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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Spin Float consideration

    I am thinking about buying a spin float for next extracting season. I see first hand the pros of using one within an operation. How hard is it to integrate within an operation and how much maintenance do they require? I have been looking at the Cook and Beals for no other reason than they were the first to develop it. Besides the cost of such a piece of gear is there any other disadvantages to buying one?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,250

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    This was my first year operating one. The labor savings for us were incredible, it ran virtually flawlessly for us. I wasn't thrilled with the amount of water that the mister put in the cappings though. We pulled it apart early on and rechecked and resealed the pipe fittings also kept adjusting and lowering the pressure input but nothing seemed to change much. Perhaps the nozzle calibration was off, perhaps what we experienced was normal, I don't know.
    I was apprehensive about honey quality and the possibility of incorporating air into the honey coming out but I was really pleased with how the honey came out. Ran it for 3 months and only skimmed the bulk tank once at the end of the season.
    Don't forget to factor in the costs of the pump, heat exchanger and any wiring upgrades you may need. We also chose to go with SS piping and that stuff is scary expensive. All in all the upgrade from our Cowen spinner was a good one for our operation. We are considering the C&B melter to add to it next year, I have heard some good reports on it, as much as I despise melting wax while extracting the efficiency of doing so is undeniable.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    5,790

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    I have one on order for next spring. I see guys operate here with these machines and it's amazing how it increases efficiency, with man power and increased honey yields.

    I think one great aspect of this machine is it allows everything to stay above the floor level. No more sump pit. With all the health and safety standards rolling through sump pits create a tremendous amount of work to keep it up to standards.

    These machines also keeps the production area looking professional, which helps convince customers that your product is being produced under high standards.

    I hate skimming wax!!!!

    The cost is very prohibitive , these are just a few of the main reasons why I choose to buy this machine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,250

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    I highly recommend getting a pump with the variable speed electronic drive to feed it. It seemed to do a better job of seperating when you could adjust the volume to your rate of extracting. The 2" pump may be adequate for most operations I went with a 3" SS continental pump that C&B handles. It may have been overkill. We normally ran around 2,000 lbs. per hour. The spinner is rated for 3,000 lbs and the pump could easily handle it I have no doubt. If you are running a high volume of low moisture honey, though, I think you may be disappointed at the residual honey in the cappings. At 17.5% the spinner did an excellant job, much lower than that and seperating seemed to suffer.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    5,790

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    That's good to hear, I bought a used 3 inch continental pump.
    I hear the same about the separation of dry honey. That's a rule for the actual extraction out if the comb also.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
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    231

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    They only drawback we have is the air bubbles in the honey, but my spin float separator is probably over 40 years old, we bought it used 30 years ago. So it's probably time for a new one. The amount of honey left in the cappings is exceptionally low compared to manually skimming tanks. and the knives chip it out in a very fine consistency which makes for easy transfer into out Cook and Beal cappings melter, which is another great product.


    Aaron

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,630

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Does the C&B melter fit under the spin float to automatically capture the wax coming off the spinner?

    I heard it doesnt work well with partially crystalized honey either. The one guy I talked to hear about it said he only turns on the misting portion just before the end of the day and then sets the knife in to cut off remainder before shutting it down the the day.

    Is the progressive pumps really needed as part of the setup or could I use an auger style pump?

    Aaron why would you need a new one? besides an electric motor and a couple of bearings what else can get worn out on the spin floats?

    The floor plan I see for the spin float being used is where all extracting is done upstairs. The honey flows into single sump in basement and then using a 2" pump its sent to the heat exhanger and then to the spin float. Is that the ideal setup or will it work well for single level setup?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Aaron why would you need a new one? besides an electric motor and a couple of bearings what else can get worn out on the spin floats?
    I've developed more air bubbles in the honey than I have in the past, pretty sure it's coming from the spinner. I may be wrong, not sure. But the life expectancy of the machine has to be nearing its end, Im not sure how long they were designed to work, but I am highly satisfied with them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,630

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Do you leave your spinner running continuously thru the entire extracting season or shut it off nightly?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,250

