Curd Cheese Recipe for Thistle Rennet

Basic Pressed Washed-Curd Cheese Recipe Specific to Thistlezyme®

Thistle Renets rennet has a unique milk clotting property that is different from the typical rennet’s from animal or micro sources. The curd cheese recipe specific – thistle rennet are suggestions, based on the difference inherent in clotting times and temperature.

Thistle rennet is traditionally used in some Europe recipes its behavior is different then a typical animal or microbial rennet and the recipes below have been adopted to work with a vegetable rennet such as a thistle rennet. Thistlezyme® requires more stirring then a tradional.

The suggested recipe below is specific to Thistlezyme®, and its inherent differences in clotting time and temperature.

Thistle rennet is traditionally used in some Europe cheese recipes, its behavior is different than a typical animal or microbial rennet and the recipes below have been adopted to work with a thistle rennet. For example, Thistlezyme® requires more stirring then a traditional rennet.

NOTE: This recipe is for a Cow’s milk Cheese. Goat and Sheep’s milk contact twice the protein level of Cow’s Milk and may require a higher dosage of Thistlezyme® or an adjustment to timing in the recipes.

Basic Pressed Washed Curd Cheese Recipe specific to Thistle Rennet


• 300L non-homogenized cow’s milk*
• Thermophilic culture and lactic acid starter of your choice
• 165 ml Thistlezyme® Liquid
• 45 ml CaCl2 Diluted in 1 Cup of Non-Chlorinated Water
• Salt Brine 18%

Home or Trial Use**
• 8-16 L Milk non-homogenized cow’s milk
• Thermophilic culture and lactic acid starter of your choice***
• 10 ml Thistlezyme® liquid (may have to adjust the dosage)***
• 2.5 ml CaCl2 diluted in 1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water
• Salt brine 18%


1. Read the recipe thoroughly while sterilizing your equipment and cleaning your workstation.

2. Add the diluted CaCl2 to cold milk and begin to heat the milk, gently stir the milk as it is heating.

3. Once the milk reaches 13°C (55.4°F), draw off 500 mL of milk from the vat. Sprinkle the starter cultures onto the surface of the 500 mL of milk and allow the cultures to rehydrate for 5 minutes. During this time the vat of milk should still be heating.

4. Once the vat of milk reaches 15°C (59°F), add the hydrated starter cultures back to the vat of milk and stir to incorporate. Continue to heat the milk.

5. Once the milk reaches 36°C (97°F), add the Thistlezyme® liquid to the vat of milk and blend well using the paddle. Unlike with other rennets, the milk will have to be stirred well when using Thistlezyme®. Maintain the temperature at 36°C (97°F).

6. Allow the milk to rest for 2 ½ to 3 hours ***** at 36°C (97°F), before checking for clean breaks. If the curd does not break cleanly, maintain the temperature and check back every 10 minutes until a clean break has occurred. You may not get a traditional clean break, but usually the curds are ready to cut at 3 hours regardless of type of break

7. Next, cut the curd using the slow setting on the Vats cutter, or a knife, so that the curds have an approximate size of 1.5 inches. Allow the curds to rest for 5 minutes.

8. After the curds have rested, stir the curd gently with the paddle or large spoon, for 20 minutes.

9. Drain half the whey off of the vat, and add 60°C (140°F) water back to the vat. The amount of water added back should be equivalent to two thirds of the amount of whey removed. The addition of the water will bring the mixture up to 42°C (108°F). Stir the curd for 10 more minutes, and then pitch (allow curds to settles to the bottom of the vat) for 10 minutes.

10. Once the curds have settled to the bottom, insert a screen and drain the whey from the vat.

11. Move the curds to cheesecloth lined molds and press under light pressure (4 kg) for 30 minutes.

12. Then flip and redress the molds, and press under medium pressure (12-15 kg) for 6 to 12 hours or overnight.

13. Remove the cheese from the press and place in the brine for 12 to 24 hours (3 to 5 hours per kg of the wheels), flipping the cheese after half the time.

14. Remove the cheese from the brine and allow them to air dry for 4 days before placing them in an aging room (12-14°C and 85% humidity for 4 weeks). You may vacuum seal the wheels, coat with wax or brush daily to keep down on mold growth.

* If you cannot source non-homogenized milk, you can use a combination of cream and skim milk. Use one part cream to 8 parts skim milk.

** Please note that the instructions are intended for a 300 L cheese vat, a water bath or double boiler set up should be used for home use or benchtop trials

*** Culture and Lactic acid starter can be purchased online from websites such as or other cheese making supply stores. Consult with your supplier to determine the strain and dosage that would give you your desired flavor.

****When adjusting the dosage of Thistlezyme® for scale up, please note that the dosage will not scale linearly. For example, for 150L of milk we would recommend starting with the dosage of 90mL of Thistlezyme® Liquid, but for a 300 L of milk we would recommend starting with 165 mL of Thistlezyme® Liquid. Overdosing the enzyme may result in a bitter note in the cheese’s flavor profile, if this occurs we suggest trying a lower dosage.

*****This may seem like a long time, but you have to think about the steps you are combining. The milk is ripening and forming curd at the same time. With traditional cheese making, this happens in two stages and takes about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours per step. Thistlezyme® works best when you combine these steps.

Contact EDC To learn more about Thistlezyme®