Author Topic: Using oven in place of water bath  (Read 680 times)

Offline GlennK

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Northern Michigan
  • Posts: 101
  • Cheeses: 4
  • New to cheesemaking
Using oven in place of water bath
« on: October 30, 2013, 05:12:34 PM »
I have not had good success heating (and keeping) water at certain temperatures using my sink as a water bath and adding warm/cold water as needed. It turns out our oven has a proofing temp. of 100 F.  This would work for some cheese recipes.  Can anyone tell me if there is a down side to doing this?  The one problem I see is that I can't slowly bring it up to temp.
Juustoa is my main cheese!


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Tomer1

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Israel
  • Posts: 1,669
  • Cheeses: 33
  • Default personal text
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 05:18:48 PM »
Air is a poor heat conductor but if you want to keep your pot at a certain temp that will work as it will prevent heat lose.

What kind of issues are you facing with the "double pot" sink setup?
Amatuar winemaker,baker, cook and musician
not in any particular order.

Offline GlennK

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Northern Michigan
  • Posts: 101
  • Cheeses: 4
  • New to cheesemaking
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 07:42:23 PM »
I have a hard time raising the temperature slowly, if the recipe says to, and keeping the temp stable.  There seems to be too much fluctuation.
Juustoa is my main cheese!

Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 10:55:14 PM »
I'd be interested in hearing more details about the fluctuations.  A water bath should be more stable than an oven would be.  Can you describe what you do and what happens to the temperature when you do it?  Perhaps we could help you identify ways to control the temperature better.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline GlennK

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Northern Michigan
  • Posts: 101
  • Cheeses: 4
  • New to cheesemaking
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2013, 05:31:35 AM »
If my milk is at 88F and I have to raise it to 100F I was filling my kitchen sink up about half way with 88F water.  Then I would put my stock pot with milk in the sink. The recipe I'm using says to raise the temperature 2 degrees about every 5 minutes.  So I had some hot water on the stove and I would start to add it to the water in the sink.  Well eventually the sink has too much water in it so I would have to scoop it out and throw it outside.  The other problem is that I would add and add hot water and the temp wouldn't change and then suddenly go up 5 degrees.  So I would get concerned that it was getting too warm so I'd scoop out some of the water and run in some cold.  The temp would eventually drop, but then the process would start all over again.  I felt like I didn't have very good control over it.
Juustoa is my main cheese!


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline Mike Richards

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: colorado springs, co
  • Posts: 446
  • Cheeses: 19
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2013, 11:59:59 AM »
It sounds like having 2 thermometers might be helpful--one for the milk and one for the water.  With two thermometers, you should have a good idea about what temperature your milk will eventually get to.  After using 2 for a bit, you'll get accustomed to how much the milk temperature changes compared to how much the water temperature changes. 

You can also calculate the final temperature before hand if you don't want to learn just through experience. If you think about the amount of water in your sink compared to the amount of milk in your pot, and the difference in temperature between the two, you should be able to control what happens with the milk temperature pretty well.  For example, if you have a pot of 2 gallons of milk at 88F in a sink with 6 gallons of water at 100F and you stirred both the water and the milk until they were the same temperature, they'd both end up at (2*88 + 6*100)/ (2 + 6) = 97 F.  How fast they get there depends on how fast you stir.  Does that make sense?
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline GlennK

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Northern Michigan
  • Posts: 101
  • Cheeses: 4
  • New to cheesemaking
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2013, 04:34:39 PM »
Thanks Mike.  Yes, that makes sense.  I'd like to find a way to do it that gives me more control.  What about heat loss from the water in the sink?  I'd have to keep adding hot water to it to keep it at the desired temp?
Juustoa is my main cheese!

Offline Tomer1

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Israel
  • Posts: 1,669
  • Cheeses: 33
  • Default personal text
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 05:59:10 PM »
What size batchs are you doing? 
Amatuar winemaker,baker, cook and musician
not in any particular order.

Offline GlennK

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Northern Michigan
  • Posts: 101
  • Cheeses: 4
  • New to cheesemaking
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2013, 07:35:14 PM »
1-2 gallon batches.  I'm thinking of using a double boiler type set up with one stock pot inside of another on the stove top to see if I can control the temperature better.

What are you using?
Juustoa is my main cheese!

Offline Spoons

  • Sailing The Seas of Cheese
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Posts: 544
  • Cheeses: 39
  • Default personal text
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2013, 08:49:20 PM »
Hi GlennK, I used to do it the same way you did (stock pot in the sink). It was a learning process for sure, but I eventually got the hang of it. The double boiler on the stove technique is also a great way to start making cheese, but much like the sink technique, it takes getting a bit of time to get used to.

I'll throw an idea in there; how about a half sized stainless steel food pan in the sink? Food pans are much thinner than stock pots, making the heat response time from sink to pan much quicker. The downfall to this is you may need to weigh down the food pan if you don't have enough milk in it or you have too much water in the sink.

... or you can do like Mike, just use a sink and make cheese like a boss ;) (I'm a little envious, Mike) :)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 08:55:48 PM by Spoons »
- Eric


Guests, join the CheeseForum.org community to remove this ad.


Offline H-K-J

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: South-east ID
  • Posts: 1,262
  • Cheeses: 80
  • By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
    • Cookin with uh dash dogs hair
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 09:36:06 AM »
I have used the double boiler method in 2 different ways,
this one heats up faster than this way if the milk warms up to much I pull the milk from the double boiler and set it on the counter or if it is way to high I put it in a sink of cold water to cool it down. I have found that watching the temp and turning heat up or down when needed to control the temp (paying attention?) is still the best method  ;)
act as if it were impossible to fail.

Offline Pete S

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Neb
  • Posts: 129
  • Cheeses: 5
  • Default personal text
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 01:48:53 PM »
Quote
I have used the double boiler method in 2 different ways,
this one heats up faster than this way if the milk warms up to much I pull the milk from the double boiler and set it on the counter or if it is way to high I put it in a sink of cold water to cool it down. I have found that watching the temp and turning heat up or down when needed to control the temp (paying attention?) is still the best method  ;)


  I use the second one. After you learn your stove burner you can dial in almost the exact target temp. I let the temp rise slowly to the preset temp while I prepare for the cheese making session.  I use 2 thermometers 1in the water bath & 1 in the milk.  Pete
THE MORE I LEARN----THE MORE THERE IS TO LEARN---PETE

Offline GlennK

  • Mature Cheese
  • ****
  • Location: Northern Michigan
  • Posts: 101
  • Cheeses: 4
  • New to cheesemaking
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2013, 06:31:41 PM »
[quote author=Spoons link=topic=12126.msg93333#msg93333 date=1383270560
I'll throw an idea in there; how about a half sized stainless steel food pan in the sink? Food pans are much thinner than stock pots, making the heat response time from sink to pan much quicker. The downfall to this is you may need to weigh down the food pan if you don't have enough milk in it or you have too much water in the sink.
[/quote]

Are you saying to put my milk in the pan and heat it in the sink WITHOUT putting it on the stove first?  I hadn't thought of that.  I was stuck on this idea that I had to bring my milk up to temperature on the stove and then use the water bath after I cut the curds (I can't remember the term..cooking the curd?).  This changes everything?   :D

In case you hadn't figured it out, this is my first (actually 2nd) attempt at a hard cheese.  My first attempt ended in failure.  The curd never knitted and it was a dry, crumbly mess.
Juustoa is my main cheese!

Offline Spoons

  • Sailing The Seas of Cheese
  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Posts: 544
  • Cheeses: 39
  • Default personal text
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2013, 08:40:21 PM »
Yeah Glenn, warm tap water is around 110F-120F. More than enough for any cheese making steps. It works better with thinner gauge stainless steel container, such as a food pan. Food pans are so thin that if you wet a pan and take it out of the water and place your hand on the pan, on the opposing side, you'll see the shape of your hand caused by the warmth generated by it. That's how heat responsive food pans are. The cheaper the better (because they're thinner).
- Eric

Offline Tomer1

  • Old Cheese
  • *****
  • Location: Israel
  • Posts: 1,669
  • Cheeses: 33
  • Default personal text
Re: Using oven in place of water bath
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2013, 06:12:13 PM »
1-2 gallon batches.  I'm thinking of using a double boiler type set up with one stock pot inside of another on the stove top to see if I can control the temperature better.

What are you using?

Im doing 30L batchs... so the only difficulty is to maintain constant rennet temp in the winter (I often cover with thick blanket) Its faily easy to maintain and rise temp on the gas stove.

Pasteurizing is a bitch though...

If you wana go high tech then I suggest double boiler with temp controller (PID) and heating element.
Amatuar winemaker,baker, cook and musician
not in any particular order.