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Thread: Drop lines or buckets

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Berks County PA
    Posts
    59

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    I have plenty of firewood for camping but no place at my current home to make a fire. Next year....

    Do I need to use stainless pots to boil off? I ask because I have a larger, wider enamel pot I could also use. I assume more bottom surface area would be better?

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    241

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    I'm thinking that you definitely need stainless but the old time sugar makers used copper and cast iron kettles from what I've heard and before that, who knows? I've never heard of anyone using enamel pots though.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Quaker Hill, CT
    Posts
    201

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    Stainless is preferred because it is easy to see that it is clean and it won't impart any off putting flavors into the final product.

    An enamel lined steel pot should be ok but its not always possible to see any cracks in the enamel that might allow the sap to come in contact with the steel of the pot. That might impart a metallic taste to the syrup. Also any leftover flavors from anything previously cooked in the enamel pot could come out in the syrup. There is risk involved with using that pot.

    You are correct that having a larger surface area of pot is better. A large roasting pan would perform better in terms of evaporation rate when compared to your average turkey fryer pot.

    Restaurant steam table pans are an easy to get and cheap pan option for a hobby beginner. Each full size steam table pan gives you roughly 2 square feet of evaporation surface.

    It is very easy and inexpensive to make a quick fire pit from concrete block that can hold one or two steam table pans over a fire. That's how I boiled my first year.

    My current oil tank evaporator uses 5 six inch deep steam table pans and I can get around 15 gallons an hour evaporation rate.
    2017 25 taps on buckets got me hooked 1 gallon of sweet
    2018 51 taps on 3/16 tubing/ DIY oil tank evaporator 8.5gallons finished
    2019 tapped 1/26 aiming to beat last year

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    New Hartford, N.Y.
    Posts
    1,944

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    As a kid, I used two enamel coated roaster pans for years without any issues. Also had a plain steel flat pan made for boiling. No issues with either. Believe it or not, a thin coating of the nitre and sugar gets "baked" on, which basically seals the pan, and they won't rust. Just do not scrub, steel wool, wirebrush, sand, scotchbrite, etc. the coating off! Gently wash/rinse and leave it at that.
    Stainless steam pans are a great alternative providing their cost is in the "budget". As a kid I had no budget...lol.

    Steve
    2014 Upgrades!: 24x40 sugarhouse & 30"x10' Lapierre welded pans, wood fired w/ forced draft, homemade hood & preheater
    400 taps- half on gravity 5/16, half on gravity 3/16
    Airablo R.O. machine - in the house basement!
    Ford F-350 4x4 sap gatherer
    An assortment of barrels, cage tanks & bulk tanks- with one operational for cooling/holding concentrate
    And a few puzzled neighbors...

    http://s606.photobucket.com/albums/t...uckethead1920/

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,540

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    Not many of us tap or gather for only a couple days. (There just seems to be something terribly wrong with letting sap run on the ground when it could be made into syrup.) I do understand your just getting started. Good luck and have fun. Yes stainless pot or pan would be a good choice. Although I have seen some very odd unusual and maybe not safe boiling pans used.
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    640 ish roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU & preheater, AOF [TRS] and AUF
    SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One hives of bees
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Berks County PA
    Posts
    59

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    I agree and have been thinking about this. I may tap less trees but do it for longer especially if it will take forever to boil larger amounts down the way I have to do it this year. If I start the first week slower I can gauge what I can do with my setup.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hillsdale, NY United States
    Posts
    11

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    You probably be better off with buckets or sap bags on 1' diameter trees unless you can reach 2-3 trees with drop lines to 5 gallon buckets. You may find this equipment cheap on maple trader classified.
    Guessing but yield could be 7-30 gallons so you need some type of storage. 50 gallon plastic drum (food safe) to hold sap. Many people start with a turkey fryer set up or restaurant pan and small double
    burner and look for a small evaporator if they want to continue making syrup. Syrup Hydrometer, yes. SS hydrometer flask yes. Orlon filter yes. Paper prefilter yes. Sugar Bush Supplies, Bascom Maple or a local
    supplier for supplies.
    Have a great time

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Western Ma.
    Posts
    35

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbeneke View Post
    You probably be better off with buckets or sap bags on 1' diameter trees unless you can reach 2-3 trees with drop lines to 5 gallon buckets. You may find this equipment cheap on maple trader classified.
    Guessing but yield could be 7-30 gallons so you need some type of storage. 50 gallon plastic drum (food safe) to hold sap. Many people start with a turkey fryer set up or restaurant pan and small double
    burner and look for a small evaporator if they want to continue making syrup. Syrup Hydrometer, yes. SS hydrometer flask yes. Orlon filter yes. Paper prefilter yes. Sugar Bush Supplies, Bascom Maple or a local
    supplier for supplies.
    Have a great time
    Yes I agree buckts or bags would be the best for your set up. I still use buckets and this year we are putting more out.
    Pure Mountain Maple
    Lapierre Mini-Pro New for 2018 12x16 sugarhouse
    John Deere 1050 4wd
    John Deere 2130 HFWD
    2- 35 gallon leg tanks, one 65 gallon leg tank
    100 gallon sap feed-tank
    2013 Maple season
    12 trees with buckets
    2014 Season
    16 trees with buckets
    2015 Maple season
    21 trees with buckets
    2016 Maple season
    21 trees with buckets
    2017 Maple season
    21 trees with buckets
    2018 Maple Season
    40 trees with buckets

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,540

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    Skeller,
    You wont know until you tap them, but ma' nature will set the pace! You just need to keep up.
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    640 ish roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU & preheater, AOF [TRS] and AUF
    SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One hives of bees
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Berks County PA
    Posts
    59

    Default

    Based on a lot of great information on this forum I decided to jump all in. I previously purchased drop lines, spouts, hydrometer, thermometer, and the tools needed to insert and remove the spouts. I then gathered up 13 food grade buckets and that number will grow as the cafe at the place I work empties them. My weak spot for the year is not being able to build a better way to boil off so I am limited to two turkey fryer burners. For next year I will be able to make a wood fired setup. So I was concerned about the time, labor, and propane issues I may have this season. So last night I ordered two 6” deep steam pans to use on the propane burners which will provide more surface area and I can use them in my build for next year. Here is the all in part... I also ordered an RO bucket to reduce the time further. That will hopefully allow me to tap more and longer this season. I am excited for the season!

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