Maturing, Affinage & Grading

Learn to grade cheese, to assess its quality and condition. Understand the ripening conditions required to bring a cheese to optimum condition within a given time scale. And, discover the materials used for the ripening of cheese, including wood, plastic and metal.



About this course

Time to level up your Maturing, Affinage & Grading knowledge.

How it works

Instant access to your learning road, created by world-class cheese industry professionals, including digestible chapters and progress checks, all taken at your own pace.

Who is it for?

This course is aimed at those in the following professions: senior staff in cheese retail, food service or wholesale; cheesemakers; judges for cheese competitions; technologists; or associated professions. 


There are no prerequisites to taking this course. While some prior cheese experience covered in our Level one and Level two courses would be helpful, it is also not required.

Get certified

Passing the 30 question, multiple choice and short written answer, assessment in this module counts towards your Level Three and Master of Cheese certification.

What you’ll learn

This module will explore the conditions in maturing rooms and how an affineur can adjust certain variables to create the optimum environment for ripening. This will include the equipment and materials commonly used, and a discussion of the food safety hazards in a maturation space and how to manage them.

The processes and conditions required for a wide variety of Make Post-Make categories of cheese are detailed along with suggested actions for remedying defects. The final section explores the role of the grader in different contexts in the industry.

Variables in Affinage

The first section of the course looks at how adjustments in temperature, humidity and air flow can be used to create the optimum conditions for cheese maturation, and how these variables interact. Commonly used materials and tools, and the most appropriate use of them will be described, as well as hygiene considerations specific to affineurs.

Ripening Conditions for Different Styles of Cheese

The second section is a guide to maturing the most popular cheese styles categorised by the Academy Make Post-Make model. Each category has a step-by-step description of the processes used to bring the cheese to the desired state for sale. This section ends with a discussion on common defects occurring in affinage, and possible remedial actions

The Role of a Grader

This final section looks at the role of the grader. For many small enterprises the roles of grader and affineur are often undertaken by the same person but it is important to recognise the difference, and how a grader uses assessment to help shape the work of cheesemaker, affineur, and final vendor.

What you get

Enrol now and get instant access to Maturing, Affinage & Grading

Cheese Library Access

Delegates can access our ever-growing Cheese Library which clearly and accurately catalogues cheese in a user-friendly way.

Exclusive Resources

Delegates can access useful study aids as digital downloads or order printed versions.

Study Group

Join fellow students in your personal portal to discuss, debate and ask questions.

Ready to level up your Maturing, Affinage & Grading knowledge?


Why study with us

Academy of Cheese courses and certifications are an excellent way to prove your knowledge. Gain access to jobs in the cheese trade or improve your general cheese knowledge.


Complete your exams in real time. No waiting weeks or months!


Certifications focus on understanding rather than memorising. Knowledge is retained for longer.

Knowledge check

Study as much as you like completing knowledge checks to test your knowhow as you go.

Learning roads

Use your computer or your phone to access learning and progress at your own pace.

Industry standard

The Academy of Cheese is globally recognised as a premiere cheese education provider.


Certifications are optional, affordable and a great way to help you get the job you’ve always wanted in the cheese industry.