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Thread: My plan 2022/23

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    719

    Default My plan 2022/23

    Before I start off with my plan, I just want to say as I hand out my syrup to more neighbour’s, I keep getting compliments like it was the best syrup they have ever tasted, so I did something right in my first season. I have to admit I have not gone back and tested any of the syrup to see what Brix it is. (I did that at the time of finishing) I just know it looks like syrup, pours like syrup and tastes really good.

    I have mentioned before that I am actually going to downsize my taps, not have any pails and just have lines and may add up to 10 more trees on the lines. Might have like 85 taps, including counting double taps. This is just a hobby.

    I was just told two days ago that I am a Diabetic. No biggie yet, as I can control it with lifestyle changes, but eating my own Maple Syrup, other than a taste here or there, is not on the menu. I did enjoy making it and still want to make syrup for my kids, grandkids, family and close friends.

    Biggest changes for this coming summer is to build a permanent shelter for my cinder block evaporator, and getting a 2x4 divided pan, perhaps with a float box. If I do not get a float box, I will get some stainless steel tubing to go around the stovepipe as a preheater. I guess with a float box there is no easy way to preheat the sap. 90% sure I will get a float box.


    I will have to make changes to the evaporator, it will be shorter and wider. I will have to figure out a way to keep the fire bricks in place on the sides. I think I have a way. My top row of blocks will be one solid block and hopefully this will help with not allowing smoke to escape through the cracks between blocks.

    I know my evaporator would be better with a base stack and 8” pipe, but for this coming season, I will stick with the same setup as last year, with the 6” pipe coming out the back. That could be something to add for the following season. Right now the cost of the base stack, 8” stainless steel piping and whatever pipe components to go through the roof, is an extra cost, that will not be in the budget.

    Time savers with be the new pan, hopefully a more air tight evaporator, the RO working, more seasoned wood than this year and more pieces of wood that are wrist size. Because the pan will sit on top of the blocks instead of down into the firebox, I will have 4 more inches of headroom in the firebox, to add more wood. I likely will get the float box and that will keep my sap level at a much better level than scaredy cat me would allow on my own. With these efficiencies and less taps, it should really help to reduce overall boil time.

    Another change is I will pump the sap from my collection barrels into the garage where my RO will be. That should mean a lot less of carrying pails of sap. The one disadvantage is at one point during the boil, I will have to take about three or four minutes to go to the garage, pump the concentrate into a collection tank, then go back to the shelter and pump that into the head tank. That is a lot less work and a lot less distraction than my process last year.

    The one other thing I will do in the off-season, is to add the over centre clamps to my DYI vacuum filter that worked really well.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L of delicious syrup made
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    719

    Default

    I am ordering my 2x4 divided pan today and will have it fitted to have a float box. I might not get it until the fall, as there are many evaporator orders ahead of me. They make both evaporators and pans. We will see when I get it.

    I also lucked into new 2x6 PT wood that will make all of the trusses for my shelter. I will have a sort of cupola at the peak of the roof, that will run the length of the shelter. The cupola opening will be left open with no windows. The opening as presently planned will only be 4.5” to 6”, tall. Is that enough? I know some opening is better than nothing, but would 6” be enough to make a difference?

    https://share.icloud.com/photos/0612...NnEhi-csao8bKA

    The shelter will look something like this, except only two posts a side and the cupola up top. I will have my existing concrete pad for the cinder block evaporator to sit on, then a wood deck surrounding the pad which will be 14’x14’. In the fall, I will stack my wood for the evaporator on the edges of the deck to act as a four foot high wall and also be very handy when I start boiling. I will also add the support for a head tank.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L of delicious syrup made
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    North Bay Ontario
    Posts
    30

    Default

    where are you ordering your pan from? I am intrigued with a divided pan but I am building a 10x20 shack this year, so all my fun money will go towards that. I also will be using mostly reclaimed lumber, but I will still have to buy the metal for the roof and some rough lumber for the board and batton walls

    Also I saw in another post you were asking if you can get light coloured syrup in a flat pan. What I do with my 2x3 pan when I'm doing a big batch is remove 10litre of close to near syrup and keep on boiling down and then when I'm at the end I add it back in
    Last edited by Brien; 05-01-2022 at 03:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    719

    Default

    [QUOTE=Brien;404574]where are you ordering your pan from? I am intrigued with a divided pan …. [\QUOTE]

    https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details...dId=1592285302

    Ryan is the sellers name: +1 (519) 278-6160. The 2x4 divided pan is $750 Cdn. All tig welded. 22 gauge stainless steel. The thermometer is an extra $100 and the float box is $250.

    My hope with the divided pan and float box is that my boils will be more efficient with a consistent level, that is lower than I would dare by eye, peering through the steam, that it will be easier, not having to ladle all of the time and perhaps make lighter and better syrup, although to be honest, I don’t know how I can make better syrup than I did with my five steam pans this year, and I loved the amber colour they made. Also with my steam pans, I could do two batches in one boil, although I guess with the divided pan you are essentially making a small batch every time you draw it off.

