+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 17 FirstFirst 123456789101112 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 167

Thread: Getting ready

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    851

    Default

    Take the advice given and don't try to do too much all at once. You will end up messing up some part of it and my odds are on burning your pan. It's too easy to get distracted and poof you have a mess. I do a lot of small draws through the day and I put all my finished syrup together and that makes a nice blend. I have even used an insulated water cooler rated for hot liquids. My syrup is usually still around 100 degrees in it at the end of the day. I can then check density while the temperature is stable and it takes very little heat to bring it back to 186 (what I bottle at) and we have time to set everything up for just bottling. If it's too late we just wait another day, but being small I can usually do it that evening after shutdown. It really does not take long to do a few gallons when your all set up and just bottling. I draw at near syrup and finish on propane and filter off the finisher. That I can do as I boil or as I go through cool-down at the end of the day.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Posts
    1,576

    Default

    I agree with the previous comments. Concentrate on making syrup first. We used to bottle as we went, (3-4 of us, so it was possible, but it makes for a lot of confusion as Dave mentioned. And we have burned pans as a result. Someone will ask a question, you turn your back, and poof! We have lot's of guests too, an other source of distraction.

    Last year we adopted a new strategy. We eliminated the pre filters and draw off straight into a stainless bucket. As that fills, we pour into food grade 5 gallon buckets. If there is a grade or flavor change, we separate the batches, since we like to have a variety of flavors and don't blend our syrup together. That is an advantage of a small, non commercial operation. The buckets sit sealed up in the cold sugarhouse throughout the season. When it is time to bottle, we decant off the top with a diaphragm pump, leaving most of the sediment behind. Then we heat to filtering temp, run through the filter press into a water jacket bottler, adjust density with distilled water, and bottle.

    Doing this separately allows us to enjoy both the evaporating and bottling process, with far fewer disasters!
    John
    2x8 Smokylake drop flue with AOF/ AUF
    180 taps on sacks
    75 on 3/16 tubing with shurflo
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    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.
    Dave, I hadn’t thought of that (thanks for the reminder). It was suggested but the person that I purchased my pans from, to not even start until I had 250 gallons of sap and plan to boil all day and not to get syrup the first day.

    I draw at near syrup and finish on propane and filter off the finisher. That I can do as I boil or as I go through cool-down at the end of the day.
    buckeye gold, love your method. And based on John’s comments on adjusting density with distilled water, it may be common to over boil a little and bring it back to correct density. Paddy Mountain had mentioned doing this with sap when I visited his sugar shack.

    John, do you think that your method of storing then bottling would be able to be done with a cone filter instead of a press? And I was a little concerned about storing the syrup in a space that is going to freeze, glad to know that this is not a problem. I still think that I will not fill the buckets all the way to allow for expansion.

    By the way, thank you All for your knowledge and being willing to share it. Great community
    Last edited by minehart gap; 11-07-2017 at 05:43 PM.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Middlebury Center, PA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default

    Not sure who's preheater this is it might be yours Dave? I saved the pictures last season and I was looking at them as I am going to start to build one. How did this one work? Is it worth having 2 layers or what I've heard called a parallel? What size pipe does everyone use?

    Thanks Jared

    Who's preheater?SAM_0264.jpgSAM_0265.jpgSAM_0266.jpgSAM_0267.jpg
    Last edited by unc23win; 11-07-2017 at 07:38 PM.
    Jared

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,876

    Default

    Yes, that's mine. Thanks, I had lost the originals in my old phone and I was trying to find where I might have had other copies, Jared, you're a life saver. Those pictures are when I had just finished making it. I will try to get pictures of the plumbing to and from. That may be hard to follow, because a picture of the install looks real congested, but everything in the set up has a purpose and it works very well. My only complaint is that I lose temp. during a draw. As the auto draw opens the temp is 170-180F but the draws are between 1.5-4 gal each and after about 2 minutes my temp is down to 110-120. I think if I had gotten 1.25 headers with 6 take-offs of 3/4" each rather than 1" headers and 1/2" take-offs I might have held better temps near the end of a syrup draw. But still, 110-120 after 2 minutes is loads better than the 35-40 the sap leaves the head tank at.
    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:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    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

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Middlebury Center, PA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default

    You are welcome thanks to you for sharing the pictures and thanks for the info. I would like to see the pics of the install as well. Are you running a drip pan or troths?

    Thanks
    Jared
    Jared

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Posts
    1,576

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by minehart gap View Post
    John, do you think that your method of storing then bottling would be able to be done with a cone filter instead of a press? And I was a little concerned about storing the syrup in a space that is going to freeze, glad to know that this is not a problem. I still think that I will not fill the buckets all the way to allow for expansion.
    It will work, but be much slower. What you have going for you is the decanting, which eliminates lot's of the sediment, and that you have the syrup nice and hot. The cone optimizers are a great idea and should help as well. Your problem is that the filtered syrup will cool since it is filtering slowly, and you can't reheat very much without introducing more niter unless you use a water jacket bottler. Even with our filter press, which is very fast, we need to warm up the syrup before bottling. I really encourage you to get a water jacket bottler. Make one if you are handy. I made ours from some cheap stainless pots, a water heater element, a coffee urn thermostat and spigot.
    John
    2x8 Smokylake drop flue with AOF/ AUF
    180 taps on sacks
    75 on 3/16 tubing with shurflo
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Buffalo, MN
    Posts
    82

    Default

    We have smoky lake finisher and evaporator. Last year we finally got our process running the way I like it. We draw off check density then pour into finisher through filter set. Once we have around 3-5 gallons in the finisher we reheat and refilter check density and bottle. This works well especially if we land on a Saturday or Sunday. Then we can bottle during the day. We had one week last year where we had sap coming out of our you know where and syrup too! We filled the finisher to the top. That will not happen again. If you have a filter press you will not have to filter twice. We found that with flat filters running through twice is the answer to clear syrup.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,876

    Default

    For those who use flat or cone filters, some producers on this forum have used filter aid (food grade diatomaceous earth) with good results. It reportedly gives you good clear syrup without needing to invest in a filter press.
    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:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    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

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Not sure what your sugarbush looks like, but you mention it's on a slope facing east northeast. I have part of my property like that, and I can tell you that those trees are not getting a ton of sun in the best of times, and in areas where the trees are crowded, the sugar is much lower. I have a bunch of healthy but crowded trees (probably five or more mature maples per 10 yards square) on a steep slope facing east northeast, and they probably only see a few hours of minimal sun per day. As a result, I get like 1 to 1.2 % sap from them.

    So my suggestion would be if you're not going to tap everything your first year, be smart and pick and choose those trees that look best. Look for the size of the crown, and how much room they have around them. If you've got one with a big pine shading it, skip it, and fill it in another year if you have to. Believe me, boiling 2.2% sap is a lot more fun than boiling 1.5%!

    The plus side of being partially north-facing is that when your neighbors are getting nothing because it's too warm, you may get a nice little flow.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 17 FirstFirst 123456789101112 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts