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Thread: Storage needs for 40 trees - buckets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    108

    Default Storage needs for 40 trees - buckets

    This is my fifth year tapping and we're going to go from 25 to 30 taps to 35 maybe 45. Thoughts or recommendations on storage capacity? I'm working in a suburban neighborhood using buckets and collect using the back of my minivan. I roll everything out of the garage 2x a week to cook down. We also bought a small RO machine to help manage cook times but this is my first year with it. Most of my trees are mature sugar maples.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Quaker Hill, CT
    Posts
    285

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    Your increase in sap collection should increase at the same rate as you add taps. What were you storing sap in previously?

    With RO most people collect the permeate water to use for cleaning because the ultra pure RO water is very good for cleaning, well that and not everyone has access to clean running water at their sugar shack. I would think a 55gallon drum would be plenty of storage of that for your operation.

    Same goes for the concentrate, unless you are putting the concentrate right into the evaporator pan you will need a place to hold it. Figure at least a 50% reduction in volume from the raw collected sap.
    2017 25 taps on buckets got me hooked 1 gallon of sweet
    2018 51 taps on 3/16 tubing/ DIY oil tank evaporator 8.5gallons finished
    2019 60 taps 7 gallons finished ended season short
    2020 New 2x4 divided pan ready to get away from the headache that is steam table pans

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    OH
    Posts
    165

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    I use rubbermaid trash cans with lids. They are food grade if they have a NSF (national food safety) stamp on the bottom.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Rubbermaid-...h-Lid/50437332
    Meets NSF 2, 21 approval and is USDA meat and poultry group listed, ensuring regulatory compliance for food storage and clean ability

    4 cans should be enough to store raw sap. though this year it isn't flowing as well and I could get by with 2. Then for post-RO, you'll need one for permeate and possibly one for concentrate. For concentrate I sometimes just put it straight into a 5 gallon bucket because I add it to my evaporator as soon as it is ready.
    2021: ?? 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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    747

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    You will have a certain number of gallons in the evaporator, A certain amount in your transfer container(s), and up to three or four gallons per tree hanging in the buckets. It rarely happens, but every now and then you'll get three or four back-to-back runs and will fill every container you own. You can hardly plan for every possibility, but it's a short drive to pick up another tank or can.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    108

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    Last year we worked out of 2.5 gallon plastic buckets with lids for storage and that was enough to keep up with the flow if we cooked down 2x a week. The question is really about the next investment... if we aren't going to fit in to those smaller bucket anymore and we're bringing an RO machine to the table (with a dozen more trees), it sounds like a pair of 55 gallon drums (or the large bins listed in the thread) might be the next purchase - one for holding concentrate and the other for permeate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Fayston, Vt
    Posts
    121

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    You need a bigger ro or another membrane and larger pump. I started with 2 1/2 gallon buckets and several 5gal.
    3 larger for sap, concentrate, and permeate. Every time you grow everything also. You can always find used after season as others grow or retire.
    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

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