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Iced-Up Milk Tank Cools Milk Fast

When Paul Lisai wants to cool down his pasteurized milk fast, he uses a bank of ice. The ice bank in an old milk cooler provides plenty of super cold water for a quick chill. The fast cool down ensures high quality, great taste for his bottled milk customers.
  “Commercial systems to quickly cool the pasteurizer start at about $25,000,” says Lisai. “We have about $3,000 in ours.”
  Most pasteurizers heat milk quickly to an extremely high temperature for a few seconds and then cool it. Lisai uses what he calls a gentle process. Hot water circulating through a jacket around the milk raises the temperature to only 145 degrees over an hour and 20 minutes and keeps it there for half an hour. Then the hot water is replaced by well water to remove the first 40 to 50 degrees of heat.
  “Then we pump water from around the ice bank in the cooler to finish the cooling process. It brings the milk down to 45 degrees for bottling,” says Lisai. “We try to complete the cooling in an hour.”
  To create the ice bank, Lisai installed two 50-ft. copper coils in the milk cooler. He hired a refrigeration specialist to hook the coil to the cooler’s compressor. As he bottles milk only twice a week, the coils have several days in between to build up a 6 to 8-in. bank of ice.
  “The rest of the week, milk is shipped to Cabot Agrimark Co-op,” says Lisai. “I also make lots of soft cheeses, as well as cheddar and cheese curds to sell locally.”
  He started milking with only 8 cows and is now milking about 26 with very little debt. Turning an old milk cooler into an ice bank maker is one way he is keeping costs and debt down.
  “I paid around $1,200 for the tank,” he says. “It cost another $1,000 to get the refrigerant stuff and plumbing figured out.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Sweet Rowen Farmstead, Paul Lisai, 538 Lafont Rd., W. Glover, Vt. 05875 (ph 802 755-9960; cell 802 673-9512; farmvt@gmail.com; www.sweetrowen.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #2