SUGAR MAKING IN LOUISIANA.
The New Orleans Times contains, in a late number, an account of the manufacture of sugar as conducted on the Poychas estate, from which we extract portions containing the essential particulars of cane sugar making as conducted in the southern portions of the United States.
"Reaching the Cane shed, the crop, dumped into piles, is received by a crowd of feeders, who place it (eight or ten stalks at a time) on the cane carrier. This is an elevator, on an endless band of wood and iron, which carries them to the second story, where the stalks drop between the rollers. An immense iron tank below, called a juice box, receives the liquid portion, and another elevator bears the bruised and broken fragments to the opposite side of the building, where they are dropped into the bagasse burner.
"This invention, at its introduction, caused more scientific inquiry and dispute, probably, than any other of the age, and settled beyond question the possibility of combustion, without the use of atmospheric air. The process consists in dropping the wet, spongy mass into a fire of wood or coal, and closing the furnace doors. The steam arising from the drying matter passes to a chamber in the rear, where, by the intense heat, it is decomposed. Oxygen and hydrogen (both strong combustibles) unite with the carbon, reaching there in the form of smoke, and a white heat is the result.
"Cane juice, as it escapes from the mill, could scarcely be considered inviting to either palate or vision. The sweet, slimy mass of fluid, covered with foam, and filled with sticks, has more the appearance of the water in a brewer's vat than anything which now suggests itself. A small furnace, containing a quantity of burning sulphur, sends through a tube a volume of its stifling fumes, and these, caught by jets of steam, thoroughly impregnate the contents of the juice box. Having received its first lesson in cleanliness, the liquid now rises through a tube to the series of clarifiers on the second floor. They are heated by a chain of steam pipes running along the bottom, and being filled, the juice slowly simmers Much of the foreign substance rises in a scum to the surface and is skimmed off by the sugar maker. It is further purified by the addition of Thomaston or what is called sugar lime. At one half a peck is considered sufficient for seven hundred and fifty gallons of juice, but much depends upon the quantity of saccharine matter it contains. Another set of pipes now permit the liquor to run into the evaporators, in the boiling room below. These are also heated by circles of steam pipes, and the liquid is first gently simmered, to enable any additional foreign substance to rise to the surface and be skimmed off.
"After that the steam is turned on fully, and the juice boils until it reaches the solidity of twenty-five degrees, as measured by the saccharometer. This point attained, more pipes conduct it to a series of square iron tanks called filterers. Each is provided with a false bottom, covered with thick woolen blankets, and through these the juice slowly drips into an immense iron vessel called a sirup tank....