The use of air injection technology in the maple industry can be defined as: the forced introduction of air through a series of perforated pipes submerged in the boiling sap in the front and /or back pan of a maple syrup evaporator. Several studies conducted in recent years have investigated aspects of the use of air injection technology in the process of maple syrup production.
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In recent years, some maple equipment manufacturers have sold air injection (AI) technology equipment for the production of maple syrup. For purposes of the recent industry review conducted by the International Maple Syrup Institute, air injection technology is defined as the forced introduction of air through a series of perforated pipes submerged in boiling sap in the front and/or back pan of a maple syrup evaporator.
The cost of fuel in a typical oil-fired, Open Pan Evaporator (O.P.E.) for a 4000 tap operation can represent 20% of the total syrup production costs. Vapor Compression Evaporation (V.C.E.) offers a method of capturing lost energy and improving the fuel consumption of an O.P.E. Most of the energy goes up in steam and this unit will recapture lost energy to reuse.
Knowing the temperature in the evaporator is an essential part to making quality pure maple syrup. This article will discuss observations of temperature in each partition and how the front and back pans temperatures are influenced by the draw off events.
A new research facility designed and dedicated to the study of the effects of sap processing equipment and techniques on the chemistry and quality of maple syrup is being constructed at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center. This facility will allow researchers to evaluate the differences in maple syrup due to changes in sap processing equipment, including reverse osmosis, evaporators, and other evaporation equipment (steam-away, air injection units, etc.).
A must have for any serious producer. One of the best books out there that cover all aspects of maple. This book has chapters on History of Maple Syrup and Sugar Production, Maple Resource, Planning an Operation, Managing Maple Trees, Sap Production, Syrup Production, Syrup Filtration, Marketing and many more. With over 300 pages this book is full of wisdom.
North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual (pdf) The maple manual is out of print. It is available instead as a for-sale PDF from Ohio State University Extension. Note that a more recent edition is available on this site here.
I have two forced air, wood fired evaporators and both have usually failed to boil in the front pan or within four inches of either side. I solved that spending under $50. Now the front pans boil and boiling occurs all the way to the sides, even above the side rail. What I did was relatively simple and nearly anyone should be able to accomplish it.
Maple producers contemplating the use of high pressure steam should carefully plant their steam system with the assistance of qualified persons. Proper boiler selection to meet the system requirements is an important step in the success of any steam system.