Los Alamitos, California.
July 31, 1897. Editor Louisiana Planter: A recent visit to the factory disclosed the fact that the beets delivered from this neglected corner of the country are of exceptional sweetness, averaging 18% Per cent, sugar, the highest being 20.0 per cent. This has never been exceeded in any part of the country, and all the tables for computation heretofore used are entirely too low to be of use. Superintendent Dyer says that the sugar output is surprisingly large, and already shipments have been made of several car loads. One farmer. Mr. Carse, has fifty acres of new land, from which he is getting twenty-one tons per acre, at an average price of $4.50 per ton, or $94.50 per acre. While this is exceptional, it shows what can be done with thorough cultivation when all the conditions arc favorable; and on the whole, they are well satisfied with the returns, the average of a recent day’s delivery being 18}$ percent. The factory has already reached a maximum of 350 tons of beets per day, and is said to be the most complete of any in existence; and when it is remembered that the construction of a modern beet sugar house is such that one part is dependent upon all the others, and the whole stops when any part stops, it is surprising that a new factory can be started and inside of thirty-six hours be turning out a finished product by the ear load.
Through the courtesy of Superintendent Dyer your correspondent was given an opportunity of inspecting the works, and a brief description of the process of beet sugar making is as follows: The beets after being dug and topped are delivered to the factory in wagons, which, after passing from the scales, drive upon an elevated platform so adjusted as to dump the beets from the side of the wagons without unhitching the horses, almost automatically. From the bins into which the beets are dumped, they are carried to the factory by means of a Hume. The first process in arriving at the factory is a purely mechanical one. which is the washing. From the washer the beets are sliced into thin strips about two inches long called cossettes, and are then ready to have the sugar extracted, which is done in the diffusion battery, which consists of eleven cells, holding about two tons of cossettes each. When full, hot water is passed through the first cell and from that one to each of the others in succession until all the sweetness has been extracted; the refuse from this operation is called pulp and is usually stored in silos where it can be used later for feeding stock.
From this point the process has to do with the juices containing the sugar only, which is now heated to a temperature very nearly boiling iu an apparatus called a calorizator, after which it is treated with milk of lime; the lime forms precipitates and goes into combination with the sugar and non-sugar: then on (lie addition of carbon dioxide gas the lime in combination with the sugar is reprecipitated. These precipitates, which are now in the form of mechanical impurities, are removed from the juice by filter presses. The juice is then clarified and conducted to the evaporators, four in number, called the •’ quad effect,” and under a vacuum it is concentrated to about one-fourth of its former bulk, when it has the appearance of a clear amber liquid, after which it is conducted to the vacuum pan where it is boiled to a grain, after leaving which it has the appearance of grains of granulated sugar in molasses: the molasses is then separated in the centrifugals and the sugar is dried in what is called a grauulator. it now being pure white granulated sugar, and is conducted through a spout to the lower floor, put in one hundred pound bags, is weighed and conveyed to the warehouse ready to be shipped in car loads to take its place in the market side by side with 4he best sugar the world produces, second to none. Shepherd.