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Thread: Copper turned sap blue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Two Harbors, Minnesota
    Posts
    64

    Default Copper turned sap blue

    I boiled 30 gallons of birch sap yesterday. I made a bubbler with copper. I shut down last night and let it cool down by itself. The low temps got to 31 degrees. I got up this morning to clean the pan and start over with a new batch and noticed all the sap had a blueish color to it. Obviously this came from the copper. I noticed people had copper pans so I didn't think it would be an issue.
    Did I ruin this sap?
    2016- 32 taps, 3 1/2 gallons
    2017- 150 taps, 13 gallons after building an evaporator
    2018- goal is 240+ taps. 20+ gallons.
    2018 Reality- 235 taps, 5 gallons of syrup. Average 50 birch taps and 3 gallons of syrup.
    Latitude 47.278150

    livingoffmyland.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Two Harbors, Minnesota
    Posts
    64

    Default

    After talking to someone who knows a lot me than me, I decided to dump my sap that I spent the whole day cooking down.
    2016- 32 taps, 3 1/2 gallons
    2017- 150 taps, 13 gallons after building an evaporator
    2018- goal is 240+ taps. 20+ gallons.
    2018 Reality- 235 taps, 5 gallons of syrup. Average 50 birch taps and 3 gallons of syrup.
    Latitude 47.278150

    livingoffmyland.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonport Wisc
    Posts
    5,177

    Default

    Well would you drink it?? My understanding is Birch sap is more acidic than maple. Im thinking you have Copper nitrate mixed in with the sap. I see copper fitting that haven't been wiprd clean after soldering and you will over time gat a green/bluish mess grow around the fitting. That is from the flux and moisture forming crystals on the surface.

    What did you clean the bubbler with after you soldered the fittings inside and out??
    3X10 Lapiere Waterloo small/CDL raised flue with oil fired homemade steam hood
    1700 taps all on vacuum thru sap ladders
    Smoky Lake auto draw off
    Custom 2X4 finish pan by 3rdgen
    Kubota BX 2370 tractor and Polaris ATV
    CDL Airtech L63
    CDL remote vacuum system sensing.
    2 double Bernard releasers
    Westfab 7" short bank
    More dang tanks and pumps than I can remember
    Yellow dog made from parts named Roxy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Two Harbors, Minnesota
    Posts
    64

    Default

    I cleaned it like I do with my pan, Soap and water and rinsed well. The thing is, the copper pipe itself was changing, like it was breaking down. Now I have to find some stainless steel tubing.
    2016- 32 taps, 3 1/2 gallons
    2017- 150 taps, 13 gallons after building an evaporator
    2018- goal is 240+ taps. 20+ gallons.
    2018 Reality- 235 taps, 5 gallons of syrup. Average 50 birch taps and 3 gallons of syrup.
    Latitude 47.278150

    livingoffmyland.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Posts
    783

    Default

    The more acidic birch sap probably dissolved the copper more readily than maple sap and adding the air helped to oxidize the copper is solution.
    Smoky Lake 2x6 dropflu pans and hoods on homemade arch
    Smoky Lake 6 gallon water jacked bottler
    Concentric Exhaust
    250 Deer Run RO
    325 taps

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonport Wisc
    Posts
    5,177

    Default

    I still wonder how people get the flus out of the inside of copper preheaters. When I took mine and decided to scrap it I wasn't really all that concerned about draining it. The crap that came out after sitting a season with sap in it would gag a maggot.
    3X10 Lapiere Waterloo small/CDL raised flue with oil fired homemade steam hood
    1700 taps all on vacuum thru sap ladders
    Smoky Lake auto draw off
    Custom 2X4 finish pan by 3rdgen
    Kubota BX 2370 tractor and Polaris ATV
    CDL Airtech L63
    CDL remote vacuum system sensing.
    2 double Bernard releasers
    Westfab 7" short bank
    More dang tanks and pumps than I can remember
    Yellow dog made from parts named Roxy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    8,660

    Default

    After soldering did you flush the inside well with hot water? That green hue may be from flux not properly removed.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 1000 for 2019?
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    canton, ny
    Posts
    7

    Default Tig welding copper or going all stainless.

    One way to avoid having to deal with flux when working with copper is to Tig weld it, I'd suggest using a silicone bronze filler wire or a copper alloy, or to use fusion weld the copper with the heat of the Tig torch. Or another option is to find some used stainless milk pipeline and have a welder or yourself make a pre heater from that.

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