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Thread: Holding concentrate in a working bulk tank

  1. #31
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    Mar 2008
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    Canterbury, NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMF View Post
    I have looked at the brazed heat exchangers and have always been concerned with the inability to clean them. From my research the shell and tube type seem to be the best sanitary style but food grade ones are very expensive.
    There are cheap stainless and titanium ones all over the internet for heating pools but they are not food grade. Not sure if they would be "food acceptable" like some of our other equipment or not.
    A lot of the cheaper glycol chillers out there are not rated to chill down to the mid twenties or to be used in freezing or sub freezing ambient temps so do some research.
    I found it to be less expensive in my situation to find a milk tank with a intact refrigeration system rather than use a glycol chiller. Less complicated, likely to have fewer problems operating it and less expensive. It looks like a used milk tank and compressor can be bought for about the same money as a new glycol chiller and heat exchanger.
    Last edited by Tmeeeh; 06-01-2021 at 07:43 AM.
    http://www.northfamilyfarm.com

    Tim
    2,500 taps on two pipelines
    Busch Vacuum Pump
    MES Three Phase Three Post RO
    2X10 Leader Vortex Max Flue pan, Enhanced Steamaway
    Electricity made with wind and solar

  2. #32
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    Aug 2007
    Location
    NewYork
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    I have been experimenting with running chilled glycol through the refrigerant jackets on a 2000 gallon Mueller for the last two years with good results.
    This still requires a glycol chiller which can be expensive. I have a 1.7 ton chiller and it is none too big.
    Most of the Muellers have two separate cooling paths. One in the bottom of the tank and another which is split between the lower part of the tank at each side about 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock.
    The bottom plate is most important to a dairy user as small quantities of milk don't even reach the upper plates and it will not cool well if the bottom plate is not working.
    You may want to find out which plate is not leaking in your 1600 gallon. If its the bottom plate you may get by with just refrigerating it as the btu's of cooling required is much less for a modest stream of cool concentrate than for warm milk.
    If you have an unheated sugarhouse make sure any condensing unit you get has a crank heater and some sort of switching for the fans to keep the head pressure up in cold weather.

  3. #33
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    Mar 2008
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    Canterbury, NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMF View Post
    I have been experimenting with running chilled glycol through the refrigerant jackets on a 2000 gallon Mueller for the last two years with good results.
    This still requires a glycol chiller which can be expensive. I have a 1.7 ton chiller and it is none too big.
    Most of the Muellers have two separate cooling paths. One in the bottom of the tank and another which is split between the lower part of the tank at each side about 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock.
    The bottom plate is most important to a dairy user as small quantities of milk don't even reach the upper plates and it will not cool well if the bottom plate is not working.
    You may want to find out which plate is not leaking in your 1600 gallon. If its the bottom plate you may get by with just refrigerating it as the btu's of cooling required is much less for a modest stream of cool concentrate than for warm milk.
    If you have an unheated sugarhouse make sure any condensing unit you get has a crank heater and some sort of switching for the fans to keep the head pressure up in cold weather.
    It turns out that both the cooling paths in the 1600 gallon milk tank have leaks and won't hold pressure. I had hoped to send cold glycol solution through the bottom cooling path. I decided against using an external heat exchanger because of the risk of the concentrated sap freezing inside it and the expense. I found a 1000 gallon working milk tank with two three ton compressors and a self washing system for less cost than a new glycol chiller. The compressors have crank heaters. I will be using only one of them. Used glycol chillers are available on the winery, brewery and distillery equipment lists. It will be a challenge to mount the tank overhead to gravity feed into the evaporator with the steam away. Thanks for sharing your experience with the chiller. All of this reinforces the idea that we make our money in the woods and spend it in the sugar house! At 69 years old we are hoping refrigerating the concentrate will make for less frequent boiling days. This recent season we boiled fifteen days in a row!
    http://www.northfamilyfarm.com

    Tim
    2,500 taps on two pipelines
    Busch Vacuum Pump
    MES Three Phase Three Post RO
    2X10 Leader Vortex Max Flue pan, Enhanced Steamaway
    Electricity made with wind and solar

  4. #34
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    May 2010
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    upstate N.Y.
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    I put a Uni-Strut trolley system the full length of the sugar house attached to the collar ties and used it to lift a 625 gallon tank to the loft, it worked well and didn't cost a bunch. Depending on weight you might be able to use 3 or 4 trolleys or more to make it safe and spread the load. Good luck, you will be happy with the tank.

    https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Unist...31538483&psc=1
    2.5X10 HE
    600 RO
    Vac

  5. #35
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    Aug 2007
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    NewYork
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    IMG_20210121_185936850.jpg
    When you look into your concentrate tank and see this you have no guilt about waiting a few days to boil. This was 14 brix about 29 degrees and is just slushy on top with the agitator always running.
    I ditched gravity feeding a long time ago and use an all stainless dairy/triclamp pump to feed the steam away with no regrets. Having the concentrate tank at ground level is safer in cold icy weather but every setup is different.

  6. #36
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    Mar 2008
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    Canterbury, NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMF View Post
    Attachment 22383
    When you look into your concentrate tank and see this you have no guilt about waiting a few days to boil. This was 14 brix about 29 degrees and is just slushy on top with the agitator always running.
    I ditched gravity feeding a long time ago and use an all stainless dairy/triclamp pump to feed the steam away with no regrets. Having the concentrate tank at ground level is safer in cold icy weather but every setup is different.
    There's no room in our sugar house for the 1000 gallon concentrate tank. Our existing concentrate tank is outside up on a platform. Definitely not safe climbing up there. However gravity works. Are you pumping directly to your steam away float box and circulating back to the concentrate tank or do you have a small concentrate tank overflowing back to the concentrate tank? How are you monitoring the level of remaining concentrate while you are boiling? We have been using a clear sight pipe visible from most anywhere in the sugar house .
    http://www.northfamilyfarm.com

    Tim
    2,500 taps on two pipelines
    Busch Vacuum Pump
    MES Three Phase Three Post RO
    2X10 Leader Vortex Max Flue pan, Enhanced Steamaway
    Electricity made with wind and solar

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    NewYork
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    189

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    I use electric level switch and motorized ball valve and pump directly into steamaway. I have a panel with flowmeter and bypass valve so I can adjust flow to a little less than steamaway is using and level control adds the difference.
    The pump was fine tuned to be able to be dead-headed for a few minutes with no problem but that never happens much.
    Only half of the sugarhouse is heated and I have the tank bulkheaded into the unheated part. We have running hot water to be able to take care of any freezing issues until the sugarhouse warms up from boiling.
    I welded a fitting into the tank for a sight tube which I would not be without. Everything is set up to be easily drained when done boiling.
    If i was wood fired and did not have a steamaway a lot more caution would be needed to feed the evaporator with a pump in my opinion.

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