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Old January 12th, 2014, 08:00 PM
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Default raised vs drop flue pans

Hi all, just would like to get some thoughts on the benefits of a raised vs drop flue sap pan. Is one more efficient than the other. Any other benefits of one over the other?

Looking forward to your responses!

Scott
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Old January 12th, 2014, 08:05 PM
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This one has been debated both here and on Maple Trader multiple times. No real difference in efficiency so the difference is strictly preference. Raised allows for different levels in pan, flu can be slid off instead of lifted, but costs more due to extra float box and is harder to brush soot while on the arch. Drop costs a little less but you either need to pump out or push a valve through the side of your arch to drain it. You will also need to lift it above the rails to remove the pans for cleaning but they tend to be easier to brush soot off of. Drop flues will also be a lower pan if looking over the edge is an issue.

Last edited by Bryan Ex; January 12th, 2014 at 08:50 PM. Reason: typo
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Old January 12th, 2014, 08:47 PM
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Thank you. I had heard that the drop flues can be damaged when loading wood in the arch. Not sure how much of a concern that is.
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Old January 12th, 2014, 08:52 PM
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It's possible but you'd need to be pushing wood pretty far back to hit the flu.
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Old January 12th, 2014, 09:14 PM
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Balsam Hills Raised flue pans do have another float box and that's because the flue pan is higher so gravity moves the liquid from flue to finish pan. Yes more plumbing. I don't believe if you cut your wood the right length loading is easy and tig welded pans can take a lot of abuse before they would fail.......I KNOW.

If you plan on making your own arch a raised flue arch is easer to make and cost less in materials.
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Old January 12th, 2014, 09:52 PM
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Is there anything special you need to do to get the sap from the flu pan to the syrup pan asides from a valve or something? ALso if the sap runs out should nt the flu pan be removed to stop from burning?
I might be missing something , this is my first year trying to use an evaporator. I have been using an open fire pit with steam table pans in the past. Worked well but I think i lost alot of product last year.
I am building a evaporator out of an old oil tank(design from you tube) and not really sure what type of flu and syrup/finishing pan to use.
I previously asked about the drop tubes, i still dont understand do they fill up with sap and then the sap boils out of the tubes? DOes some get left in there and have a tendancy to burn and taint the finished product?
Any help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 12th, 2014, 10:36 PM
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Bob timing is everything and you need to learn to match your sap level with your last firing. Now you don't remove the pan its not how its done. Some people will talk about chasing the sweet with water. What they will do is when they are running out of sap they will introduce water or permeate into the head tank and allow it to push the higher sugar concentrated liquid ahead of it. Now it wont work unless you have a flue pan that has channels and the more channels the better. I don't recommend it because then you do get mixing of water and sap and then you will either drain the flue pan to remove the water or boil it off next boil. To me its a bad habit that I don't believe gets you anywhere. Now as far as valves all new pans have them Float valves are liquid actuated lever ball valves need you to actuate it You don't need a valve between the drop flue pan and finish pans during boiling. Would a valve be a good thing yes because it can be used to separate the pans at shut down to keep the concentrates separate. You don't want to regulate the syrup between the pans during cooking that will happen on its own.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balsam Hills View Post
Hi all, just would like to get some thoughts on the benefits of a raised vs drop flue sap pan. Is one more efficient than the other. Any other benefits of one over the other?

Looking forward to your responses!

Scott
Been putting some thought into this the past few days. Its been highly debated, but I read through some old threads on here and trader and I couldnt find where anyone mentioned the following. Mind you this is just my intial thought process and maybe others can and will step in on this. Lets compare equal size pans of lets say a 2x4 foot flue pan. How many gallons of sap does it take to fill a drop flue and how many to fill a raise flue? How many BTU's does it take to boil one gallon of sap? Im almost certain that a drop flue takes less sap to fill than a raised flue. On a raise flue there is 4 points in the pan that are flooded deeper than a drop. The sides that sit over the arch rails, the space in front and behind the flues in the pan itself where theres a gap between the pan walls and flues. How many more gallons Im not sure but if I had to guess I would think over 15 without measuring one. I also believe with the flues on a drop since there down in the fire there is complete contact with fire and hot gasses from beginning to end where on a raise pan where the syrup pan meets the flue these same flames and hot gasses would have to rise straight up into the flue pan to make total contact from begining to end. I dont think that is possible with the flames and hot gasses blasting through the arch trying to escape out the stack. I cant see how the raise flue can be as efficient as a drop flue. The only advantage of a raise I can think of is theres no fear of flue damage from heaving wood in the arch, the ability to control your liquid level in your syrup pans.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 12:05 AM
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Those are some good points. I talked to Jim at Smoky Lake and he says is costs about $300-350 more to make a rasied flue system. Part of the additional cost is probably the extra float box. I think you'd really have launch the wood into the arch to damage drop flues as they are set back a ways from the fire box.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 12:08 AM
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If you didnt even take into account the added float box there is more metal and time involved in a raise flue build. With a conventional arch the flues are a bit easier to hit. With todays highly efficient arches that are out there with the back wall of the firebox going straight up, the taller fireboxes where you wouldnt be filling them right to the top with wood it would be a bit harder to bust them I would think.
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