backyard sugarin' time

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: Steve.N On: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:26 am

I have a medimum size sugaring operation though I haven't made any in the last two years because of time constraints, the joys of self employment.

Here is some photos during busier years.

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Steve.N
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman mkII
Stove/Furnace Model: Axeman Anderson 260 at store

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: e.alleg On: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:46 pm

That's a sweet sugar shack right there Steve! Do you have tubes which dump the sap right into the evaporator or are you doing buckets?
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: Steve.N On: Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:08 am

The sap comes in all on pipe line. Behind the wall that is behind the evaporator are two stainless tanks for sap storage. The upper tank feeds the evap float system to keep a constant flow of fresh sap when boiling. The combined total for both tanks is about 1400 gallons of raw sap. I also have an RO machine that concentrates the sap before ever being boiled. I can remove about 60% of the water on one pass.

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Steve.N
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman mkII
Stove/Furnace Model: Axeman Anderson 260 at store


Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: arcticcatmatt On: Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:25 pm

Good stuff in this thread! I would love to know more about the above. RO machine and costs.

I just got into it this year. I toured a guys place last week that had 269 trees tapped.

I put in 5 taps in my yard into maple trees. They are producing ALOT more than I can handle. Each tap produces about 2 gallons a day. I have been boiling 60% of it outside in a big pan I have over a fire I keep feeding for hours and hours and more hours. I finish it off in the house on the stove (I have an exhaust fan). I also run another pan in the house on the electric stove that I keep feeding with sap.

I have done it for 5 days now and I currently have about 5-6 pints of syrup. I got a candy therm but I don't understand it. Boiling point of water here is 210. Online it says it is syrup when you hit 7 over boiling point. So, 217. I can make the temperature 217 and I KNOW it is not syrup.

Anyways, I have been boiling it down until it bubbles and almost no steam. I run it thru double over cheese cloth. I still have nitter in it as it is cloudy. I can't find syrup filters anywhere! I made 2 pints and put it in ball jars. I sealed them and let them cool to room temperature, then placed in the fridge. 5 days later they are fine... BUT I did some other pints that I did not seal in a jar. They are just in an open jar and sitting in the fridge. All of those now have some cloudy substance floating in it in tiny clumps. What did I do wrong? I will reboil them all and refilter them all in the cheese cloth. I just bought more sealable ball jars today.

How the heck does the syrup stay OK in those plastic containers you buy from producers?

I also tried to do maple butter/cream last night. I failed. I heated the syrup to 24 over boiling. Actually a touch more. I hit almost 240. I then put the pan in ice water and let it sit for 10 mins. It was now cold/room temp and the instructions online said stir it until you get the peanut butter consistency. That never happened and I even tried a mixer! I got thick syrup with lots of air in it, but no butter.
arcticcatmatt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Kodiak Stoker II

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: Steve.N On: Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:33 am

The RO machine is a great time saver but quite an expense so you need to make a lot of syrup. I bought mine used and it was almost $6000. Remember the one I have is the smallest available. Bigger machines run into 10's of thousands of dollars

Syrup should be done at 7 deg over boiling but you need to use a calibrateable thermometer. The sugaring ones have a sliding scale that must be calibrated every morning in boiling water. I only use temperature as a rough scale then finish with a hydrometer made for testing hot syrup this is a lot more accurate. The old timers could dip a spoon into the hot syrup and tell it was done by how the syrup sheeted off of the spoon. I can't do that yet but then at 60 I am not an old timer yet.

For filtering syrup I have a 12 plate pressure filter but I used to use dairy filters when I first started and still use them for a prefilter. You should be able to find them at any dairy supply outlet. If you are lucky you might find one of the special funnels that fit the filters, check with the local farms as most farmers no longer have a use for them.

Maple spread is actually finely granulated sugar crystals that take over the entire contents of the container. I have never made it but have read much and it is tricky. Once the syrup is concentrated enough you must wait as it cools until crystalation begins then mix. Mixing is a slow process and not as violent as a hand mixer. Maple candy is made the same way.

