Ok, this could be a complete failure, but I thought I would give it a go. I became interested in Derby in particular after reading on the British Cheese board web site that Derby is not cheddared, but all the recipies I've seen for it involved a cheddaring step. So, I went hunting around for some information and found a thread with a link to an old book (available at archive.org as a free legal download because it's out of copywrite). Anyway, here's what I found (any typo's are mine):
Derby Cheese (pages 87-89) from The Dairy of the Farm, James Long and J.C. Morton, 1885.
Derbyshire Cheese-making does not differ materially from that which obtains in Gloucestershire in making a thick (double Gloucester) cheese. It is usual to make but once a day, unless in very hot weather, when it may be doubtful if the milk can be got cool and kept sweet during the night, in which case cheese is made in the evening as well as morning. In general, however, the evening’s milk is put in thin layers in the cheese-tub and other vessels to cool during the night, tin vessels of cold water being put to stand it in in order to subject it to as large a cooling surface as possible. In the morning, if much cream has risen, it is partly skimmed, and, if necessary, warmed up with some milk and added to the morning’s milk, so as to bring the whole to about 80. In the summer time, however, the rennet has often to be added when the milk is naturally warmer than this. Enough fresh-made rennet is added to set the whole in an hour or less. After the curd has been broken with the common sieve curd-braker, used gently for a sufficient time, a presser is used – a sort of heavy metallic sieve “follower,” which sinks gradually through the whey and ultimately lies upon the curd, enabling the baling out of the whey. After this has been for the most part taken out, this follower is forced hard down on the curd so as to squeeze and still further separate the whey from it. The curd may then be slightly salted, thought this is not always done at that time. It is broken by hand into a vat and pressed ; taken out and broke up again, re-vatted and again pressed ; and this may be done more than once – as often, indeed, as seems to be required. It is at length finally vatted, in sizes of about 4 to the cwt. ; (note ; 1 cwt = 100 lbs in the US, but it’s 112 lbs in the UK). Its whole surface is made to take in as much salt as it will hold by rubbing and pressing ; this gets liquefied by the exuding moisture and is absorbed. It is dry-clothed and changed in the press daily, and is in the press four or five days being finally removed to the cheese-room, where it is turned at gradually-increasing intervals until ready for the market.
In some districts, and notably in Lancashire, no salt is put in the curd, but the cheeses, after two or three days’ pressing, are placed in brine for a week, in which they float, going in soft at first and coming out hardened. They are taken thence to the cheese-room, and turned daily until sold.
Dave has already experimented with the repeated pressing and milling procedure and reported that it seems to really aid in whey removal, and we figured this replaced the cheddaring step.
Anyway, from the above I put the following make together. There's no scalding period, just a long hold at temp (steps 10 and 11), which I've seen in Wenslydale. pH targets would be called for here, but I don't have a meter yet. All in all everything seemed to go well. Curds were vgood and dry after 3 press and mills. Now, will see how things turn out without a dutch press!
Derby : Saturday, Jan 7, 2012; overcast, raining; temp 24 C
10 L Homebrand standard
3 ice cubes buttermilk
1.6 ml calf rennet
½ tsp CaCl2 (50% solution)
2 tbls salt
6.25” diameter mould
1) Warm to 80 (26.7 C) (start time 10:10 – finish 10:17 Start temp 10.7 C Finish temp 30.6 C oops, but this is not an atypical temp for cheddar types, so I just went with it but took it off the heat)
2) Add ice cubes
3) Ripen 1 hour (time: 10:17 - 11:26 temp 30.6 C - 29.1 C)
4) Add CaCl2
5) Add Rennet (time 11:28:30 temp 29.1 C)
6) Floc time 11:38:30 3x multipler = cut time of 11:58:30
7) Cut to 1 cm cubes
8) Rest 10-20 minutes (start 12:07-12:25 temp 28.8 C – 28.8C)
9) Raise temperature back to 30 C (start 12:25 – 12:30 Final temp 30.0 C ish (warm patches around 30, probably closer to 29 overall)
10) stirred gently for 45 minutes (start time 12:30 - 1:15)
11) Rest at temp 45 minutes stir every 15 minutes to reduce matting (1:15 – 2:00)
12) press curds to bottom (failed, didn't have anything really suited to doing this. My large follower was not large enough)
13) Remove whey to level of curds
14) Press more firmly in cheesecloth bag to remove more whey (4 litres of whey as the weight, pressed for 15 minutes ; 2:09-2:24)
15) Remove whey, mill to olive size (into cheesecloth) and transfer to mould,
16) press again with 10 kg (0.72 PSI) in the pot for 15 minutes then mill into olive sized (repeat until no whey expelled) (2:30-2:45; 3:00-3:15 3:25-3:40; only a little whey expelled after last press)
17) Salt the curds and transfer back to cheesecloth lined mould, punch curds down as you load up
18) Press 15 kg (1.08 PSI; in the pot) 45 minutes (start time: 4:00-4:45)
19) Flip and redress, press 20 kg (1.43 PSI; in the pot 45 minutes (start time 4:50 - 5:35; by this point have extracted over 8 litres of whey, maybe 8.5)
20) Flip and redress, press overnight 35.2 kg (2.53 PSI; start time 5:35 pm - 5.45 am)
21) Flip and redress, press through the day 35.2 kg (2.53 PSI; start time 5:50 am – 5:20 pm)
Weight after press 1102g, 15.5x4.7 cm, 1.24 g/cm3. Knit quality = was still poor on one face after night press, so flipped and pressed through the day. Final knit = mostly excellent, but weak spots on one side