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Collectors & Explorers

Dr Werner Kissling

Nine pictures showing cheesemaking, Rainton Farm, Gatehouse-of-Fleet


"Large stainless steel vat in which milk can be quickly heated to the temperature required, contains the morning and evening milk from the herd of this typical cheesemaking farm. A starter is added early in the morning to advance lactic fermentation and, one hour later when the milk is sufficiently sour and the temperature reaches 84 degrees F., the time has come for the addition of “rennet”, the enzyme which causes the curdling of milk. In less than an hour the curd has risen to the top of the whey and tends to clot together.


The curd is, therefore, agitated with the [ ] rake to keep the pieces floating separately until they are firm enough and settle to the bottom.


The curd is draining in the bottom of the vat and, when firm enough, it will be cut.


The curd is cut with a cheese knife into brick sized blocks that are turned, piled and covered between each turning.


Testing the texture of the curd.


Grinding or milling tears the curd into walnut size pieces. Salt is added. The cheese is then moulded into wooden moulds or “chessats” lined with dressings.


The cheese is pressed in a mid-nineteenth century press.


After pressing it is rubbed with lard and bandaged. In a few weeks the young cheese is ready to be eaten and, in about 3 months, it is ready for the market."

Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council