(The plumbing to the vat pasteurizer.)
Our “new” vat pasteurizer was made decades ago by Creamery Package in Wisconsin. The problem is, it’s hard to find anyone who knows how it works. The used equipment dealer I bought it from has been very nice, but has no technical knowledge. He did, however, call the manufacturer for me. The manufacturer told him their records don;t go back that far– they have no idea.
An internet search led me to the Dairy Heritage website, run by a company in Maryland called Agri-Service LLC. They had some info on their site about vat pasteurizers, so I called them. Their installers were familiar with how the unit works, and got me headed in the right direction.
This week, I called them again: I had the unit hooked up right (I thought), but got only a 16 degree rise in temp over 3 hours. Clearly something was wrong. One of the guys at Agri-Service spent close to an hour on the phone with me, having me pull off plates to see what was underneath (“Hold on while I find the right wrench…”) and walking me through the mechanics of the unit.
Turns out I had it hooked up wrong after all– there’s a third connection I had thought was an overflow, which is actually the inlet. I’d been pumping hot water in through the drain valve, which heated the bottom of the vat but not much else.
The technician also told me I need more water flow than the Taco Model 007 pump can give me. So yesterday I went to the plumbing supply store and bought a Grundfos Model 96 that will pump water three times faster than the Taco. (And it cost more than twice as much!)
Today I’ll hook up the new pump– and keep my fingers crossed that I’ve finally got it right!