These would be Cheshires #1 and #2 for me, and cheeses #5 and #6.

In doing my research I read so many Cheshire cheese recipes from both modern and historic sources, that I decided to try a couple and see how they turned out. I'm aiming for a fresh, crumbly, acidic white cheshire cheese, but few recipes specify what the end result will be and many seem focused on red cheshire. The tl,dr version is that I've had a partial success.

The first recipe was from an Australian book called "Home cheesemaking" by Neil and Carole Willman. I made this with only minor modifications.

10 litres "Real Milk" (pasteurised, unhomogenised milk from Pyengana dairy)

250 pre-cultured 'type A' starter (a mesophilic single-strain L. Lactis starter)

2 ml vegetarian rennet

Milk brought to 31C in double boiler (initial milk pH 6.4)

Add 250 ml starter, stir well (starter pH 4.9)

Recipe called for no culture time between adding starter and rennet which I thought odd, but I ran with it so immediately added rennet.

Add 2 ml rennet, diluted in 20 ml water, stir 3 minutes

Rest 30 minutes. Temp was a constant 31.7C

Checked, had clean break. Cut initially 1/2-inch cubes, then to bean size.

Stir 3 hours, raising temp over first 45 minutes to 34.5C, then stirred intermittently to stop curds from pitching.

After 3 hours pH dropped to 5.8, drain whey. Lost track of the temp at this point and it rose to 36C.

Textured for two hours at 33-34C, breaking up every 30 minutes. pH 5.0 at end of 2 hours.

Pressed 40 hours, turning every 8 hours, gradually increasing weight to 17.5 kg.

Weight out of press = 1008g, Weight after drying = 956g

The second cheese was made according to a combination of a recipe in Kathy Bliss's Practical Cheesemaking and a UK dairy board leaflet

10.5 litres "Real Milk"

200 ml pre-cultured "Farmhouse" starter (L. lactis, L. lactis cremoris, L. lactis biovar diacetylactis, S. thermophilus)

2.5 ml rennet

Initial milk pH 6.8 (possibly my calibrating solutions had shifted as I re-used the ones from two days before)

Bring milk to 26C, add 200 ml culture and mix well.

Rest 30 minutes, gradually increasing temp to 30C (pH=6.5)

Add 2.5 ml rennet in 25 ml water at 29.5C, stir 3 min. Rest 40 min until clean break.

Cut curds to 1/2 inch initially, then to bean size.

Stir gently without heat 15 min

Stir constantly over next 30 min, increasing heat to 34C.

Maintain heat, stir 30 min until curds firm and free (T=34.1, pH=6.2)

Drain whey and allow curds to settle. Cut into 2-inch slices.

Scald at 34C for 3 hours, breaking blocks in half and turning every 20 minutes, looking for a texture like chicken breast. (pH=5.2 at end)

Mill and mix with 25g salt

Place in mould. Weight going into press 1230g.

Press 1.25kg for 15 min

Press 2.5kg for 15 min

Press 20kg for 24 hours

Bliss's pressing regime (after the first 24 hours of moulding):

Day 1: Place moulds in warm (21C) room with no pressure

Day 2: Press at 24.9 N/m2 for two hours. Increase to 49.6 N/m2 for rest of day.

Day 3: 49.6 N/m2.

Day 4: pack.

I pressed at 5 kg and then 20 kg for the weights. Cheese weighed 1030g out of the press at the end of that.

The final picture is the two cheeses. The larger, lower cheese on the left is the Bliss recipe and the higher cheese on the right is the first recipe. The first one didn't knit particularly well, which may be a factor of overshooting my target temperature. I'm finding it's very dry and cracking. I've tried a saline wash but it's had little effect. The Bliss cheese is also starting to crack between the curds on the top surface as it dries.

ETA: of the two recipes I definitely prefer the second. It gave a superior texture to the curds during scalding and pressing.

I'm thinking I'll paint these with "cheese plastic" (a PVC coating) and then wax them to stop moisture loss. Would this be a good idea?