We all know milk comes from cows. But how does milk get from the cow to your kitchen table?
The process of pasteurizing milk has many steps, but none is as important as the cooling process. Cows eat as milking machines automatically pump milk into a refrigerated tank, and milk then goes for pasteurization. This is where the dairy chiller comes into play. Pasteurization heats milk. Chillers remove heat from pasteurization and cool milk down to an appropriate temperature. Keeping milk at a cool temperature prevents the milk from deteriorating. This keeps milk fresh and extends its storage life.
Which Dairy Chiller Should You Choose
The type of dairy chiller you need will mostly depend on the size of your operation. Dairy chillers of the past used a double-walled tank with water and cooling coils that surround the milk tank. A compressor runs and builds ice around the coils in the double-walled area. Once the ice reaches a certain thickness, the compressor shuts off, and ice cools the milk rapidly. If you have a small dairy farm of up to 40 cows, this older design of dairy chiller will work perfect for you.
If you have a larger dairy farm you will most likely need a chiller with a different type of design. Plate chillers work well for large productions. Plate chillers can use a glycol and water mixture to cool milk, which pushes milk through stainless steel plates with a glycol and water mixture on the other side. The mixture cools milk to an appropriate temperature.
Air-Cooled vs. Water-Cooled Chillers
Dairy chillers come in air-cooled and water-cooled varieties. Air-cooled chillers transfer heat to the surrounding air, while water-cooled chillers transfer heat to a water source, such as a cooling tower. Water-cooled chillers require a mechanical room because they have special equipment that air-cooled chillers don’t have. Air-cooled chillers require an open, airy space because they rely on a consistent stream of fresh air to function.
You should contact an expert to help determine whether an air-cooled or water-cooled dairy chiller would best suit your needs. Water-cooled chillers are more expensive than air-cooled chillers, but they have lower energy costs. They also require more maintenance, but well maintained water-cooled chillers can have longer lifespans than air-cooled chillers. Air-cooled chillers are great to use in areas that have water shortages, because they do not need water to function.
At Legacy Chillers, one of our expert engineers can recommend the perfect chiller that suits the size of your operation. Contact us anytime at legacychillers.com for more information or to get a FREE quote.