For 2016, we were able to pick up an additional 300 new taps all in one location. This should double our production on syrup! But with more taps, means more sap. With more sap, the more time it will take to reduce the sap into syrup and the more wood it will take to create enough heat. Our 2015 evaporator boiled off an estimated 12-15 gallons of sap per hour. With this, we were barely able to keep up with 180 trees.
In order to be more efficient, we spent a lot of time in the sugarhouse this fall reconfiguring the layout so we could extend our evaporator from 4' long to 6' long. This will increase our pan size and increase our gallon per hour evaporation rate. With this, we added a forced air draft in the evaporator along with an air over fire reburner system. This system will allow us to have secondary combustion occuring under our evaporator pan. This will increase heat and our evaporation rate while reducing the exhaust temperature and the amount of wood used!
To top off the new evaporator, we upgraded our pan system. In the past, we used a simple flat bottomed pan. For 2016, we chose to go with a drop flue pan system that has fins that drop into the evaporator. The fins almost double the amount of surface area exposed to heat which substanially increases evaporation rate! We hope to be running at around 40-50 gallons per hour comapared to last years 12-15!! New pan photos coming soon!!!