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Thread: Digital Auto Draw Off's Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Maple Ridge, BC Canada
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    25

    Default Digital Auto Draw Off's Question

    Just curious how guys are liking their auto draw off's and how accurate are they? I know if I buy one I will have to still use a hydrometer to make sure the syrup is syrup but just curious if guys are happy with their digital auto draw off's?

    Also which companies make the auto draw off's and are there better manufactured ones out there than others? Who should I buy one from?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
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    7,607

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    I can only tell you how mine works. I have one from Smoky Lake and I love it. For years I fought getting one and instead did long draws, regulating the flow as best I could to keep the temperature at the exact right temp. I often got draws of 45-75 minutes and tweaked the draw off valve to hold the temp. right. My only issue was if a customer stopped and we got talking, then I lost focus and that's when I had things go south in an instant. Then I got my Smoky Lake Auto draw, the basic "Simplicity" model and it works perfectly. I have a ball valve in the line to regulate the flow, but I don't try to get a constant draw, I regulate it to go just a little faster than needed to hold a continuous draw and I watch the temperature display. I have my draws going into a draw tank. When a draw is finished and the valve closes I check the density to verify, if it's not exact I adjust the valve control, it can be set in 1/10 degree increments, I go up or down as needed. Once I find the perfect setting I only recheck about every 1-1.5 hrs to make sure the barometric pressure has not changed and caused it to need adjusting. The beauty of it is that you can then concentrate on other tasks, the draw will be right.
    Likely the Smoky Lake Crescendo might be even better (because it varies the valve opening based on the temperature of the syrup flowing thru it) but I will likely stay with the one I have.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Like most things that cost a lot in maple it's another useful tool that makes life much easier. We check frequently with a hydrometer and some days have to adjust more than others. For whatever reason (maybe elevation?) we usually end up drawing off below 219 but I assume there are a variety of factors and it differs for everyone. Definitely want to check it and figure out how it works for you before assuming it's automatic all the time. Ours is a CDL but they all function pretty much the same. Shop around, maybe even find a deal on a used one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Middlebury Center, PA
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    1,304

    Default

    They are all pretty much the same I would shop around some and keep in mind if something goes wrong can you get the support you need for help or parts. I went with a modulated draw off which also changes according to pressure from Lapierre and like it a lot. Pair an auto draw with a Murphy cup and you can quickly dial your draw off temp right in. An auto draw paired with a Murphy cup are like having an extra person in the sugarhouse.
    Jared

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Maple Ridge, BC Canada
    Posts
    25

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    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    I can only tell you how mine works. I have one from Smoky Lake and I love it. For years I fought getting one and instead did long draws, regulating the flow as best I could to keep the temperature at the exact right temp. I often got draws of 45-75 minutes and tweaked the draw off valve to hold the temp. right. My only issue was if a customer stopped and we got talking, then I lost focus and that's when I had things go south in an instant. Then I got my Smoky Lake Auto draw, the basic "Simplicity" model and it works perfectly. I have a ball valve in the line to regulate the flow, but I don't try to get a constant draw, I regulate it to go just a little faster than needed to hold a continuous draw and I watch the temperature display. I have my draws going into a draw tank. When a draw is finished and the valve closes I check the density to verify, if it's not exact I adjust the valve control, it can be set in 1/10 degree increments, I go up or down as needed. Once I find the perfect setting I only recheck about every 1-1.5 hrs to make sure the barometric pressure has not changed and caused it to need adjusting. The beauty of it is that you can then concentrate on other tasks, the draw will be right.
    Likely the Smoky Lake Crescendo might be even better (because it varies the valve opening based on the temperature of the syrup flowing thru it) but I will likely stay with the one I have.
    Thank you Maple Flats. That sounds great. I'm definitely going to be buying one. We boil and bottle our syrup mostly just by my wife and I so any helpful instrument will help us a lot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Maple Ridge, BC Canada
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mainebackswoodssyrup View Post
    Like most things that cost a lot in maple it's another useful tool that makes life much easier. We check frequently with a hydrometer and some days have to adjust more than others. For whatever reason (maybe elevation?) we usually end up drawing off below 219 but I assume there are a variety of factors and it differs for everyone. Definitely want to check it and figure out how it works for you before assuming it's automatic all the time. Ours is a CDL but they all function pretty much the same. Shop around, maybe even find a deal on a used one.
    Thank you Mainbackswoodsyrup. Ya we found last year that we were getting to the final syrup stage at different temps too so I'm gonna follow the advice of some of the guys here and make myself a Murphy Cup to aid with that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Maple Ridge, BC Canada
    Posts
    25

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc23win View Post
    They are all pretty much the same I would shop around some and keep in mind if something goes wrong can you get the support you need for help or parts. I went with a modulated draw off which also changes according to pressure from Lapierre and like it a lot. Pair an auto draw with a Murphy cup and you can quickly dial your draw off temp right in. An auto draw paired with a Murphy cup are like having an extra person in the sugarhouse.
    Thank you Unc23win. Just wondering if you would be so kind as to post a couple pictures of the inside of your Murphy Cup where the temp/sugar density gauge probe goes through the hydrometer cup and down into the cup? I'm asking cause I think it would be pretty easy for me to make one here at home rather than buy one and have it shipped. If the probe is just welded through the cup then I can do that at home with my mig welder and some stainless wire. The numbers on the face of the gauge have just been changed from a candy thermometer temp numbers to the brix numbers that the conversion formula gives for where your syrup should read at that temp the gauge is reading. So I can make up a label like that no problem with the conversion chart.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Stockbridge,Ma
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I have the Marcland auto draw off that I purchased in about 1997. Other than washing the valve out with hot water at the end of every day I have not had to do anything to it.

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