Author Topic: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please  (Read 906 times)

Offline Dairymaid

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COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« on: November 27, 2013, 02:17:37 AM »
COMPARING CHEDDAR RECIPES

Dear colleagues and fellow cheesemakers.  Last year, as a novice cheesemaker with loads of milk from our newly acquired Jersey cows to deal with each week, I made a total of 13 cheddars, using about 20 litres each time.  Because they all took months to ripen, it was a long time before I tasted my experiments.  Then I took a break of several months for various reasons.  My impression was that the cheddars I made were inedible and that most of them went to the chooks but I have just reread my diaries and actually only 2 went direct from fridge to chicken run, the others had comments like “tasted excellent when tried at 8 weeks” or “this tasted fantastic, sharp and mature”.  So I don’t know why in my mind they were all failures – that is the way the mind works I guess 2/13 failures and they're the only ones that get remembered .  Anyway, the cows are in full lactation again now and I want to try again.  I decided to do something I found on this site some time ago – compare four recipes and ask for comments and advice.  Which recipe would you follow and why?  I'm especially interested in the differences in the cheddaring and pressing sections.  Thanks for your time and input. 



STEP # 1 MILK PREPARATION
Rikki Carrol [RC]  Needs no introduction.
Heat milk to 86/30 degrees

Paul Peacock [PP] British author of “Making your own Cheese”.
Heat milk to 89/32 degrees

Katherine Mowbray [KM] Kiwi author, well known teacher here, I attended a class of hers.
Heat milk to 89/32 degrees

Cheeseforum Wiki Recipe [CF]
Warm milk to 89/32 degrees


Step #2 STARTER CULTURE
RC: Add mesophilic starter and stir well.  Cover and allow milk to ripen 45 mins.
PP: Add starter and stir well, cover and keep warm for 45 mins.
KM: Add starter. [no ripening time]
CF: Add mesophilic starter culture and mix thoroughly with a whisk, the culture must be uniform throughout the milk. Allow the milk to ripen for one hour.

STEP # 3 RENNETING
RC: Add rennet, stir, cover and let set 45 mins.
PP: Dilute rennet and add to milk. Leave to stand for another 45 mins at 89/32 degrees.
KM: Add rennet. Leave to set for 45-60 mins.
CF: Dilute rennet in 1/2 cup cool water. Slowly pour the rennet into the milk stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir for 1 minute. Allow the milk to set for 1-2 hours until a firm curd is set and a clean break can be obtained when the curd is cut.

STEP # 4 CUTTING CURD
RC: Cut curd into 1/4 inch pieces. Allow to set 5 mins.
PP: Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
KM: Approx 1cm / 1/2inch cubes. Stir gently to ensure equal size. Settle for 5 mins.
CF: With a long knife, cut the curds into 1/4 inch cubes. Allow the curds to sit for 15 minutes to firm up.

STEP # 5 COOKING THE CURD
RC: Heat the curds to 38/100 degrees, increasing temp no more than two degrees every 5 mins. this should take about 30 mins. Stir gently to keep the curds from matting.  Once curds reach 38/100 degrees maintain that temp and continue stirring for 30 mins longer.  Allow curds to set for 20 mins.
PP: Very slowly increase the temp to 38/100 degrees. As the temp rises, stir the curds. Make sure they don’t stick together. They will slowly decrease in size and darken to a creamy yellow colour. When the temp reaches 38/100 degrees leave the curds to stand for 10 mins.
KM: Gently heat to 35-38 degrees (95-100). Takes 30 mins. ensure uniform temp throughout. Stir gently until curd becomes firm and elastic in texture. Scalding helps expel whey and increases acid development. Let settle 5 mins.
CF: Slowly raise the temperature of the milk to 102F / 39C. It should take as long as 45 minutes to reach this temperature. During this time, gently stir the curds every few minutes so they don’t mat together. Cook the curds at 102F / 39C for another 45 minutes. During this time, gently stir the curds every few minutes so they don’t mat together.

