Except when I need really high temps (above 120F), I do ALL of my heating directly in the sink. NO STOVE. Put the drain plug in, fill the sink half way with the hottest tap water possible, sit my 5 gallon pot in the sink, fill with milk, and walk away for a while. For me it always seems to initially stabilize around 82-85F. As the milk heats, the sink water cools down and I aggressively add more hot water until it reaches working temp. Hard to overheat and easy to remedy if you do.
This is MUCH faster and more foolproof than heating on the stove. No double boiler, only occasional stirring and I don't have to watch it. IF the milk starts to go over working temp, I simply lift the pot out and place it on a towel on the counter.
What kind of cheese were you making? How much over target did you go? Had you already added starter cultures? If you were using a Meso culture, you MAY have killed them. You could always add a little ice to the sink if you needed to cool down quickly.