Inspired by some other people's set-ups I have seen on here I have been working at getting a new rig of my own going. I am thinking of using the Avantco with a hotel steam table pan in a water bath. I have been working in my spare time with a TI MSP430 to basically get a temp sensor to display data to a LCD and send it back to a log on my PC and am waiting on a couple of parts to add a relay. I am going to basically chop an extension cord in half and wire it all together to control the heating elements and continue writing my software for it all. My vision is to have 2 different modes, 1 for heating as quickly as possible to get the milk to ripening temperatures, and another with ramp PID control for scalding the curd when I make cheddar. This is all coming about because I am forgetful. The cat could meow because it found some runny camembert and I would forget to turn the heat off on my set-up, I've been using a Nesco turkey roaster and simply turning the power on and off in intervals as needed, and next thing you know my temperature shoots up like 2 or 3 degrees F in a minute and I am grumbling about it. Going to set up a fan to help create some convection to help control the temperature a little more and prevent overshoot as well.
Actually sending back time stamped data to my computer has gotten me thinking how cool it would also be to send back pH readings to make pH time curves for my makes as well. I know a lot of people will say, but people have been making cheese for 1000s of years without pH meters, and I agree it is not really a necessary project, my inner-computer-cheesy-geek-brain is beckoning me.