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Thread: Deja vu

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Crawford County Indiana
    Posts
    82

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    Most of my barrels were overflowing, I probably could have had a lot more if I had more catch capacity. Of course, my poor runs have 15-18” vacuum, while my good ones are in the high 20 in’s of vacuum. I learned my lesson last year to recheck lines as soon as they start running. I also rechecked last weekend and found a few new problems (mold broke loose and was clogging one run). It’s a lot easier to know at a glance if you have a problem with a vacuum gauge. I did a better job getting vacuum gauges up this year, about 50%, but plan on 100% for next year. The 1/4” npt gauge ports also make great cleanout ports to pump into. My RO is also homemade, 2 4” x 40” membranes, 600 gph. Overkill, but my goal is speed so I’m willing to sacrifice some losses for speed. You’re welcome to stop by and check it out.
    2014 - 30 taps
    2015 - 50 taps
    2016 - 140 taps
    2017 - 115 taps - 85 taps on 3/16, 30 buckets
    2018 - 143 taps so far, all 3/16

    Smokey Lake 2x3
    Homemade 2x XLE-4040 RO Unit - Fairly new, need to get familiar with
    Kubota L3940 - big sap hauler
    Polaris Sportsman 570 SP - little sap hauler
    I'm 1:20 remote from sugarbush, so I let run awhile between boils, and time is at a premium, so I try to oversize things

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    North Shore Lake Lemon, Monroe County
    Posts
    97

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    That's awesome! Vacuum is my goal for next year. My hill is so steep I haven't walked it enough and critters have cut my volume...not next year. I processed another 60 gallons tonight that I ran down and grabbed this afternoon - like yours a bit cloudy. Can't make it tomorrow, and it will be so warm it will spoil so I pulled my lines and rinsed out my tanks but left taps in. Killed me to pull them when running so hard, but I'm guessing that will change quickly with temps hitting 70. Still hoping for one more run, but not holding my breath.

    Thanks for the offer...I may take you up on that. Getting to 13% vs 7 would be nice. I have 4 150 gph standard size membranes and an aquatic pump and a feeder pump..I run it at 130 psi and get out about 10 gallons of water per hour and around 3 gallons of concentrate. I have extra membranes, so may look into adding them into the mix but I don't know if my pump will keep up the pressure to give me any gain. Do you use a protec pump?
    2013 - one tap to appease my 5th grade daughter who learned about it in school...covered her pancakes for one meal.
    2014 - 8 taps, turkey fryer, 130 gallons sap, just under 2.5 gallons syrup.
    2015 - 50 taps and counting, no help from either of the kids, I'm over my head.
    2016 - 60 taps on 3/16 and a Bill Mason evaporator on order - 30 ready to put in if I can get it bricked and set up in time.
    2017 - 115 taps on 3/16, can't wait to try my home built r/o - I may sleep some on weekends!

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Crawford County Indiana
    Posts
    82

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    Andrew, I'm using a 3/4 hp multi-stage booster pump to push it through my prefilter, then it's going into either a 1 1/2 or 2 hp multistage high pressure pump. I think the booster puts out about 60-70 psi, while the pressure pump adds another 250 psi or so; but my housing are limited to 300 psi so I normally run it 250-275 psi. I got the high pressure pump (it's a Meyer) from an online surplus shop, so it was relatively cheap (since sold out). Normally those are expensive pumps; but you can get deals on E-bay or searching the web if you're not in a hurry. Also, to clarify, I'm not using vacuum pumps, I just have great slopes to generate those vacuum numbers (although it sometimes makes collecting a chore).
    2014 - 30 taps
    2015 - 50 taps
    2016 - 140 taps
    2017 - 115 taps - 85 taps on 3/16, 30 buckets
    2018 - 143 taps so far, all 3/16

    Smokey Lake 2x3
    Homemade 2x XLE-4040 RO Unit - Fairly new, need to get familiar with
    Kubota L3940 - big sap hauler
    Polaris Sportsman 570 SP - little sap hauler
    I'm 1:20 remote from sugarbush, so I let run awhile between boils, and time is at a premium, so I try to oversize things

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    North Shore Lake Lemon, Monroe County
    Posts
    97

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    I'll definitely need a higher capacity pump than my little aquatic...it maxes out at 140 psi. I'm the same way...nice steep hill, no vacuum pumps. But with my lack of checking I have a lot of air in the lines and if I eliminate that I think i can really step up yields. Finished and bottled just under 2.75 gallons tonight and have the same amount to do tomorrow. I pour it through some prefilter papers and a basket filter into an insulated 6 gallon container with a spigot, then quit when the temp going into the bottles drops below 180 or the filter clogs. The filter clogged on me first tonight...not surprising given the temps - it was rather cloudy sap. Took forever to rinse the filter out. So next year..getting good vacuum in my 3/16 lines and upgrading my filtering process!
    2013 - one tap to appease my 5th grade daughter who learned about it in school...covered her pancakes for one meal.
    2014 - 8 taps, turkey fryer, 130 gallons sap, just under 2.5 gallons syrup.
    2015 - 50 taps and counting, no help from either of the kids, I'm over my head.
    2016 - 60 taps on 3/16 and a Bill Mason evaporator on order - 30 ready to put in if I can get it bricked and set up in time.
    2017 - 115 taps on 3/16, can't wait to try my home built r/o - I may sleep some on weekends!

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Freedom, IN.
    Posts
    117

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    Pulled all our taps today, and finished off the sweet from last weekend. Still have buckets to wash, and a couple tanks to clean, but that's basically it for this season. Ended up with 795 gallons boiled, and just over 16 gallons of syrup made. Our biggest season to date, and a lot of work for batch boiling on a 2 x 3 flat pan. We had 55 trees on buckets, and another 30 on 3/16 gravity tubing. Plans for next year call for partitioning off the sugar house for a couple rooms, one for the RO we hope to add, and a dedicated finishing room. Also hope to add more trees on tubing and do away with buckets.

    I'm convinced tapping in early greatly helped us this year. Seemed crazy at the time, but it worked.

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mount Vernon, IN
    Posts
    13

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    Agree with you Tony, tapped earlier than usual and it made a big difference. Pulled all taps except for one line, 16 taps, which is still running clear. Now for the clean up, put away and planning for what to do better next year.

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Mitchell, Indiana
    Posts
    24

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    I also pulled the taps a few days ago. 42 taps on 3/16 with a diaphragm pump. Batch boiled 876 gal sap made 13 gal syrup. What a great year. Some changes this year, purchased a 110v shurflo pump and 100 feet of clear tube to make a hose to transfer sap from ravine up to the house. Saved me carrying 5 gal jugs up the hill. Also my quest for a harder boil rate resulted in my second batch a little dark from scorched sap where the foam rolled to the back of the pan that sits close to the stack. A piece of arch blanket between the pan and stack took care of it. Hope the guys up north have as good a year.
    2014 - 14 taps - cinder block arch - 18x24 flat pan
    2015 - 45 taps on buckets - homemade arch from 250gal oil tank - 28x49 flat pan by Smokey Lake
    2016 - 50 taps - 26 taps on 3/16" tube with a diaphragm pump - 24 taps on buckets

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