STEP # 6 DRAINING THE CURDS
RC: Pour the curds and whey into a colander. Place the colander of curds back into the pot and let set for 15 mins.
PP: Gently pour curds into a muslin lined container. Hang the curds in the muslin until they stop dripping.  Keep them warm.
KM: Place a sterilised cheesecloth over a draining rack. Using a sterilised sieve, ladle the curd onto the cloth, into a rectangular shape approx. 2.5cm deep.
CF: Drain the whey by pouring through a cheesecloth lined colander. Do this quickly and do not allow the curds to mat.

STEP # 7 CHEDDARING
RC: Remove the colander from the pot and place the mass of curd on a cutting board. Cut the curd into 3” pieces. Put the pot into a sink full of 38/100 degrees water. Place the slices in the pot and cover the pot. Maintain the curds at 38/100 degrees, turning them every 15 mins for 2 hours.
PP: Does not have this step.
KM: cut the curd into strips 20cm (8 inch) long the turn and pile a light higher every 10-15 mins to develop the acidity and the texture.  Crud must be kept warm with clean dry cloth. Cut and turn about 3 times, the strips when torn should resemble cooked chicken breast meat.
CF: Does not have this step.

STEP # 8 MILLING
RC: The curd slices should now be touch and have a texture similar to chicken meat. Break the slices into ½ inch cubes and put them back in the pot. Cover the pot. Put the pot back into the sink full of 38/100 degrees water and let sit for 30 mins., stirring the curds with your fingers every 10 mins. Do not squeeze the curds, merely stir them to keep them from matter.  Remove the pot from the sink, add the salt and stir gently.
PP: Carefully pour the curds into a bowl and break them in half with your fingers, then add the salt. 
KM: The purpose of milling is to reduce the curd to uniform sized piece and to enable the salt to be distributed evenly.  Add at the rate of 2% of the final weight and mix thoroughly.  Leave curd to cool to 26/78 degrees.
CF: Place the curds back into the double boiler at 102F / 39C. Stir the curds to separate any particles that have matted. Add the tablespoon of salt and mix thoroughly. Cook the curds at 102F / 39C for one hour, stirring every few minutes.

STEP # 9 PRESSING
RC: Line a 2 pound mould with cheesecloth and place the curds in the mould. Press at 10lb / 4.5kg pressure for 15 mins. Turn, redress and press at 40lb (18kg) for 12 hours. Turn, re-dress and press at 50lb (22kg) for 24 hours.
PP: line a mould with cheesecloth and place curds in it.  Put 5kg (11lb) weight on top for 15 mins. turn and press with 10kg (22lb) for 15 mins. Turn again and press for 6 hours at 15 kg, (33 lb) then give it a final turn and press at 15 kg (33lb) for a final 6 hours.
KM: the mould is lined with sterilised cloth then filled with the cheese curd and pressed with the fist. Pull the cloth up from the sides and place the follower on top. Pressure must be applied slowly for the first 2 hours and then it can be increased.
CF: Carefully place the curds into your cheesecloth lined mold. Press the cheese at about 20 lbs / 9 kg for 45 minutes. Remove the cheese from the press and flip it. Press the cheese at about 40 lbs /18 kg for 3 hours. Remove the cheese from the press and flip it. Press the cheese at about 50 lbs / 23 kg for 24 hours.

STEP # 10 AGING
RC: Remove cheese from mould, air-dry at room temp for 2-5 days until dry to touch. Wax the cheese.  Age at 50-55 degrees (10 – 12 C) for 3-12 months.
PP: Remove cheese from mould and leave to dry for a few days on a cheese mat. Apply cheese wax and leave it to age for at least a month at 15C / 59F degrees and 75% RH.
KM: Day 2 remove the cheese and trim the edges with a knife. Soak in 20% brine for up to 2 hours. Store in a cool moist atmosphere at 5-10 (40-50F) degrees with 80-90% RH. Turn every day initially then every 2 days. Store for at least 5-6 weeks.
CF: Remove the cheese from the press. Place the cheese on a cheese board and dry at room temperature for 3-5 days, until the cheese is dry to the touch. Wax the cheese and age it in your refrigerator for 3-24 months. The longer the cheese is aged the sharper the flavor it will develop. Be sure to flip the cheese every few days.


Offline Pete S

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2013, 06:25:56 AM »
  This sounds very interesting.
 I will be following this thread as I am interested in what effects different  procedures have on the final cheese.
  I am doing a similar experiment with different salting methods.

