Cheddasiago - a Cheddared Thermophilic Cheese

Started by rsterne, May 16, 2022, 04:29:56 PM

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Inspired by awakephd and his "Cheddasio" experiment....,16141.0.html .... I decided to make an Asiago (because it doesn't use any Mesophilic culture, as he suggested) and then cheddar it.... I modified my Asiago recipe just slightly to make it more like his, and we made it last night.... We were very pleased with the way the make went, so I decided to publish the recipe here, along with some photos....

QuoteCheddasiago Cheese (Cheddared Asiago)
(Recipe inspired by "awakephd" on
Takes Approx. 7.5 hours to Overnight Pressing.

Equipment Needed:
1/8 tsp.                         Steak Knife
3/16 tsp.                       Flocculation Bowl
1/4 tsp.                         Both Curd Cutters
1/2 tsp.                         Measuring Cup (Glass)
1/2 Tbsp.                       3 Stainless Cups
1/4 cup                          Large Stainless Bowl to save whey
Medium Cylinder Mold      Cheddaring Tubs
Slotted Ladle                  Cheese Cloth for Mold and Tubs
Slotted Spoon                Two Timers      
Butter Knife                    Dinner Knife         
Warming Cabinet at 86° F   Two Thermometers
Wooden Spoon               1/16 tsp. (opt.) for LH 100

8 L 2% Milk   
1 L Coffee Cream (18%) 
   Total – 9 L at 3.8% Butterfat
1/2 tsp. Calcium Chloride, dissolved in ¼ cup cool water
1/4 tsp. Annatto, diluted in ¼ cup cool water
1/8 tsp. Thermophilic Culture (Su Casu) (or use 1/8 tsp. TA 061 plus 1/16 tsp. LH 100)
3/16 tsp. double strength Liquid Chy-Max Rennet, dissolved in ¼ cup cool water
2 Tbsp. Cheese Salt

Heat the milk to 95° F.  Add the calcium chloride solution and annatto, and stir well to combine during heating.  Sprinkle the starters over the surface of the milk, wait 2 minutes for the powder to rehydrate, then stir well.  Cover and allow the milk to ripen for 30 minutes.

Add the diluted rennet through a skimming ladle and stir gently with an up-and-down motion for 30 seconds.  Top stir for 30 seconds.  Cover and let sit at 95° F based on flocculation time multiplied by 3.0 X.  Check for a "clean" break (about 35 minutes).

Cut the curd vertically into 3/8" columns.  Rest 5 minutes.  Cut the columns horizontally to 3/8" cubes.  Rest 5 minutes, swirling the vat to separate the cubes.  Replace vat in water bath and gently stir curds with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes, resulting in bean-sized curds. Turn on heat at 10 minutes.

Heat the curds to 115° F by increasing the temperature over a period of 45 minutes (~2° F every 5 minutes). Curds will shrink to pea-sized. Continue to stir gently for 20-40 minutes doing a grip test every 5 minutes.  Curds should compress into a ball and tease apart easily with the thumb.  Rest 5 minutes. 

Drain curds in cloth-lined perforated tub (Save Whey).  Consolidate curds into a 1" thick layer in the tub and wrap with the cheesecloth.  Place non-perforated tub on top, filled with the warm water from the outer pot.  Drain for 15 minutes.  Open up the cloth, cut the curd cake in half. Flip one slab over and stack to form a 2" thick layer, rewrap tightly, and place the tub of warm water back on top for 15 minutes.  Curds should consolidate into a 2" thick cake.

Open up the cloth, cut the curd cake into four 2" wide strips, turn each strip 90 degrees, rewrap, and place the tub of warm water back on top for 15 minutes.  Keep the water warm to the touch. Drape a towel over the top to maintain the warmth. Repeat 3 more times, for a total Cheddaring time of 1.5 hours, including the initial draining time. If the curds are not sour tasting, cheddar longer, pH target is ~5.3.

Open up the cloth, and break (mill) the curds into 1/2" size pieces.  Sprinkle on 1/2 Tbsp. of salt, and mix in thoroughly, and repeat 3 more times, for a total of 2 Tbsp. of salt.

Lift the curds in the cloth and place in the Medium Cylinder mold. Fold over the cloth and place the follower on top.  Place in the press.

Slowly increase the pressure up to 30 lbs., making sure the whey is dripping, not running out. Press at 30 lbs. for an additional 15 minutes. 
Flip, rewrap with the proper cloth for the mold, and place back into mold.
Press at 50 lbs. for 30 minutes in the warming cabinet.  Flip, rewrap and place back into mold.
Press at 85 lbs. for 1 hour in the warming cabinet. Flip, rewrap and place back into mold.
Press at 170 lbs. overnight (7 psi for 12 hours), allowing to cool to 72° F.

In the morning, turn heat down in room to 55° F, flip cheese, trim if necessary, and return to mold without the cheesecloth. Press at 20 lbs. for 30 minutes to remove cloth marks.

Remove from mold and air dry 2-3 days (at 55° F), turning twice daily. 

Yield about 1 lbs. 13 oz. (9.1%).  Wax in Red wax, and age for 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.

Here area a few photos of the make....
This is 5 minutes after I cut the curd into 3/8" cubes.... I swirl the pot to separate them during that time....

After 10 minutes of careful stirring with our wooden spoon, the curds are not chopped up like they would be with a metal spoon....

An hour and a half later, after raising the temperature to 115*F and cooking until they passed the grip test, they had reduced to about half the size....

We are very pleased with the cheddaring process we have developed.... After 1.5 hours they are well drained and textured, and sightly sour tasting....

The next morning, after pressing overnight at 7 psi, we had a great looking result....

After a couple of days of drying, we will wax this cheese and set it away for 3 months to age before trying it for the first time.... We are really looking forward to seeing what a Thermophilic Cheddar tastes like....  8)

Cheesemaking has rekindled our love of spending time together, Diane and me!


-- Andy


We opened this wheel at 3 months, and were treated with a mild Cheddary aroma.... The cheese is firm, dense, quite dry, and slices like a dream.... It has the texture of a nice cheddar, and a slight cheddar flavour, mixed with other complex tastes that need more time to develop.... We can tell already that this cheese will be a repeat, and we can't wait to let it age more....

At 6 months, this cheese is fantastic!.... It smells like a mild Cheddar, but when you chew it, you are rewarded with a rich creamy taste with perfect texture.... It certainly is cheddary, but the taste is different because of the Thermo cultures used.... The longer you chew it, the richer, creamier, and more complex it becomes.... It is super cool when your experimental recipe is so outstanding....  8)

Thanks to awakephd for inspiring me to see what I could come up with, it is much appreciated.... AC4U....

Cheesemaking has rekindled our love of spending time together, Diane and me!


The texture looks great. It is going to get better the longer you age it. I did a Cheddar over a year ago using a 5 strain Danish yogurt culture and water buffalo milk. The curds were never heated above 100 f. Contrary to popular belief, thermophilic cultures works well at mesophilic temperatures. At 10 months mine was cheddary, fruity, sweet and savory. At almost 14 months old it developed a delicious brothy and meaty flavor.


At 9 months, it just keeps getting better.... The cheddar flavour is there, but not strong enough to overwhelm the flavours from the Thermo cultures.... This is definitely on the repeat list!....  8)

Cheesemaking has rekindled our love of spending time together, Diane and me!