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    We run it continuously from about 6 to 6 each day. Centrifugal force is all that holds the honey in the machine while it is operating so a power outage will lead to a pretty big mess on the floor. You "dump" the honey out and let it run a bit before shutdown at the end of the day. We rarely had problems, cleaned up only a couple messes the entire season. Both because of operator error. Pulled the drum just once early in the season to clean and check it out and then again at the end of the season for cleanup.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    souris, manitoba, canada
    Posts
    749

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    " I wasn't thrilled with the amount of water that the mister put in the cappings though. We pulled it apart early on and rechecked and resealed the pipe fittings also kept adjusting and lowering the pressure input but nothing seemed to change much. Perhaps the nozzle calibration was off, perhaps what we experienced was normal, I don't know. "

    We Stopped using the mister, puts way to much water into the wax, and spoils any honey there is there by fermenting it, didn't miss it

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    At 17.5% the spinner did an excellant job, much lower than that and seperating seemed to suffer.
    Jim did you try backing the cutter back. With dry honey the honey layer on the drum is deeper. Might need the cutter set at an inch or more if honey is really dry or cool.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    bmac - the C&B spin float works well on one level. The Cowen wax collection system does a decent job collecting the honey from the extractor and wax from the uncapper if you don't want to use a sump. I wish it would do a little better job of mixing the wax and honey. You need a progressive pump to pump the wax and honey to the heat exchanger.

    We use corrugated suction hose with quick couplers for a lot of our piping. The transparent piping allows us to monitor honey flow more easily and the quick couplers help us drain the system in about 5 min (important with canola honey).

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,630

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Allen can you describe the Cowen wax collection system a bit? I looked on Cowens website and only see a pricing of 4800 bucks for the system. There is nothing on there that describes it or the way it works. They may build good equipment but their marketing is lacking a bit.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,250

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Martens View Post
    Jim did you try backing the cutter back. With dry honey the honey layer on the drum is deeper. Might need the cutter set at an inch or more if honey is really dry or cool.
    We experimented pretty extensively with it and talked with Pat and Shane as well about their recommendations. We would cut it back as far as possible before dumping at the end of the day. Then back it off considerably at morning start up. Once it started cutting wax we would gradually turn it back in using the fineness of the wax as our guide. As soon as it started getting more course we would increase the distance a bit. Seemed it ran best at just under 1". We would (as much as possible) keep the water supply turned off any time there wasn't honey being pumped into the spinner. Perhaps Irwin is right about not using the water. C&B refers to the water as a cooling jet, it is supposedly calibrated for somewhere under a gallon per hour, seemed like more than that to me. It also seemed, during the times it was left off, that the cappings were noticeably heavier with honey. Perhaps I am expecting too much and there is no perfect system, at least not one that runs at that volume. The gains in general honey house efficiency were incredible, I would never go back to a Cowen spinner which consumed so much of our time through the course of the day, but cappings quality and the inability to salvage any melter honey suffered as a result. Damned if you do and damned if you don't I guess.
    We run everything into a heated floor sump, it worked well, though we found it beneficial to occassionally agitate it with a hoe to keep the head from getting too dry. I am not sure what you gain with a dedicated wax collection system.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #16
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    Jun 2009
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Jim wouldnt the progressive pump rewet any the top of the wax as its all being pumped thru the system to a heat exchange?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    Jim wouldnt the progressive pump rewet any the top of the wax as its all being pumped thru the system to a heat exchange?
    While we are actively running there are never problems. What would happen, though, is that when the sump sits still and isn't being constantly replenished the wax and honey will seperate. When the pump kicks back on it, of course, first pulls the liquid off the bottom and if too much dryer wax remains then it dosent flow well and the suction pipe may find an air pocket. A quick stir solves the problem.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,790

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    "am not sure what you gain with a dedicated wax collection system"

    I just bought a used honey wax collection auger mostly to keep all my plumbing above floor level but they say it also helps keep the heat exchanger from plugging as it sends an evenly mixed honey capping mixture through the system

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    5,790

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    "They may build good equipment but their marketing is lacking a bit."

    Isn't that the truth! And that usually goes with anything sold to beekeepers!!
    But I'm sure most machinery is sold on a word of mouth basis as we all gaulk over each others honey house set ups

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,630

    Default Re: Spin Float consideration

    Very true Ian. I love going in and seeing what other beekeepers have for equipment and how their honeyhouse is setup.

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