Small scale syrup production

A lot of people often ask the question
you know, can I do maple in my home. The big problem with
that is that when your boiling off, all that steam
is coming off is basically water and when that’s, you start filling your house
with all that humidity, it’s not good for the house. There’s been reports of people
actually having wallpaper slide or come off the wall because there’s so much moisture in the house. So we don’t really
recommend doing the full process in the house. On
some applications we say you know go ahead boil it down as much
as you can say on an outside evaporator or a turkey fryer and get it down
to where you only need to finish it a little bit and you bring it inside onto a small pan
and then you can finish it on your stove. It would be no different than boiling a
pot of water say that to make a macaroni or pasta or something like that
so um, but you certainly don’t want to boil
water in your house for seven, eight hours straight because it
puts quite a bit of moisture in your inside of your home. So what we have here’s this line comes in from two tanks
that are up above… behind the sugarhouse here. This
is our head tank is back here or our feed tank… travels down through this tube, goes into a this here. It’s called a steam
hood and inside the steam hood there’s 30 feet of three quarter inch copper
tubing, which what we call as a preheater and it’s really taking the steam from the
boiling sap inside the pan, the steam goes up, encases the copper tubing and in turn warms the sap up to anywhere between 160 – 180 degrees and then it enters in on the other side
into a float box which controls the level inside the pan and then it travels
through the different flues of the pan. This unit here is what they call a two by
six. It’s 2 foot wide, six foot long…it’s a two pan system meaning it has a a bigger back pan with with flues in it and that’s just a
different… the bottom is basically has peaks and valleys in it
to give more surface area. More surface area equals higher
evaporation rate. This unit here gives me about 35 to 38 gallons an hour evaporation rate. Theoretically, I can
make a gallon of syrup every hour and 15 minutes or so with an evaporator like this. Most people have the idea of a wood stove where you want a nice, slow,
even burn. With the maple, it’s the exact opposite.
We want to get this burning and boiling as hot and as fast as we can get it. Typically with this unit here I will fire every every seven to ten minutes. I’ll be loaded it with wood, chock-full, close the door and turn the blower back on and just keep it just keep it burning as hot as we can and that keeps our evaporation rate up and then
we can process the sap a lot quicker. Off to the right in the back corner is
where the sap is coming in – raw sap about 2 percent sugar from the tree comes in the back corner. There’s two
dividers and they’re making this back pan have three channels. So
essentially what it does is it comes in the back corner travels down that one divider into the
corner, goes under a little hole in the divider, goes down the middle, towards the back again. There’s a hole in the divider that’s closest to me and then travels down this last channel over here and then exits out of this
tube and then heads into the front pan and it does the same thing in the front pan… coming in here, traveling down this channel, going underneath the divider here, traveling back, going under the divider over here and then traveling towards the front corner and that’s what we call draw-off side over there…and that’s where we would draw off the near finished syrup or finished syrup. I have made syrup complete off of this evaporator but I tend to, again I like to draw it off a little early while it’s not quite syrup, finish it on a propane finishing pan where I have control over the heat and I can shut it off when it’s exactly at the right sugar content which is 66 percent sugar.


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