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madman
03-08-2011, 06:23 PM
Anyone have experience with Maple Syrup production? Today while forraging for food (Ha Ha) in the woods I met a farmer who was doing a Maple Syrup setup. I found him Pleasant to talk to and he answered all my questions. He said he needed a new vacuum pump? I bought one years ago from Coffer Robotics Tunnel Hill Georgia. Im thinkingm of giving him it? Im not sure it will work? Any ideas guys ?? Thanx Mike

Elninio
03-08-2011, 06:25 PM
Vacuum pumps can exist as gear, screw, or vane. I have a rotary vane vacuum pump, it wouldn't work with this one; constant rubbing of the graphite palettes, do you want that in your syrup?

ponderingjunkman
03-08-2011, 07:32 PM
I finished about a half gallon today on my new home built evaporator. Seems that MapleTrader.com is the place to go to ask such questions. Lots of good stainless fabricators there. Yummy stuff!!

SGW
03-08-2011, 07:51 PM
Is he using it to create a vacuum in plastic tubes coming from the trees, maybe? I can't think of any other possible application in maple syrup production, at least not as practiced in New England.

Toolguy
03-08-2011, 07:53 PM
I was interested to learn that the maple syrup producers use the same refractometer that I use to check water soluble machine coolant.

Mcgyver
03-08-2011, 08:08 PM
nice of you to think of that Mike, but I'd bet he needs (and hopefully knows this) something food grade?

aboard_epsilon
03-08-2011, 08:12 PM
There was a how its made TV program on the other day that showed all this.

i remember it saying that the sap coming out of the trees contained only 2 percent of the product ..and the water had to be evaporated off until it was concentrated

just looked it up... season 2 episode 9

all the best.markj

rmuell01
03-08-2011, 08:14 PM
There was a how its made TV program on the other day that showed all this.

i remember it saying that the sap coming out of the trees contained only 2 percent of the product ..and the water had to be evaporated off until it was concentrated

just looked it up... season 2 episode 9

all the best.markj


forty gallons of sap for one gallon of syrup.

macona
03-08-2011, 08:24 PM
No such thing really as a food grade vacuum. The couple vacuum pumps I have seen in food equipment are pretty normal oil sealed rotary van pumps. I have a Busch pump that was from wine processing equipment.

There should be no danger of backstreaming oil back as there will be a constant discharge of water vapor as it boils off.

You would want a pump with a gas ballast though as pumping water vapor is pretty hard on pumps, and probably why his died.

A liquid ring pump may be a good choice for this process as well.

Mcgyver
03-08-2011, 08:39 PM
forty gallons of sap for one gallon of syrup.

found childhold memories of a big cast iron pot hanging from three fence stakes. i'm not that old, they had the tube systems, but we just did a little bit for kicks. Whats more fun for a boy than an all day outdoor fire to play with?

Jerry, I don't really know anything about vacumm pumps and food...was just guessing because everything food seems to be special seals, stainless etc...... and I can see some farmer rigging up a used shop vac or such. the 'they'll never know' approach to problem solving :eek: :p

J. Randall
03-08-2011, 08:50 PM
A guy that worked for Dr. Pepper gave me a diaphragm type, worked as vacuum pump or compressor. We rigged it up with small clear plastic hose and hooked it up to one of the stainless syrup containers and used it to suck coolant out of car radiators. Just reverse the hoses and pump it right back in, if the coolant was still good.
James

Fasttrack
03-08-2011, 08:59 PM
I would think an oilless or diaphragm type vacuum pump would be the best choice. They have medical grade pumps that are stainless and teflon piston pumps. Like James said, they can be used in either vacuum or pressure. Best part is that they are maintanence free and don't suffer from pumping water vapor or even caustic gasses.

madman
03-09-2011, 08:15 AM
After being in his shack i dont think he cares. The Mennonites here burn Car Tires for heat, The smoke settles into the air comes down as it cools and ends up in the Sugar Buckets Hence the Elmira Maple Sugar Festival Was Born Years ago. Thousands of people enjoyed quarts ,, Gallons of highly carcigenic Rubber smoke particulate Laden maple Syrup and all said the same thing """YUMMY GIMME MORE MUMMY "" I went once as I live a short distance away. I remember the Menonite shingles (cut up car tires they burnt) smell made me ill. Never went back ,,SO in retrospect this Guy uses all new plastic lines fittings, the vacuum is generated in a type of pressure vessel holding tank that is NOT directly linked to maple syrup going through the pump so to speak. Biggest concern is duty cycle will pump run 24 -7 for a day at least possibly two. He was talking about a water cooled pump and i told him just place a bucket around the pump and pile snow into it to cool it . He thought that was a good idea (im the idea man around farmers here haha. My pump is a one horsepowewr 3 phase Gast Model R4310A-A puts out max 50 in H2o with 60 hertz powewr and 35 in H2o with 50 hertz power. Im going to try it out and maybe sell it to him for a Million dollars??? Later Mike

madman
03-09-2011, 08:45 AM
Regenerative Blowers

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All blower models shown are equipped with UL & CSA certified motors except separate drive models

For a general overview of our regenerative blower line, download the regenerative blower page from our full-line catalog (pdf format, 93KB).

