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Thread: Getting ready

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Getting ready

    Hope you all are willing to help me with this. I want to make sure that I have thought of everything and am ready for the season. A little background: I have been making small quantities of maple syrup for a while now but never more than a quart or two and by using stainless steel pots on a wood stove. Also, after 27 years of being landlocked, I have finally persuaded a neighbor to sell a right of way to me for access to my mountain property (30 acres with a mix of maple (red and sugar), hickory, poplar and oaks. This being said, I will be making much more syrup this year than in the past. I plan to have 300 taps to start with the possibility of over 800 on the property.

    My property is in the gap of a mountain therefore I have nearly 300 feet of elevation drop and am facing east-northeast so I have availability for gravity flow and a lot of it with early morning sun. I have purchased 300 each of the following: leader 3/16" tees, leader 3/16" stubby spouts and 300 leader check valve spout adapters as well a 5 rolls of 800', 3/16" leader tubing. I recently build a two handed tubing tool. I also have acquired a 600 gallon stainless steel bulk tank with valve (I need to purchase an adapter going from acme fitting to 3/4" hdpe pipe) and a 250 gallon bulk tank without valve and open top. Sap will then travel via. 3/4" pipe to the evaporator that is a 26"x 6' raised flue sap pan and a 26"x 2' syrup pan on a homemade arch which is nearly complete. My plan is for the syrup to exit the evaporator and travel through a homemade Optimizer style cone filter into a stainless steel stock pot with faucet. If syrup is hot enough after filtering, I will bottle it then if not I will reheat and bottle later but store syrup in plastic food grade 5 gal. buckets.

    The sugar shack is a 14'x18' timber frame building that will be assembled as soon as the cement floor is cured. The floor is scheduled to be poured next weekend and will have a floor drain centered and 3' from the front of the evaporator. The bulk tank will be in a shed beside the wood shed and the outlet is 54" higher than the floor elevation to allow for gravity flow from sap tank to sap pan.

    Please don't hesitate to point anything out or ask anything. I am hoping to have everything ready and would love feedback in case I have overlooked or ignored anything.
    Last edited by minehart gap; 11-05-2017 at 07:31 PM.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Oneida NY
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    While you are in the early stages, consider setting the tank even higher. That way, when you add a hood and pre-heater in the hood you will have good flow which helps keep air bubbles from blocking the flow.
    I have my tank 66" above the floor that the evaporator sits on. I have a hood with a preheater in it and the outlet of the pre-heater is 6" higher than the inlet. Even though I built the pre-heater with 4 vents to get rid of air blocks, I've never had to vent them, the extra elevation does the work.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH 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.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
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    Mar 2017
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    Granville, PA
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    Default

    Dave, that can easily be done. Thanks.
    Do you have any drawings or photos of your pre-heater and hood? I would love to build one for next year
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  4. #4
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    Eden Prairie, MN
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    Hat's off to you for thinking things through so completely and early.

    You may find that it is pretty difficult to draw off through a filter and bottle directly. If you find you need to reheat, you will need to filter again to avoid niter in you bottled syrup. The optimizer may help, but I have found even pre filtering off the evaporator to be more trouble than it is worth, since you will need to do it again anyway. We draw off a bit over syrup, reheat later, adjust density and filter into a water jacket bottler to hold it at temperature for bottling.
    John
    2x8 Smokylake drop flue with AOF/ AUF
    180 taps on sacks
    75 on 3/16 tubing with shurflo
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota

  5. #5
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    Granville, PA
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    Thanks John, it will all be a learning process. I have read and was afraid that filtering right off of the evaporator and bottling would not work but I was optimistic with the idea of the optimizer style speeding things up.

