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Thread: Sap barrel set up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    York County, New Brunswick
    Posts
    39

    Default Sap barrel set up

    Hi ya'll

    Any suggestions on what would be the best way to outfit a 55 gallon plastic food grade barrel so that I can flow sap into my warming tray on my evaporator
    30 taps on Red and Sugar Maple
    Oil tank evaporator
    simple beginnings

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    22

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    If it has a removable lid use a bulkhead fitting and pipe it in from the bottom. If you have bung holes just get pipe bushings and lay the barrel on its side in a cradle and pipe over to your warming pan.
    2021- 125 taps on 3/16 gravity. New smokey lake 2x6 continues flow and new 12x16 sugar shack. Come on sugar season

    2020- 50 taps on gravity 11 gallons made. Had to end the season early due to family health issues

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,015

    Default

    What I do for a head tank is cut the bottom out of a 55 gallon drum and set it upside down with a 3/4 inch nipple through the knock-out in the bung.
    Smoky Lake 2x6 dropflu pans and hoods on homemade arch
    Smoky Lake 6 gallon water jacked bottler
    Concentric Exhaust
    250 Deer Run RO
    325 taps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Corbeil, ON
    Posts
    65

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    I have a plastic 55 gallon drum and bought a threaded pipe fitting which fit in the small hole in the lid. I plan to remove the big lid to fill the tank and when ready to boil I will lay it horizontal strapped to a skid and lift it with the tractor on a frame to let it drain by gravity to the evaporator. I have to buy some small diameter soft copper tubing which I will wrap around the chimney to warm the sap water before it goes into the pan. I will have a valve at the end of the tubing to adjust the flow rate. There is a valve at the tank to stop the flow into the tubing so that if I stop the flow I don't boil or burn the sap in the tubing around the chimney.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,153

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    I always like having my head tank outside and in the shade, it keeps the concentrate (or sap) cooler. I built an elevated platform attached to the north wall on the sugarhouse, to the west I have hemlock trees for shade. My head tank is butted right against the sugarhouse. A pipe comes off my head tank and enters the sugarhouse thru a square cut out hole (about 8x8") then I have my main valve and the line feeds the preheater. I have my head tank bottom about 2' higher than my pre-heater inlet and outlet pipes. Just after that main valve (1") I have a tee with a 3/8" clear vinyl hose extending straight up and out the top of the wall then back down 8-10'. That is to see the concentrate level and it vents air as I first open the main valve. After that I also have a tee (1") where I have a drain/recirculation line back to my RO. As my feed line approaches the pre-heater I have 2 valves, one sends concentrate thru the pre-heater, the other bypasses the pre-heater and goes to the inlet float valve entering the pre-heater line after it exits the pre-heater and a temperature gauge.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Haverhill, Ma
    Posts
    835

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    a little frustration setting in and perhaps the forum can advise....I use two 55-gal barrels at the bottom of my hill to hold sap. I have them lying on their sides with a ball valve connected to a quick disconnect to drain them. This also allows the freezing to always take place at the top away from the outlet valve. I use a 1/10 HP pump to empty them into the barrel in my truck bed to get the sap up into my storage tote. The 3/4" line with the 1/10 HP pump takes 20-25 mins to empty a barrel. I would like to speed up this throughput so accordingly I have a 1 HP water transfer pump with 1 inch outlets. What I cannot find is adapters to attache a 1 inch ball valve to either the buttress outlet or the npt thread. I think the slow throughput is a function of my 3/4" diameter hoses vs the 1/10 HP pump. A) am I wrong about the cause of the slow drainage? and 2) does anyone have any suggestions on the methodology to go from a 2 inch bunghole to a 1 inch ball valve?
    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
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Corbeil, ON
    Posts
    65

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eustis22 View Post
    a little frustration setting in and perhaps the forum can advise....I use two 55-gal barrels at the bottom of my hill to hold sap. I have them lying on their sides with a ball valve connected to a quick disconnect to drain them. This also allows the freezing to always take place at the top away from the outlet valve. I use a 1/10 HP pump to empty them into the barrel in my truck bed to get the sap up into my storage tote. The 3/4" line with the 1/10 HP pump takes 20-25 mins to empty a barrel. I would like to speed up this throughput so accordingly I have a 1 HP water transfer pump with 1 inch outlets. What I cannot find is adapters to attache a 1 inch ball valve to either the buttress outlet or the npt thread. I think the slow throughput is a function of my 3/4" diameter hoses vs the 1/10 HP pump. A) am I wrong about the cause of the slow drainage? and 2) does anyone have any suggestions on the methodology to go from a 2 inch bunghole to a 1 inch ball valve?
    If the 2" hole is buttress thread, there are fittings on amazon that go from 2" to barbed fitting. That could work for you to add a section of poly pipe then add the ball valve.
    2021 - Year one. 15 taps using 5/16" and drop tube into buckets. Homemade barrel evaporator with 2 steam trays. 4.7L syrup.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mid Michigan
    Posts
    77

    Default

    We had one that we flipped upside down, threaded an elbow and valve in the large Bunge. They we cut half of the bottom out to fill.
    1986-2002 2x6 Leader evaporator 150 taps drop tubes
    Life happens
    2015 130 taps drop tubes and sap sacs
    2016 225 taps drop tubes and sap sacs
    2017 300+? MicRO single membrane
    2019 325 taps 81 gallons made, most ever for us
    2020 2x6 Smoky Lake evaporator 400 taps with 160 on a guzzler pump
    2021..... a lot more line and vacuum

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,153

    Default

    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Charlotte County, New Brunswick
    Posts
    97

    Default

    I have my tank on a stand that is higher than my float box but not alot higher due to the small area. I cut the top off my barrel and put the lid on upside down. Sorry about the sideways pics, I don't know how to make them the right way.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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