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Thread: Foaming like crazy

  1. #11
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    Mar 2016
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    chester, ma
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    No defoamer = a messy disaster and potentially burnt pan.
    Only if you plan to finish on your evaporator. I did batch boils for five years, and only went to probably 50% sugar max on the evaporator, before finishing the syrup on the stove. Never used a drop off defoamer, and never burned my pans.

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  2. #12
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    Apr 2019
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    Nashville, MI
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    I've always used canola oil, works good for me.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  3. #13
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    Jul 2021
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    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRoseum View Post
    You can use sunflower or canola oil as a natural defoamer as well. A few drops works well. Would be fine for small hobbyist using steam pans.
    Thanks

    Do you just add a drop or two when you start boiling, or do you wait until you have a foaming problem?

    Is a drop or two good for 8 hours of boiling, or would you add a drop every four hours or so.

  4. #14
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    Apr 2013
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    Northeast Vermont
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    it will depend on many things, but typically we use a couple drops every time we fire our rig. early in the season we tend to use much less than later in the year. our first handful of boils we may not use it at all.
    Awfully thankful for an understanding wife!

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
    - Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

    Good luck to all!

  5. #15
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    Apr 2019
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    Nashville, MI
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    I use a ketchup bottle, like what you see in restaurants, for the canola oil. I have a 2 x 4 evaporator and begin with a couple of drops on the inlet side of the flue pan when I start up. Then watch as I boil and add oil when firing and if it starts to foam up.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  6. #16
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    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
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    I will pick up some canola oil and the ketchup bottle sounds like a good idea.

    A drop when I fire up and another drop if they start to foam.

    Watching a couple of You Tube videos, one person added butter and the other simply scooped out the foam.
    Last edited by Swingpure; 09-13-2021 at 08:35 PM.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    543

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    Watching a couple of You Tube videos, one person added butter and the other simply scooped out the foam.
    There are two kinds of foam. The one that's the real problem, you can't scoop out.

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by berkshires View Post
    There are two kinds of foam. The one that's the real problem, you can't scoop out.
    Ft
    GO
    Boy, I have a lot to learn!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Covington Twp. Pa.
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    504

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    Boy, I have a lot to learn!
    Yes you do. Lol and the biggest thing to know is that you NEVER leave your boil unattended or un watched. You can watch that sap boil for hours and days with no problems but the minute you turn your back on it disaster can happen. You would be hard pressed to find a sugermaker that hasn't scorched his or her pan at the least. I did it on my first boil right at the end of the day and seen my first batch of beautiful syrup turn to ugly black ash and a scorched and warped pan. Not a good feeling!
    2x3 Patrick Phaneuf pan
    Homemade arch
    100+ taps
    Sugar Shack in future
    Wife into it as much as me
    Also do homebrew

    http://s928.photobucket.com/albums/ad121/ZMANSYRUP/

  10. #20
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    Mar 2016
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    chester, ma
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    Boy, I have a lot to learn!
    In a nutshell:

    "Foam" refers to two things:

    1 - There is a type of foam formed of big light bubbles that form and pop quickly. It forms all the time, but some sap does this more than others - it may depend on the tree and or the time of the season. The main downside of this foam is that it leaves residue on the side of your pan, which (especially if you have high heat on the sides of your pan) can scorch a little. This is not a very big deal, but can lead to off-flavors in your syrup - mostly a burnt-caramel type flavor. And it's typically very subtle. The solution to this can involve scooping foam if you like, but I always ignored it. The thing is, if you don't have heat on the sides of your pan it won't scorch, so it's just not an issue. I guess if you have a super-hard boil you could get enough of this type of foam that it could cause some of the foam to boil over the sides, which would not be good.

    2 - The second type of foam does not happen all the time. It only happens when sap gets close to syrup. Then the consistency changes. It gets much thicker, and when it boils, you get lots of small bubbles that don't pop as quickly, but instead tend to build up. Think of a liquid flowing sponge. I know you recently made maple candy, so you may have noticed that if it boils hard it will boil over. On the stove you can just turn the heat down, but on the evaporator, not only you can't you, but you don't want to. Instead if you add defoamer it can make the bubbles pop faster. So what is the risk of this kind of foam?

    The risk is huge. First of all, this foam is progressive. The foam is an insulator. The more it foams up, the less heat gets released, causing even more of the syrup to foam. So bad goes to worse very fast. Second of all, down at the level of the pan, once the foam gets past a certain point, there's nothing but foam touching the surface of the pan. Foam is not a good heat conductor, so your pan can quickly go from 219 to 800 degrees. You now have horribly scorched sugar on your pan, and these temperatures will permanently warp your pan.

    In addition to destroying your pan, you can also have all your syrup destroyed by having all that horribly burnt sugar (and nitre) in it. If that's not bad enough, your syrup can also boil over, making a big sticky mess, and even catching on fire.

    The key thing about foam type 2 is that it typically only happens as your sap gets to high sugar percentage. So if you only go to 30 - 40% sugar on your evaporator, and then finish elsewhere, you may not need to worry too much about it. On my old setup, I didn't use a drop of defoamer for 5 years.

    Hope that helps,

    Gabe
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

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