Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/257

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DAIRY SCHOOLS AND DAIRY PRODUCTS.

nary Cheddar cheese is as follows: The milk is heated to 86° Fahr., in the cheese vat; one to four ounces of rennet extract is then added, according to the kind of cheese desired. The rennet coagulates the milk in less than half an hour; when the curd is firm, it is cut into small cubes by means of cheese knives, and heated slowly to 98° Fahr.; after about two hours the whey is ready to be drained off, the curd put on racks, and various operations gone through, of no special interest to the general reader; it is then salted (two to three pounds of salt to one thousand pounds of milk containing four per cent fat), put in hoops and pressed for twenty-four hours, and finally placed in the curing room. The more rennet is added to the milk, the quicker the cheese will cure; the more salt, the slower it will cure. Cheddar cheese ought to cure at least two months before it is put on the market, but is often sold only a couple of weeks old.

I have barely touched upon the main features in the manufacture of dairy products in the preceding. While it does not take very long to learn the important steps in their manufacture, it requires good common sense and thorough knowledge of the composition and properties of dairy products and the many conditions affecting the various processes, in order to become a successful butter or cheese maker. No cast-iron rules can be laid down in most cases, and no man can therefore make the kind of butter and cheese that you and I like, unless he understands his work thoroughly and uses good judgment in the discharge of his duties.

The dairy industry of the United States can not help receiving a grand impetus through the agency of the dairy schools; the quantity of dairy products will be increased through a better selection of animals, through more liberal, systematic feeding and better care being taken of them, and the quality of the products will be improved by a thorough understanding of the theory and practice of their manufacture. The magnitude of our dairy industry makes this educational work a most important one. The value of the annual product of butter and cheese made on farms or in factories in the United States in 1880, according to the tenth census, amounted to nearly one hundred and forty million dollars. More than eight hundred million pounds of butter and two hundred and forty million pounds of cheese were made during 1880. When it is remembered that the average annual yield of butter per cow in the United States does not exceed one hundred and twenty-five pounds, while single herds give three and even four hundred pounds a year per cow—when, furthermore, the mass of butter sells at an average of less than fifteen cents a pound, while private parties obtain fifty cents or more a pound for their butter—then we understand what a grand opportunity is offered to