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Thread: Flat divided pan vs flue pan/Syrup Pan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Hartford
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    Default Flat divided pan vs flue pan/Syrup Pan

    I am debating upgrading from a flat divided pan to a flue/syrup pan for our wood burning Mason 2x4 XL.

    With a blower we evaporate at 17.5 gph, without the blower around 8 gph.

    We draw off light, then finish in a big pot over a gas lobster burner. The limiting factor in the divided pan is foam. When the foam is higher than the dividers, it is time to draw off.

    So will we gain much going to a "proper" flue pan / syrup pan setup?

    No RO. Seems to me that the RO syrup does not taste quite as good.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    MA
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    Are you controlling foam with defoamer and regular pan cleaning? On big advantage of a two pan system is it’s much easier to clean a small front pan than the entire flat pan.

    In terms of gph evaporation rate, a flue pan will certainly give you a big boost. How much depends on the number of flues and their depth. The cost benefit ratio is entirely subjective.

    In terms of RO and taste, this has been addressed by research at UVM. No significant differences were found. ROed syrup still has plenty of time in the pan to develop flavor. There is near universal agreement that an RO is the most cost effective way to make syrup faster and with less fuel.
    60ish taps on buckets
    D&G Sportsman 18x63
    Turbo RB15 RO Bucket

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
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    748

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    I went from a flat divided pan, no blower, to a flue pan/syrup pan and airtight arch with blower. I have yet to look back and say, I wish I had the old pan back. Like you I went from 8 gph to around 50 gph on the new arch. WOW what a difference.
    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 ga.l syrup
    2021 - Didn't work out
    2022 - 25 taps on bags / 8 taps on 3/16's line - late start

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    I went from a flat divided pan, no blower, to a flue pan/syrup pan and airtight arch with blower. I have yet to look back and say, I wish I had the old pan back. Like you I went from 8 gph to around 50 gph on the new arch. WOW what a difference.
    Wow 50 gph, you don’t need to use an RO at that boil rate.

    Sometimes in hindsight, after blowing past my original budget by many, many times, I sort of with I had spent the money and purchased a real evaporator, but the initial cost, especially just starting out was prohibitive.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter
    Planned 178 taps, 172 on lines and 6 on drops to pails, for 2023 with a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Hartford
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    50 gph on the SML 2x4 ? !

    Seems the SML 2x4 hybrid should be close to a drop in for my current flat pan.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    Nashville, MI
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    Watch the video online on their youtube channel. I have that exact evaporator, with head tank. I am not making up any stories either. I don't have an R.O. because I haven't had the funds available for one. I like the fun of just boiling the sap, wood is free.
    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 ga.l syrup
    2021 - Didn't work out
    2022 - 25 taps on bags / 8 taps on 3/16's line - late start

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Hartford
    Posts
    36

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    That's wicked!

    On line at least it looks like SML is sold out for this year. Thinking I'll look for a used pan and if I don't find one place an order in the spring for next winter ?!!?

    Ecolbeck: I don't currently use defoamer, sees that may be an easy addition to this season for a small boost, and clean the pan more than every weekend.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,002

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    Watch the video online on their youtube channel. I have that exact evaporator, with head tank. I am not making up any stories either. I don't have an R.O. because I haven't had the funds available for one. I like the fun of just boiling the sap, wood is free.
    I found the video, amazing.

    https://youtu.be/HQPYXBiGheM

    I wonder how that pan set up would work on a cinderblock evaporator, or if it would be a waste?

    Of interest to me were two things. How much wood he put into the evaporator. From floor to ceiling, (bottom of the pan), also that he draws off heavy all of the time and the reasons for it.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter
    Planned 178 taps, 172 on lines and 6 on drops to pails, for 2023 with a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,002

    Default

    Wow, over $4,000 US for the pan set and over $6000 for the whole set up.

    https://www.smokylakemaple.com/produ...-customize-it/
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI RO and DYI Vacuum Filter
    Planned 178 taps, 172 on lines and 6 on drops to pails, for 2023 with a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch.

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