On the large dairy farm of F. Leser & Co., near St Louis, Missouri, the daily winter food of a cow consists of about half a bushel of brewers' grains, 6 gallons of distillery slop, mixed with from 2 to 5 lb of ship stuff, malt sprouts, bran, and Indian or cottoa-seed meal, and 6 to 10 Bo of good hay, chiefly Hungarian. On another American farm, at Cumberland, Rhode Island, each cow receives in summer 2 quarts of cotton-seed meal daily in addition to pasturage, and in winter 4 quarts of cotton-seed meal, and from 2 to 4 quarts of Indian meal, with English and swale hay; neither Indian meal nor wheat shorts can be substituted for the cotton-seed meal without lessening the produce of a cow by a quart per diem.

The best pasturage for cows is that afforded by good old grass land, in sheltered inclosures of moderate size, where there is a constant supply of pure water. To have dairy produce of the best quality, the grass must be so stocked as to keep it always fresh grown and sweet. This is most easily secured by frequently changing the cows from one field to another ; and hence the advantage of having small inclosures, one of which can be rested, while another is keeping the stock. When soiling is resorted to, Italian rye-grass is at once the cheapest and best forage that can be used; but it can be varied, as circumstances dictate, with clover, sainfoin, vetches, or green rape. When cows are kept entirely at pasture during the summer, from 1^ to 2 acres of grass land is required for each animal; and if hay alone is given in winter (as is the practice in Gloucestershire), the produce of another 1J acre of meadow is required to supply their winter keep. As from 1 to 1-| cwt. of green forage is an ample daily allowance for a cow, and as two cuttings of clover or Italian rye-grass, averaging 8 tons each per acre, can with suitable manuring be easily obtained, it is obvious that by soiling in summer and feeding on roots and cooked food in winter, half as much land will suffice to maintain a cow on the latter system as-on the former. And, above all, the produce in milk, besides being of richer quality, is greater in quantity bv fully one-fourth. The average yield per annum of milk of a cow in Gloucestershire is estimated at 525 gallons, and in Ayrshire at about 425 gallons. Under a generous house-feeding system an average of 680 gallons may be obtained. Salt ought always to be a constituent of the food of the dairy cow; to cows at grass it should be given daily, and in May and June it may be advantageously supplied twice per diem. Withholding it for five days has been found to occasion a loss of 2 per cent, in the quantity and 7 per cent, in the quality of the milk. All changes of diet must be made with caution. The utmost vigilance must also be used to insure regularity in the times of feeding and milking, in seeing that the latter process is thoroughly performed, and in guarding the cows from exposure to extremes of heat or cold. Through inattention to these particulars the flow of milk may easily be so diminished as to render the keeping of a dairy a profitless business.

Buildings.—The accompanying plan shows the general arrangement and dimensions of the different portions of a modern dairy farm steading for fifty cows. It has been drawn by Mr James Cowie, of Sundridge Hall, after the model introduced by him and approved of by the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, an engraving of which was given in the last edition of this work. The interior of the steading is intended to have two roofs, and is so constructed as to facilitate with the least possible labour the supplying of the cattle with straw and roots, which latter are wheeled on a tramway. The dung, which is also removed by tramway, is deposited in an adjacent covered yard, where, if need be, cattle and pigs can be kept for treading down the dung. Sufficient ventilation can be obtained by very simple methods, and must be provided for in the course of erection. It is necessary only to add, that the principle on which the steading is constructed can be ap-plied to either larger or smaller establishments as required.

Dairies are of three kinds, viz.—new-milk, butter, and. cheese dairies.

1. New-Milk Dairies.—These, in or near towns, or amidst the dense population of mining and manufacturing districts, are to a large extent kept by persons who, with the aid of their families, undertake the management of from one to a dozen cows, and the delivery of the milk to customers. In our large towns there are also to be found gigantic establishments, in some of which as many as a thousand cows may be seen at one time. In these town dairies the cows are usually purchased when they have newly calved, or are at the point of calving, and they are retained till they cease to give a remunerative quantity of milk. The cows are commonly milked twice a-day, but sometimes thrice, as in the case of those owned by Harvey's Dairy Company, Glasgow. To ensure successful milking, quietness, com-fort, and kindly treatment are essential to the animals. The udders and teats should be thoroughly cleansed before the commencement of the operation. The more expedi-tious the milker, the better the result. The left arm should be kept firmly pressed against the cow's right leg, in order to protect the pail. Towards the close of the process the hand should reach a little above the teat, and pull down gently upon it at each delivery of the milk, so as com-pletely to empty the udder. The milk is conveyed at once to the milk-room, where it is strained, measured, and delivered over to retailers, or to servants of the establishment, by whom it is distributed to the customers. A portion, in some cases half, of the new milk is, however, retained in the dairy for twelve hours. It is then skimmed, and the cream either retailed or made into butter. This business requires the employment of a large capital, and is attended with much risk; but when well managed, is a remunerative one to those engaged in it.

Railways have occasioned the introduction of important changes in this branch of dairy business. Instead of the cows being kept in or near cities, where housing, food, and litter are costly, it has become a common practice to keep them on farms near railway stations, and to forward the new milk in suitable vessels twice a-day to retail trades-men. It is obviously easier to carry the milk to the place where it is consumed, than first to convey thither the cows and their litter and food, and then to remove to the country the manure which they produce. There can be no doubt, also, that the air and pasturage of the country are of advan-tage to the cows.

2. Butter Dairies.—Wherever cows are kept some portion of the milk is used for the production of butter. The dairies, however, of extensive districts both in England and Scotland, on account of the attention given to this particular product, are appropriately spoken of as "butter dairies." In the midland and western counties of England, where the breeding of cattle is extensively carried on, the calves, two or three weeks after birth, are fed upon skimmed milk and a gruel of bruised linseed and oatmeal, so that the greater part of the new milk can be converted into butter. When the calves are all weaned, the skim milk is employed in fattening pigs. In many parts of the country buttermilk is much relished by the labouring classes. Wherever churned milk can be readily disposed of, dairy farmers direct their attention chiefly to the produc-tion of butter.

When new milk is allowed to settle, the fat globules, being lighter than the general mass, gradually rise to the surface in the form of cream. In the process of churning, these globules are broken by the mechanical agitation, air1 ed by the action of the lactic acid which is formed from the sugar of the milk, and the contents cohere to form butter. The usual practice is to allow the cream, whether sepa-rated from the milk or not, to stand until it begins to become acid.

