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Thread: Propane verses firewood

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Speyside, Canada


    My firewood is free, except for cost of splitter etc.

    I use a propane turkey fryer as a preheater to get the sap up to about 150deg before adding it into the wood fired barrel evaporator so it doesn't kill the boil too much.
    2015 - 8 buckets, 332L sap, 8.5L syrup - Barrel evaporator, 2 steam pans
    2016 - 8 buckets, 432L sap
    2017 - 10 bags, 470L sap, 9L syrup
    2018 - 20 bags, 1050L sap, 17.6L syrup
    2019 - 20 bags, 970L sap, 22.2L syrup
    2020 - 17 bags, 813L sap, 17L syrup

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Southern NH


    I recently have gotten my new smokey lake. Continues flow 2x6.( Which I absolutely love). But with my wife and I purchasing our house this spring and me building our first sugar house, we haven't had a lot of time to get enough wood in order for sugaring. ( We both work 50-60 hours a week). So propane is our best option this year. Would it be more efficient to build a high pressure pipe burner system or just use our 3 turkey cookers plumbed into a 100 gallon tank?
    2020- 50 taps on gravity 11 gallons made. Had to end the season early due to family health issues

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Oneida NY


    I believe a 4 tube burner set up would be best. That way you can get a uniform boil over the whole evaporator, like when a finisher in 4', 5' or 6' or bigger is used. I had planned to do that in a year or 2, until I spoke with Keith Scheible, the now retired FFA advisor at VVS high school, where the NYS maple conferences were held for about 15 or more years until moving to the NYS Fairgrounds. VVS had used propane but Keith told me that they could not get enough pressure to keep a great boil, especially in colder temperatures. I have now decided to stay with wood for a few years longer.
    If burning propane, from back when I used both a gas fired bottler, and my first finisher which was 16" x34" and used 2 big burners, you get poor heat distribution on them. Directly above the flame it gets far hotter than just 3-4" to the side and you then get a dark ring on the pan, which requires frequnt cleaning, not after every use, but every 2-3 days works best I found.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, downsized after I lost my help, about 450-500 planned for 2021 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    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
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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