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Heated Air Speeds Maple Syrup Cooking
Roger Meihak, Forest Lake, Minn., was looking for ways to speed up cooking maple syrup. “Reverse Osmosis is too expensive as we only cook 6 to 8 gallons of syrup per year. This year I tried an idea I had been thinking about for a while,” says Meihak.
“It seems as though water evaporates faster if it’s aerated. But in my case, the water is at or near boiling and running air through the water would also cool it down. To heat the air I found a stainless steel beer-cooling coil on eBay,” says Meihak.
The outside diameter of the coil is 5 in., to fit in the 6-in. stove pipe. He installed it just below the damper. The coil is 50 ft. long to transfer heat. A small air compressor forces air through the coil. Meihak uses brake line up to and into the syrup pan. The brake line has a few holes near the end of the line, and is insulated from the chimney to the pan. “I was hoping for a temperature of at least 250 F. leaving the coil and at times it’s closer to 400 F., so I am able to aerate the sap without losing heat,” says Meihak.
“This method seems to speed up the cooking as the sap evaporates more being aerated, even if it’s not boiling. If someone was to build a better model, such as with a longer brake line, perhaps U-shaped, with many holes in the line but very small, maybe laser cut, it could work even better. I think it’s also important to use an oil-free compressor,” says Meihak.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Meihak, 10150 223rd Street N., Forest Lake, Minn. 55025 (ph 651 433-2600).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3