Bresciangrana, in its headquarters in Cignano di Offlaga, has four departments: the production department, the seasoning department, the packaging department and the whey concentration department.
Once the milk arrives at Bresciangrana, it is partially skimmed through natural surfacing and then placed in double-bottomed copper boilers to be processed.
Before cooking, whey is added to the milk, obtained from the previous day’s processing, and then, once the temperature has reached 31-33°C, rennet is added as well.
In this way clots called “curd” are formed. The curd is broken by using an instrument called “spino” in small grains and it is cooked at about 53-56° C (53-56° F). Once this temperature is reached, curd grains settle and accumulate on the bottom.
After about one hour the mass created on the bottom is recovered by the use of a wooden shovel and a “schiavino” and it is cut in two equal parts, creating two twin shapes. Each of the two shapes is wrapped in a linen cloth and is closed in a plastic bundle.
After 12 hours another plastic band is inserted with the marks in relief and, subsequently, also the casein plate with the identification code. After 24 hours the plastic band is replaced by a steel one, in order to give the cheese its characteristic shape.
After 2 days the cheeses are salted, through a process of immersion in a solution of water and salt, which can last from 14 to 30 days. Once salting is over, the cheeses are moved to the hot chamber in order to be dried. Once dry, they are ready to be transported to the seasoning warehouse.
Once salting and subsequent drying have been completed, the Grana Padano wheels are transported to the maturing warehouse. Bresciangrana has its own warehouse, recognized as a General Warehouse, also for third parties, with authorization Gazzetta Uff. R. I. n. 281 of 3-12-2003.
Here the cheeses must rest for a period of time ranging from a minimum of 9 months to over 20 months.
After 9 months, the cheeses are examined by the technicians of the Consortium of Grana Padano with the traditional control instruments provided for by the regulations: the “martelletto” (hammer), which can detect irregular swellings or cracks, the “ago” (needle), which is inserted into the cheese to verify the aroma and flavor, thanks to the extraction of small crumbs, and, finally, the “sonda” (probe), which takes a small amount of product, to have a certain verification of the quality of the cheese.
If the wheel meets the requirements, it is marked with the fire brand which certifies the quality of the cheese and the legitimacy of the definition “Grana Padano PDO”, otherwise it is “screened”, meaning that the “Grana Padano” marks are covered with engraved x crosses.
When the Grana Padano wheels reach the desired maturity, they are ready to be packaged. Bresciangrana has its own packaging department with five different packaging lines: for grated, flakes, cubes, vacuum-packed portions and in trays.