  Pete
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Offline Digitalsmgital

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2013, 07:49:58 AM »
An interesting idea! Have all the recipes been adjusted to an equal volume of milk?
Regards, Dave

Offline Boofer

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2013, 08:43:42 AM »
Thank you for taking the time to extract and post all of this. Interesting stuff.

STEP # 3 RENNETING
RC: Add rennet, stir, cover and let set 45 mins.
PP: Dilute rennet and add to milk. Leave to stand for another 45 mins at 89/32 degrees.
KM: Add rennet. Leave to set for 45-60 mins.
CF: Dilute rennet in 1/2 cup cool water. Slowly pour the rennet into the milk stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir for 1 minute. Allow the milk to set for 1-2 hours until a firm curd is set and a clean break can be obtained when the curd is cut.
I don't see any mention of adjusting the renneting time using flocculation. Search on it.

STEP # 8 MILLING
RC: The curd slices should now be touch and have a texture similar to chicken meat.
Most commonly characterized as similar to chicken breast meat.

STEP # 9 PRESSING
RC: Line a 2 pound mould with cheesecloth and place the curds in the mould. Press at 10lb / 4.5kg pressure for 15 mins. Turn, redress and press at 40lb (18kg) for 12 hours. Turn, re-dress and press at 50lb (22kg) for 24 hours.
PP: line a mould with cheesecloth and place curds in it.  Put 5kg (11lb) weight on top for 15 mins. turn and press with 10kg (22lb) for 15 mins. Turn again and press for 6 hours at 15 kg, (33 lb) then give it a final turn and press at 15 kg (33lb) for a final 6 hours.
KM: the mould is lined with sterilised cloth then filled with the cheese curd and pressed with the fist. Pull the cloth up from the sides and place the follower on top. Pressure must be applied slowly for the first 2 hours and then it can be increased.
CF: Carefully place the curds into your cheesecloth lined mold. Press the cheese at about 20 lbs / 9 kg for 45 minutes. Remove the cheese from the press and flip it. Press the cheese at about 40 lbs /18 kg for 3 hours. Remove the cheese from the press and flip it. Press the cheese at about 50 lbs / 23 kg for 24 hours.
Quite possibly, pressing for 24 hours could allow the cheese to over-acidify.

The "KM" recipe is the only one that says to press the curd into the mould by hand to ensure a good knit on the rind. Also, no mention is made to keeping the curds warm initially while pressing. This helps to get a tight consolidated rind.

I've attached a couple papers to further complicate your life. ;)

-Boofer-
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Offline jwalker

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 08:57:19 AM »
I have only tried the RC recipe , I did it twice , one was mediocre at best , and the other was as good as any Cheddar I have had.

I do have one by G. Caldewlls book , now aging at 5 months or so.

The good one was aged 6 months or so , and the mediocre one was opened too early , looking back , I should have re-waxed and aged it longer.

I'm of the opinion that Cheddars should be aged for a minimum 6 months , anything before that is just too young for Cheddar , I am curious as to the age of your makes when tasted , it may be some of them were too young?

I noted Two of your recipes (PP and CF) do not include a Cheddaring process , so I suppose , it could be argued that they're not really Cheddar type cheeses , that said , I did a "Farmhouse" cheddar of RC's that has no cheddaring or milling , and it turned out very well at 6 months.

I just tasted a Cheddar yesterday with my new cheese trier , it is a 4 gallon wheel by Gianaclis Caldwells book , it is coming along very well at 5 months old , but will definitely need a few more months to taste like a real Cheddar.

I'm finally keeping better records of makes and affinage now , and analyzing the results in order to find what works best , I wish I had been more vigilant in this respect sooner , I think it is key to good cheese making.

I also noticed only one recipe calls for a quick brining as well as adding salt , that would be an interesting twist on Cheddar , as I like the way brine seems to firm up the rind , I may try that.

How long did you age your Cheddars  ?
No..........I'm not a professional CheeseMaker , but I play one on TV.

Offline Anonymous

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2013, 09:11:49 AM »
Thanks for posting the recipe comparisons.

