Ask any sugar maker what one of the most frustrating parts of making syrup is and there’s a good chance they’ll say filtering. Our 15″ press with 12 hollows was great when we boiled every day, but once we started saving concentrate and making 600-1000 gallons each boil it quickly became our bottleneck. With the right technique and ideal conditions it can process 500 gallons, but it often clogs after only 200-300 gallons. Cleaning and re-papering a slowed press is a dirty job that can take a while, requiring the evaporator to be slowed down and eventually turned off. This summer we purchased an additional used 18″ press with 9 hollows, and ordered another two sets of plates from the manufacturer. It alone will provide 32% more surface area than our current press, but the main benefit is that we’ll always have at least one running, the other can be cleaned while the evaporator is still spitting out 150 gallons of syrup per hour. Syrup season is still several months away but we’ll make sure to post a video of both going at the same time!

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