Author Topic: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping  (Read 15592 times)

Offline dthelmers

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2011, 10:37:52 AM »
Check out this thread:
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,847.msg12607.html#msg12607
Member Wayne Harris has a setup with a huge pot and he uses water heaters like this. That's where I got the idea.
I found on Sunday that my system does not work as well for a 2 gallon batch. the milk doesn't hold it's heat as well in this big pan. For two gallon batches a smaller pan would work better, less surface area, and it was floating until I lowered the water level. I'm going to build in a drain for this, maybe this weekend.
Dave in CT


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Offline horrocks007

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2012, 07:50:54 PM »
I have been looking at various cheese vat designs and like this one the most, so I built my own. I can definitely see some room for improvement, not sure if I can control the voltage, to lower the amount of heat produced when it kicks on, or perhaps have a fan kick on when the unit is too high in temperature. But for me this is way way way better than doing it stovetop and pouring hot water in my sink. I can make improvements later, and might build my dad a unit for fathers day. Perfect size for 4 gallons.
The Vat with my Fancy Lid


Cheese Curds:


Cheddar in progress:


The wiring if it helps anybody:



Offline Boofer

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2012, 06:57:12 PM »
Check out "sous vide" or "PID controller" on the forum. It might help to control your temp.

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Offline horrocks007

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2012, 07:30:07 PM »
I did look at that and saw that the wiring becomes a little more complicated and the thermocouple used and some of the heating elements are temperamental.

Besides, controlling my temperature is not my problem, just the carry-over heat that remains in the coils after it shuts off. My coils are running a little hot in my opinion. I want to lower the heat in my coils, I think this can be done easy enough, just need to find the right part.

Offline paul t weir

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2013, 11:13:20 AM »
Thank you "Deep Six" for your great explanation and list of parts for this 5 gallon digital cheese vat.  I made one just as you described and it works great! It takes some use to learn how the temperature carry over and thermo dynamics of the full vat work together, but I have been turning out some nice cheeses of many varieties and various cooking temperatures with this vat. I use a second digital thermometer to monitor my milk and curd temps and set the vat temperature to desired range and monitor closely during the whole process. I find 4 gallons is the most I'm comfortable making and have noticed performance differences between 2 and 4 gallon batches with the best temperature regulation the fuller the vat. You can see photos of my cheeses and vat at myrtlenymphs.com Thanks again for posting this resource and for sharing your experience. Paul


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Offline Boofer

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #50 on: November 07, 2013, 09:21:14 AM »
Intriguing website, Paul. How long have you been doing this?

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Offline graysalchemy

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #51 on: November 07, 2013, 02:56:43 PM »
Check out "sous vide" or "PID controller" on the forum. It might help to control your temp.

-Boofer-

I was going to say surely a pid would be a better way of controlling temp, you get a much finer control of the temp. Home brewers use them in Herms set ups to maintain mash temps, which is kind of a similar thing in a way.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 02:57:08 AM by graysalchemy »

Offline Spoons

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #52 on: November 07, 2013, 03:43:53 PM »
Thats a nice build, Paul!
- Eric

Offline paul t weir

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Re: Digital Cheese Vat with 5 gallon capacity $140 including shipping
« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2013, 11:39:47 PM »
Thanks for your comments Boofer & Spoons, I have been making cheese with that vat for less than 2 years and have made a few adjustments to make my batches more consistent and have had some great cheeses turn out. Of course curding is only half the process and have learned a lot about affinage and caving my cheeses too.  My bleu cheese is my pride and turning out very nice.  I have just found and added a small data logger that records temperature over time directly from the vat so I'm moving into new territory and want to start selling my cheese. To that end I have also enrolled in the dairy arts certificate program at College of Marin (Sonoma cheese country).  Thanks again and I love the city of Ottawa and all things Canadian as well as the Pacific northwest. Thanks again and keep making cheese. Paul