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Thread: Good bottling setup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Scott County, Minnesota
    Posts
    29

    Default Good bottling setup

    Okay, I have a lot of syrup in 55 gallon drums and don't have a good way to bottle it. Everything thing I see from the maple distributors looks hookie. Here is what I am thinking:

    55 Gallon Drum ---> pump to reheating vessel (used steam kettle??) ---> pump to filter press ---> pump to homemade bottling station (with thermometer and in my dream world a Brix reader guage) ---> pump/gravity drain back to reheating vessel

    The cycle is so that the syrup stays at bottling temperature the entire time I am bottling.

    What is a good vessel to reheat 20-35 gallons of syrup in?
    Is there such a thing as an in-line Brix guage?

    Or am I over thinking this who thing and I should just purchase something from a maple distributor (any recommendations)?
    Sugaring season: the real signal of the New Year!

    2005-2010: 300 taps on jugs
    2011: 100 on gravity tubing
    2012: 650 on vaccuum tubing
    2013: 650 vaccuum, 1000 gravity, 1000 jugs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenwood, Wisconsin
    Posts
    990

    Default

    FF,
    For a reheater vessel, I am using my old 2X3 flat pan over an old gas furnace burner. It will get 10 gallons to boil in 20 minutes. I highly recommend an air -driven diaphragm pump instead of a gear pump. With the diaphragm pump, if you can't bottle fast enough, you can dial down the air pressure with a regulator and get any delivery speed you want. If you return to the reheating tank to keep temp, you are filtering twice? There are water-jacket bottlers that will maintain bottling temp for as long as necessary til you catch up or get done.
    210 vacuum taps plus the neighbors
    2X10 Intensofire clone
    Smoky Lake pans that ROCK!
    16X24 syrup shack

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    5,387

    Default

    I think what I do is a little simpler, but you are more sophisticated. I have a line that goes from a mixing pot (SS with funnel bottom, old milk station) to my filter press with 2 tees in the line. One tee goes to my draw tank for the evaporator, the other goes to a suction tube to empty barrels. Each has a ball valve so I can draw from where I want. When bottling from bbls, I just put the suction tube in the bbl, open that valve and turn on the filter press with the filter valve closed and the bypass valve open. Then I pump into my finisher to the desired amount. I shut off the filter press and heat the syrup to about 200-210, then I draw into the mixing tank which sets below the draw valve for the finisher, I mix some filter aid and filter into my canner. Then I run the canner as needed and can after verifying grade and density. I bottle at 185-190. Doing this I never have any cloudy syrup because it is not heated above the temperature I filtered at. My only pump this way is on the filter press. For small batches I also have a hand pump but that is slow if you are doing more than about 10 gal.
    A water jacketed bottler would help, maybe someday.
    Dave Klish about 1250 taps
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    adding a gooseneck equipment trailer someday to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator, with new welded pans by Thor for 2013, new Thor second syrup pan for 2014
    250 GPH gas powered, converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.daveandjoanssugarhouse.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Easton, Maine
    Posts
    166

    Default

    The bigger surface area in your heating vessel the quicker you'll get it up to temp. We out-grew our finish pots this year but had to make due. They are 16"x16"x16" and will hold 15 gallons but it takes a loooooong time to bring syrup up to temp due to the depth. We will be adding a finisher with more surface area this year, similar to what lpakiz is doing. This will free up our 16 gal finish pots to use for bottling after it goes through our NEW FILTER PRESS We have gas burners under our pots and you have to be mindful when they get low on liquid to start dialing down/turning off the burner as not to burn the syrup.
    Just a thought, but until the budget allows for a water jacketed bottler, could one replace the gas burner with an electric coil and then use an automatic drawoff control to run the heater? This could take some trouble shooting and I am just thinking out loud but the autodraw control is pretty universal. I was thinking:
    1) change the control from cooling (drawoff application) to heating
    2) set the SV to maybe 185F, or whatever you like to have your MIN bottling temp
    3) Drop the probe into your finisher
    4) plug the heater into the valve receptical on your control, and when the temp gets below 185 it would turn on the heater
    The only think i'm thinking now is there is no way to turn the heater off without running a contactor off the alarm to break the heater circuit when the temp gets to your MAX........

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    5,387

    Default

    Simpler just to get a thermostat to run it. Have a sensor bulb and hook it up. You can turn it on and off that way, just like your furnace but at higher temperatures.
    Dave Klish about 1250 taps
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    adding a gooseneck equipment trailer someday to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator, with new welded pans by Thor for 2013, new Thor second syrup pan for 2014
    250 GPH gas powered, converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.daveandjoanssugarhouse.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenwood, Wisconsin
    Posts
    990

    Default

    I have a water jacket bottler and the element is controlled by a PID controller with a K type thermocouple and a 30? Amp SSR (solid state relay)
    The controller and relay and thermocouple cost about $40. Works great.
    210 vacuum taps plus the neighbors
    2X10 Intensofire clone
    Smoky Lake pans that ROCK!
    16X24 syrup shack

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Scott County, Minnesota
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Hmm.... I already have a water jacket honey bottler. A few years ago we lost our whole crop (100 gallons) to that bottler. We poured our filtered refrigerated crop into the bottler and turned the heat up to 200 in the the morning (when we do honey we rarely heat anything and never past 90 degress). It was a large volume to warm up, so we left it sit for a while. When we came back, the entire batch was slighly burnt. A hot spot near the heater we guess. I have been hestitant to use it since then, but if I got over my fear it would make since to use that.

    Yes, it would be filtered several times in the circulation process.
    Sugaring season: the real signal of the New Year!

    2005-2010: 300 taps on jugs
    2011: 100 on gravity tubing
    2012: 650 on vaccuum tubing
    2013: 650 vaccuum, 1000 gravity, 1000 jugs

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