“Milk is almost as sensitive to atmospheric changes as mercury itself. It is a question among many as to what depth milk should be set to get the most cream. It does not make so much difference as to the depth as it does the protection of the milk from acid or souring. As soon as the milk begins to sour, the cream ceases to rise.
“With a clear, dry atmosphere the cream will rise clean in the milk; but in that condition of the atmosphere which readily sours the milk, the cream will not rise clean, but seems to hang in the milk, and this even when the milk is protected by being set in water.
“The benefit of setting milk in cold water is that the water protects the milk from becoming acid until the cream has time to rise. For cream to rise readily on milk set in cold water, the atmosphere in the room should be warmer than the water. As much cream will rise on milk set in cold water in one hour as on milk not set in water in twenty-four hours. The milk should be skimmed while sweet, and the cream thoroughly stirred at each skimming.
“Cream skimmed from different milkings, if churned at the same time in one churn, should be mixed eight to ten hours before churning; then the cream will all come alike.
“The keeping qualities of butter depend principally upon two things: First, the buttermilk must be all gotten out; and secondly, the grain of the butter should be kept as perfect as possible. Butter should not be allowed to be churned after it has fairly come, and should not be gathered compactly in the churn in taking out, but the buttermilk should be drained from the butter in the churn, through a hair sieve, letting the butter remain in the churn. Then take water and turn it upon the butter with sufficient force to pass through the butter, and in sufficient quantity to rinse the buttermilk all out of the butter. With this process of washing the butter the grain is not injured or mashed, and is thus far kept perfect. And in working in the salt the ladle or roll or worker, whatever it is, should never be allowed to slip on the butter,—if it does, it will destroy the grain,—but it should go upon the butter in a pressing or rolling motion.”
Test the temperature of the cream with a thermometer, and churn it at 60 deg. in summer and 62 deg. in winter. If the butter is soft, it may be hardened by pouring onto it while working a brine made by dissolving a pint of salt in ten quarts of water. The salt used in the butter should be carefully measured, three fourths of an ounce of salt to the pound being the usual allowance.
Butter, like milk, absorbs odors readily, and should never be allowed to remain in occupied rooms or any place exposed to strong or foul odors, but be kept covered in a cold place.