Author Topic: Steam kettle/commercial soup pot for cheese vat  (Read 1373 times)

Offline moserfam6

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Steam kettle/commercial soup pot for cheese vat
« on: July 29, 2012, 08:06:49 PM »
There was an earlier thread about converting a steam kettle/ restaurant soup pot to be used as a cheese vat. The poster wanted to use a separate hot water heater instead of the heating element built-in to the steam kettle in order to control the temp better. I'm looking at a 12 gallon steam kettle on a restaurant auction that is currently priced below $100--we'll see how high it goes-- but the lowest temp setting is 130 degrees F. I'm wondering if people are just manually turning off the heat element when it comes up to the right temp, or can the temperature control/thermometer be bypassed with a new controller to still use the current heat element, but be able to get it to stay steady at a lower temp? The responder talked about an "easy method" to convert it to a water bath system to use the hot water heater. But no details in the thread. My husband is the electronics and plumbing guru, so he'd understand technical explanations.  Any help would be appreciated!  Thanks!


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Steam kettle/commercial soup pot for cheese vat
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 08:15:48 PM »
Quote
the lowest temp setting is 130 degrees F. I'm wondering if people are just manually turning off the heat element when it comes up to the right temp, or can the temperature control/thermometer be bypassed with a new controller to still use the current heat element, but be able to get it to stay steady at a lower temp?

I have seen both solutions used. No need to replace element, as you said. Depends how much work you want to do. Many find it easiest to do manual controls.
Quote
The responder talked about an "easy method" to convert it to a water bath system to use the hot water heater. But no details in the thread.

You undo the steam hookup and replace with water in/out and recirc pump. Account for the thermal expansion/pressure due to heating. Or waste the water and not recirculate, but purge hot water from the jacket. Less control that way.

Quote
My husband is the electronics and plumbing guru, so he'd understand technical explanations.  Any help would be appreciated! 
Then he should already have a basic concept for how to make it work. Principle is basic... inline heater, controller, thermocouple to controller, pump to keep temp steady and water running through element, and control for pump. You could also incorporate separate hot water heater and not do it inline (meaning use external heat source, not built in to kettle)
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