Author Topic: First Asiago Attempt  (Read 1337 times)

Offline Al Lewis

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First Asiago Attempt
« on: November 25, 2012, 10:34:28 PM »
Just pulled my first Asiago, 4 pound wheel, out of the brine.  I used the recipe from the New England Cheese Maker web site which doesn't mention air drying before aging so it's straight into the cave.  Have to keep a close eye on it for mold I expect.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 01:47:55 PM by Al Lewis »


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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2012, 12:51:15 PM »
Okay, This thing has been in the cave getting the occasional wash for a month now.  It has this incredible rind that shows tiny cracks that form little squares.  It also has a whitish finish to the outside but it isn't mold.  Is this normal and do you think it's ready as a Fresh Asiago or Fresco?
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 01:06:30 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline H-K-J

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2012, 01:12:02 PM »
I think it looks nice Al, is it supposed to be a short aged cheese like a Caerphilly?
Never made this cheese, haven't even looked at a recipe :-\ I'm goin to check it out :)
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Offline bbracken677

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2012, 03:14:44 PM »
Looks a bit like a geo growth...but hard to tell.

I have never looked into Asiago before....but from what I can tell, it is a long aged cheese. I would continue aging it, perhaps in a container and keep an eye on the rind for growth, moisture etc and, perhaps give it a wipe down with a brine solution occasionally as needed.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2012, 11:42:01 AM »
When I first saw it I also thought it was a geo but the white is actually the surface drying out.  If I put a wine/salt wash on it it disappears until the brine is absorbed or dissipates.  The cheese itself, Asiago, can be eaten Fresco or, it can also be aged to the state of a parm and then grated.  I was kind of hoping to do both by cutting this one in half and vacuum bagging half to age for grating.  The more I think about that though I might be better off just aging it as it is.


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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 10:44:18 AM »
Here's a photo taken this morning without any wash on it.  Cheese feels very plump and pliable in the center.  Seems like geo is trying to form but can't take hold, which is good.  May have picked a little up from the cambozola despite the precautions.

Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 11:10:14 AM »
it might also be salt . this often happens on my cheeses
in general, geo growth is nothing to worry about. washed rind cheeses will quite often develop dust from wild geos, it is left to do its own thing.
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 11:20:17 AM »
Thanks Alp.  I'm really not too concerned about it as it washes off easily with the wine/salt brine but, as I am totally new to cheese making, I'm trying to understand this and as many things about the process as I can and, of course, troubleshooting is a big one. LOL  This is a rather fun adventure with great rewards, if I get it right, and I really appreciate all of the information and help I've received from the folks on this site.  I've always loved cheese and being able to craft my own is really awesome for me. 

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 12:24:11 PM »
White crystals can be a sign of overacidification.
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed
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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 12:51:47 PM »
Thank you.  I didn't know that. ;D


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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 04:19:44 PM »
Well the recipe says this is done between 30-40 days and it been 37 so it was time for tasting.  In fact   "The cheese is destined to become a fresh table cheese with a moist, sweet, buttery flavor and will be ready in 30-40 days."  Anyway it turns out they were right.  It does have a sweet buttery flavor after 37 days with the exception of the rind which is a bit earthy, which I expected.  The cheese is only pressed for 4.5 hours and then at a very light, 25 pound max, weight after which it sits in the mold until the third morning when it is brined so the presence of gas pockets in the cheese came as no surprise.  This is a really easy cheese to make especially if you don't have a press.  It's a short term project so you don't have to wait a year for it and the results are well worth the effort.  I've vacuum bagged mine so I can age some a bit longer while eating some.  I don't expect the flavor to change much as this may get eaten up pretty quick.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 10:22:52 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline stratocasterdave

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2012, 08:32:13 AM »
Al,

I think your rind looks awesome!!!  So, is your intent with the bagging to continue to age long term?  I have often thought of splitting a make like that so I can have one fresh and one aged.

Dave

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 10:43:26 AM »
Well I figure we'll eat the 1 pound wedges first so I vacuum bagged it all so it wouldn't dry out or try to form a rind on the exposed faces while we're eating it.  Not sure it will last long enough to age significantly. LOL

Offline Hande

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 03:05:33 PM »
Hi Al,
You have have nice looking rind your Asiago :)
I've eaten it Veneto and after that it's one my favorite cheese  :)
Those was over 12 moth's cheese.

Hande

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: First Asiago Attempt
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2012, 06:23:09 PM »
Yes, I've been told you can age it for a year or more but I was looking for something quick so I went with the fresco.  Next batch may end up getting aged longer.  I really like this cheese.