This is the type im going to use with a pressure vessel for maple syrup extraction? Wil lsee how it works. I will mount the suction inlet 3 feet aboove the outflow of the tank so ingress of maple fluid comes near the pump .i think its sealed any how Thanx all Mike

Sophiedoc
03-09-2011, 09:55 AM
In my old days I've messed with sweet sorghum molasses making and maple syrup.With sorghum you only need to evaporate 1:10 or thereabouts but need to skim off the scum more or less constantly to get a good product.With maple syrup its about 1:40 but little if any scum.By the way I like the syrup better from soft maples(plenty of them in Missouri)than hard maples.-Recently read an article about what looks like a backflow preventer used on the collector tubing which seems to create a kind of vacuum and only costs 35 cents or so and is used as a spout also.

macona
03-09-2011, 12:44 PM
The food never comes in contact with the pumps. If it did there would be bigger problems than worrying about the pump being food grade.

A shop vac or the like would never do it and would burn up very quickly.

Here is a page with stuff relating to vacuum and maple.

http://www.atkinsonmaplesyrup.com/catalogue/equipment/vacuum_pump_systems

Looks like they do use liquid ring pumps.

vpt
03-09-2011, 01:43 PM
How about a windmill powered vacuum pump?

macona
03-09-2011, 03:24 PM
How about a windmill powered vacuum pump?

They suck when it blows.

Dan Dubeau
03-09-2011, 04:30 PM
My Uncle is switching over to lines and pump this year. I'll see if I can get more details when I go pick up his old buckets shortly. He's giving me some of the old buckets and spiles, and I'm going to have a go at tapping a few at my place. Went for a snowshoe on sunday to scout some trees (I know I should have marked them in the fall during hunting season), and came up short. Only about 4-5 maples mature enough to tap. It should be enough for our personal use. My stand is pretty young, but within the next 10-20 years I should have some pretty good sap producers.

Your Old Dog
03-09-2011, 05:01 PM
I live in the heart of Map Le syrup country. Got two old used up shantys not over 300 yards from our house. They must do it different where Madman lives. Here all the farmers let gravity bring the syrup to the stainless vats that are seen by the side of the road...........oh! Do they want the vacuum to get the syrup from the holding tanks to their trucks/tractors for transportation to the sugar shanty?

Dawai
03-09-2011, 06:03 PM
Dehydration stock reduction by vacuum boiling of product.

You know? Like I used to do investment castings as I poured them? boil the air bubbles and some of the liquid out?

MIKE.. I have a old AC vacuum pump that runs on 120vac..
I'll lay it out for you... I used to use a old pressure cooker to boil things in.. I lost the pressure controls when i wanted to use it as a pressure cooker once again... too much stuff in too small of a shop..

macona
03-09-2011, 06:29 PM
I live in the heart of Map Le syrup country. Got two old used up shantys not over 300 yards from our house. They must do it different where Madman lives. Here all the farmers let gravity bring the syrup to the stainless vats that are seen by the side of the road...........oh! Do they want the vacuum to get the syrup from the holding tanks to their trucks/tractors for transportation to the sugar shanty?

This is how they do it now:

http://vermontpuremaplesyrup.com/vt/OurProcess/tabid/102/Default.aspx

Gravy
03-09-2011, 09:19 PM
Liquid ring pumps would be a good choice. They are simple, fairly efficient, and have very few wear parts. I've been using them since the 90's to extract contaminated groundwater for treatment. They will go for years in 24/7 operation with nothing more than greasing the bearings once or twice a year. Just make sure the pump materials are compatible with the fluid.;)

Dawai
03-10-2011, 11:06 AM
NOW you got me confused?? Are you after Dehydration (reduction of fluids to a thicker product?) or transport of sap to the cookoff kettle?? If transport? I'd suggest a plunger type pump at each pick point. (made from a old piece of pvc pipe) and air powered w/ny-tube pressure..

