4 Gal. Pasteurizing System - Part 1
For home / hobby cheesemakers wanting to pasteurize from 2 to 5 gal. of raw milk there are basically two options: one is to use a stock-pot on the stove (and spend a lot of time stirring and maintaining temperature) or purchase purchase a small pasturizer or canner. Each of these have pros and cons, but we wondered if we could put together a low-cost system using (of course) rectangular steam-table pans that would provide advantages not available with the other methods.
Water Pan: Normally called a "spillage" or "water table" pan these are over-sized pans (aluminum or stainless steel) with straighter sides than the standard pans. Dimensions of pan bottom are roughly 10.5" wide by 19" long.
Milk Pan: We used a standard full-size 6" deep stainless steel pan that is placed into the water pan creating the double shell. Two half-size pans (with the riser modifications) can also be used
Modifications to Milk Pan: Polypropylene "risers" or spacers at each end raise the milk pan about 1.5" above the edge of the spillage pan. These spacers do three things: (1) They let you add more water volume to the water pan which results in faster heating-to-target temperature, (2) They create a gap that allows you to insert a siphon hose to drain the water pan after the pasteurizing phase, and (3) they provide comfortable handles when handling the pan.
Electric Griddle: We use a Presto 1500W model no. 07039 11" x 22" electric griddle that has a large enough surface to accommodate the over-sized spillage pan. Option would be to use stove-top burner(s) but that will prevent automatic temperature control.
Temperature Controller (for water bath): This was our LPTC digital temperature controller. You can get by without a temperature controller but it will require more attention to maintain temperature.
Temperature Sensor (for milk): An accurate digital or dial thermometer to monitor milk temperature.
Siphon: A standard polyethylene bulb-and-hose siphon commonly used for pumping kerosene works good (as long as you don't use it for pumping kerosene too) and can be steam sterilized