    I have a couple pics of where I currently am in the process if any would be interested.
    timber frame being recycled.jpg
    This is the timber frame hog pen with chicken coup that is being re-purposed. The building did make the bacon and eggs so we plan to keep it in the breakfast family.
    pad prep.jpg
    Here is the pad getting ready for concrete. Hopefully, weather permitting, this coming weekend.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Granville, PA
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    Default

    Here are a few more photos of where I stand
    right of way.jpg
    My right of way. Woods and brush until now. Unfortunately, its a 20+% grade
    image2 (3).jpg
    My version of a tubing tool.
    600 gal bulk tank.jpg
    Here is the 600 gal. bulk tank that I got a good deal on.
    beginings of my evaporator.jpg
    and the starts to my arch. I know that the front needs to have doors, I just haven't gotten that far yet.

    I have a long way to go. If anyone has suggestions or criticism, let me know.
    Last edited by minehart gap; 11-05-2017 at 06:39 PM.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Oneida NY
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    Minehart Gap, I do have some pics of my pre-heater and hood. They are on an old cell phone, if I still have it, I'll have to see if it can still take a charge so I can pull them off. In a P.M. send me your email address and I will sent them to you if I can still retrieve them. It may take some time.
    I made the preheater using copper manifolds, mine are 1" headers with 6 take offs at 1/2" each, if I ever build another one I'll use the next size larger. Someplace in ebay I found some that were 1.25 headers with 6 take offs of 3/4". I have 4 headers and 2 tiers. Mine enter thru the hood just above the inside gutter that catches the condensation, sap enters there and at the other end of the header I put an all and a coin vent, then I have the 6 long tubes, (mine are only 52" long since my flue pan is 60" long. Then they rise 2" over the length of that tier to header #2. At the far end I have a street elbow, a vent T with a coin vent, at the side opposite where the sap entered. Then header #3 attaches to the vent T and the second tier runs from there to header #4. Sap enters #1 one one side, exits #1 and rises to #2 on the opposite side, enters #3 just above where it rose from #2, and exits thru the hood about 6-7" above where it entered. Thus I have 4 headers at 15" long, and 12 lengths of 1/2" copper of 52" each. in the steam. I have a SS drain pan, slightly larger than the length and width of the preheater which drains into the hood gutter. The end not mentioned on #2 has a cap, all other unmentioned ends of the headers have can ell and a coin vent. My issue is that only get temps up to 170-180 but when the auto draw opens the temp slowly drops to about 110-120. I'm thinking if I had larger tubing for the 52" runs the sap in them would both move slower and have more in volume so I'd get hotter sap coming out of the pre-heater during a draw. Most of my draws with the auto draw seem to be about 2-3 gal each. My concept for entering on one side and exiting at the far corner was to get more uniform distribution, nothing can take a short cut. I'll try to get the pictures.
    Dave
    Last edited by maple flats; 11-06-2017 at 07:23 AM.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH 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.cnymaple.com

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    Oneida NY
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    Default

    Minehart gap, I looked in my old phone, the picture are gone. I don't see where I loaded then onto the computer. I'll have to get some new pictures. Will try to get them in the next week or 2 and send them to you.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH 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.cnymaple.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
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    John, would you think that I would be able to bottle right away if I were filtering directly into something like a water jacket pot? Someone build one and shows it here http://mapletrader.com/community/sho...jacket-bottler . The other thing that I may not be considering is am I going to be able to keep up with everything that will be going on and bottle at the same time? I just thought, why heat the syrup twice when it is at least almost hot enough after filtering to bottle.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    Oneida NY
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    With 300 taps you are not likely to draw syrup fast enough to bottle right off the evaporator to the filter press to the bottler. At best you will need to do it in batches, maybe at the end of the day's boil. If you have 2 people in the sugarhouse then you might be able to bottle in 2 batches on the day's boil, but the batches would be rather small. If you get a gal of sap from each tap that day at 2% sugar, you can end up with about 6.75-7 gal of syrup for the day, but remember, that will not happen the first day or 2 boiling, because you are sweetening the pans thus leaving lots of sweet in the pans at shut down.
    Last edited by maple flats; 11-07-2017 at 07:19 AM.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH 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.cnymaple.com

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