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Thread: Small evaporator cleaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Nottingham, NH
    Posts
    10

    Default Small evaporator cleaning

    Hi all, just wondering how often other small producers clean their evaporators due to the sugar sand build up? I have a 2x6 Leader WSE drop flue that I've had about 10 years now. It can't be reversed for draw off, so I usually need to drain and clean after every 3-400 gallons of raw sap, no RO running yet. Is that normal?

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
    2x6 Leader WSE Evaporator
    30 buckets
    160 +/- 5/16" taps on gravity tubing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Worcester County, MA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    That cleaning interval sounds quite similar to what I use with my 2x6.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Altamont, NY
    Posts
    574

    Default

    Sounds about right. I also have a WSE 2 x 6. I usually clean after 3-400 gallons.... sooner if the level of bubbles makes its way to the top of the last channel. I’ve had to clean more frequently this season.

    I bought a Smoky Lake syrup pan and have a butterfly valve on it between the front & back pans. Makes it easy to drain and swap pans. I usually rinse the pan out with water then throw some vinegar in it, no heat. After a couple of hours I rinse again with water. The bottom of the pan is like new. If you can get the butterfly valve it’s definitely worth it.
    Leader WSE 2x6
    12"x20" Mason Finisher
    250 taps.. Majority on tubing
    14'x20' sugarshack
    Kubota RTV900
    New for 2015:
    Home built RO
    Home built Auto Drawoff
    www.mallardpondmaple.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    851

    Default

    I siphon out loose nitre with a piece of 3/16th tubing before I fire about every other day. Get it started with a squeeze bulb. run it into a bucket and let settle for a few minutes and pour clear sweet back and dump nitre. Usually once about mid season I tear down and do a complete clean. I'm running a Smokey Lake hybrid
    100 -110 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    526

    Default

    In my 2x6 I also clean every 300-400 gallons. I could wait longer but its so nice when everything just sprays out with minimal scrubbing.
    2019 - 150 taps 3/16 shurflo, Deer Run 125 dolly RO - 73 gallons
    2018 - 120 taps 3/16 hybrid (shurflo), 2x6 raised flue w/hood, homemade arch w/ AUF & AOF - 34.5 gallons
    2017 - 60 taps 3/16 gravity, oil tank arck w/ steam pans - 12.5 gallons

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Haverhill, Ma
    Posts
    711

    Default

    no one mentions the bottom of the pan. Does anyone clean the soot off during the season? Do you remove the pan to do so? I can usually only get the soot off with a power washer after the season. Is it possible to clean the pan with it still on the stove? With what?
    2019 - New 12X12 boiling pavilion
    2018 - New Mason 2X3 Hobby XL and homemade RO
    2017 - 49 taps on gravity, 6 on buckets.
    2016 - 19 taps on new 3/16 tubing, 24 on buckets
    2015 - 51 taps, 26 buckets
    2014 - 50 taps, 14 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, new 2X3 continuous flow Phaneuf from Homestead Maple
    2013 - 33 taps, 12 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans
    2012 - 26 taps, 10 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Altamont, NY
    Posts
    574

    Default

    I use a drop flue brush when I clean the flues. I then move to the syrup pan and do my best to clean it. As long as I go over it a couple of times it comes out clean enough to boil. End of the season I’ll take it outside and use a pressure washer. Sometimes I use fireplace cleaner as well. Spray, let it sit, then either pressure wash it off or use a rag. Bottom comes out nearly spotless.
    Leader WSE 2x6
    12"x20" Mason Finisher
    250 taps.. Majority on tubing
    14'x20' sugarshack
    Kubota RTV900
    New for 2015:
    Home built RO
    Home built Auto Drawoff
    www.mallardpondmaple.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    348

    Default

    We used to clean our 2x6 (older Grimm or the WSE) at the end of the year when boiling raw sap on 175-200 taps. Then as we grew the number of taps and then added an RO we ended up cleaning every 5-10 gallons.

    Our last cleaning process (check my user name history and you can find several discussions, but I'll put it here) was to drain the front pan separately from the rear pan into 5 gallon pails.

    Put vinegar in the pans and then fill with permeate (or water if you don't run an RO). If things were dirty we would rinse first then add the vinegar. We saved the vinegar mix to reuse throughout the year. We would use about 1-2 gallons in the front pan and 1 gallon in the back pan. We would add a little vinegar and some water each time. Once the solution was in the pans we would bring it to a boil for about 15 minutes and then use a plastic scrapper, flattened copper pipe or flashing, or in a few rare cases a greenie pad to get the hard deposits.

    We let the solution sit overnight (most often the best choice) and then flush it from the pans. Sometimes we would bring the flush up to a warm temp or a boil to help the cleaning. We used a good amount of water to do the rinse/flush. Since we used permeate we sometimes let it sit overnight if we were still waiting on a run of sap.

    Then we would put the stored sap back into their respective pans, but we would run them through a paper syrup filter...more of a feel good, but it did collect some stuff.

    Mike
    Tapping since 1985 (four generations back to early to mid 1900s). 200-250 taps on buckets and then tubing in the mid 90s. 2013- 275 taps w/sap puller 25 gal. 2014-295 taps w/sap puller 55 ga. (re-tapped to vacuum theory) 2015-330 taps full vac. 65 gal, 2016-400 taps 105 gal, 2017-400 taps 95 gal. 2018-additional 800' mainline and maybe 400 new taps for a total near 800 taps. 2x6 Leader WSE (last year on it) supported by a 250 gph RO.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Covington, New York
    Posts
    1,544

    Default

    I drain/soak/clean my syrup pan in my 18x60 after every good 2-3 day run, and every other run for the flue pan.
    Noel Good
    1998 to 2009: 15 taps on buckets, scavenged fire pit and pans
    2010: New 2x4 SS flat pan w/preheater
    2015: New to me Lapierre 18x60 raised flue, new shack, new everything!! 59 taps 23.75 gallons made
    2016: 85 taps 19 gallons
    2017: Purchased 2.5 acres and tubed half with 3/16. 145 taps total 49.25 gallons made
    2018: 200 taps (162 on 3/16ths 38 on buckets) New NextGen RO 63 gallons made
    2019: 210 taps 73.5 gallons made
    www.wnybass.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,875

    Default

    You will find the need to clean the front pan will vary each season, and what someone else needs, may not be what you need.
    I determine if I need to clean the front pan, when either cold or at least not at a rapid boil, by using a nylon spatula. Facing the blade about 45 degrees away from you , push down lightly and pull the spatula towards you, if it slides without drag, no cleaning, if you feel a drag, clean it. I think I will finally need to clean the pan for the first time this season and I have put about 2500 gal of sap thru it, boiling 4 days. I will not know til I get to the sugarhouse in about an hour. I had a big draw near the end of boiling yesterday (auto draw), which brought a good amount of lower density from the back pan to the front, sometimes just that will loosen the sugarsand on the bottom but a long draw near the end of a boil doesn't happen very often. Some years I need to clean every day. I also have a flue pan washer, I use that about 2-3 times a season.
    The cleaning interval often changes thru out the season too, what you need this week can change and often does later in the season.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    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

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