Sailor, I tend to agree.
Deb, I am going to have to respectfully disagree. Not sure why, perhaps I just feel a bit "spicy" tonight.
But here is how I think it goes when deciding milled curd size:
There are specific and technical reasons that determine the final size of a milled curd. Basically we are cutting the loaves up just enough to achieve the right surface area and whey drainage.
What drives the final size of the milled curd is the need to convert the loaves to sizes that yield the correct mass/surface area(M/SA) ratio. The reason that ratio is important is that this ratio facilitates the rate and amount of salt absorption in the cheese curds. The M/SA ratio controls the rate of salt absorption and thusly, the acid production in the final cheese. Ultimately the size of a milled salted curd is determined by understanding the desired target salt-in-moisture level, and the acid development rates of the cheese.
So, the way I look at it is this:
• With very small milled curds the mass/surface area ratio is very small. This results in, a dryer cheese, that absorbs salt very fast and stops acid production relatively quickly
• With a larger milled curd, the mass/surface area ratio is larger. This results in less whey loss, (moister cheese), slower salt absorption and more acid production.
On average according to wiki,
this leaves curd sizes at about .51 inches.
I think I have that right. Linuxboy? François?