    The one unknown for me is how often you have to draw it off. I guess that is variable based on your boil rate, but I don’t know if it is on average every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour?
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L of delicious syrup made
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    719

    Default

    I am reconsidering getting the base stack and 8 inch pipe. As I prepare for my sugar pavilion, I have to design it for the future, and the future is the base stack and the divided pan, all that can work on the cinder block evaporator or a real evaporator. I am finding it easier to plan and build it, if I have the base stack to work with.

    Tomorrow I drop a tree that is in the way of the structure, then will get an excavator to remove some roots and dig out the holes for the post. Although the pavilion will be the design for the first year, I will build it so it will be easy to add walls in the future, if I find they are required.

    Once I get it the structure built, I will start on the evaporator. With the new pan and base stack, it will be quite different.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L of delicious syrup made
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    719

    Default

    Marked the spots where my posts will go. I was going to rent an excavator to dig the hole because of all of the roots I would encounter, but when they wanted an extra $150 for delivery and pickup, I decided I can dig the four holes for $500. Trying to plan where the evaporator, will sit and where the base stack and stove pipe will go through the roof. Where I put the posts will affect that positioning.

    Also looked at material for the evaporator and also trying to figure out what flashings I need to go through the metal roof.

    Right now I am proceeding that I will get the base stack with the 8” pipe. Trying to find a used double wall stainless steel portion of the stack, to go through the roof.

    I can either have 10” height from the fire grate to the bottom of the pan or 17.5”. Any recommendations?

    The divided pan I am getting has four channels, I could get it with three, but he recommends the four channels.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L of delicious syrup made
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    719

    Default

    I decided on the dimensions of my firebox. It will be 17/18” tall from the top of the fire grate to the bottom of the pan. It will be 23” wide and 31” deep. The front of the ramp will be flat for 15” before angling off at a 45° angle, then it will be flat for 15”, with a 2” space between the ramp and the bottom of the pan. I will need 60+ firebricks for the firebox and ramp.

    I am still thinking about what I will do for the door.

    For sure I will be getting the base stack. It will have an 18” wide opening and an 8” stove pipe.

    My RO pump is working now, but will have to wait until next March to see it work with the membranes.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L of delicious syrup made
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    719

    Default

    Well my plans for this coming season certainly have changed. Under the category of nothing ventured, nothing gained, I asked a neighbour if I could tap his trees. His property is a steep long hill loaded with maple trees. The sap should race down the hill.

    I think I heard for 3/16 line, 25 taps is a good sweet spot maximum for the number of taps. Is this true?

    Is there a maximum length for 3/16 line on a steep hill?

    I was thinking of adding two 25 tap lines on the hill. There is a flat spot near the road, that I can use as a collection area and pump the sap from the barrels to the road.

    This will raise my planned taps from 80 to 130. Boy the RO better work this year and I will need all of efficiencies that come with the evaporator design change, the new pan and the base stack and 8” stove pipe.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L of delicious syrup made
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    115

    Default

    I thought you were gonna stay smaller and try to make it enjoyable??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    719

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabe View Post
    I thought you were gonna stay smaller and try to make it enjoyable??
    Lol, this will be “easy” sap, from lines instead of buckets. The hill is so long and steep, it is so perfect. The collection area, is right beside the road. I don’t look forward to the day in March when I have to trudge through the waist deep snow up the hill to install the taps.

    I may decide not to tap some of the lines I had last year that were on one of my immediate neighbour’s property. I will know that when I actually walk up my other neighbour’s hill and see if there are 50 trees total in two lines, within a reasonable distance. I still may end up with fewer taps than last year, and all on lines. 100 taps sounds like a nice round number.

    I know I will have greater boiling efficiencies with the RO, improved evaporator, pan and float box. The evaporator will have an improved fire box and most of all will have a base stack and an 8” stove pipe. I am hoping those boiling efficiencies will reduce my boiling time by 60%+. I will also make my vacuum filter a little better, and will pump more than carry and have fewer things to clean.

    One other big improvement for sap flow next season is I will tap the lines lower on the trees, hopefully gaining more sap per tap. When I removed the taps at the end of the season, I realized that I had installed the taps about 6.5’ up from the base of the tree. I can drop that a couple of feet in most cases, which should result in greater sap pressure at the tap.

    The other big change for next year is a better structure to boil under, my “sugar pavilion”, which will have a much higher roof with venting and open sides, which should make it much more healthy to boil under. I am working on building that now. I will be walking on a wooden deck, instead of on gravelly mud.

    The new pan besides being more efficient, should be easier with the float box, I will not have to ladle the sap from pan to pan. I will also not be preheating the sap on the three induction stoves in the three pots. Although very effective, it kept me busy.

    I do not know of a way to preheat the sap between the head tank and the float box.

    One last efficiency will be that my wood will be a full year more seasoned and will all be wrist size. It will also be very handy, bordering on the deck that surrounds the evaporator.

    I don’t drink alcohol, but joked last year if I did drink beer, I never would have had time to drink any. Stories of sitting around the pan boiling, drinking beer was not possible last year, but this coming season, I hope to sit in a comfortable chair at times, enjoying my water.
    Last edited by Swingpure; 05-19-2022 at 11:21 PM.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L of delicious syrup made
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter

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