Your cloudy syrup sounds like it is cyrstalizing in the refrigerator. Warm the syrup slowly and see if it doesn't clear. if it does thin it slightly with raw sap. I have syrup that has been stored for two years that is still fine.

Syrup lasts in the plastic bottles because it is packed hot. I pack at 200+ deg to kill and bacteria in the jugs. Maple syrup is also a natural antibiotic and there is research on it as well as honey for treating burns and other injury.

I set roughly 5000 taps and produce 30 to 50 gallons of finished syrup a day when the sap is flowing

Here is where most of my equipment comes from.

http://www.bascommaple.com/
Steve.N
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman mkII
Stove/Furnace Model: Axeman Anderson 260 at store

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: e.alleg On: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:27 am

I made maple butter last year by accident, what I did was boil the sap until it looked like Aunt-Jemima consistency maple syrup, then I poured it into an empty butter tub and set it in the fridge. The next morning it was maple butter, I would just take a spoonful and feed it to my face when I needed a snack. Super high energy! I don't use a thermometer or anything, I boil the almost done sap on the kitchen stove until the bubbles get real small and it starts to want to boil over, I dip my spatula in the liquid and pull it out and when the sap doesn't just drip off but kind of sticks I call it done. It's not the most scientific method but the syrup tastes good. I pack mine in clean pint canning jars and seal the lid when it's hot, in the morning if the lid is pressed down and it's sealed and can probably last forever like that on the shelf. My total investment is about the price of one gallon of syrup- $40 for 5 pans which should last me a lifetime, 15 buckets with lids and spiles which were $5 at a farm auction, and about $10 in diesel to pick up a load of free cement blocks. The wood is free for the gathering in my yard. I'm jealous of Steve's rig :oops:
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: whistlenut On: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:52 pm

I'm old enough to remember drillin' trees with a hand bit brace, galvie spigots and galvie buckets.3 gallon sap pales, 2500 taps, all by hand. The tank scoot was pulled by a pair of monster oxen for the first 5 years I did it, then a team of Percherons. Both sets of animals didn't require us to use reins in the woods, just oral commands. The Oxen were named Ben and Pete, the Percherons were named Thad and Amos. Big animals when you are a little kid! My Uncle made about 700 gallons with a wood fired evaporator, mostly Grade A and Fancy. The color does change as the spring weather gets warmer, darker is from later in the season. The old sugarbush was sold in the 60's and there isn't a trace anymore. We still to this day tap one pine tree and one telephone pole, add spigots and buckets, with covers just to freak out the flatlanders!
Burned 20 cords of slab wood(pine slabs), never burned anything down and had some fond memories with sweet steam, sugar on snow, and pancakes in the AM with real hand churned butter. Yes, I drank raw milk for years, and I'm not dead ....or even sick for that matter.

We also put up about 100 tons of ice from a local lake that was used by the resorts in the summer, and we sawed it with an ice cutter that used a differential from a 32 ford and powered by the flathead Ford V8. We still do the demo every Feb for a Fram Museum,and really do put up a few tons of ice for them to use in summer events.

Man, this takes me back......that was in the 50's when 'Men were Men and Women were Damned Glad of it'!

I think I will go get a few pics for forum members this weekend of small home operations and a couple commercial ones, too.
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: whistlenut On: Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:06 pm

Steve, I forgot to mention your immaculate Sugar House. What a class act! I assume that you fire the arch with oil now.
Everyone commercial certainly does now, and lets face it, the more even temps in the pan make a better product.
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: Steve.N On: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:11 am

No oil for me!! I still boil with wood, oil is for the so called girly men :D I really like the old ways though I do use pipe line instead of buckets. During boiling season it is like a big social club and we have a lot of fun everyone wants to get into the act.

