Author Topic: First Caerphilly...sort of  (Read 1694 times)

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2013, 07:26:16 PM »
One more thing--I just looked up some values for the specific heat of whole milk as well as the density.  The density is a little higher than water and the specific heat is a little lower.  The difference essentially evens out--our 70% efficiency number is now 95 minutes.
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2013, 07:42:19 PM »
Mike,  I tell you.  You've got to check out Sailor's set up.  He used something steel inside a water trough and the heating system was amazing too.  Find that link on the forum and make use of his ideas too!  You'll enjoy seeing what he created. 

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2013, 09:48:51 PM »
I think you're talking about this post

You're right.  He does some pretty amazing things.  I'll have to think about what he does as I figure out everything I want to do.  I'm hoping to avoid a deep pot vat--that's why I am going for a sink--the width and length are greater than the depth.  I guess I'm not exactly sure why except that I really enjoy working in the turkery roaster more than in the stock pots I use.  Stirring and cutting are much more pleasant to me, though draining is easier with the pot.

A 4500 W heating element is some serious stuff, like what you'd find in a water heater...with 40 gallons of water and up to 40 gallons of milk to heat up, you'd need something that beefy.  The biggest sink I've found has a "full" capacity of about 35 gallons.  I don't think you could put that much in and not spill some out as you make the cheese.

By using an external water bath, the element you would use to heat the water would be a lot cheaper than what I'm proposing.  The price you pay in doing so is the extra water that you have to heat up in addition to the milk.  I'm not sure how many times you'd have to make cheese before paying to heat the water costs more than the more expensive element, but I'm sure it's a lot of cheeses.  The major benefit is a more even heating process and all the thermal mass to help maintain the temperature once you get it where you want it.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 08:43:08 AM by Mike Richards »
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Tiarella

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2013, 06:12:17 AM »
Mike,  what I was wondering about is using some PEX line connected to a $100 propane or electric heater, the PEX would be in a thin water jacket so you're not heating much water and then of course, the insulation around it to keep that heat in.  But actually, I guess PEX might be too insulative itself to be efficient and copper piping sure is expensive.  Any less insulative piping that could work?  What about a sink within a sink with water between and a heating element below?  Fun thinking about design on stuff like this.

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 10:16:07 PM »
Okay--I bought a sink. 

I debated whether to get a giant one or a small one.  I frequently like to just go all out and get what I think I will want in the end, so I was tempted to get the one I found that would hold about 35 gallons, but ended up going with the one that will hold 15 gallons.  What really convinced me was that I am not ready to do such big makes yet, and it would be really difficult to do a 5 gallon batch in the big one (only about 1.6 inches of milk with 4 gallons).

I had a great idea of how to heat 35 gallons of milk, though--I was going to get a plumber to put T's in the piping to and from our water heater and valves that would let me isolate the water heater from the rest of the house.  With the T's, I would open a loop that would take water from the water heater, put it in a water bath around the vat to transfer heat to the milk.  A pump would remove it from the bath and push it back through the water heater to bring it back up to temperature, and the cycle would repeat.  I still would have had to heat up all the extra water, but my hot water heater puts out a lot more power than I can get electrically, and it costs a lot less to heat with gas than with electricity.

For now, though, since I got the small one, I think I'll stick with the thin heating elements.  I don't need as much power and I think it would cost more to get a plumber in here than to just buy the elements.  If I like this one and decide I need to make even bigger cheeses, I'll get the bigger sink someday.  When I get this all set up, I'll start a new post and show you all what I've done.
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Offline Boofer

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 07:32:57 AM »
You're definitely in nosebleed territory, Mike. Way, way out there! ;)

Looking forward to seeing and reading about this project. Good luck, pilgrim. 8)

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Offline Tiarella

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 07:37:29 AM »
Mike,  That's cool.  Do post photos of course!!!!  Everyone in my family likes to design stuff and create solutions out of disparate materials so I love to see others creating.   ;D

Offline NZcheesemkr

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 03:46:56 AM »
Hi Mike,     firstly, what a great looking Caerphilly cheese, I haven't had a go at one yet. With regard to the chip in the enamel, some white-ware dealers have small bottles, like nail polish bottles, of enamel for repairing chips in stoves and fridges etc, maybe that might work to repair the pot. Give the chip a good clean to remove the rust and coat it with the enamel, it may be worth a try, failing that, a stainless sink sounds like a plan. Hope it works out OK.

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: First Caerphilly...sort of
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2013, 10:05:04 AM »
I was actually going to post about my second attempt at repairing the chips.  I used something similar to your description--except it was a 2 part epoxy.  It essentially did the same thing to the milk, though--caused a pretty low starting pH.  I wondered if it was just the milk, but the milk starts out at the normal pH.  The sink has arrived and I'll post about it once I actually get to use it.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...