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Old March 27th, 2013, 10:12 AM
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Default Looking to Borrow a Pan

My son and I have collected 60+ Gallons of sap, this is our first attempt at Surgaring, I am looking to use or rent a pan to boil in, I made a good attempt to boil on a Propane Stove in large pot but the burner is not hot enough. Does any one have or no of someone that could help? I am currently out of work so not looking to spend much. I live in little Chute, we are willing to travel.

Lincoln Maples
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Old March 28th, 2013, 12:18 AM
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My Taps were almost dried up today, I tasted several spouts and a few had a bitter woody taste. so I pulled 3/4 of my taps. Does any one else tap in the City?
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Old March 28th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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Lincoln- when did you tap? Your season should be going strong yet, in fact, you're just getting to the best part. I had my best run of the season yesterday and I'm down near Milwaukee. I don't have a spare pan to loan you unfortunately, but is an open fire in the backyard a possibility? If so, use that same pot on the open fire and it will boil easily. Lots of folks use turkey fryers with good success but they're slow. 60 gallons of sap would be a whole lot of propane.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 11:43 PM
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I tapped my trees when I noticed Sap running out of a small wound, around March 5th. I am totally new to this. I tapped 10 trees in all, 3 were dry and never produced. I have gathered 80 Gallons altogether. With not knowing what to boil in I decided to freeze the sap and concentrate it the best I could. i was able to turn 15 gallons into 7 gallons buy freezing, i was skeptical and shaved the ice out of each batch and tasted it, surprisingly each time the ice was ice and not sweet.

First attempt at boiling-used a propane burner and Simmered for 3 hours :(

Second Attempt at boiling- boiled for 3 hours over Small Fire, boiled off 3 gallons of H2O :)
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Old March 30th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Lincoln after reading all the threads on the site you decided to simmer the sap. What led you believe that was the way to do it?? Don't count what gets boiled out but what you end up with. Good luck with you season.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 09:31 AM
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When we started out, we used a washtub from Fleet Farm and a propane turkey burner. That works ok for a 10 tap operation, but it is a lot of propane and gets expensive. You could probably do better by getting some cement blocks and building up a C shaped base that's about 3 feet high that the washtub can sit upon, and building a fire under it. Use a sheet of steel or something to cover the opening/access to the fire.

Another crew that I know of taps 70 trees and has a series of those stainless steel pans from a buffet line, they each hold about 4 gallons. They set bricks out and pile them into a cooker, just wide enough so the pans will set in on their edges, and sort of 'waterfall' them as they cook it down, using a wood fire underneath the whole works. Another cost-effective method for a small operation. There's a restaurant supply store in GB that has used equip, or hit Ebay. If you wanted to see this type of thing, I'll try to get pictures, it's actually my father's operation near Wautoma.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincoln Maples View Post
My son and I have collected 60+ Gallons of sap, this is our first attempt at Surgaring, I am looking to use or rent a pan to boil in, I made a good attempt to boil on a Propane Stove in large pot but the burner is not hot enough. Does any one have or no of someone that could help? I am currently out of work so not looking to spend much. I live in little Chute, we are willing to travel.

Lincoln Maples
Fall of 2013 brought me new helper, so 2014 was interesting. Made a new rig with 2 Buffet pans end to end with a crude stack. Ended up burning most of my collection in an attempt to to keeping the house in order and cooking in the yard. On two attempts I had 30 gallons cooked down and they both turned into ash. Managed to finish the year with one gallon of syrup. 2015 should be better but time will tell, good news is everyone is Heatlhy and I found work .
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Old March 11th, 2015, 09:05 AM
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SSB please tell me you didn't cook on a galvanized wash tub??
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Old March 11th, 2015, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincoln Maples View Post
Fall of 2013 brought me new helper, so 2014 was interesting. Made a new rig with 2 Buffet pans end to end with a crude stack. Ended up burning most of my collection in an attempt to to keeping the house in order and cooking in the yard. On two attempts I had 30 gallons cooked down and they both turned into ash. Managed to finish the year with one gallon of syrup. 2015 should be better but time will tell, good news is everyone is Heatlhy and I found work .
GLAD you found work. I went through a rough patch a couple years back, I can relate.

So with your burning problems...how are you monitoring your boil to know when it's 'done'? By temp? By viscosity? By hydrometer? By sight?
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Old March 11th, 2015, 09:39 AM
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SSB please tell me you didn't cook on a galvanized wash tub??
I only have a little brain damage. LOL

No, it wasn't galvanized. I happened upon a non-galvanized washtub at the 11th hour and bought that instead.

However, I remember researching the galvanized wash tub for this purpose and if I recall correctly, there was a lot of concern over it and a lot of information and misinformation. The consensus was that at the temperature of the inside of the tub, held constant by the 'heat sink' that the sap provides, the chances of it getting hot enough to release anything bad were nil.

We are a paranoid society which places far too much belief in the sketchiest of theories as long as they're scary (Toxic Timebomb in Your Kitchen! - News at 11); they are all instantly accepted and rarely demonstrated. If we can't decide whether carefully monitored things that are ingested daily are good or bad for us, shall we honestly worry about very casual exposure to heated zinc?

What shall we make things of? Better not use aluminum! Steer clear of nickel! Don't use zinc! Copper and silver are powerful biocides that must be avoided. Rusty bare steel, forget it! Chrome? Don't be crazy. Concrete? Silicosis. Wood? Harbors bacteria. Vinyl? Carcinogenic vapors. Asbestos? Get real. Is cobalt safer than nickel? Probably until diets A and B reverse places.

We need to watch the biggies which it is hard to argue the dangers of: mercury, lead, and cadmium. And keep our eyes open for a fourth baddie, and then a fifth. But our government throws wheelbarrows full of money at beltway bandit "researchers" in return for disproportionate campaign contributions (clever racket), who have been on the road of diminishing returns for decades, looking harder and harder for the slimmest of possible risks to scare us to extend their grants; our politicians make hay "protecting" us from the specter of toxic hobgoblins; and the TV networks keep us watching by warnings of impending calamity. Only an opinion.

The only reason we were lucky enough to end up with the equipment that we now have is that the guy I do this with worked for a sign company and had access to scrap stainless steel and other scrap metal. He studied designs of commercial units and put this together. Else, we'd probably still be using some low-dollar alternative.
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