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Thread: DIY RO - Need suggestions and direction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    27

    Default DIY RO - Need suggestions and direction

    Hey all,

    Iím interested in building up a small RO to handle my expanding set up.

    2020 should have 50-60 taps on vacuum and Iíll be using a mason 2x4.

    I would like to build a small RO to cut down on boiling time and free up some hours for other late winter/early spring projects.

    I like to build and have a decent understanding of RO.

    Can anyone suggest sizing and a build list for parts?

    All help is appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Bryan
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,869

    Default

    Before that, what might your expansion be 2-3 years out? Is the 50-60 taps your likely max?
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
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    Default

    I think the theoretical max is going to be about 75 taps... and that's assuming the neighbors let me tap their trees in exchange for some syrup.
    Even if I tapped everything in sight of my property I'll never get over 100 taps.
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Enfield NH
    Posts
    259

    Default

    More questions:
    1) Will the taps be on buckets, gravity tubing, or vacuum? (This has big effect on yield)
    2) How quickly do you want to process the sap? If you want to process 100 gallons of sap down to say 30 gallons of concentrate in an hour, you'll want 4"x40". If you can let it run for say 12-24 hours, building something more like the RO Bucket might work for you.
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    140 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade Releaser
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    27

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    Taps will be on a shureflow 4008.
    I'm not opposed to running RO overnite or the day prior to boiling but if I can build something to keep up with the evaporator that would be stellar.
    Id like to build something that can reliably concentrate me from 2% up to 6-7%ish.
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Murrysville, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    60

    Default

    https://youtu.be/s106bSrcfno

    Just add 2nd RO membrane to this and it will quadruple your sugar content in a single pass. Worked great with a single membrane for 38 taps.

    Parts list with links is provided in comments below the video.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Enfield NH
    Posts
    259

    Default

    Two 400-GPD membranes will make 4% concentrate at about 5 GPH. Your 2x4 mason will do maybe 10 GPH. You'll need to run the RO for an hour or two before boiling, but I think DRoseum's recommendation is a good one. If you plan to expand to 100-150 taps, I think a single-post 4x40 begins to make more sense, and I have used both types.
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    140 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade Releaser
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Whats the upside of 2 400GPD vs 4 200GPD membranes?
    I'm assuming the 4x200 would concentrate to a higher Brix, but at what flow?
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    27

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    I bit the bullet and purchased the bits to cobble together 4x150GPD system.
    Everything should be here by the weekend and I'll start building next week.
    I'm excited to see the fruits of my labor (and empty wallet).
    Thanks for the help.
    Bryan
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Murrysville, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    60

    Default

    No problem! The RO is the best thing I ever built. It really cuts boiling time and fuel usage. You should be very happy with the end result!

    To answer your other question, lower GDP membranes have lower flow rates, but adding multiple steps up the concentration. You might want to consider having the first 2 run in parallel and then having the 3rd and 4th in series.

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