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Thread: granulated sugar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    GARRETTSVILLE,OHIO
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    303

    Default granulated sugar

    the last couple of weeks making sugar has been a challenge. high humidity and rainy days, im guessing, are causing the sugar to cake instead of granulate. we are working off of the same 1000 gallon tank of dark robust. worked perfect before now not so much. ive tried 250-260 degrees , everything in between. one batch is fine the next is gumballs. we try to watch the humidity and adjust temp but its so spiratic. we use a steam kettle , then a big hobart mixer. thinking about a cdl sugar machine. anyone have/use one? or other suggestions
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep
    1500 taps

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    South Colton, NY
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    Default

    We use 265
    3,100 taps
    60 cfm flood
    HC2
    5 by 14 oil

    Brian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Stafford Springs, CT
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    Default

    I was just going to post about this as well so good timing! I'll try the 265 number.

    I also wanted to ask and see what folks use to deal with clumps of sugar. After I sift my sugar I find clumps of sugar "balls" that break apart when you squeeze them. I also have hard pieces that I throw back in the batch but I'm looking for a more efficient way of dealing with the soft pieces. Right now I "mash" those pieces but I'm wondering if there is a better way.
    About 600 taps - 350 on Vacuum
    We buy syrup - will pickup in SNE
    2'x6' air tight arch
    Semi complete 12'x16' sugarhouse in Somers, CT
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Stafford Springs, CT
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    818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    the last couple of weeks making sugar has been a challenge. high humidity and rainy days, im guessing, are causing the sugar to cake instead of granulate. we are working off of the same 1000 gallon tank of dark robust. worked perfect before now not so much. ive tried 250-260 degrees , everything in between. one batch is fine the next is gumballs. we try to watch the humidity and adjust temp but its so spiratic. we use a steam kettle , then a big hobart mixer. thinking about a cdl sugar machine. anyone have/use one? or other suggestions
    I have a CDL double machine but previously used a small mixer so I really can't speak about going from a Hobart to one. I really like it but there are some idiosyncrasies like cleaning that I working through. I love throwing in the syrup and having it do it's thing. Emptying can be slightly tricky but he drums just rotate and dump into a bin that I can then let cool. I find that I need to give it a good cleaning at the end of a day with multiple batches or after a couple of days of single batches but that goes without saying.
    About 600 taps - 350 on Vacuum
    We buy syrup - will pickup in SNE
    2'x6' air tight arch
    Semi complete 12'x16' sugarhouse in Somers, CT
    New: Get Real...Maple Syrup t-shirts now available
    My eBook: Making Maple Syrup in your Backyard

  5. #5
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    Oct 2006
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    GARRETTSVILLE,OHIO
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    Default

    after more research and conversations we come to realize ac and dehumidifying is a must. we did try 267 and still didnt work normally we go to 250 but we were seasonally making it. now demand has us doing it year round, so looks like changes are in order.N E Ohio is horrible for humidity. thanks guys
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep
    1500 taps

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Salisbury, N.H.
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    A dehumidifier in the room helps alot...or wait until there is a low humidity day.....i have used a food processor to grind the balls that do not sugar
    Salisbury Sugarworks,,Parker Rowe, and friends
    Salisbury, N.H.
    1988 taps in 09
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    no buckets in 2010
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    shooting for 3000 in 2012
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Barrington, NH
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    Default

    I put all the sugar into a blender to break it up to a consistent size. I burnt out a few of the standard mixers before I spent a few extra bucks and got the Ninja Chefs model...1500W baby. You really need the higher wattage to break the clumps up. I used to use a food processor, but the blender works better because it funnels everything into the blades...just what I found.
    Josh

    2009 - 370 on vacuum and 16 buckets
    2010 - 377 on high vac.
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    2013 - 830 mine + 800-1000 from others
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    2019 - 902 mine + ???? from others.
    Atlas Copco Pump
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Elsie mi
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    95

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    This is my first time looking into sugar making. I am hoping to learn from your mistakes so I can try to avoid them myself. As for the clumps I would think a mill for grain or coffee would work great and there adjustable for grind size.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
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    1,440

    Default

    I've had the same problems and used some of the same fixes. For me, sugar just hasn't become automatic or consistent like I can with candy or cream. One thing I do notice that hasn't come up yet, is my second batch is always wetter than my first.

    I wonder, did the first batch raise the humidity in the room that much? Is it related to using the same cook pot with residual cooked syrup; or is it residual sugar in the mixing bowl?

    I've cleaned everything between batches - which stinks. Sometimes, I put the wet batch on a sheet in the oven at 180 (I'll have to check my notes) for a few minutes to dry it out. It always works out, but it's never quite the same each time.
    Woodville Maples
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    Something north of 250 taps
    Mix of natural and mechanical vac, S3 Controller from Mountain Maple
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    6 hives of bees
    Keeping the day job until I can start living the dream.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Elliottsburg, PA
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    2,228

    Default

    I do small batches, no more than 1 gal at a time.

    I almost always go to above 260, most often 265.

    I stir by hand and try to get it down to a fine crumb with a few nuggets here and there. While I am boiling the syrup I will turn on the oven to 180 degrees.

    So once I have the sugar broken down to this "course" stage I will pour it out onto a cookie sheet and place it in the oven. I will leave the oven on for maybe another 1/2 hour then I will turn it off and just let the sugar sit in there till the oven cools off. This will take a few hours.
    Then I will come back and take this course sugar and put it thru a food mill to get a even "grind".


    This is what I have found to work for me with the size of batches that I do, now if I was doing larger this could turn into a real pain.
    1st Generation Hobby Maple Producer, you got to start somewhere.
    222 Taps, all on Vacuum! No more buckets.
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