Skim milks were pre-acidified to pH 6·4 and concentrated by ultra-filtration to give retentates with protein levels of 210 g/1. Retentates were blended with skim milk and cream to give standardized milks with protein levels ranging from 30 to 82 g/1. These were used for the manufacture of Cheddar cheese in conventional equipment. Increasing milk protein level resulted in reduced gelation times, increased curd firming rates and a decrease in the set-to-cut time when cutting at equal firmness values (i.e. elastic modulus, G′, ∼ 16 Pa). As the curd firming rates increased with milk protein level, it became increasingly difficult to cut the curd cleanly, without tearing, before the end of the cutting cycle. Reflecting the tearing of curd, and consequent curd particle shattering, fat losses in the running wheys were greater than those predicted on the basis of volume reduction (due to ultrafiltration) for milks with protein levels > 50 g/1. Reduction of setting temperatures, in the range 31–27 °C, and the level of added rennet brought the set-to-cut times and curd firming rates of concentrated milks closer to those of the control milk. While increasing milk protein level in the range 30–70 g/1 had little effect on cheese composition, it resulted in slower proteolysis and maturation.