Butter is made either from cream only or from milk and cream together. The best butter is obtained from the cream which rises during the first twelve hours after milking, and the next best by churning the whole milk. In the former case the new milk, after being carefully strained, is poured into shallow vessels of glazed earthenware, glass, tinned iron, wood, lead, or zinc, of which the three first-named sorts are the best. Wooden vessels are objectionable from the difficulty of cleaning them thoroughly, and lead and zinc on account of the noxious salts produced by the action of the acid of the milk on the metal. Pans of about 10 quarts capacity, made, without seams, of well-tinned sheet iron, are in common use. Where milk is cooled by means of water the pails are made round, and about 18 inches in depth, or shallow and rectangular, with an ex-terior pan for containing the water. The deeper vessels are found to be most suitable in a cold, the shallower in a warm atmosphere. To obtain as much butter from the milk as possible, the first skimming takes place at the end of twenty-four hours, and one or more skim-mings are made at further intervals. The cream is stored in jars, which should be kept in a place separate from the milk-room, that the milk in the coolers may not be too early acidulated by the proximity of the sour cream. The latter is either stirred repeatedly, or poured from one vessel to another, to prevent the formation of a tough coat upon it before enough is accumulated for a churning. In large dairies it is usual to churn daily. Three days is as long as the cream can ordinarily be kept for butter of good quality. In the New York butter factories the milk rooms are thoroughly ventilated, and are provided with tanks sunk in the ground, and having a depth of 18 inches of flowing water for cooling the milk whilst it is throwing up its cream. The temperature of the water should be between the limits of 48° and 56n Fahr. The uniform temperature of the cream is said to have a favourable effect on the churning. When a cow has recently calved, her milk is comparatively rich in butter and poor in curd; but by and by the relative proportions of these constituents are reversed, the cream diminishing and the milk becoming thicker. A very sensible change in the quality usually takes place when a cow becomes pregnant, so that in not a few cases double or treble the ordinary length of time is required to churn the cream, and the butter produced is of inferior quality. If cows are flurried and heated, either by gadding in the pasture, or by being overdriven in bringing them home for milking, their milk becomes peculiarly liable to corrupt, the yield of butter is sensibly lessened, and its quality is impaired. The success of the process of churn-ing depends much on the temperature of the cream being nicely regulated. Experiments have shown that a tem-perature of from 54° to 59° Fahr., both of the air and of the cream, is the best for churning. The temperature of the cream usually rises about 10° during this process. Advantage is derived from rinsing the churn with cold water in summer and with warm water in winter. The addition to the cream of small quantities of cold or hot water, as the case requires, is also found beneficial. Box or barrel churns are preferred when the cream only is churned, the former being best adapted for small dairies, and the latter for large ones. When the whole milk and cream are churned together, it is indispensable that acidulation and coagulation should first take place, and the churnings should not be at longer intervals than every second day. When the milk is gathered for more than two days some of it is past the proper stage of acidulation at the time of churning, or part of it has not reached that stage. The time required to produce butter from whole milk is much longer than with cream alone, three hours being an average period. The plunge churn is most appreciated for this prac-tice ; and in large dairies it is usually worked by steam, water, or horse-power. Forty strokes of the piston per minute has been found a good rate of working, but, accord-ing to a report on American butter factories, the best rate is fifty strokes per minute. The most suitable dasher for the barrel churn is either circular or cross-shaped with broad wings, and should have a diameter equal to about three-fourths of that of the central portion of the churn. The speed of working is kept slow until the cream is thoroughly mixed ; it may then be increased to the normal rate. When the butter begins to come, the speed, if rapid, should be slackened. The residual buttermilk is removed from the butter by kneading either with or without water. The water should be entirely free from sediment, and not very hard. Generally brine is preferable to water alone for washing. The method of churning introduced into America by Mr John Higgins of Speedsville, New York, consists in adding cold water twice or thrice at short intervals to the contents of the churn, so as to lower the temperature to about 55° Fahr. The dasher, which now does not rise above the surface of the cream, is worked at half speed, and the butter is produced quite pure, in large-sized, hard, and compact grannies; the adherent buttermilk can be readily separated by rinsing a couple of times in water, and the butter is then ready for salting.

Clotted Cream.—In Devonshire a method of treating the milk has long been in use for the production of what is called clotted or " clouted " cream. The new milk is strained into shallow earthenware pans, in each of which half a pint of water has previously been placed to prevent the milk from adhering to the pan in the subsequent process of scalding; after twelve hours the pans are placed over a charcoal fire, or on a hot plate, or are immersed, in cold water in a shallow boiler, which is then heated until the temperature of the milk rises to 180°, after which they are again replaced in the milk-room (great care being taken to preserve the surface of cream unbroken), and allowed to stand the usual time. The scalding effects the separation of the whole of the cream from the milk, and greatly facilitates its conver-sion into butter. This is readily accomplished by placing the cream in a small tub, and working it with the hand or a piece of flat wood. The butter made from it is said by some persons to be altogether superior to that made without scalding, and also to keep better; whereas others assert, and with good show of truth, that it contains an undue proportion of cheesy matter, and in consequence is more liable to rancidity than other butter.

Lancashire Method.—A mode of procedure in use in some Lancashire dairies has been much commended. The first drawn and larger portion of the new milk is set aside, and the cream obtained from it is mixed, at the time of churning, with the strippings or afterings, which contain the greater part of the butter obtained at milking. The labour of churning the whole of the milk is thus obviated, and a larger yield of butter is said to be obtained than when the cream only is churned.

The separation of the butter from the milk is not so com-plete as to secure the absence of some oily matter in the whey, and, on the other hand, of a portion of caseous matter in the butter. Cheese, being a nitrogenous substance, is peculiarly susceptible of putrefaction, and hence even the smallest portion of it present in butter is sure in a very short time to corrupt the whole mass and to impart to it a rancid flavour. Besides this liability to taint, butter, like other fatty substances, readily absorbs odours of all kinds ; and if cream or butter is kept in the same apartment with tainted meat, or other decaying matter, or is stored in vessels that have previously contained any rancid substance, or is exposed to the exhalations of dung-heaps and stables, it is sure to become contaminated. By washing the newly-churned butter repeatedly in cold water, and at the same time working a little salt into it, not only the whey, but the greater part of the caseous matter above referred to, can be removed, and the tendency to rancidity is overcome. If the butter is to be used fresh, it is immediately made into rolls or pats ; but if it is to be cured, half an ounce of fine salt is added for each pound of the butter, and thoroughly incorporated with it; and the mass, after lying a day, is again worked over, and then packed into a perfectly clean air-tight vessel. In domestic use the most convenient vessels are jars of glazed earthenware. Market butter is put into casks called half-firkins, firkins, and tubs, contain-ing respectively 28 lb, 56 lb, and 84 fi>. These should be of well-seasoned oak, and made perfectly tight, as otherwise the butter is sure to become tainted. Large quantities of butter are also now disposed of in scaled tins. From the facilities which railways afford for cheap and rapid carriage, a very great proportion of our home-made butter is sent to market in a fresh or only slightly salt state.

The average yearly product of butter per cow in the butter dairies is usually estimated at from 170 to 200 tt>. This is in addition to the new milk used in rearing the heifer calves required to keep up the stock, and to the butter consumed in the farmer's family.

3. Cheese Dairies.—Cheese-making is by far the most difficult department of dairy management. Although the art is universally practised, and the raw material is every-where substantially the same, there is perhaps no equally common product which varies so much in its quality and market value, from mere diversity in the skill with which it is made. The difficulty of producing really good cheese arises from the peculiar susceptibility of milk to be in-fluenced by a great variety of external causes, and the extreme facility with which its component parts undergo chemical changes.

Casein, the chief ingredient of cheese, is held in solution in milk by means of an alkali. The effect of neutralizing this alkali is to produce insoluble casein, which when dried forms cheese. When milk is allowed to stand, coagulation takes place on account of the formation of lactic acid. There are various substances which, when added to new milk, promote speedy coagulation. The preparation which is invariably used for this purpose in British dairies is rennet, provincially called steep or yearning, which is made from the stomachs of sucking calves. To cure them, the stomachs, usually termed bags or veils, as soon as taken from the animal, are turned inside out, carefully freed from all impurities, and salted. They are then packed one upon another, with layers of salt between, into a deep earthen-ware vessel, and are covered over with salt, the air being excluded by a close-fitting lid. In the best English dairies the skins are invariably kept for a year previous to use. About a month before the rennet is needed, a sufficient number of the skins are taken out of the jar, and when the brine has drained from them, they are spread out upon a table, powdered on both sides with fine salt, rolled with a paste roller, distended with a splint of wood, and hung up to dry. The rennet is made the day before use by putting into a cup with half a pint of lukewarm water and a tea-spoonful of salt a square inch of the bag for each 10 gallons of milk to be curdled. The power of effecting coagulation is attributed to the minute globular germs existing in prodigious quantities in the steep. The production of these appears to be connected with a kind of decay in the skin, which, however, if it goes too far, causes the cheese made to corrupt prematurely, and renders it unwhole-some. In some dairies as much of the rennet is infused at one time as serves for several weeks, or even months ; but the practice of the best dairies is in favour of its daily or at most weekly preparation. To produce cheese of the best quality it is indispensable that the rennet be sweet and good, that only so much of it be used as will suffice to effect perfect coagulation, and that this take place at a proper temperature. Too much rennet makes a tough curd and a poor ill-flavoured cheese. The time the milk takes to coagulate varies with different modes of churning.