NOW a old "moonshine still" redone in 2011 style? yep.. alcohol can be "boiled off without heat" by lowering the applied pressure to a negative vacuum level you can boil alcohol off into a vapor and leave the tailings in the kettle.

I built a "toy" trial unit once that "cooked" and worked off in rubbermaid garbage cans. Once "cracked" corn ph was swung back to normal, and fermentation was completed (cracked corn with "sweet feed added") mix was pumped out into a "small" loop boiler then the mix divided to a cooling coil in a old fridge and a tail coil that returned the mix to the bottom of the plastic storage tank. I did try some of the product and enough "brown" steamy tailings was let through to make it quite tasty.

Using regulated vacuum instead of heat? (lower the boiling point) That'd work much better. Too bad old age stomach issues won't allow me to experiment further. (aww to be 20 and know what I know about Harleys, alcohol, and general things about life in general)..

aboard_epsilon
03-10-2011, 11:49 AM
The food never comes in contact with the pumps. If it did there would be bigger problems than worrying about the pump being food grade.

A shop vac or the like would never do it and would burn up very quickly.

Here is a page with stuff relating to vacuum and maple.

http://www.atkinsonmaplesyrup.com/catalogue/equipment/vacuum_pump_systems

Looks like they do use liquid ring pumps.

looks like system to hook up hundreds of trees ..

what he wants is one of these

http://www.etatron.com/id450.htm

low wattage ..can be left on for weeks

can be found in car boot sales ..i have a few of them including the double one above

all the best.markj

macona
03-10-2011, 12:08 PM
looks like system to hook up hundreds of trees ..

what he wants is one of these

http://www.etatron.com/id450.htm

low wattage ..can be left on for weeks

can be found in car boot sales ..i have a few of them including the double one above

all the best.markj

Not hundreds. Says in the text 50,000 trees. Thats a lot of hose!

madman
03-10-2011, 01:28 PM
Elevation wise there are trees that are from the tap point 10 feet below the level of the sugar shack. The vacuum pump is a rather common device used to gather sap from hundreds of trees. The new tap fittings ,, and hose are super nice, air tight ,,heat up end of hose slide on the tap fitting when hot instant airtight seal. Even one leak can piss you off. Im still trying to figure out if i can use My vacuum pump one horsepower three phase unit with a vfd to run it off a land line that has 15 amps? The land line can run a 2 horsepower 120 volt electric motor mines a one horsepower three phase motor? Hm ????

Dawai
03-10-2011, 04:35 PM
YES.

That's like using a rolls royce for a truck thou.

alsinaj
03-10-2011, 04:44 PM
Seems like a good application for a peristaltic pump. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peristaltic_pump

Luke55
03-10-2011, 08:35 PM
Here we use dairy vacuum pumps for small operations 1000 to 10,000 taps.
They are easy to find and repair. Lots of dealers around. Surge, Delaval, Universal, Boumatic. They are available from 3hp up to 15hp 220v 1phase.
Larger ones can be available on 3 phase. Lots of used pumps can be found .
These pumps are piston, paddle or lobe type. 3hp is good for around 1000 taps. On bigger farms they use multiple pumps on remote aera.
The sap don't go throw the pump. We use a dumper, it is a vacuum reservoir with a float dumping valve. Around here in Quebec there some sugarbush as big as 250,000 taps. Hope these informations will help a bit.

Alan in Vermont
03-12-2011, 08:25 PM
The vacuum pumps used in maple tapping operations don't need to be food grade. They are beyond the fluid carrying part of the lines and pull tree sap and air (there are bleed holes at the far end of the collection tubing) into a release mechanism that lets the sap collect in a vessel while the air gets pulled out by the vacuum pump. Once the collector vessel fills to a certain point a float mechanism shuts off the vacuum and allows air into the collector, releasing the vacuum and the collected fluid drains out of the collector, the float drops and the vacumm starts pulling sap again.

The pumps have to be able to handle a pretty good volume of incoming air at whatever watercolumn numbers they are using so small pumps that can make high Hg numbers without a lot of volume just don't cut it in the woods. This is because air is bled into the lines at the far ends. If you pulled a hard vacuum on a maple system the lines might fill with sap but it wouldn't be very efficient at getting the fluid out the working end. Introducing small amounts of air allows the vacuum to generate a current in the lines. By leaving the lines under vacuum for a while after the sap stops flowing at the end of the day pulls the lines dry so they don't freeze up overnight. It really sucks to have temps come up fast after a cold night only to find you have a bunch of spots in the shade of trees where the lines stay frozen and the sap can't get out of the woods to the sugarhouse.