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Alastair

Cost of sugar

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For those mixing sugar cold I found an easy solution for this. I bought 4 of these

 

2016 Sale Electric Shower Mini Electric Water Heaters Multifunctional Instant Heat 1500w 220v Brand Warranty Safe For Home Use -in Electric Water Heaters from Home Improvement on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

 

My current syrup tank is 450 liters, I put 160 litres cold water in then dangle 3 of those heaters in. Just a few hours and the water near boiling, then turn on the pump and tip in 12 bags sugar (300 kg's), making just over 450 kgs of 2.1 syrup.

 

Can't say it only takes 10 minutes but certainly well under an hour.

 

Thing with using hot water and making a thicker mix, quite a few advantages. The thicker mix is not putting a whole lot of unnessecary water into the hive that the bees have to get rid of, the thick mix lasts much longer before it goes off, and you not hauling a lot of un needed water weight around behind the truck.

 

The price of sugar has certainly gone up. 25 kg bags I was buying a few months ago for around $22 are now around $30.

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"In my salad days, when I was young and green in judgement" and had 13 hives I mixed syrup in an old wringer washing machine. I needed hot water and even then the washing machine didn't last all that long !

Since then we have graduated to a 1000 lt stainless tank that was surplus to DB Breweries requirements. We mounted it sideways on skids, put a lid in the top and attached a vane pump powered by a 9hp Briggs and Stratton motor. The pump sucks sugar and water through a 50mm pipe on the bottom and blasts it back in halfway up.

The price of sugar is a bit like fuel .... you need it. So we mix half a tonne of sugar to make 1000 litres in the early spring. As the season progresses we put in another 4 bags. I figure for the price of a tonne of sugar we get 2000 lts. Cheaper than a maxi, and not much effort to mix. Bit of a warm up on a morning and it mixes going down the road.

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How do you warm it?

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I generally mix my sugar at 1.5:1 - 500kg sugar to 330L water. That way I don't have to heat it at all, just recirculate it with the pump for a while and it's all good. I add agrisea and a bit of cider vinegar for the acidity.

 

My wife is laughing because I didn't mention bleach - I also add about 1-1.5ml/L of chlorine bleach to stop the sugar fermenting.

I may get grief from some people but it makes a big difference to how long the syrup lasts at that consistency. Randy Oliver discusses it here Fat Bees—Part 4 Timing and tummy aches @ Scientific Beekeeping and notices no ill effects in his trials. I haven't seen any affect on the bees or on the attractiveness of the syrup to them.

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Purchase from natural sugars by the ton and mix our own, seems to work well and have found pretty economical

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Hey there alistair,

Been on the road the last week or so .... warming syrup//// we don't do that.... the warm up is the physical tai chi body warm up prior to lifting half a tonne and tipping it in the tank. Sugar mixes pretty good as long as you wang it round fast enough ! hence the grunt motor.

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I mix my sugar cold and we have being mixing up 1 ton of dry sugar to 540 litres of water and it only take about 2 hours with a 3 inch pump

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Yup .... thats about it .

PS Nice tool kit from the conference , not to mention the primo light !!

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Good comments. The last 2 maxis cost me just over a thousand bucks as spot price of sugar went up.

 

My rough calculations are that the maxi holds 1120 kg's of syrup and is 66% sugar, or that's my understanding at this stage.

 

If so, 1120 x's 66% ='s 739.2 kilos of sugar. Currently I can go to Gilmores down the road and get Chelsea white sugar for $23 for a 25 kilo bag. Which would cost out the quantity of sugar in a maxi at $680.00. But a maxi at $1050.00 is $370.00 more. If I bought bagged sugar I could probably mix that quantity in an hour using my tank and pump, and $370.00 for an hours work is a rate I would not complain about.

 

Of course I would have to drive down and get the sugar which might take another hour but I haven't costed that because I also have to hassle around taking delivery of the maxi which is roughly a similar amount of work.

 

Any thoughts?

Just Googled the mass of 1000L of 67Brix and got 1338kg which by my calculations requires 898kg of sugar and about 440L of water to make.

Seems to me that a recalculation is required.

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Just Googled the mass of 1000L of 67Brix and got 1338kg which by my calculations requires 898kg of sugar and about 440L of water to make.

Seems to me that a recalculation is required.

If I mix eg 300l water and 600kg sugar the level sits on about 650l. Because of its density it could weigh more than 650kg though.

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If I mix eg 300l water and 600kg sugar the level sits on about 650l. Because of its density it could weigh more than 650kg though.

300l of water weighs 300kg, Pretty sure 650kg of sugar weighs 650kg, so once mixed you will have 950kg of product:)

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Just Googled the mass of 1000L of 67Brix and got 1338kg which by my calculations requires 898kg of sugar and about 440L of water to make.

Seems to me that a recalculation is required.

I think those googled figures are right.

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1000L of sugar syrup we buy weighs 1400kg the tractor doesn't like it lol.

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