new 2'by4' flat pan with dividers, and a question
The pan finally got here Friday evening. I had put the block arch together during the day. I took the 1'by2' preheater and instead of setting it on the pan, I built up another course of blocks for it to sit on, so it gets hotter faster. I put a row of bricks along the edge of the pan so no metal is exposed to the air or wind. I also took a 32 gal container and put a spigot at the bottom of it. I attached a tube to it and let the sap drip into the preheater at the rate I have the preheater dripping into the pan.
Worked great, with no blower and no grate to lift the fire off the ground, I still had a good 8 to 10 gph, which is plenty. I just need to learn the somewhat continuous flow method; I need to keep the sap on longer before drawing off to bring in the house, this weekend I averaged 4 gals of sweet brought in the house to making 1 gal of syrup.
Also, when doing a final draw off, getting all the sweet out of the pan, do you add straight water to the pan from the preheater to push the sweet through the channels to the draw off valve? Or do you just let it sit and boil then try to tilt the pan to get it all off?
2013 20 taps; 2'/4' flat pan with dividers/preheater on block arch, about 4 gal
2014 about 125 taps on 2/5 smokey lake hybrid pan; 12 5/8 gal syrup so far
12'/12' post and beam sugar house