Well we are in the depths of winter right now and though it seems as if spring is a lifetime away we are still working feverishly to be ready. We have taken a large on a large amount of work with the new evaporator this year but Mike and I are confident that we are going to have everything ready to go.
Our main concerns at this point are making it easy to clean everything. Having Chuck the evaporator was pretty easy to deal with, one person could lift the whole pan and put it on the quad to clean it. Our new pan however is a different beast. We need a trailer to get it from point A to point B so I don’t foresee us moving it around during the season. The hood alone takes 4 people to take it off and it is heavier than you would think. So Mike and I have put some rigging up to make the job a bit easier.
We also dropped the height of our extractor and are building a better surface to keep it on.
We were also able to salvage some amazing speakers from the garbage pile which work great in the sugar shack. Last year we must have blown about 6 speakers as the stereo setup is not really thought out we simply found old broken speakers from one placer or another, plugged them in and turned the volume up as loud as we wanted. If they blew up we replaced them. The new speakers we found have not blown when we turned the amp up full blast so I think we found a winner.
It is also going to be nice there is not going to be as much moisture in the sugar shack because all of the steam is going to be piped right out the steam stacks and out of the building. Should make for a pretty amazing show, I can’t wait to get the boiling happening!
More fun to come!
It has been a very productive weekend in the bush. We started a very detailed log book to record all the events both good and bad. It is going to take a while to get use to how what to record but It will help us with a lot of our planning and also writing these posts.
We started up the evaporator on Friday night. The pan that we are using is a deep flat pan, not a flue pan. Because I had the most experience with the evaporating I was the first to fire it up. I decided to run the pan with a 1/4” of liquid in it to start, needless to say I burnt the pan pretty bad and pretty quick.
That was not the only problem we had with the evaporator. We also are trying to fuel it with Bass wood. It was pretty damp and really did not burn all that well, because of this we have renamed it Ass wood.
Steam is also one of the big problems that we had to overcome. Our custom hood worked pretty good at channeling the steam but the real problem came from not having it at the right angle. It was blowing steam right into the faces of the operator rather than to the back of the pan an out of the shack. The hood also did not really come down far enough so we draped towels over it to keep the stream contained. We have it dialed in pretty good now.
More to come on how the bush is running and what happened over the weekend.
Today started out great. We began the day by fixing up the sugar shack. We installed a rudimentary sink drain for the sink . Mike put in some more rafter braces and cut out a few more logs. The Sugar shack looks amazing, much more wide open.
We did not spend much time out in the bush today as the weather was not helping what so ever. We are going to be able to get a few small things done tomorrow before I have to head back down south to Toronto. I really wish I could stay up here from longer but I have to keep working away at my web development stuff.
We took some time to visit with Keith Brown and pay off some bills, we picked up a gripple tool and some mainline ties. We should be all set for tying on the lines early tomorrow morning.
After we came back we leveled out the main evaporator and put in a sink and counter. We also put some insulation between the roof and walls to hold in a bit more heat. It gets nice and toasty in there now.
I will be able to post some videos and pictures when I get back to Toronto.
Thats all for now.
Hey here are a few pics of the Sugar shack upgrades.