The cheese dairy comprises a milk-room, working-room, salting and drying room, and cheese-room. The working-room is provided with two boilers—a smaller one for heating water, and a larger one for heating whey. There are also lead tanks for containing the fresh whey, and a cistern in which, after being scalded, it is stored for the pigs. The cheese-tub is of wood or tinned iron—the latter being best, as it admits of being thoroughly washed, whereas a wooden vessel, being porous, is exceedingly apt to retain minute particles of milk or whey, which, souring in the wood, become a source of mischief to the future contents. The other utensils are lever presses, cheese vats of elm, turned out of the solid and hooped with wood, pans of tinned iron or brass for heating milk by immersion in hot water, a cheese ladder, a curd-breaker, a curd mill, and a thermometer.

In England the cows are milked twice a-day, at 5 A.M. and 5 P.M. The whole available hands are engaged at this work, that it may be accomplished speedily. Usually each person has seven or eight cows to his share, and occupies about ten minutes in the milking of each of them. The milk is carried to the dairy as fast as it is drawn from the cows, and is there consigned to the care of the dairy-maid, who proceeds in her treatment of it according to the variety of cheese to be produced. The kinds of cheese in best esti-mation and of greatest market value are Stilton, Cheddar, Cheshire, and Gloucester. The first variety is made in Leicestershire, and contains the cream of one milking, added to the new milk of the next. The Cheddar and Cheshire cheeses are made from new milk, or rather from milk in which all its own cream is retained. Gloucester cheese is usually deprived of a small portion of its cream. Double and singlei Gloucester differ only in the former being twice the thickness and weight of the latter, and consequently taking longer to ripen. The Scotch variety called Dunlop and the Gouda of Holland are full-milk cheeses. Cheddar cheese is now generally made in Ayr-shire and the other cheesemaking counties in Scotland. The following is an abstract of a report presented by Mr Drennan to the Ayrshire Agricultural Association in 1854, describing the method followed in Mrs Harding's dairy in Somersetshire :—

Immediately after the morning milking, the milk is mixed with that of the preceding evening, the whole being brought to the temperature of from 80° to 82° Fahr. by heating a small quantity of the evening milk. In spring and towards winter a small quantity of arnotto is used to improve the colour of the cheese. It is put into the milk along with the rennet at 7 o'clock. After the rennet is added, an hour is requisite for coagulation. At 8 o'clock the curd is partially broken and allowed to subside a few minutes, in order that a small quantity of whey may be drawn off to be heated. This whey is put into a tin vessel and placed on a boiler in a separate apartment, to be heated in hot water. The curd is then most carefully and minutely broken with utensils called shovel breakers, and as much of the heated whey is mixed with it as suffices to raise it to the temperature at which the rennet was added. Soon after 9 o'clock the work is resumed. A few pailfuls of whey are drawn off and heated to a higher temperature than at 8 o'clock. The curd is then broken as minutely as before ; and after this several pailfuls of heated whey are poured into the mass. During the pouring in of the whey the stirring with the breakers is actively continued, in order to mix the whole regularly, and not to allow any portion of the curd to become overheated. The temperature at this time is raised to 100°, as ascertained by the thermometer, anu the stirring is continued until, at length, the minutely broken pieces of curd acquire a certain degree of consistency. The curd is then left half an hour to subside. At the expiry of the half hour it has settled at the bottom of the tub. Drawing off the whey is the next operation. The greater proportion of the whey is lifted, iu a large tin bowl, and poured through a hair sieve into the adjoining coolers. When the whey above the mass of curd is re. moved, a spigot is turned at the bottom of the tub, and the re-mainder is allowed to drain off without the application of pressure. To facilitate this part of the work the tub is made with a convex bottom, and the curd is cut from the sides of the tub and heaped up on the elevated centre, and left for an hour with no other pressure than its own weight. It is then cut across in large slices, turned over once on the centre of the tub, and left in a heap as before for half an hour. The whey drips away toward the sides of the tub, and runs off at the spigot; and, no pressure being applied, it continues to come away comparatively pure. After undergoing this treatment the curd is ripe for the application of pressure. If, as is usual, it be warmer than 60°, it is broken a little by the hand and thrown upon a lead cooler to bring it down to the desired tem-perature. It is then put into vats, and subjected to moderate pressure for about an hour ; after which it is broken finely in a simple curd mill, mixed with salt, and made up into cheeses. From 2 to 2J lb of salt may be given to one cwt. of curd. The cheese is put into the lever-press at from two to three o'clock of the day on which it is made ; next morning it is reversed in the vat, with a calico cloth upon it to give it a smooth surface ; on the following morning another fine cloth is put upon it ; and after another day of the press it is laid upou the shelf.

