So, I don't remember if I told Oppo that we had whole sheep's milk this year, to feed bottle lambs and supplement lambs with inadequate mother-provided-milk as opposed to the usual powdered formula. This is great from a nutritional standpoint, but bad from a usage and storage point.
We bought ~1000lbs (about 120 gallons) of milk from a sheep dairy that had failed it's well inspection and could not sell the milk (or milk products) for human consumption. It came frozen in giant food-service dispenser bags that hold ~5 gallons.
They take roughly three days to thaw in this tray.
As we do not have an appropriate dispenser for these bags, we are transferring the milk to 6-gallon beer bottling buckets for storage in our basement fridge, and dispensing. As I know I have mentioned sheep milk has extremely high fat and protein content, and this is whole, raw milk. Unpasteurized and unhomogenized. It will separate to cream/fat and whey if left still in the bucket.
Each 5 gallons lasts about 3 days, taking the bucket out of the fridge to slosh it and stir it is a PITA, also we only access it every 6 hours, which is plenty of time for separation to have occurred, requiring extensive stirring to recombine the milk, and leading to the formation of unwanted fat globules... The solution is to stir it often... Like a bulk tank agitator....
So I made one.
An arduino nano, a DRV8825 stepper driver, a beefy NEMA 17 stepper, a 1amp 12v wall wart from an old router, a cheap plastic stirring paddle, a 3D-printed arm, a heavy-duty servo pushrod, and a bit of 2x4, some deck screws and ingenuity later and I have a device that stirs the milk for two minutes every half hour without any input from us!
Initial tests look promising. We'll see if it solves our milk separation issue long term over the next couple of days.