With the help of Gravity
February 9, 2012, 10:47 am
Filed under: February 2012
Pump system that puts sap into the head tank

February 9, 2012

     Often times gravity is a cruel force of nature. I can see where it made my chest fall into my drawers 😮  In the case of the sugarhouse, however, it is a good thing.
     I was able to complete the plumbing project for the sap tanks. It took me several trips to Lowe’s, Western Reserve, A.Louis Supply and a surplus outlet called Hemly Tool, but I finally procured all the pieces and parts necessary to finish the job.
     The sap will flow from the gathering tank into the bottom tank inside the sugarhouse by gravity. It will get filtered twice by then. The sap is next pumped up to the top tank, where once again, gravity will take over. The sap will flow into the sap pan from the top tank, where the cooking process begins.
     The middle tank on the shelves behind the maple syrup arch is an extra and will be used when needed. It gets filled with the pump by just swinging a couple of valves. When the sap is needed, I just open a valve on the bottom of the tank and the sap drains into the bottom tank once again…with gravity’s help.
     As the sap cooks down, the water evaporates, the sap gets sweeter and heavier. This causes it to flow, by gravity, to the syrup or front pan on the arch. The front pan is divided into five segments. The heavy syrupy sweet sap continues to flow by gravity to the last chamber, where it will finally be hot enough and heavy enough to be maple syrup.
     The process is perplexing to me, just a little. The sap and syrup pans must be absolutely level. The heavy sweet liquid is what moves. Just the weight propels it slowly around the pans on its journey to become maple syrup… I think it was the slow decent that my chest made into my drawers, that helps me sort of understand this process.
     The way that sap comes out of the tree is also interesting. It flows in the tree, just like mercury in a thermometer. The cold makes it go down into the roots and the warm makes it rise towards the branches and buds. I get the benefit from the little drips that fall into our bags or buckets.
     I guess we are ready. Next week we will start our 2012 maple syrup season. I am counting on a little luck and a little help from gravity…along with a bunch of family and friends 😮

2 Comments so far
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Don’t forget the milk.

Comment by Aunt June

We have moved a little past good old fresh cow’s milk. I now use an organic defoamer.. But I do wonder, What was more organic than that awesome Jersey cow’s milk?

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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