Author Topic: Caerphilly #6 - Using directly-heated polycarbonate pan  (Read 49 times)

Offline John@PC

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In January I bought a Carlisle StorPlus Food Storage Box - 26" x 18" x 9" to use as a water bath vessel using an Anova circulator with a full size polycarbonate pan for the milk.  I never used it because it was just to many things to do to make it work.  I started to list the pan on Ebay just to get rid of it but I thought about giving a a second chance.  I purchased some 3/8" thick 40 duro silicone and cut it to fit my griddle surface.  The pan I had had ribs on the bottom so I had to cut kerfs in the silicone to fit the ribs as you see in the picture.

Tests with 10 gal. water in the pan showed that at a griddle setting of 400F the silicone / pan interface stayed constant at less than 230F, well withing the safe limits of polycarbonate.   Heat-rise rate was pretty good at 3 min per deg F when at curd cooking temperatures.  So basically at the highest setting of the griddle you have a 10" x 20" 220F heating pad on the bottom.

Next step was to make cheese.  I made Caldwell's Caerphilly-style using 8 gal. milk with the setup.  It was a good test for it because of the curd cooking and cheddaring.  I'll post the "cheese making" part separately but as for the pan I was extremely pleased  :), and there is just something about using a clear pan and seeing the curds progress.

(note the last picture was with a wide angle cam so it's a bit distorted).



Offline Danbo

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Re: Caerphilly #6 - Using directly-heated polycarbonate pan
« Reply #1 on: Today at 07:11:07 AM »
That looks really nice! :-)

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Caerphilly #6 - Using directly-heated polycarbonate pan
« Reply #2 on: Today at 08:41:08 AM »
great idea--I really like it!
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Caerphilly #6 - Using directly-heated polycarbonate pan
« Reply #3 on: Today at 11:24:18 AM »
Really cool! With a melting temperature of 410-650°F you should be well within any safe margin parameters. If that is molded polycarbonate it has a maximum service temperature of 240-392°F but you would normally be operating below that for cheese making.

Offline John@PC

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Re: Caerphilly #6 - Using directly-heated polycarbonate pan
« Reply #4 on: Today at 11:41:17 AM »
Really cool! With a melting temperature of 410-650°F you should be well within any safe margin parameters. If that is molded polycarbonate it has a maximum service temperature of 240-392°F but you would normally be operating below that for cheese making.
Thanks Al.  It is a bit scary if you look at it but like you say polycarb has a relitively high softening point and the silicone really does heat dispersion and moderating well.  The one drawback is silicone has a high capacity for "holding" heat so you do have to anticipate and overshoot depending on size of make and temperature (something you have to do with water-bath anyway).  I did this make in my garage which at the time was below 60F, so at normal room temp that would be less of a problem.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Caerphilly #6 - Using directly-heated polycarbonate pan
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:34:48 PM »
Silicone rubber has a relatively low ability to conduct heat so you should be protected from any hot spots other than the the areas where you had to cut the slits.  I would keep an eye on those to make sure your pan doesn't show any signs of thermal break down.  I wouldn't think you would see any for some great time but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Once again, great job!!

Online Kern

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Re: Caerphilly #6 - Using directly-heated polycarbonate pan
« Reply #6 on: Today at 10:49:15 PM »
John:

Other than the ease of fabrication I am wondering why you could not have used three strips of aluminum plate rather than the silicone strips.  It seems to me that since aluminum is a superior conductor of heat when compared to silicone that you would not need such a high temperature setting on the Presto.  I should think that as long as the PC vat contains a liquid the temperature of the plastic is going to roughly equal the temperature of the liquid in the vat.  Do you remember the old television show "Watch Mr. Wizard"?  In one episode Herr Wizard boiled some water on the stove that was contained in some folded up waterproof paper.  I always wanted to try it but my mom wouldn't let me - some talk about electrocution and all that .  Still, I think that the principle applies here.

Normally, this would be worth a cheese but I'm going to hold back pending your promise "I'll post the "cheese making" part separately...."

Kern