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Thread: My plan

  1. #31
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    Jul 2021
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    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
    By the way if I am done with sap, I fill them with 4 or 5 inches of water, When the water gets warm I clean the sides with a cloth.

    If you fill them and your fire is still going at all be sure to fill them close to the top. You will be shocked at how much can evaporate overnight even with a dying out fire.

    I have started using the steam pan covers. Both at flame on for faster preheating and and flame off times for overnight covering of simmering sap. And to keep critters out. Although have not had that problem without them.

    I use a pan cover frequently over pan 1 of my 4 pans as pan 1 serves as a preheat pan and the cover provides faster better preheating.
    Thanks, lots of good tips there!

    Right at the start of the season, as soon as I get 30 gallons of sap collected, I will start boiling, so I can learn. I will run out of sap as the day goes on and will do as you suggest, fill the empty pans with water and clean them.

    I never thought about using steam pans lids and I never thought of leaving the pans with sap in them overnight. I always thought of poring them off into a big pot and keeping it in the fridge, but I see now that the nighttime temps will be cool enough to leave them in the pans, saving a number of steps.

    My diminutive temporary sugar shed is for the most part, a cover and sides to keep precipitation off the evaporator. There is not a lot extra work room in it. I am going to build a small portable structure, call it 5’x4’, with metal roof and sides for my dual induction stove, which will stand fairly close to the sugar shed. I will use it to pre warm sap while I am boiling, and if the weather is not too foul, will use it as my finishing location. While finishing I hope to keep an eye on the pans still on the evaporator and add more sap to any that look like they will get too low overnight.

    Now to check out buying steam pan lids on Amazon.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Corbeil, ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    Thanks, lots of good tips there!

    Right at the start of the season, as soon as I get 30 gallons of sap collected, I will start boiling, so I can learn. I will run out of sap as the day goes on and will do as you suggest, fill the empty pans with water and clean them.

    I never thought about using steam pans lids and I never thought of leaving the pans with sap in them overnight. I always thought of poring them off into a big pot and keeping it in the fridge, but I see now that the nighttime temps will be cool enough to leave them in the pans, saving a number of steps.

    My diminutive temporary sugar shed is for the most part, a cover and sides to keep precipitation off the evaporator. There is not a lot extra work room in it. I am going to build a small portable structure, call it 5’x4’, with metal roof and sides for my dual induction stove, which will stand fairly close to the sugar shed. I will use it to pre warm sap while I am boiling, and if the weather is not too foul, will use it as my finishing location. While finishing I hope to keep an eye on the pans still on the evaporator and add more sap to any that look like they will get too low overnight.

    Now to check out buying steam pan lids on Amazon.
    Instead of steam pan lids try a piece of foil.
    2021 - Year one. 15 taps using 5/16" and drop tube into buckets. Homemade barrel evaporator with 2 steam trays. 4.7L syrup.

  3. #33
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    Jul 2021
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    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by aamyotte View Post
    Instead of steam pan lids try a piece of foil.
    Lol, before I read your post, I looked up the steam pan lids on line and they cost almost as much as the pans. I said Yeesh to myself and thought I could just use tin foil. Thanks for the reaffirming tip.

  4. #34
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    Sep 2020
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    Corbeil, ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    Lol, before I read your post, I looked up the steam pan lids on line and they cost almost as much as the pans. I said Yeesh to myself and thought I could just use tin foil. Thanks for the reaffirming tip.
    Just make sure to leave some in the kitchen for your wife.��
    2021 - Year one. 15 taps using 5/16" and drop tube into buckets. Homemade barrel evaporator with 2 steam trays. 4.7L syrup.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Weston, CT
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    I was using tin foil before splurging for the lids.

    Trust me, I am GLAD I bought the lids.

    Much easier and much faster then tin foil.

    Critters, the small ones anyway will have a much easier time with tin foil.

    The main reason I did not recommend foil is that its AWFULLY tough to put a brick or Belgium block on top of .... if you want to secure your lid on top of the pan.

    There are about 7 other good reasons to use lids over foil as well.

    You should be able to get the lids for around $12 each as opposed to $24 each.

    Da Bear!
    Last edited by Sugar Bear; 10-10-2021 at 09:30 PM.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
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    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
    I was using tin foil before splurging for the lids.

    Trust me, I am GLAD I bought the lids.