I recently bought some old Cracker Barrel cheddar. I looked at the ingredients list and was surprised to see some lipase! It was sharper than the generic old cheddar I usually buy. I liked it very much! I wonder if a cheddar needs to be aged as much to achieve that taste if it has lipase added.

Anyways, I thought it was something to consider once I try my first cheddar.

Offline Dairymaid

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 10:22:21 AM »

How long did you age your Cheddars  ?

Hi there (wonder if i have figured out how to use this 'quote' facility correctly or not?).  I tried most of my cheddars after 3-4 months but the last one which was positively nasty had been 'maturing' for 8 months!

It is true that maturing is an issue - the elusive cave with constant temp of 10 degrees and 80%RH is not such an easy thing to create for this home cheese-maker.  I bought a small wine cooler last year and kept the waxed cheeses in that over the summer months.  But we live off the grid, using solar and wind power so in periods of time when there is no sun and no wind, the fridge has to be turned off otherwise it drains our batteries.  :-/

@Spoons - I also used lipase in all of them from Cheddar #3 onwards, hoping for a stronger, sharper flavour.  Having thrown out cheese #13 because it was too sharp and unpleasant I thought I would try it without lipase this next time. 

@Dave - amounts of milk
RC 2 gallons
PP 9 litres
KM: 10 litres
CF: 1 US gallon

@Boofer - thanks, will read your articles and get back

Offline Dairymaid

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 02:15:30 PM »
Hi Boofer

On the thread by JimSteel “complete disaster – considering retirement” you suggested to me: “If you would care to share the details of some of your "failures", perhaps you'd get some different perspectives and suggested solutions. Recipe, make procedure, quality of milk, list of ingredients...etc.”

I have always used the recipe by KM above. 

Our milk is unpasteurised and organic from our own Jersey cows.  I have wondered if this type of milk is unsuitable for the hard cheeses because of its high fat content.  I notice when I cut the curds and start the stirring process, the curds are very fragile, they mat easily, break down into ‘scrambled egg’ texture. I have watched clips on YouTube of people swirling their hand around in a basin of whey with neat little cubes of white curds floating round like rubber dice.  I wish!! I have never achieved anything like that, although through experience I have learned how to work with my own curds and have not had ‘scrambled egg’ for quite a while now.  But I am always nervous at the cutting and stirring stage of the process.

It would also seem that my curds do not release as much whey as recipes suggest they should.  In Gouda recipes for example, the first removal of the whey suggests that it should be as much as a third of the pot. That is ridiculous for me – I have only ever been able to take off maybe 1/10 of the amount that first went into the pot.

I started adding lipase to my cheddars from cheddar #3 onwards (to #13) because I thought it would help the flavour.  Being from the UK I like my cheddars sharp and tangy.  But the last one (#13) was so disgusting I wrote a note to myself – if there was a next time – to leave out the lipase.

Once I felt I knew (vaguely) what I was going with the procedures (cutting, stirring, cheddaring etc.) I used 18-20 litres (quarts) each time.

Apart from always feeling insecure about the stirring I also believe that the pressing I did was too much guesswork and not enough science.  I believe that by not pressing out enough whey, the waxed cheeses went ‘sour’.  Is that possible?  I generally used the following formula:  Cheese into 6 inch mould, plus wooden follower.  Topped with c.10lb weight for 15 mins.  Turned and same weight for 1.5 hours. Turned and added a large mudbrick (weight unknown but heavy – maybe another 20lb?) overnight.  I now use a press my cousin made me (i'll see if i can attach a photo) and can be more precise.  The lightest weight is 7kg (15lb) and I can increase that by moving the cheese mould nearer the upright to about 50lb. 

Thanks for listening.  Since I started cheesemaking I have longed for a grandmother to stand at my side and say things like “careful now, when it starts looking like that is when you have to stop”. Or, “if that happens, you have gone too far, the remedy is to...” Or, “taste it now, can you sense the xyz?  Now compare it to this – there is more zyx – that is the effect you are after”. Etc.  Sigh.  No grandmother.  So any advice from internet grandmother substitutes gratefully received. 

Offline Anonymous

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 02:46:49 PM »
"Sour" taste in cheese can mean many things:
* Too much rennet.
* The cheese over-acidified while pressing
* Cheese didn't dry enough when it was waxed (you would have seen a whey build-up once you'd open the cheese)

Weak curds shouldn't happen with raw milk, but try adding Calcium Chloride. You should get a nice solid curd as opposed to "scrambled eggs". I get scrambled eggs when I buy store bought milk EVEN IF I add CaCl2. Maybe your rennet isn't strong enough? Don't use the Junket brand. and also use the FLOCCULATION METHOD to know exactly when to cut.

I think the main thing here is I'm not seeing PH targets. This would help you get more consistent cheeses. PH targets are usually taken at 4 stages (5 for cheddar):

* At the start (6.70)
* At Rennet (cutting) (6.45-6.50)
* At draining (5.90-6.00)
* After cheddaring (5.30-5.40)
* At final press (???)

These PH targets are only examples provided by Peter Dixon`s recipe.

This would help greatly IMO.

Also, I don`t know about temperature variations in NZ, but typically, winter milk and Summer milk provide slight nuances in the final product.

Hope this helps,
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 02:57:30 PM by Spoons »

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2013, 12:37:15 AM »
Dairymaid,

I did a bit of research that may leave you with answers or maybe even more questions. This is about your weak curd that you described as scrambled eggs.

All cow breeds provide great milk for any cheese. There are some preferences though, and they are only preferences. So a jersey cow will not provide some poor quality milk for a hard cheese, it's just that Holsteins are preferred. Jersey milk is quite suitable. The protein to fat ratio is a little high which will affect the final outcome.

The health of your cows are more important here. At the start of lactation, cows need to provide an excess of calcium. Older cows or even certain breeds such as jerseys, occasionally have more difficulty with their calcium levels at any stage. So your milk may not have sufficient calcium content. Calcium deficiency problems are apparently fairly common especially among jerseys.

So, my best guess here would be to definitely add some CaCl2 to your recipes and see where that goes. As for the F:P ratio, maybe add some skim milk to your recipe and bring down the fat content?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 12:43:04 AM by Spoons »

Offline Digitalsmgital

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2013, 09:03:44 AM »



It would also seem that my curds do not release as much whey as recipes suggest they should.  In Gouda recipes for example, the first removal of the whey suggests that it should be as much as a third of the pot. That is ridiculous for me – I have only ever been able to take off maybe 1/10 of the amount that first went into the pot.


I am a beginner so take my perspective lightly, but of the three hard cheeses I have produced, my first curd (from raw goats milk) was 'scrambled egg' because I did not understand how to calculate and use the flocculation point. My second cheese, also with raw goat milk, released much more whey and gave me a far stronger curd than the first after reading these pages. The third cheese, from store-bought pasteurized cow's milk, gave me the strongest curd yet. (I added calcium chloride as Spoons suggested to you above)

This weekend I make my fourth cheese, this time from raw cow's milk, and plan on a cheddar! I will not add CaCl2 but I anticipate the strongest curd yet! (Did I just hear  the cheese gods laughing?)
Regards, Dave

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2013, 07:05:12 PM »
Thanks for all comments and tips above.  I don't have time to order calcium chl. as today is the day for making cheese.  But i am going to try a new recipe - RC's farmhouse cheddar.  I know Jim you say that recipe did not turn out so well for you, but one thing I realised from writing out all the above is that I have always used the same recipe (KM's) - so it is time to try a new one.  And the farmhouse cheddar is ripe enough to try after a month apparently, so I won't have to wait so long to discover the outcome of my labours.   I am adding a knife-tip of lipase again, even tho I thought it might be the culprit of my cheeses tasting sour - because I hope it will add flavour to a cheese that is opened at a young age.  Fingers crossed.  Will let you know how it turns out.  It's a great feeling to have support in this endavour - thanks to all of you.   :D

Offline jwalker

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2013, 09:16:05 AM »
  But i am going to try a new recipe - RC's farmhouse cheddar.  I know Jim you say that recipe did not turn out so well for you

Actually , if you look back at the post , I said it did turn out very well. :D

Quote
that said , I did a "Farmhouse" cheddar of RC's that has no cheddaring or milling , and it turned out very well at 6 months.

I tried a few "farmhouse Cheddars" from rc's book , again I found 6 months or so to be the minimum age for the taste to develop properly , the ones I opened earlier were not ready in my opinion.

I now make larger batches (4 gallons) and I use a cheese trier to take a core sample when I want to try one , if it's not ready , I just fill the hole with wax.

I also use lipase in most of my cheeses now , they tend to develop more flavor.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2013, 09:17:38 AM »
Wow, making cheese off the grid! :o    Let me give you your first cheese for that effort.

Do you have refrigeration? Or a below-ground cave of some sort which stays cool year-round? How do you typically maintain a ripening temperature/humidity environment (9°C/48°F-14°C/58°F) for your cheesemaking?

Have you considered or tried other cheese styles with your milk? Perhaps Gouda? Or a Tomme?

Do you know what the pH of your milk is before you begin your cheesemaking session? Is it possible that the milk starts out acidic because of mastitis? Here is an extract from that mastitis doc: "the milk casein does not curdle properly during cheesemaking".

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Offline Dairymaid

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Re: COMPARING 4 CHEDDAR RECIPES - comments please
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2013, 08:46:31 PM »
Well Boofer, your comments and questions certainly got me thinking. 

1) Mastitis – yes, one of our cows did get mastitis on her first lactation and while we obviously did not use the milk until she was healthy again and she lost the use of the infected quarter, maybe there is an increased SCC in the milk produced in the other 3 quarters as a consequence?
While I have never had any problems with “unclean flavours” or “rancid off-flavours” in the milk itself but I have sometimes wondered if there was “an increased amount of milk fat lost into the cheese whey” simply because the whey looks milky.   
“Protein breakdown could also cause the body of other cultured products such as yogurt to be weak” – this has been our experience – we have stopped trying to make yoghurt which seems crazy when you have your own cows. 
I will talk to the other members of the Cow Co-op and we will send some milk away to be tested. I hope it is not the case, but better to know than be in the dark. 
So thanks for sending that article, I would never have thought of mastitis as a possible cause. 

2) Then your question about refrigeration and the temp at which I am maturing my cheeses – well that pulled me up short. You know that story of how the frog in cold water does not notice the water getting hotter until it is too late?  Well I felt like that after I had considered what my answer would be to your question.  I felt rather foolish, and then just laughed at myself.  Talk about a case of denial....
When we started our co-operative dairy project 2 years ago, I was of course keen to try making cheese so I went on a course, got books out the library, bought the basic equipment and away I went.  Always having a tendency to run before I can walk, I tried making all sorts of different types of cheese in the first six months.  When the recipes for hard cheeses got to the bit about maturing them at 12 degrees and 80%RH I just ignored it.... I put the cheeses in the coolest room in the house (somewhere between 15 and 20 degrees) and turned them regularly and rewaxed them if they started weeping etc.  As last year’s summer heated up I insisted on buying the wine chiller I mentioned earlier which was great for the cheeses but not good on our power system. So although I used it for a few months, my partner was pretty grumbly about it so I stopped using it as soon as I felt I worst of the heat was over. 

So – duh – I have not been maturing my cheese properly and have still been expecting good results!!  And I have been so disappointed when they were not the most delicious cheeses I ever tasted!  Talk about false expectations... I feel as though the scales have fallen away from my eyes.  I need to be just grateful that any of them were edible at all, and stop being so ambitious.

However... we are at the start of the summer season, we can expect lots of sun to keep the batteries topped up for a few months now and so I am going to keep my fingers crossed that I can keep the wine chiller going for most of the time.  In other words, I am going to keep having a go at these hard cheeses because .... well, I just really enjoy making them.  And now I will make them with lower expectations and just be happy if they are edible.  And make those which can be eaten after a maximum of 3 months curing. 

And of course I can also make feta and halloumi and quark and crème fraiche and all those other good things which fit in the kitchen fridge (6 degrees) just fine.

Ah well.  Whether the milk is contaminated with SCC or not, I feel I have had the realisation I needed about my cheeses... So thank you Boofer.  (Did I see you referred to somewhere as the Cheese DemiGod??  You certainly showed a bit of all-knowingness in this case!)