Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

it is stopped up, it should be reopened with the iron bit. This is often necessary.

To expedite the emptying of the pots in the molasses cistern, they are arranged in some place adjoining, and in each refinery is a sort of tunnel furnished with a long pipe which carries the molasses into the great cistern or reservoir. This is very convenient, and saves much hand-labour.

The process of claying sugars is not described here, but the author is of opinion that the brown beet-root sugаr may be clayed to advantage, and he has no doubt that in point of quality it may vie with fine Havannah sugar, so much esteemed by refiners.

CHAP. XIII.

Emptying the Moulds, and Collecting the Brown Sugar.

When the moulds are thoroughly purged, which is easily ascertained by their weight, and by the quantity of syrup which they have furnished, it is necessary, in order to obtain the brown sugar, to empty them (les locher).

This operation consists in placing the cones, or moulds on their bases, in which position they are left for an hour or two, then lifted up and down, striking them smartly against the floor. These shocks eventually separate the mass of sugar from the mould, and it comes out in the form of a loaf.

The loaf being thus detached from the mould, the latter is taken away,

and the loaf left uncovered. If it come out whole, it is of a conical form, of which the colour, more or less light, is always different from the base to the head. The finest and dryest sugar is at the base or widest part of the cone. The point is generally moist.

When the moulds are thus emptied (lochées) the syrupy heads are cut off, and put into one of the moulds, because if they are mixed with the loaves in general, they would alter their quality, and might impart to them a moisture which would be very hurtful.

It sometimes happens that the loaf instead of coming out of the mould whole, tumbles into pieces ; in which case, it must be knocked till no more sugar can be obtained ; but this is rarely the case if care be taken to cut round the edges of the loaf with a knife.

The syrupy heads, collected in the moulds, may be put to purify in the refinery No. 2., and after a long time they will yield an ordinary brown sugar. The author thinks that the best way is to return them to the syrup for clarification.

The loaves, and all the brown sugar taken from the moulds, are then put into the store or warehouse, from whence they are taken to market, or to the boiler, if refined on the premises.

If the brown sugar proceeds from juice defecated with lime alone, it will be good enough of itself, but the molasses will have a disagreeable flavour and smell, and cannot on that account be reboiled ;—but this is not the case where sulphuric acid has been employed.

In general, there is a difference between the beet-root sugar manufactured at the beginning, and that made at the end of a season. This, as has been stated, proceeds from the inevitable alteration which the root undergoes during its preservation. It is no uncommon thing to see the roots worked immediately after harvest, yielding a strong, clear, well crystalized sugar, whilst at the end of the year the same roots will yield only a brown, weak, and pasty sugar.

With all this gradation of quality, the beet-root sugar is always preferred for refining, to the brown sugar of the Antilles, and affords a greater profit to the refiner. It

appears that the refiners are beginning to find this out, for it is much in demand in the markets.

On the hypothesis of a daily manufacture of 2370 litres (610 gallons) of boiled syrup, from 24,000 litres (say 6000 gallons) of juice at 7°, which, collected at 70° R. (190 F.), represent the daily produce of 34,285 kilogrammes (33} tons) of roots, the sugar may be extracted at the rate of 31 or 4 per cent—if we say, 31 per cent, there will be made 1200 kilogrammes (2 tons) of brown sugar daily, without reckoning molasses : of these, more in the next chapter.

CHAP. XIV.

Re-boiling the Molasses.

In most manufactories the molasses are not boiled till the season for sugar-making is over, or nearly so ; therefore, very large cisterns are wanted in which to store them. They should be kept in vaults rather

than in the warehouse, at the temperature of 10° R. (55° F). These reservoirs should be of wood, lined with copper, or lead ; or they are sometimes of tarras, or Roman cement.

It appears from calculations not necessary here to particularize, that the daily quantity of 24,000 litres (5420 gallons) of juice produces in 120 days, 149,000 litres (33,663 gallons) of molasses, froni which data are ascertained the size of the reservoirs to be as follows :-If ten are employed, they will each require to contain 15 cube metres (525 cubic feet)—if only one, nearly 150 cube metres (5250 cubic feet).

As these reservoirs cost a good deal, it will be for the manufacturer to determine whether he will not work up the molasses as he proceeds with his sugar-making; which is now done in the best manufactories. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. In the first, large reservoirs must be erected, and the syrup, having to be kept for 3 or 4 months, is exposed to changes which may render the subsequent operations difficult, without clarification and filtration, especially in a bad season. In the second, an additional number of copper boilers, of cooling apparatus, of moulds, &c., are required; but the molasses being close worked up, is less liable to change, and works readily without clarification or filtration.

The author however gives the preference to the large reservoirs, and to wait till the rest of the work is done, before they are reboiled. It is on the whole the least expensive plan, and instead of requiring an additional number of hands as the other would do, requires only the same, to be kept on two or three months Jonger.

