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Thread: RO bucket container set up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    20

    Default RO bucket container set up

    Hi recently purchased the RO Bucket's RB10 kit. I did 18 taps last year, have a few more I'm adding on this year, and may have a neighbor join with me. I'm still on a 5 pan cinder block arch, and went with RO as my first upgrade, partially because I like batch boiling and the darker syrup.

    Does anyone have suggestions or pictures as to your setup with this one or a similar small RO setup?

    1) I'm wondering about your RO process: do you try to get it going an hour or so before boiling and have it run throughout your boil? Do you get some large barrels/containers to run it throughout the night (or day if I go to work)?
    2) I know there's an expected amount of GPH it can process, but it has ranges. Will you run it overnight, but only if you have greater than X gallons? Says 10-12 gallons an hour, so make sure I've got at least 80 or plan on double processing? I don't have the automatic shutoff if there's no sap left.
    3) What do you do to to get your sap the right temp? If it's mostly frozen, I might bring them into my basement to hopefully thaw overnight and then just start boiling with what I can or just ice if I have to. Obviously that won't work with RO.

    I think I've answered some questions myself but I'm trying to get a feel for the process before getting started. TIA!
    2017 - 5 gravity taps, 2 pan block arch, 1gallon syrup
    2019 - 18 gravity taps, 5 pan block arch, 4gallons
    2020 - 25 gravity taps, 5 pan block arch, RO Bucket's RB10 kit

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    413

    Default

    0. The RO bucket comes with schematics for how to set it up.
    1. Some people process all of their sap first and then boil, others process simultaneously to boiling. It depends on whether you can be there to supervise it and how much storage for concentrate you have. You can also buy a low pressure shutoff switch so that it will operate safely in your absence. You should also consider the fact that concentrate spoils very quickly because you are concentrating sugars AND bacteria.
    2. The shutoff is the way to go. It isn’t expensive.
    3. Thawing in the basement sounds like the best plan in your situation.

    Have fun!
    60ish taps on buckets
    D&G Sportsman 18x63
    Turbo RB15 RO Bucket
    Stihl 044 and 026

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fayston, Vt
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Also get his pre filter. Mine clogged with ice crystals one morning.
    2020 same
    2019 RB10 26 taps
    2018 RO Bucket RB5 taps 20, leg tank in shed w/2 5/16
    2017 18 taps
    2016 20 taps
    2015 21 taps
    2014 30 2 gravity line, 2 hotel pan concrete arch 35 g leg tank
    2013 LP hook up in shack buckets 12 taps
    2 burner cook top 2012 finisher on a bbq tanks
    2011 rookie 2+ gal
    8 taps w/ milk jugs
    turkey cooker
    50-60 up back maybe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pandora, Ohio
    Posts
    332

    Default

    I just start boiling with the sweet I have from the last boil. While that is getting going I start the RO and as I get concentrate, I begin putting it in the preheater so I can begin to replace what has steamed off. I am only boiling 6 gal/hr at best so by the time I am up to a good boil my RO has made enough concentrate that my preheater is able to keep up maintaining pan level. I wouldn't concentrate too much ahead if you're not going to be able to get it boiled quickly. With your number of taps I would just run it while you are boiling.
    RC Maple

    14X14 sugarhouse - new for 2012
    RO Bucket - RB10 - New for 2019
    2x3 barrel evaporator with continuous flow pan
    55 taps - all on buckets
    This is next year!

    http://s1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb329/RCMaple/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thanks. I do have the prefilter. I guess I'll give thawing in the basement a go and start it running while I get a fire and boil going. I may then not need to get some barrels for gathering all the sap together, but it might be useful just for some consolidation on days it runs well.

