Long time reader, first time posting. Love this forum BTW.
So here's my story and idea:
My wife loves to make cheese. We have a deal with a dairy farmer in our area. He uses our pasture, and we get free milk. Better than milking twice a day everyday.
Anyway... she gets 8 gallons twice a week, and makes 2 blocks of cheese. Usually Mozzarella. Sometimes an Italian Recipe she leaned with her grandmother. But it's too time consuming. She does everything on the stove top. And it never seems to be enough for the week.
I'm trying to find a way to help her make more cheese, and only spend 1 morning/week doing it. Since we have two babies, and a lot to do on our small farm.
We looked at used VATS all over, but they're tooo expensive.
So here's what I came up with:
I'll use a 35 gallon stainless steel drum ($175), with heating bands like these (I got a pair used for $250):http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200577801_200577801?cm_mmc=Google-pla-_-Material%20Handling-_-Bucket%2C%20Drum%20%2B%20Tote%20Heaters-_-27634&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=27634&gclid=CJzh0PT-u7cCFSRk7AodIVUAXg
My plan is to put the barrel on a mount, and add a valve in the bottom to get rid of the whey. I'll put a stainless steel pipe inside from the valve to the top of the drum, so the whey can flow down to the valve.
I'll use a PID ($30) to control the heating, and also a small motor with a mixer (already had it) attached to the lid going down the drum to move the milk around. We'll probably cut the curds manually to start.
Am I missing something? What' do you guys and gals think? Feel free to call me dumb and/or stupid.