CHAP. XV

Is occupied by a description of Achard's method of crystallizing by steam, as successfully practised by M. Crespel, who in that year (1825) we learn, had worked up 5,000,000 livres (about 2450 tons); but as various improvements have been made on this plan since that period, it is perhaps unnecessary to detail the method here described. There can be no doubt, however, of the excellence of the principle, and we may say further, that the perfection which the manufactory of beet-root sugar has attained in France at this day, is mainly attributable to the application of steam, as an agent both of crystallization and evaporation.

CHAP. XVI.

Use of the Pulp for Feeding Cattle.

It has long been ascertained that the beet-root is an excellent article for fattening cattle, and consequently, there are few agricultural districts in which it is not cultivated more or less extensively, for this purpose.

The manufacture of beet-root sugar, besides its advantages in a commercial point of view, presents this important one to the agriculturist, that it takes from the beet-roots only a part of their nutritive matter, at the same time that it furnishes for three or four months of the dead season, a moist food capable both of fattening beasts, and of keeping cows in milk.

An ox consumes daily about 25 kilogrammes (55 lbs.) of pulp, and a sheep 5 k. (11 lbs.) It is advisable to add to this about 2 lbs. of linseed cake per day. A ton of pulp will thus last 40 days, during which time cwt. of linseed cake will be consumed. The beast both takes it better, and thrives faster for it.

An idea has been started that the pulp may be rendered more nutritive by boiling, which it is said can be readily accomplished by steam. The success of this plan must however depend greatly on the price of fuel ; though we are quite ready to admit that it is not so extensively practised by farmers as it might be : where, however, there is a steam apparatus for other purposes, on the premises, it can be managed with very little difficulty,a large tub, close covered, with a pipe leading from the steam boiler, being all that is necessary for common agricultural purposes.

In estimating the juice extracted from the beet-root at 70 per cent, 1000 kilogrammes (say 1 ton) of root will yield 30 per cent of pulp, or 300 kilogrammes (6 cwt). Thus a manufactory which works 34,000 kilogrammes (34 tons) daily will produce 10,200 kilogrammes (10 tons) of pulp.

Pigs are said to be very fond of the pulp of the beet-root. The time and season usually allotted to sugar-making, accord very well with the fattening of cattle ; for beasts bought in lean at the beginning of the season, (the end of autumn), may be returned by the month of February.

If the manufacturer does not wish to keep cattle, he can always dispose of the pulp to the neighbouring farmers.

M. Crespel is stated to have sold his at 15 francs (12s. 6d.) the 100 kilogrammes (2 cwt.), and says that what he used himself paid him 24 fr. (20s.) the 100 kilogrammes ; but taking it at 12s. 6d., a manufactory which works up 34 tons of root daily, will turn out pulp to the amount of 153 fr. (£6 7s. 6d.) in the same time.

The pulp will keep very well for two or three months, if deposited in holes, closely packed, in the same manner as brewers' grains are preserved in some places. They both acquire a

NEW SERIES, VOL. I, NO, I.

E

sourish taste, which does not seem at all unpleasant nor unwholesome to cattle.

CHAP. XVII.

Of the Requisite Buildings.

A building suitable for the manufacture of beet-root sugar should contain-horseworks, equal to four horses; a rasp house and press room; a pan and filter room ; a room for filling the moulds; a molasses store; two purgeries, No. 1 and No. 2; a brown sugar extracting room; a brown sugar store ; a molasses distillery ; a beet-root store ; a place for cleaning the roots ; a stable ; and sheds for the fatting of beasts.

The reservoir in the molasses store should be below the level of the ground, that a floor may be thrown over it, on which the syrup may be deposited in hogsheads ; so that in case of any leakage from then the syrup will naturally flow into the reservoir below, for which purpose the floor should have a slight inclination towards one of its corners.

Purgery No. 1 is intended to receive the moulds during the first fortnight of their purging, and should be large enough to hold 8 or 900 moulds. An air stove should be placed in the middle of this room to maintain a temperature of 66° to 77° Fahrenheit.

In purgery No. 2 the moulds, after remaining for 15 days in No. 1, finish purging themselves ; and here also they finally remain. This room should be large enough to contain 11 or 1200 moulds. A high temperature should be kept up here, say 40° to 45° Reaumur, (120 to 133 Fahrenheit), in order to separate the brown sugar from the molasses, which can only be done thoroughly by means of a strong heat ; for which purpose two stoves will be required.

After the moulds are purged of their molasses, they are taken to the sugar extracting room, emptied, and then disposed in piles.

CHAP. XVIII.

Question of Economy.

We have seen exhibited in the early part of this article, the average rate at which the beet-root is furnished to several large establishments. The price will appear high to the English farmer, but he will please to remember that one cause of such high price is the very light crops the French farmers are in the

« ForrigeFortsett »