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GENERAL CHEESE MAKING BOARDS (Specific Cheese Making in Boards above) => EQUIPMENT - Making Cheese => Topic started by: scasnerkay on September 09, 2013, 11:58:40 PM

Title: Vat decisions
Post by: scasnerkay on September 09, 2013, 11:58:40 PM
Okay, I want to step it up... So far I have been making just 2 gallons at a time, due to the pan size, and a long learning curve. But, I have a new larger form, and I am ready to try larger makes!  I have been just stirring a pan on the stove top, which has worked well for me.I would like something that would enable up to 6 gallons...  But I am short, and if I get a bigger pan, then I am concerned that my shoulders will wear out with reaching up too high! So I am trying to decide... electric turkey roaster, electric baine marie, or a large broad pan, maybe even to fit over 2 burners.... Of course, then I would need to figure out a way to drain the whey off... Maybe just scooping?  Any suggestions?
Thank you to all who reply!!
Title: Re: Vat decisions
Post by: Tiarella on September 10, 2013, 05:40:05 AM
Hi Susan, I hope Tammy replies to this post. (tnbquilt). She's been using the turkey roasters and has two models that she's compared.  I'll be watching this post.  If you get one of these and put it on table height versus counter height I'd think you'd be okay.   I use a four gallon stock pot but most stirring happens while it's submerged in the sink so it's not too high.  it's only the initial slow heating on the stove and stirring in the cultures there that happen at a taller height.  I'm tall so it doesn't matter to me but thought I'd mention the sink aspect as a way to avoid shoulder strain.  good luck and keep us posted.  - Kathrin
Title: Re: Vat decisions
Post by: Spoons on September 10, 2013, 08:47:37 AM
I used to have a 20L pan setup and draining the whey was quite a problem. So I came up with a siphon idea. I wish I took some pics of it when I had it.

Basically, I bought a food grade hose (the transparent ones) and stuffed one end in a stainless steel tea ball mesh filter (see pic) so the curds wouldnt clog the siphon. That end would go in the vat, the other end was in the sink. To get the siphon going, i used a turkey baster at the other end.

Here's a few pics and vids to help you come up with a siphon idea that would work for you should you chose to go that way.

The principle of a siphon (

A cool siphon idea (

Title: Re: Vat decisions
Post by: scasnerkay on April 26, 2014, 12:17:57 PM
Spoons - I sure would like to see a photo of you using your siphon so I can try to not make a mess next time. Is it a two person arrangement? I don't seem to have enough hands!
Title: Re: Vat decisions
Post by: jwalker on April 27, 2014, 06:53:41 AM
  Here's one I am looking at , it hold 30 quarts or 7 1/2 gallons , so perfect for a 6 gallon make.

The nice thing about it is , it is only 6 inches deep , only half as deep as my current 4 gallon double boiler , so not too high of a reach for a stove top.

One of these would work well with a heat diffuser under it. (

Heat diffuser: (
Title: Re: Vat decisions
Post by: Chicken man on September 07, 2014, 10:05:47 AM
Hi Sue..
we use a siphon in the vat and a ricotta basket to prevent the curds being sucked up!
Title: Re: Vat decisions
Post by: John@PC on September 08, 2014, 02:55:49 PM
I switched to retangular steam table pans two years ago and haven't looked back.  Volrath makes a full-size 8" deep ( that I used for my first 6 gal. make a couple of months ago.  Now I am somewhat biased because our whole concept is "square" (pans, cutters, etc) but there are a bunch of advantages over a round pot in my opinion: lightweight, easy to pour out whey (you do need to siphon for more than 3 gal. makes), great for cheddaring because of the large bottom area, and you get almost perfect curds really fast (although I can't remember who makes those cutters  ::)).