Author Topic: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment  (Read 2309 times)

Offline Wayne Harris

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Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« on: April 29, 2009, 10:06:06 AM »
When I am making cheddar Cheese, one challenge I have is keeping the curds, or slabs warm during stirring or cheddaring.
In the past, I have floated a tray of curds in warm water. (110 deg water)

But I would like to scale up a bit and that method becomes a bit impractical.

I am thinking of a larger tray under some food warmers like these:

or just some heat lamps.

Any thoughts on this?   I fear drying out the curds.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 12:43:12 AM »
I really liked using the electric chaffing dish for cheddaring. It worked perfectly! I just need to clean up my technique. With such small batches I think four blocks would be enough. Eight was to many for such a small space.

BTW the 8 inch deep pans will hold 6 gallons with plenty of stirring room. AND if you do this buy the flat lid.

Offline chilipepper

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 08:44:05 AM »
Wayne, I think the radient heat setup would be worth a shot.  I can't imagine it would dry it out too bad without moving air.  I wonder if technically you could leave the lid on your pot and put the whole thing under one of those radient lamps and keep the whole mess warm?  It would sure beat turning up the house thermostat! ;D  What about a standard heating pad? Maybe a better thermostat but if you set your pot on that or better yet wrap the whole thing.  My mom uses a similar approach on her 15 gallon crock when she makes wine.

Ryan

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 09:26:31 AM »
Thanks.  I will keep everyone appraised.

I am looking scale up a bit.  I am finding that I am a bit (not a lot) let down to only have 4-6 lbs of cheese at the end of a 6-7 hour effort. I would rather be looking at a Carter sized wheel.

Especially now that I have made several of what I would call "good" wheels.

as an aside,  I opened a wheel from last December.  Made back before I gave a hoot about pH. 
What a mess.  Crumbly, sour, bitter and HARD.  Just horrible.


(I still ate it.)
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 09:26:01 PM »
Good man, any cheese is good cheese (well almost) ::).


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Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009, 11:14:10 AM »
My current method of draining/stirring the cheddar curds involves using a 10X16X3 inch stainless steel tray.  This limits me to about 6 gallons of milk at any given batch.
Here is a picture.



I have recently purchased a new tray from hospital that is being sold off.  Really don't want to think of what it was used for in the past.  But its stainless steel and cleanable.

Its a 27X27X11inch sink with a center mounted bottom drain.  It Stands 39 inches tall, on its own wheels.  Its Stainless Steel.  Cost: 22 dollars.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline zenith1

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009, 11:54:29 AM »
Hey Wayne, the cost is right,but you are probably right not thinking about what it was used for. I recently retired after working 36 years in a hospital laboratory, and that thing looks just like the stuff we had in our morgue  ;D
Keith

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 11:55:45 AM »
Fingers planted FIRMLY in ears.  "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA"
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline John (CH)

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 05:34:18 AM »
Wayne, looks great, big enough to cut and box out the curds to allow whey drainage routes. Any thoughts on how to plumb in drain or just stick tall 5 USG bucket underneath to catch whey and splashes?

I always thought auctions sold Lot's not Lote's . . .

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2009, 05:38:23 AM »
I will use strainer-over-bucket method for curd draining.


I saw the "Lote" designation and have decided that my new sink must be adjacent to Lot D and Lot F.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 04:56:31 PM »
Nice find Wayne! What do you figure about 26 gallons? That'll be one heck of a cheese wheel! I can't wait to see that one! WooHoo!

Offline Cartierusm

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 01:36:20 PM »
Am I too late for giving advice? I don't know if I would try that, the drying out thing, plus if your hands are under it for even a few minutes turning and cutting it can get real hot, plus those bulbs are putting out high levels of UV I would think.
Life is like a box of chocolates sometimes too much rennet makes you kill people.

Offline Old Man Cheese

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2009, 01:12:47 AM »
Hi Wayne,  Just a thought...something I've used a lot the last few years is to go by where they're doing some construction that involves living-spaces below ground level...they often use big (like up to 4'X4'X8+') hunks of styrofoam (yes, the white stuff).   I just asked if I could have a piece they were throwing away that was large enough for me to dig out a "cave" in it the size of my vat.   It wasn't the most fun digging it out, but wasn't overly difficult either, as it doesn't need to be extremely accurate or tight-fitting.   Anyway, the final result was that I could set my vat down into the styrofoam and only really lost heat during the time it takes me to turn the slabs.  Generally keeps the curd-mass within a few degrees of when it started.  Just a thought.
OMC(bill)

Offline Old Man Cheese

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2009, 01:14:31 AM »
Of course, that won't work with your new vat, but I bet you could apply the principle to some other container that you heat up and place the mass in to cheddar.
OMC

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: Cut Curds - Keeping Warm Equipment
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2009, 06:25:53 AM »
OMC,
Thanks for the advice.  I am not above sifting through construction waste for parts.    It is right is my price range. Right now, I need some 18in PVC pipe cutoffs right now.

I have a lot to think about.  Will be working through some water tests first to get a feel for 100 qt sized vats of milk.
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas