+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: 3/16 sanitation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    North Abington, PA
    Posts
    19

    Default 3/16 sanitation

    I'm very happy with the 3/16 for gravity vacuum in general, but are having premature tap "drying" in the half of our tubing that is in its second year of use. I thought I'd see what kinds of solutions I could crowdsource on here.

    Last year, after the season, we washed the tubing with calcium bleach with a long contact time. Each line and all drops were filled completely and let to stand for several days. I thought this would leave the lines almost as good as new. Not so. After 4 weeks, the flow from that bush was noticeably under-performing. Upon inspection, taps were dry and yeast was present in the clear spouts and lines. The new lines are still running great and are clear after 6 weeks. I suspect substantial backflow issues due to ice blocking the mainline at times as well as the normal negative tree pressure induced backflow. We are probably looking at a yield of about 15 gpt on the second year tubing and about 25+ gpt on the new.

    Here are solutions that I've thought of and I'm curious what folks think about these solutions or have any of their own they'd like to suggest.

    1. Run bleach solution through lines for longer and under higher pressure before capping off to dislodge more yeast etc.

    2. Switch from 3/16 drops to 5/16 drops to make backflow less of a problem because the trees won't be able to slurp up as much sap at night.

    3. Use Check valve spouts.

    4. Add a vacuum pump of some kind to keep flow positive more often. (We have high gravity vacuum on most lines, but not all). I assume this would improve yields as well, but I don't know how well since we have many very long laterals and also maxed out mainlines that would be a pain to replace with larger ones.

    5. Some combination of the above.
    2400 taps all 3/16 gravity
    New CDL 600 GPH RO that is freaking awesome
    4x14 Leader/CDL rig with a steam-away
    Still havin' fun

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by springhillsmaple View Post
    1. Run bleach solution through lines for longer and under higher pressure before capping off to dislodge more yeast etc.
    Probably won't be any more effective than what you are doing. Question -- Did you use new spouts in addition to bleach cleaning? Two problems with sanitizing systems is cleaning spouts in addition to the tubing system. Best would be to replace spouts in addition to bleach cleaning (followed by rinsing to reduce squirrel problems). Secondly...the time you clean is important. Cleaning in the spring feels good, but microbes will regrow in the system over the summer/fall. Bleach has no residual action to keep killing microbes after it has been used. Bleach cleaning in the late-fall or early winter is more effective. The microbes don't grow back because of the cold.

    2. Switch from 3/16 drops to 5/16 drops to make backflow less of a problem because the trees won't be able to slurp up as much sap at night.
    May help a little...probably not a huge amount though.

    3. Use Check valve spouts.
    Will help, but you'll still need to bleach clean to prevent clogging of fittings (tees, unions, saddles) in the 3/16" system. CVs alone cannot solve the issue of clogging.

    4. Add a vacuum pump of some kind to keep flow positive more often. (We have high gravity vacuum on most lines, but not all). I assume this would improve yields as well, but I don't know how well since we have many very long laterals and also maxed out mainlines that would be a pain to replace with larger ones.
    May not help much if you are already getting high vacuum in your lateral lines. Have you checked using gauges at the top of the lines to be sure that is the case? If you're already maxing out the vacuum, having more vacuum won't help. Vacuum is like an empty balloon. Sucking on it won't get more air out of the balloon...it is already empty. So adding more vacuum to max vacuum doesn't gain you anything in terms of yield...pumped vacuum may help in leak detection though. Now if a lot of your trees are lower down on the slope, the are getting less natural vacuum with 3/16" tubing, so having a small pump as an adjunct might be in order.

    5. Some combination of the above.
    Probably...

    Best results will likely be achieved with ---
    1. Bleach cleaning + new spouts will get you good yields (assuming you keep the 3/16" system tight and it generates decent vacuum)
    2. Bleach cleaning + CV spouts (will probably get you a little more)
    3. Replacement of all connectors (tees, unions, saddles) every 3rd year + use of new spouts or CV spouts

    Lastly, sanitation effects are highly dependent upon how the season plays out. Not much you can do if it gets really hot on several occasions during the season. Good sanitation will help, but it can't completely overcome the weather.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Wisconsin, Spring Valley
    Posts
    185

    Default

    Dr.Tim have you ever heard of Star San acid sanitizer. Made by Five Star Chemicals. There web site is fivestarchemicals.com I know one producer that uses it, no bleach sanitizer.

    Sap Hauler
    -1996 Ford F250
    -2003 Yamaha Grizzly 660
    2016 Year:About 925 Taps on 3/16
    2015 Year:About 775 Taps
    2014 Year:About 270 Taps
    2013 Year:About 265 Taps
    2012 Year:About 200 Taps
    2011 Year:About 200 Taps
    2010 Year:About 65 Taps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,122

    Default

    I get good results but I change the taps, and all fittings after year 1 and the drop are new after 3 seasons.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    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
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Beaver Falls,NY
    Posts
    249

    Default

    [QUOTE=maple flats;381564]I get good results but I change the taps, and all fittings after year 1 and the drop are new after 3 seasons.[/QUOTE
    I may be missing something, you change your taps and fittings each year but not the drops?
    4x12 arch
    new custom flues
    New custom front pan
    600 buckets town trees
    1500 3/16 taps
    D&G filterpress
    16x32 3rdgen canner
    member NYMPA
    Director American Maple Museum
    Director NNYMP COOP
    Asst. Chief BFFD
    Retired(now working for free)
    2015 Mahindra 70hp

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    North Abington, PA
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Thanks for the replies Dr. Tim and Dave! In answer to your questions, