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Thread: What size pan?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Genesee Township, Michigan
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    64

    Question What size pan?

    What size multi channel pan would you recommend for 16 taps in soft maple trees?

    I have a 18x34 inch pan (612 sq. in.) which I used on a cinderblock arch. It worked good enough with my 15 taps in 11 hard maple trees, though I ended up boiling every 2 to 3 days after running it through my homemade RO. We have moved to Nebraska and I would like to purchase an arch for the 18x34 pan if anyone makes one.
    I came across a 2x3 ft arch and 3 channel pan (864 sq. in.) for $500.00 and was wondering if that might be the way to go, but having and additional 252 sq. in. to fill with sap left me wondering if it might be a hair too big.

    Your thoughts are welcome and I thank you for your comments.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland, Vermont
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    242

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    I'm not sure 16 taps on soft maples are going to yield what you want for sap volume. Soft maples perform okay under vacuum but don't expect a lot on buckets. Maybe run this year with your gear you have before going bigger?
    Leader 2x6 Raised flue with preheater and hood. Patriot pans
    Leader Clear 5 bank filter press
    Memprotec 200H RO
    400ish taps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
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    293

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    On your really good days, with 16 taps you will get 32 gallon of sap at most. On a normal day, between 8 (1.07 cubic feet) to 16 (2.14 cubic feet) gallon.

    Assuming 2" sap depth on a 2' x 3' pan (1.5 cubic feet) I would think that the 2' x 3' would be fine depending on how far you concentrate with your RO and your ability to keep the sap cold. If you have an extra refrigerator and only want to boil on the weekends, the 2'x3' would be about right.

    Your question about size is good, but much more information is needed.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Genesee Township, Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by minehart gap View Post
    Your question about size is good, but much more information is needed.
    Thanks for your input.

    What else do you need to know?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
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    How far do you concentrate with your RO and do you have a way to chill with concentrated sap?

    My thoughts are that you want to be sized just big enough that if you were to get 2 gallon per tap 4 times in one week and only can boil on the weekends, but small enough that if you only get 1/2 gal. per tap 2 times a week you can still do it.

    Assuming the 2'x3' pan boils at 10 gal per hr, and 4 good days in one week with the 128 gal of sap concentrated from 2% to 4% (64 gal) and kept cold, you would have 6+ hours boiling but if you only had 2 smaller runs of 1/2 gal., not concentrated (because you keep an eye on the weather and didn't concentrate) you would still have a 2 hour boil.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Genesee Township, Michigan
    Posts
    64

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    Thanks for pointing out one way to make the 2. X. 3’ pan work.
    With this year being a good year, my Michigan sap averaged 2.8% and RO averaged 7.4%. With then soft maple it will start lower and if it is cold enough to recirculate thought the RO I am hoping for 5 or 6%.
    I currently have no way to keep it cold, save an unheated, fully enclosed porch which may keep the temp Down on those warmer Nebraska days. I may be able to get a fridge in the garage. I seem to remember reading somewhere you need to be careful how long you keep the sap.
    The 16 x 30” StarCat That I am looking at boils from 5 to 8 gph, so they say, so the down side is if I have a really good week I may not be able to boil fast enough in a day.
    This will be a completely new experience as NE weather can swing from cold and snow to 60 degrees the next day in spring. Notice you don’t see any tapping update for Nebraska listed.
    Once the pan is sweetened I had been boiling every other day or two and draining the pan placing the 3 gallon pails in the fridge. I would use ice gallons in the sap to keep it around 32 while running it through the RO.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
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    293

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    I wouldn't discount red maple. 3 years ago, I was tapping about 70% red maple at 18.5 gal. per tap for the season (1 1/2% sugar) 17.7 gal per tap the next year. All on gravity. If your trees are yard trees, it doesn't matter what maple it is, it should have higher sugar content.

    Personally, I would go with the larger pan. You can always concentrate a little less on big runs in order to boil but for shorter length of time. For me, it is better to be done before bed time then have last evenings syrup on pancakes and scrapple the next morning (because you could wake up at breakfast time).
    Last edited by minehart gap; 07-17-2020 at 05:16 AM.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

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