Country Maple Farms Shelburn MA Jim and Angel Bragdon
Mar 16, 2015

Sugar House Updates

Over the last week we have updated a few components of the sugar house...



We have an automatic draw off system connected to our evaporator.  So when the sap in the front pan of the evaporator becomes the right temperature a valve will open and syrup will come out.  When the temperature drops the valve will close.

This is the brain of the automatic draw off.  The green number you set to what syrup boils at.  Which is 7 degrees above the boiling point of water.  Which is around 210 degrees.  This can fluctuate day to day.  The red number is the temperature of the sap/syrup in the front pan close to where the automatic draw off is.  As you can see in the picture above the red number is greater than the green.  When I took this picture syrup was coming off the pan.

The alarm on this has come in handy a few times.  When the red number gets 3ish (I don't actually know the amount) degrees above the green one a buzzer goes off to alert you the syrup is too hot.

Jim wanted to update how the plumbing on the evaporator was with the auto draw off.  Here is a picture of how it used to be plumbed up.

We had an extra valve in there in case we needed to take syrup off the pan and the auto draw off wasn't working.  The biggest problem we ran into with this set up is sometimes the auto draw off would get stuck open.  A piece of sugar sand would get stuck in there and wouldn't allow the mechanism on the inside to close.  This could be a major problem if you are not paying attention.  In the picture below we have created a better solution to this problem.


Now, if the auto draw off gets stuck open we can quickly shut the valve while we work on getting the auto draw off un-stuck.  Which usually requires wiggling the on/off/auto switch on the brains of the system.

We also updated how we get the sap from the back of the truck to the tank behind the sugar house.  In the past we used a gas run pump.  We now have an electric pump with a new screen filter.  In the picture you will also see a flow meter.  This was going to count all the gallons of sap that went through it.  But we had a little accident and that meter is not with us anymore.

  On the far right side of the picture there is the sap filter.  This is where the sap enters the sugar house, goes into the pump, out the pump, through the flow meter and then works its way to the tank out back behind the sugar house.  Some day in the future we plan on getting another flow meter, but for now, we are going to track gallons of sap the old fashioned way.

On the outside of the sugar house there is an easy connection to unload the sap.

Oh! One last update that was made to the sugar house.  I got an office!

The two best things about this desk is its above the heater and the wood stove is to my back.  I'll never be cold!