    I've got the schematic, no questions on putting it together. Just looking for how people typically use it and what their process is. Maybe rather than processing it overnight, I'll try to run during the evening the night before if it's going to get cold enough, and throw it outside. My "storage" is typically a snowbank.
    2017 - 5 gravity taps, 2 pan block arch, 1gallon syrup
    2019 - 18 gravity taps, 5 pan block arch, 4gallons
    2020 - 25 gravity taps, 5 pan block arch, RO Bucket's RB10 kit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    OH
    Posts
    166

    Default

    I'm in a similar boat. Like others have said, you can start the RO an hour or 2 prior to boiling. Sometimes I just start boiling raw sap, then start the RO, then add concentrated sap to my pans as it comes out of the RO. This year I plugged the RO pump into an Amazon Alexa plug, which allows me to turn it on/off remotely.
    My storage setup is a 33 gallon trash can in a cellar that stays around 40*. Then I have two 20 gallon trash cans for the concentrate and permeate. The only thing you have to watch for when running the RO remotely is that your needle valve is already dialed in so you get the correct 50/50 ratio. This changes with temperature, so having a fairly consistent input sap temperature is crucial.
    2021: 28 taps. 18"x36" flat pan and dual natural gas burners.
    2020: 31 taps. 3 full size steam table pans on a custom 6x water heater natural gas burner setup.
    2019: 31 taps on silvers. Back porch gas cook top with 2 full size steam table pans. An amazing 14.9 gallons in my backyard!
    2018: 22 taps on 9 silvers. Propane turkey fryer and full size steam table pan on electric stove. I made 4.25 gallons in my backyard!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Wanted to follow up. The RO 10 unit worked great today on about 40 to 50 gallons. I had bought some food grade barrels but I couldn't get them clean in time so I ended up working just from buckets. Which caused some problems as I was constantly running back and forth to make sure that they weren't empty or overflowing, both of which happened. I started in the morning while I was working from home and managed to get through all my sap once and started around a second time on some of it.

    I also wanted to say that I had some great customer service with them. I had stripped one of the npt fittings on the top of one of the membranes and they fixed it for me and got it back to me within a week.
    2017 - 5 gravity taps, 2 pan block arch, 1gallon syrup
    2019 - 18 gravity taps, 5 pan block arch, 4gallons
    2020 - 25 gravity taps, 5 pan block arch, RO Bucket's RB10 kit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Pepperell, MA
    Posts
    79

    Default

    I used the RO 10 for the first time today. Had a little trouble with a suction leak that I finally sorted out. I was very pleased with the performance although it was dicey getting the flows to match. I think part of it was the cold morning and I did have a lot of ice crystals in there so I bet that had something to do with it (I tried to order the pre-filter but they're out of stock). For the first 10 minutes or so I had to adjust the needle valve 3 or 4 times but then it settled down. Overall I'm pleased with the setup. I run everything out of buckets so there's some sorting out to do but I work far away and my time to boil is limited. This may solve a lot of that problem for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Middleburgh NY
    Posts
    100

    Default

    I used the RB5 for the first time this weekend and it works great. I recirculate concentrate back to my head tank. I'm looking to upgrade already. RO Bucket customer service is great! I'll post some photos once my upgrade is complete.
    2014 6 Taps Block Arch and momas canning pot, 3 gallons YIKES

    2019 100 taps and a new adventure with a home built arch.

    2020 90 taps, my wife and I and a Bucket RO...

    2021 112 taps and a modified Bucket RO.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    401

    Default

    I went with the RO 15 which processed about 18 galloons an hour for me into 9 GPH concentrate. The problem is that my evaporator does 12-15 GPH I start the boil with raw sap as when I tried to run RO at 24 degrees ice crystals began to form in lines and get slushy. I now warm up the sugar house by boiling raw sap and then convert over to concentrate when it warms up enough. A couple times a day I have to add raw sap to keep the evaporator furnished with 2" in the pan. In the future when it gets warmer outside I will start to RO ahead 40-50 gallons to the head tank. See white head tank with RO bucket mounted directly on a shelf below it. Blue barrel is raw sap and the permeate is tubed to go outside.IMG_1467.jpgIMG_1560.jpg
    1960 - 1970s 70 taps on galvanized buckets with Dad and Grandpa.
    1970s - 1985 Acted crazy!
    1986 - 2005 20-30 buckets.
    2006- 2017 70 buckets and bags
    2017-2019 100 bags and buckets
    2020 Finally retired!!! 75 buckets, 50-75 on tubing. RO Bucket, New 12 X 16 Shack and a 36X42 flat pan.
    2021-Adding another 125 taps along with a second RO bucket.
    Lots of Family and Friends and a dog named Skyy!

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