Skilful management during the ripening of the cheese is now regarded as indispensable to complete success. To enable a cheesemaker to come to the front rank, he must have a good cheese-room, with means of regulating heat and ventilation. Great attention is now paid to this important matter in many of the Scotch dairies, and stili more in the cheese factories of America.

New-milk cheese, when skilfully made, consists not of the casein only, but includes nearly all the butter of the milk. A portion of the latter is, however, carried off in the whey, from which it is recovered by a simple process. The whey is heated in a boiler to 180°, at which point a small quantity of sour buttermilk is stirred into it, which has the instantaneous effect of causing all the buttery matter to rise to the surface, from which it is skimmed off and put into a jar. As soon as the buttermilk is put in, the fire is withdrawn to prevent the whey from reaching the boiling point. The whey thus deprived of its cream is run into a cistern, whence it is dealt out to the pigs. The whey-cream is kept for three or four days until it thickens, and is then churned like ordinary cream. About half a pound of this whey butter is obtained weekly from each cow. Its value is about three-fourths of that of cream butter.

According to the reports of 43 New York factories in 1869, from 9T4 to lO'll lb of milk is requisite to make 1 tt) of cured American cheese.

In the province of Parma, in Italy, the annual quantity of milk used in cheese-dairy farms was about the year 1872 estimated, in round numbers, at 1,540,700 gallons, yielding 855,400 lb of " grana" or Parmesan cheese, 253,530 lb of butter, and 524,700 B> of " ricotta," a fresh common cheese made after the butter and cream have been for the most part removed from the milk. In the hill district 1000 litres of milk will produce 18 kilo-grammes more butter, cheese, and ricotta than in the plain. In the majority of the dairy-farms work is carried on during only six or eight months in the year.

The following is an estimate of the amount, description, and cost of the year's food of an average Ayrshire milch cow on a good farm in the cheese and butter producing districts, and the value of the produce :—

1. Keep.—
3J, to 4 tons of roots during 200 days in winter, given raw or cooked, at 12 £2 5 0
40 to 50 stones of meal, cake, and bran, &c. 2 10 0
Summer's grass 5 0 8
Straw given as fodder and litter over and above value of dung 2 0 0
Expenses of attendance, feeding, and milking, as well as deterioration of value of cow. interest on its price, and various risks, estimated at 4 5 0
Making outlay about £16 0 0
Outlay, carried forward £16 0 0

2. The produce of a cow treated as above may be estimated for the year at say from 500 to 600 gallons of milk, which if disposed of as new milk from the cow would give, at 9d per gallon, about 20 0 0
Profit £4 0 0

When hay is used, as in Ireland in the neighbourhood of Cork, and in many districts where roots are not grown, the quantity estimated for the winter's keep of a cow is 1J tons.
If made into butter the milk would produce about 220 fb, which at Is. 5d. a lb would amount to £15, lis. 8d., to which must be added the value of buttermilk sold or used for feeding pigs, say £3, making in all as the pro-duce of the year, £18, lis. 8d. Again, if converted into cheese, the produce may be estimated at 550 lb at 7^d. per ft>, or about £17—which, with perhaps 25s. as value of whey, gives £18, 5s. as the result of this system. These calculations are made on the recognized standard that 1 gallon of milk produces 1 lb of cheese, and that 2-J gallons produce 1 lb of butter.

About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us

© 2005-19 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries