Shortly after my 1st attempt at adding clover tea to make proprionic inoculant for a cheese, I read in Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living that vegetable rennet is made by crushing the dried herb fine in water in a mortar and pestle to obtain a dark tea. So I decided to try the clover tea that way.
I used the same 2 qt. Romano recipe, but this time I used dried clover, and ground it fine in the mortar and then added about 2 TB of water and continued grinding it in the water until the water turned pretty dark with the clover essence in it. It took about 15 min. of pulverizing it to get it as strong as I wanted it. I added this (with the windows closed again) to the cheese at the same time as the Thermo culture. And I did not try to press it under the whey.
Result: The batch came out as a very standard Romano, with no apparent difference from the way the curd usually sets and the cheese acted in every respect like my usual Romano batches. I put it in the brine and waited for it to plump, as that's when they start swelling if they are going to do it, but was disappointed - it came out looking like a regular Romano. But then as the rind formed over the next few days - it did swell, a little. The swelling was less than if I had just left the pot in front of the window for a while, but I am now excited about opening this cheese. It will be weeks yet.
Our cheese making season has mostly ended until March or April. I am not sure yet if next year I will continue with clover teas or just use the open window technique as it is really a quite effective way for me to get a Swiss if I want one. I'm just still curious to know if clover pollen really is the source of the proprionic bacteria that I sometimes call "Wild Thang."