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Thread: Mason 2x4 XL Operation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Wilton, NH
    Posts
    35

    Default Mason 2x4 XL Operation

    Did a test boil (with water) yesterday on my new 2x4XL. 25 minutes from ice cold to full boil in all four channels, which I thought was awesome compared to my old 55gal barrel rig.
    My question is on shutdown. Obviously, once sweetened, the pan will be left alone until the next boil. But what do I do with the contents of the preheater pan if I'm out of time and need to shut down? Looks like the preheater will hold up to 5 gallons of sap, and I will be boiling concentrate @ 7-8%. On test boil yesterday, the preheater pan went up to 170 degrees. I don't think leaving 170 deg. concentrate in there overnight would be the right move. Do I flood the evaporator pan with whatever is left in the pre-heater pan? Do I need to drain the preheater and boil for a period of time in the pan before shutting down? Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Merrimack, NH
    Posts
    486

    Default

    Id just flood the pan with the preheater sap if you are worried about it spoiling or something along those lines.

    If the preheater isnt in direct contact with the flame it wont scorch or anything like that if you drain it.

    Good luck!

    -Scott
    Quote Originally Posted by UB29 View Post
    Did a test boil (with water) yesterday on my new 2x4XL. 25 minutes from ice cold to full boil in all four channels, which I thought was awesome compared to my old 55gal barrel rig.
    My question is on shutdown. Obviously, once sweetened, the pan will be left alone until the next boil. But what do I do with the contents of the preheater pan if I'm out of time and need to shut down? Looks like the preheater will hold up to 5 gallons of sap, and I will be boiling concentrate @ 7-8%. On test boil yesterday, the preheater pan went up to 170 degrees. I don't think leaving 170 deg. concentrate in there overnight would be the right move. Do I flood the evaporator pan with whatever is left in the pre-heater pan? Do I need to drain the preheater and boil for a period of time in the pan before shutting down? Thanks for the help.
    Last edited by SmellsLikeSyrupNH; 01-07-2019 at 11:07 AM.
    2019 New Smoky Lake 2x6 raised flue, Simplicity Autodraw system, The Maple Guys Maple Jet Filter Press, a beautiful new bride to be my sugaring partner :-)
    2018 Deployed to the Middle East, no surgaring for me :-(
    2017 Expanded Sugar Shack, new 2x6 with float box, NEXTgen Maple RO, 250+ taps (I hope for 300), still on sap sacks
    2016 New Sugar Shack, 2x6 evaporator, 160 taps, all on Sap Sacks
    2015 Deployed to the Middle East
    2014 110 tap all tubed buckets.
    2013 35 taps, all buckets

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Westfield, NY
    Posts
    163

    Default

    I have a 2x3 with divided flat pan, and I let the preheater continue to trickle into the pan as everything is cooling down. I don't want to risk any scorching from low levels as it continues to eveperate on cool down. On a restart it will form a quadrant sooner then you think.
    backyard hobbyist
    2014 - roasting pan on 55 gallon barrel -1 gallon syrup 6 taps on buckets
    2015 - added blower to door -3 gallon syrup 10 taps on buckets
    2016 - 3 gallon syrup and 2 lbs. sugar 16 taps on buckets
    2017 - new Mason 2x3 w/AUF shooting for 20 to 30ish taps and more sugar
    2018 - did not boil
    2019 - Added RO, sudo 8x8 sugar shack, 72 taps
    N 42* 18' 31."
    W 79* 34' 15."
    https://www.saptapapps.com/map/31868...-aab748a6394e/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    afton, ny
    Posts
    21

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    "The preheater isnt in direct contact with the flame so it wont scorch or anything like that if you drain it."

    On the Mason XL the preheater is on the flame. Maybe drain the sap into the evaporator pan and then just add 5 gallons of water to the preheater, to be dumped when the evaporator is refired.
    Last edited by tombaisley; 01-09-2019 at 10:30 AM.
    2018 25 taps, two turkey fryers, 4 gallons
    2019 75 taps, Mason 2'x4, XL, 10'x12' shack
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/vZj2hHkXpKSBJqJFA

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    North Berwick, ME
    Posts
    20

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    I just got a new 2x4 Mason XL this season. My shutdown plan (tentatively) is going to be to flood down the pan maybe an extra 1-2" and let that boil. Then once the boiling has pretty much stopped ill drain and immidately fill my preheater with water. The next time i start up, first step will be to establish the proper level in the evaporator (by draining sap side of pan), add the drain off back to the preheater, top off the preheater with raw sap and start the fire.

    Well see how it goes i guess but thats the direction im headed in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Middlesex Vermont
    Posts
    620

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    I have had a 2x4 mason for several years but no R/O. When I am ready to shut down I stop firing when pre heater is about 3/4 full and sap level in pan is about 1". by time the pre heater sap has slowly emptied into pan the depth will have increased to around 1 3/4". And when evaporator has fully cooled it will be down to around 1.5" or a bit less. Unless its getting real cold I leave concentrate in pan and if its getting into low teens I than empty it.
    110 taps W.F Mason 2x3 and two turkey friers for finishing

    2011 expanding to a Mason 2x4 with a blower increasing taps to about 200
    2011 Hurricane Irene rips thru my small sugar bush cost me to lose 20% of taps
    2014 I have reworked my lines for 2014
    32 taps on 5/16 line with check valves
    57 taps on 3/16 line with check valves
    55 buckets with total tapped trees of 144

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Wilton, NH
    Posts
    35

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    Thinking along the same line as TomBaisley. On the 2x4 XL, preheater pan sits on top of the arch and is in direct contact with the flame; so if I dump contents into the pan will immediately need to refill with water to avoid scorching.
    Overall concern though, is that 8% concentrate that has only heated to 170 in the preheater and not had a chance to boil before shutdown. Looks like a) flood pan with whatever is left in preheater; b) put a few gallons of preferably permeate into preheater; c) boil down for ??? to allow the preheater contents to get some boiling time so it won't spoil when left in pan overnight.

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