The last year I boiled I added a forced draft fan to increase the fire now the heat goes up and down like an oil gun
Steve.N
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman mkII
Stove/Furnace Model: Axeman Anderson 260 at store

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:04 pm

Don't mean to mess the thread up but is there a way to burn coal in this operation. I know when I sugered that you needed a super hot fire to make the syrup "dance" :) Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x3, 700 Van Wert 800
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: EFM 150, Keystoker 150
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: whistlenut On: Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:33 pm

NO! You aren't hogging into the syrup business with Coal! The 'Stoker Scott Arch' will be wood fired,and I don't mean with Pellets! Tomorrow would be a good day to go out and take some pics from the Blimp, gonna be a honey. Frosty mornings, sunny afternoons. I have the drone fly over at 6,10, 2 and 8 tomorrow. Fair warning! It's not just shooting film, so don't get out of line!
Seriously, sure, I'd bet you could fire an arch with a coal stoker, heck, the Bit fired Locomotives made plenty of heat for steam. A stoker would have to custom fabbed, but somehow I don't think it would seem right. Some things have to be what they are now and were before we smart dorks came upon the scene.
Go adopt an AA, take it home, love it up, show us you are a compassionate person! You're kinky; the twisted belt will get you all sweaty, and the tinkle of the anthratube will take you back to boyhood! The anthrastat solonoid 'clicking and jivin' will scare you silly (sillier than you already are). You will lose sleep looking for the feed gear setting knob, or the air gate setting lock.

I'm tired and my day is done; you have the wheel, Capt. Keep her between the navigational buoys and hopefully we will all wake up in the AM.
:rockon: :stretcher: :crutch: :angel: :angel: :surrender: toothy :roll2: :gee: :nice:
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:57 pm

stokerscot wrote:Don't mean to mess the thread up but is there a way to burn coal in this operation. I know when I sugered that you needed a super hot fire to make the syrup "dance" :) Scott


Pure backyard maple syrup has a natural "smoke" flavor to it when boiled down with wood. The commercial guys that use Propane or Oil have extra fine syrup that only tastes like maple sugar. I'm not sure I would want to eat coal smoke flavored syrup. :sick:
e.alleg
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:11 am

whistlenut wrote:NO! You aren't hogging into the syrup business with Coal! The 'Stoker Scott Arch' will be wood fired,and I don't mean with Pellets! Tomorrow would be a good day to go out and take some pics from the Blimp, gonna be a honey. Frosty mornings, sunny afternoons. I have the drone fly over at 6,10, 2 and 8 tomorrow. Fair warning! It's not just shooting film, so don't get out of line!
Seriously, sure, I'd bet you could fire an arch with a coal stoker, heck, the Bit fired Locomotives made plenty of heat for steam. A stoker would have to custom fabbed, but somehow I don't think it would seem right. Some things have to be what they are now and were before we smart dorks came upon the scene.
Go adopt an AA, take it home, love it up, show us you are a compassionate person! You're kinky; the twisted belt will get you all sweaty, and the tinkle of the anthratube will take you back to boyhood! The anthrastat solonoid 'clicking and jivin' will scare you silly (sillier than you already are). You will lose sleep looking for the feed gear setting knob, or the air gate setting lock.

I'm tired and my day is done; you have the wheel, Capt. Keep her between the navigational buoys and hopefully we will all wake up in the AM.
:rockon: :stretcher: :crutch: :angel: :angel: :surrender: toothy :roll2: :gee: :nice:


red right return.....
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: tsb On: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:57 pm

I'll try to revive this thread with a question.
What percent are you seeing this year? Around here
it usually starts at 2.9 and drops through the season.
This years it's starting at 1.7. Not so good, but no sand.
The thought is that last years rain reduced the sugar.

Tom
tsb
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Binford 2000
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Pioneer top vent
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Saey Hanover II

Re: backyard sugarin' time

PostBy: lumpocoal On: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:31 pm

e.alleg wrote:
stokerscot wrote:Don't mean to mess the thread up but is there a way to burn coal in this operation. I know when I sugered that you needed a super hot fire to make the syrup "dance" :) Scott


Pure backyard maple syrup has a natural "smoke" flavor to it when boiled down with wood. The commercial guys that use Propane or Oil have extra fine syrup that only tastes like maple sugar. I'm not sure I would want to eat coal smoke flavored syrup. :sick:

Me neither, :no1: :drool:
lumpocoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Englander