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Thread: Question about Mason XL preheater

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    544

    Default Question about Mason XL preheater

    I got a Mason 2x3 XL, used it all last season, and I've been pleased with it. Only thing I'm wondering about is the preheater.

    The preheater "box" sits over the fire, which is great, but you need a lot of sap in it to keep feeding the main pan, and most of that sap is exposed to the sides of the preheater, and just loses heat to the air. So it takes a long time to come up to heat, and never gets super-hot.

    So I was wondering if anyone had ever tried insulating the sides of their preheater box? Maybe adhere something like this? https://www.homedepot.com/p/Project-...-PP1/203553730

    Thoughts?

    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    470

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    Wouldn't it be better to wrap it with ceramic blanket? I don't believe I would use foam board as it may melt and create a real mess for you on top of the evaporator. These are my thoughts.
    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. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    544

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to wrap it with ceramic blanket? I don't believe I would use foam board as it may melt and create a real mess for you on top of the evaporator. These are my thoughts.
    Yeah fair enough. I'm just wondering if anyone has done this before, and could share ideas.

    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Star Lake, WI
    Posts
    19

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    Hello Berkshires, I am curious what temp your pre heater sap is before going in the evap pan ? I will be receiving my W.F. Mason 2x4 XL this week for next season.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    afton, ny
    Posts
    48

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    I used a 2 x 4 XL for 3 seasons, after everything was up to temp , I was getting 140-160F
    2018 25 taps, two turkey fryers, 4 gallons
    2019 75 taps, Mason 2'x4, XL, 10'x12' shack
    2020 150 Taps Mason 2x4XL RO15 Bucket. no sugar%
    2021 250ish Taps Mason 2x4 XL RO 20 bucket , going to be busy

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/vZj2hHkXpKSBJqJFA

    https://www.facebook.com/kelseybrook...FIVmIotuulHl4W

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Star Lake, WI
    Posts
    19

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    140 - 160 is in my opinion hot enough for the evaporator. I have 20 x 30 flat pan now with a preheater coil on the smoke stack and I am getting around 150 - 155 and not loosing the boil.
    A question Tom or anyone. This will be my first experience with a continuous flow pan. When do you filter the syrup? With the flat pan we just wait until 185 degrees or so and put thru gravity cone filters.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    161

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    I filter as I'm coming off the evaporator through a cone filter. This works for 85% of my production.
    The other 15% gets an extra trip through the DE filter when I bottle, if it is going into decorative glass bottles.
    2021 - 77 taps on shurflo 4008. Sap Sucker 4-D. Mason 2x4 XL, 4x150 RO.
    2020 - 70ish taps on shurflo 4008, 10 taps on buckets. Mason 2x4 XL. DIY R.O. ~24 gallons of syrup.
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.
    ______________________________________________
    Trout Brook Valley
    Weston, CT

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    544

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tombaisley View Post
    I used a 2 x 4 XL for 3 seasons, after everything was up to temp , I was getting 140-160F
    Maybe, but how long did it take you to get up to temp? Last season most of my boils were only three to four hours long, and the sap in the preheater was still getting warmer by the time I stopped. I dunno what it got up to by the end, but most of the time during the boil it was cool enough to kill the boil in half the first section.

    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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