Meant to be eaten young by its make, this one was about 5 months along for the wedding. The paste was springy, flexible, and sliced well. The flavor was a bit nutty and mildly sweet almost. Perhaps not salty enough compared to other asiagos I have tasted, but I really liked it.
Asiago Fresco 2-16-14
Room temp 66 degrees, humidity 55%
Targets: Drain pH 6.4 to 6.5, Brine pH 5.1 to 5.3
Flocc multiplier 2.5
2 gallons non-homogenized, pasteurized whole milk pH 6.6
1/16 scant tsp flora danica
¼ scant tsp Thermo C
½ tsp Calcium Chloride
1.5 ml single strength rennet
9:30 Milk at 60 degrees, I stirred in some Flora Danica for some pre-ripening flavor
12:10 T=95, Added Thermo C, resting 5 mins, then stirred in. Lid on and ripen 30 mins.
12:45 T= 95, pH = 6.5. Stirred in Calcium Chloride and waited 5 mins.
12:50 Stirred in rennet. Flocculation in 13 mins. Multiplier 2.5, waiting about 30 mins for time to cut.
1:25 Clean break. Curd cut 3/8inch. Rested 5 mins, then slow stirring for 20 mins while raising temp from 92 back to 95, cutting any larger pieces.
1:55 T= 95 degrees: Target 106 degrees in 20 mins…..
2:15 T=106 degrees, pH measured at 6.4. This worried me because of wanting to drain at 6.4, so rather than stirring at 106 for 20 mins, I went ahead with starting to aim for temp or 118 in another 20 mins.
2:30 T= 118 degrees pH = 6.3 or 6.4 Testing curd by squeezing together, it separated into pieces easily. Tested by squeezing all the whey out of a clump, it was springy and stretchy. It felt squeaky and springy in the mouth. Drained down to level of curd and pressed together with hands. Transferred to cheesecloth lined form.
2:50 Pressing under whey in form, with 5 #. At the end of this the curd was knitting nicely.
3:15 Into press in form, with 9 # for 60 mins. Small amount of whey coming off measured at 6.4
4:20 Redressed and pressing with 18 # whey measured at 6.4. The curd was well consolidated.
5:20 Redressed and pressing at 27 #, whey at pH 6.3
6:30 Redressed and pressing at 45 #, whey measuring pH 6.2
10:00 Removed weight and cheesecloth. Back into form. Almost no whey available but measurement 6.1..
9:30 AM next day… Trimmed a bit of curd off edges. Curd measuring pH 5.6 as best I can tell. Room has been cool overnight.
5:00 PM, trying to measure pH from bits of curd trimmed off cheese. Not to be counted as accurate, but I think it is pH 5.2. The bits of curd trimmed off have a bit of tang to them, and the body of the cheese is resilient and springy.
10:00 Into cave at 50 degrees in brine for 8 hours.
6:00 AM Oh no, cracks in the cheese like it has been overcooked… Into cave at 90 % humidity.
8:00 PM Cracks are all gone!
2-24-14 Still at about 90 % humidity. One or two very small cracks.
3-1-14 Removed from box, still hovering around 90%. Weight 1# 11 oz. Lightly rubbed with olive oil. Partially covered in cave.
I did not indicate in my notes when this one was vacuum sealed.