NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Help please : simple equipment for pasteurising / heating milk / cheese  (Read 1509 times)


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
I'm a long way off ready to buy a 50L cheese vat but am possibly ready to be a bit less Heath Robinson than currently.

Anyone got any tips for techniques or can recommend any useful equipment for pastuerising / cheese making on this scale?

At the moment I put the milk in either a big plastic bowl (3L) or a large stainless steel bucket (up to 8L comfortably), stand that on top of an upturned pyrex shallow bowl in a large stewpot containing a couple of inches of water and heat on the stove top as required.  It can take a very long time... and I can't reliably maintain a temperature within a few degrees except by being on hand and checking and adjusting as needed.

I use the upturned-bowl-in-simmering-water technique to ensure that I don't burn the milk / curds at the bottom of the pan (without having to be constantly stirring to ensure the same.)

My 'thermostatically controlled incubator / oven' is an insulated food box with a plastic bottle or two full of hot water, the hot water being changed every few hours or so to maintain the temperature I am after.  Not accurate, fine for rough-and-ready yoghurt or curd cheese.

I suspect there are techniques and/or equipment that are simple / not too expensive that I simply haven't come across or thought of.

Your thoughts welcomed, please!  Thanks folks
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 12:34:44 pm by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing
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  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Isle of Lewis
  • We'll get there!
    • Ravenstar
Hi Sally
I think we are not quite as advanced as you! We have a large saucepan that holds 10L of milk and just put it straight on the gas ring. Stir it occasionally but it's never shown any inclination to burn. We then cover it with a thick cloth to retain the heat. We check it after 15 mins and if needs be turn the gas on for a minute or so. Cooling is, of course, done in the bath!

During cheese making we find that, in a warm kitchen, 10L of milk retains it's heat quite well so do not use any form of heat except for "cooking" the curds which again is done on the smallest gas ring on it's lowest setting while stirring the curds by hand.

Not rocket science but we make good cheese 99% of the time. ;D

Comfortable B&B on a working Croft on the Isle of Lewis.


  • Joined Jun 2009
the once I've made cheese i just watched the pan like a hawk over the normal cooker ring and used a jam thermometer to keep and eye on the you tho SITN i'm thinking there has to be an easier/less time constricting way of doing it!!


  • Joined Mar 2011
I tried all sorts of ways of heating the curds for my 'hard cheese' and eventually decided that the oven set on low was the easiest way. Now I  have the temperature worked out, my curds are heated to the correct temperature in exactly 30 minutes (which is what my recipe calls for). I dont actually pasturise my milk for cheese so I can't help with that.


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