Lactic cheese or Acid Set cheese differs from the firmer rennet set cheeses in that they rely primarily on the activity of the bacteria converting lactose to lactic acid causing the proteins to cling together and thus form a curd.
The milk will take much longer to coagulate for a lactic cheese at 16-24 hours and at a much higher acid level of.4-.5% (pH 4.8-5.0) then the rennet set cheese which only requires 10-30 minutes and very low acid levels of .17-.15% (pH 6.5-6.6).
The lactic cheese will result in a weaker curd because the higher acid causes much of the calcium that normally forms firm cheese bonds to run off with the draining whey. As a result only small cheeses can be made and spontaneous drainage is the only means of removing moisture. No pressing can be used for these cheeses.
The lactic curds are also ladled in larger masses for whey drainage and not cut as in rennet set cheese. The lactic curds can either be pre-drained in cloth bags or ladled directly to small molds for draining.
The lactic cheese are normally very fresh tasting high moisture cheeses with a very high lactic acid flavor. The goats milk Chevre is a classic example of this and our cheese here will be focused on making this from cows milk.
A great source of more information on the differences between Lactic and Rennet coagulated cheese can be found in he book "Fabrication of Farmstead Goat Cheese" by Jean Claude Le Jaouen.