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Thread: First Year was a Success - What to upgrade for 2020

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake County Ohio
    Posts
    1,065

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    You might look into a new, or used Half Pint. I spent one year on cinder blocks , then two years with a Half Pint, and the last ten on a Leader 2x6.

    We made some great syrup on the Half Pint and sold it for nearly what I paid for it.

    With a growing family; it sounds like your time is worth more than the $900 or so you'll save building up an oil tank arch.
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    H20 Innovations Air Injection 2019
    CDL AirTech Pump Hi Vacuum 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    16

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    Hey All,

    I've made some decisions and plans for next season...

    1. Lines with vac.
    2. RO

    This leaves me with the evaporator debate. I'd like to get something that would work and be up-gradable. I know I need a new pan as the chafing dishes caused a lot of scorch. Would it make more sense to invest in a decent pan and build up the block arch better or go with a half-pint or the like? All help is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Bryan
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Marysville, Ohio
    Posts
    641

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    The least expensive option obviously is a better pan on a block arch. A small evaporator such as a 1/2 pint or one of Bill Mason's evaporator's will be much more efficient (air tight) than the block arch. Your decision needs to be made understanding how big you want to get. I have a 1/2 pint and my impression is that the Mason's evaporator is better constructed and a little more efficient, but you can expand the 1/2 pint without any modification to the arch. The first capacity increase would be adding a blower and air under fire. There are two pan upgrades for the 1/2 pint that can add a lot of capacity. The 1/2 pint without a blower will boil 4-5 gallons per hour. A blower will increase that by 1-2 gph maybe a little more. Leader has a pan they call Supreme that will increase the boiling rate by about 50%. Smoky Lake makes a pan for the 1/2 pint (I believe thay call it the full pint.) that will take the capacity up to 15-20 gph. Both of these pan options require little to no modification to the original 1/2 arch.
    Leader 1/2 pint - Kawasaki Mule - Smoky Lake Filter Bottler
    24 GPH RO, 2 1/2 x 40 NF3 (NF270), 140 GPH (Brass with no relief valve ) ProCon pump
    2013 - 44 taps on buckets - 16 gallons syrup, 2014 - 109 taps on buckets - 26 gallons syrup
    2015 - 71 taps on buckets - 13.5 gallons syrup, 2016 - 125 taps on buckets - 24.25 gallons syrup
    2017 - 129 taps on buckets - 17.5 gallons syrup, 2018 - 128 taps on buckets - 18 gallons syrup
    2019 -130 taps on buckets - 18.5 gallons syrup

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    16

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    I see myself at 30-50 taps this year.
    Max I have available at my property will be 70-75 but thatch a stretch.
    If all goes well I may want to tap everything in years to come.
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    509

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    Like anything, it depends. If you are running RO then you can get a smaller evap and be fine (2x3 or 2x4). Depending on your budget, you could buy new pan and arch or with a tighter budget buy a used pan and make a better block arch or weld an arch. If I was looking at a max of 75 taps on RO I would go toward a 2x4 pan.

    And make sure you keep an eye on the classified section. Or Bascom used pans and evaps.
    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. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    16

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    Could I buy a decent 2x3 or 2x4 pan now (new or used), beef up the block arch for this year, and then upgrade the arch the following year?
    I want to spread this over a couple years...
    I guess the question really is to I buy the pan or the arch this year, and the other the following...

    Assuming I build a decent arch with blower and good pan, what GPH would be realistic?
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,707

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    If trying to split the purchases into 2 years, either look for a used 2x4 pan or a used 2x4 evaporator. People selling a 2x4 evaporator are very unlikely to be willing to split it up, but dealers who took them in trade would be more willing to split it. A new pan will set you back farther than an entire used 2x4 in most cases.
    Check the classifieds on this site often, also check craig's list. If a pan is soldered, test for lead in the solder (test kits available at most hardware stores). Also check dealers like Bascom and any others you can find.
    Then customize the block arch and buy or make a proper arch for the 2021 season.
    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. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    509

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryankloos View Post
    Could I buy a decent 2x3 or 2x4 pan now (new or used), beef up the block arch for this year, and then upgrade the arch the following year?
    I want to spread this over a couple years...
    I guess the question really is to I buy the pan or the arch this year, and the other the following...

    Assuming I build a decent arch with blower and good pan, what GPH would be realistic?
    I would buy the pan first and do some modification to your block arch. That is what my dad did this past season. He took his block arch and did away with his 2 steam table pans, bought a 2x3 pan and did some arch modification and had a good season. It is also easier to build an arch after you have the pans as not every 2x3 is exactly 24 inches by 36 inches and same with 2x4. I believe my 2 ft pan set is only 23.5 inches wide.

    For GPH, on flat pans use the square footage as a base. So on a 2x3 ~6gph, 2x4 ~8gph. Add a blower, more gph. Add a preheater, more gph. You get the idea.
    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

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,707

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    Good point mol1jb, I ran into an issue when I ordered a new set of pans. The original ones were Leader and I just ordered based on what Leader's labels said they were. The originals were marked 3'x2' syrup pan ans 3'x6' flue pan. I changed the ratios and ordered 3'x3' syrup and a 3'x5' flue pan from Thor. When I went to put them on my arch, my new pans were 1.5" too long, even with the gasket between them 1/4" instead of 1" on the originals. I then measured the new ones, they were on exactly. I could not measure the old leader pans because I had already sold them. I then had to lengthen the arch 2" to make the new pans fit. Leader does not label their pans at actual size they round up (a lot).
    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

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