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Thread: Sugar Shack Design, Finisher Placement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Petoskey Michigan
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    Default Sugar Shack Design, Finisher Placement

    We are installing a clean kitchen in the upstairs of our sugar house. I have a space set up next to the evaporator for the finisher thinking this is where it would go. Now as we are designing our space in the clean kitchen we were confronted with the question; Why isn't your finisher in the kitchen? So I thought hmm good question, where should the finisher go! Some places keep it next to the evaporator, and others keep it somewhere else. I was planning to evaporate finish and bottle later, with a hoist to raise and lower barrels of stored syrup. Reheat, filter and bottle as needed. Or even better pump it upstairs when it is finished, that would be neat. Where is your finisher and why?

  2. #2
    Haynes Forest Products Guest

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    When I set out to "BOTTLE" I also are watching the reheater/finisher come up to temp and finish to density. This is where constant care and eyes are a must. Then because your going to filter you need the press close by. Then you need the sink to wash your hands, messy bottles, filter press. Pumping from the evaporator room up to a different room is a recipe for disaster. Your turning a simple job into a 1-2 person job. Remember how much sap you lose when you run a few gallons of finished syrup on the floor by accident.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2011
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    Thanks Haynes Forest products, but you may be assuming a lot! Finishing does not always mean bottling. If you sell in bulk the purchaser pays less if it is not finished and filtered. We use rolling carts on concrete so lifting more than a few gallons almost never happens. My sugar house is designed for one man operation, and pumping the syrup upstairs is somewhat of a pipe dream, (PUN INTENDED)! We have yet to experience the loss of a few gallons of finish syrup on the floor. A few pints here and there, but that is why they call them accidents. Do you bottle everything produced right away?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Albion PA
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    Sweet spot,
    Sounds like you have thought about it and have several finishing options. May I ask how much syrup you make?
    I agree that moving the syrup as easy as possible is the ticket.
    I have never used a finisher, but most that I have seen are at or near the evaporator.
    I have a make shift kitchen that we use on the same level as the evaporator. Having a good working kitchen in the sugarhouse is a very nice feature to have in my opinion. Good luck with your operation.
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU, AOF and AUF
    12" SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Oneida NY
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    10,566

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    Somehow I can't imagine the finisher on a different floor than the evaporator. My finisher sets beside the evaporator with an aisle between them. I draw off into a draw tank which is plumbed to my filter press. If the syrup in the draw tank check as proper density, it can be transferred to the finisher, thru the bypass valve, or can be sent thru the filter to either the bottler or a barrel. Since I do not like filling a barrel unless I have enough to do it all at the same time, my draw tank holds about 18-20 gal and my barrels are 26.5 gal for most of them, so it only goes to a barrel if I already have syrup in my finisher. If not, it gets pumped to the finisher. On my set up, the evaporator is in the middle of the sugarhouse, the draw tank is on the right side and with an aisle between them the filter press, bottler, finisher draw tank and then the finisher are on the left, in that order. While I will never try to say that is by any means the best arrangement, I will say it has worked well for me. I use food grade hoses to move the syrup to where ever I need it, just open one valve and close another. Both the evaporator draw tank and the finisher draw tank are tee'd to the filter press pump inlet.
    If you want to pump syrup up a floor, how will you evacuate that hose? Besides, who will monitor where it is going?
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, downsized after I lost my help, about 450-500 planned for 2021 (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

  6. #6
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    Nov 2011
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    Petoskey Michigan
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    Hello Sugarmaker; Last year we produced 278 gallons of finish. It was our biggest year yet and we only boiled for 3 weeks. At this point we have nearly 2500 taps compared to 1800 last year, and are expanding our bush every year. Our sap shack is 14'x40' with a second story on the 1/2 without the evaporator. The other 1/2 of the lower level has a 4 bay sink and a 400 gallon Zero tank we use for bulk syrup. With an entry door and a garage door entry. We made it this way because my mill will only cut 16' material and we have the greenhouse on the south side. I did not want ice and snow falling onto it. Right now I am not ready to pump upstairs. When I am it would be automated with safeties installed, It would have to gravity feed back to the finisher to evacuate the line each time you pump up. At this time I have a hoist installed and will be using it to lift barrels to the second floor kitchen. Maple Flats your right, most of the sugar houses I have been to have the finisher next to the evaporator. We are very excited to get our kitchen finished for the upcoming season.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
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    Sweet spot, Your right into it! Nice pile of syrup! Better to have that big tank on the lower level!
    Would love to see your operation if you want to share some pictures!
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU, AOF and AUF
    12" SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Petoskey Michigan
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    That was the reasoning for keeping the finish bulk tank downstairs. 4800 pounds of syrup plush the weight of the tank on the second floor is not an option over my head. With the right superstructure it is possible. I'll get some pictures out soon, my regular computer is out for repair. I could use the opertunity to learn how to do it with my smart phone.

  9. #9
    Haynes Forest Products Guest

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    I bulk 95% of what I make so I like to put it in the drum filtered and hot. Now my syrup goes into the draw off tank and then gets pumped to the finisher that is within 4 ft of the evaporator in the next room the Kitchen. The filter press is 2 ft from the finisher and my bottler is on the other side of the sink so I have a good flow around the shack. I fill drums in the center of the room so when their full I can roll them out the door to the trailer.
    I have a 65 gallon finisher so I can get to temp, check density and fill the drum while I'm cooking. I'm a one man operation also and there are times when I pumping the trailer tanks into the RO bulk tank, concentrating and running the evaporator, keeping an eye on the finisher and filtering into a barrel. So having a good work flow is important.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Petoskey Michigan
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    That's a huge finisher Haynes Forest Products. My homemade unit will hold about 35-40 gallons filled to the top. So we will have to do two finishes to a 55 gallon drum. Our finisher is only 3 1/2' from our evaporator, and my Filter press is on a mobile cart with an open top tank under the press. The tank will also hold the same amount as our finisher. Do you bottle everything that you do not sell in bulk right away or do you store it and reheat to bottle. I understand that reheating above 160-170 builds niter and will need refiltering. When you sell in bulk do you use new drums, or good used ones with a new liner? I have heard that some buyers are turning down used barrels.

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