One of our biggest improvements for the 2020 season will be cooling our sap concentrate. Because sap has a very short shelf life of 1-3 days max, it must be processed immediately. This season we’ll still send the sap through the reverse osmosis immediately, but then we’ll cool it for long term storage. Once the sap is concentrated to ~20% sugar it’s freezing point drops to ~26°F. Using this glycol chiller, we’ll cool it to just above freezing where it can last for weeks. At this low temperature there is almost no microbial activity. This will allow us to boil once a week instead of once a day, at the time of our choosing. It will also produce higher quality syrup since the sap won’t have to sit around at higher temperatures letting bacteria degrade it. One of our rooms in the new addition is specifically for cold storage, it will hold this 3000 gallon concentrate tank along with barrels of syrup in the hot summer months. 3000 gallons of 20% concentrate will make almost 1000 gallons of syrup, which our evaporator should be able to process in just an afternoon. This five ton chiller from Advantage Engineering will cool the sap concentrate just as fast as we make it, and then will run at 20% capacity to maintain temperature. The room is completely spray foamed and the concrete pad has insulation underneath (fiberglass is not allowed due to condensation issues). We’ll post more info later once we get everything plumbed up and then again when sap starts running through it!

 

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