    Much easier and much faster then tin foil.

    Critters, the small ones anyway will have a much easier time with tin foil.

    The main reason I did not recommend foil is that its AWFULLY tough to put a brick or Belgium block on top of .... if you want to secure your lid on top of the pan.

    There are about 7 other good reasons to use lids over foil as well.

    You should be able to get the lids for around $12 each as opposed to $24 each.

    Da Bear!
    I searched a little more on the web and found them for almost a third of the price of the others I had seen. I book marked the site and will get them before the sap season starts. Next purchase is a Shurflo 4138 pump.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    A relative of mine has a few taps and boils and finishes his sap on a portable induction stove. I thought that would be great for me to finish the syrup outside of the house. I also thought I could boil some sap on the range, while also boiling on the evaporator. When I decided to add a fifth pan for warming, that freed up the two pots I had planned to go on the warming plate. I could use the two pots on the range to either help with the preheating of the sap, or to boil the sap. Preheating I can add two gallons of boiling sap to the evaporator, at least every 20 minutes.

    The range is an indoor range, so I thought I would build a structure to shelter it. Looking at it you would think what the frig is that. It is portable, barely and hopefully will allow me on most days to add a little more heat to the process. I tend to overbuild things.

    I also tested the GFCI plug to make sure it could handle the load from two boiling pots and it passed the test with no issues.


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  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Today the benefit of running a twine line for pre planning a tubing route paid off. I ran twine for tubing lines 4 and 5. Line 4 went as I envisioned and tomorrow I will go and clean away tripping hazards and wayward branches.

    When I was halfway through running line 5, I stopped and looked back. I was breaking two major rules. Too many zig zags and a long relatively flat run in the middle. There was never a real steep run anywhere except the first 20’. I had just been trying to connect a number of trees in one area, with a number of trees in another area, with a long flat area in between. I decided not to do the run. I have more than enough taps without it and I if want the extra taps, I can add buckets to the largest, healthiest trees in the group.

    I will probably be running my 3/16 line in about three weeks.

    This morning was raining, so I put graduated marks on all of my five gallon pails. The fifth steam pan should arrive tomorrow. With temperatures dropping next week, I may do a fourth boil test on the evaporator. The last ones I did the temps with the humidex, was close to 40° C (104° F). I should get a lot more draft with temps closer to 10° C (50° F). I want to see how well pans 4 and 5 boil.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
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    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    I was able to add the fifth line after all. I added two trees and removed one. That made it have a steeper overall drop, removed a zag and changed the angle, length and slope for the long middle run.

    All five runs have a 35 to 40 foot overall drop and all have a long, uninterrupted final run to the collection barrel. Two of the runs have 14 taps, and the other three have 12 taps, for a total of 64 taps on lines and another 21 taps on easy to get to buckets. That is a total of 85 taps. The number of taps increased, when I lowered the threshold for two taps from 20 to 18”.

    The steam pan arrived today. I wanted to see how the four inch deep pan sitting on a two inch higher level, lined up with the six inch pan, but I ran out of time, will check that tomorrow.

    I hope to order the Shurflo 4138 pump in the next week or two. I was going to buy a RV hose to go with it. One short piece and I was thinking 200’ of hose, but then I thought, it is just me most of the time, how am I going to be at the pump end turning it on and off and be at the other end of the hose keeping it in whatever container and knowing whatever container is full. I am thinking that I can only pump from the barrel into 5 gallon pails beside me. Now I can do the same with the rain barrel spigot, but in doing so I would have to tilt the barrel, pulling it out of the mound of snow I will have encompassing the barrels.

    Not sure if the RV hose connects directly to the Shurflo pump, or if I have to buy a garden hose sized adapter?

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Sometimes I say to myself 80+ taps, are you crazy, then I read the syrup produced per tap in some signatures and often it is quite less than 1 Litre/quart per tree.

    I took the stats from one detailed signature, that is about 100 miles from me, and it seems the largest variable is the amount of sap collected each year.. Ideally you would get 40 L (10 gallons) per tree, but some years it can be considerably less.

    In the example I used, the average was 33.1 L per tree, (5 of the 8 years were below the average), but the amount of sap required to make 1 L of syrup was almost dead on at the expected 1 litre of syrup per 40L of sap (1 quart per 10 gallons).

    Having too many taps may be a good thing, some years.

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