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Thread: Proper procedure for using Hydrotherm

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Lanark, ON
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    Tgormley358 - When you need to slowly dump 25 gallons of 64 Brix nearly-syrup into your syrup pan over a 10 minute period and watch the ensuing chaos to your pan levels and auto-runoff you'll never want to make the same mistake again! Our runoffs come so frequently that we don't have time to get it perfect coming off the pans. I'd rather take off at 68.5 Brix and adjust down by 1.75 by adding a few Liters of water than try to thicken thin syrup by adding a bunch of thicker syrup. Plus, our drawoff temp will adjust down throughout the day by up to 0.5 degrees as the temperature probe gets sugared up so we are always chasing the correct drawoff temp.
    4,600 Taps on vacuum
    9,400 gallons storage
    3 tower CDL RO
    3.5'x14' Lapierre Force 5
    Twitter & Instagram: @ennismaple
    www.ennismaple.com

  2. #12
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    Jan 2008
    Location
    Frankford, Ontario
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    1,008

    Default Proper procedure for using Hydrotherm

    Quote Originally Posted by tgormley358 View Post
    Embarrassed moment for a “still a newbie”, as I’m reading this and learning more than I knew about using a hydrometer. I always use one to determine when I drawoff, but I’ve only used the top red line (32 Baume / 65.8 brix), and I’m seeing here that all of you boil well past that, so my syrup is thin in comparison. I’d like to understand that. It always struck me as obvious that such a clear indicator as a red line would mean “Syrup”. Is the red line just a starting point, like a minimum acceptable for syrup? Is it just personal preference beyond that? Unless you’re selling in Canada where 66.5 is required? And why would you go beyond that - again just personal preference?

    Lifelong learner

    Ontario minimum is 66. Anything over 68.5 will crystallize over time. 67 just tastes better than 66. I shoot for 5 lines over (66.8) because it's easy to read on the scale and even if I am off a touch I will never be under.

    Here's an article that explains it well
    https://onmaplesyrup.wordpress.com/2...ase-customers/
    Last edited by Big_Eddy; 03-30-2019 at 06:24 PM.
    Big_Eddy
    Eastern Ontario (Quinte)
    20+ years on a 2x3 block arch,
    Homemade 20"x64" drop flue since 2011

    Build a Block Arch
    Build a Flat Pan
    Build a Flue Pan
    Sweetening the Pans
    Build a Bending Brake
    Using a Hydrotherm
    How much Sap to Sweeten?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Harvard, MA
    Posts
    191

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    Thanks Big Eddy. That was a helpful article.
    2021 is season 6.
    2016: 20 taps on buckets, 4 gallons on a borrowed 2x3.
    2017: 32 taps on buckets, 8 gallons of syrup, on a "loaner" Lapierre 19x48. Makeshift 8x8 sugar shack.
    2018: 80 taps with new neighbors. First time tubing. New 10x12 sugar shack, Lapierre 2x5. Made 17 gallons, sold 5.
    2019: 100 taps. 22 gallons. Added a small RO 50 gph.
    2020: 145 taps, 30 gallons, sold half. Murphy cup is a great addition.
    2021: tapped Feb 23, 150 taps. Aiming for 35 gallons. refractometer.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Eddy View Post
    Ennismaple and I are doing exactly the same thing, just at a different scale.
    He does 20 gallons at a time, I do 20l.
    He adds permeate, I add sap.
    In both cases we start thick and adjust to exactly 66.8 Brix before bottling.
    I have understood everything that you have posted in this thread about the hydrotherm, thank you.

    I will be getting the sap close on my cinderblock evaporator, but will finish it in a pot. I imagine it will be about 6 L of almost syrup. Would I be okay to finish it to 5 or 6 lines over (66.8-67 Brix) and be done with it, as opposed to going over and thinning it later?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    Would I be okay to finish it to 5 or 6 lines over (66.8-67 Brix) and be done with it, as opposed to going over and thinning it later?
    If finishing off an evaporator, it is just easier to thin the syrup down to density (with water, NOT sap) then to have to reboil. If you're finishing on a pot on the stove, either way will work.

    A good number of your questions could be quite easily answered if you checked https://mapleresearch.org/pub/mproducersmanual/ There is a new version coming out in about a year, but this edition would mostly be sufficient for your needs.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
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    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    If finishing off an evaporator, it is just easier to thin the syrup down to density (with water, NOT sap) then to have to reboil. If you're finishing on a pot on the stove, either way will work.

    A good number of your questions could be quite easily answered if you checked https://mapleresearch.org/pub/mproducersmanual/ There is a new version coming out in about a year, but this edition would mostly be sufficient for your needs.
    I downloaded the manual and I am more than halfway through it. I learnt lots of new things and it also corrected some beliefs I held.

    One chart in the book was different from other things I had read. I had read before that a tree should be at least 20” in diameter to have 2 taps. The chart in the book says trees 15-20” can have two taps and trees 20+ can have three taps. What is the current thinking on the number of taps/diameter?

    Thank you.


    5AA87EF9-68EB-4A72-B3F6-51E140525154.jpg

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    470

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    Gary, it's just my own personal way of tapping. 10 to 18" - 1 tap 18" and bigger no more than 2 taps. two is the most I will put on any of my trees. Like I said it is me personally. I know you can put up to 3 taps on the bigger trees I just don't. I don't even tap all the trees I have available and rotate each year.
    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

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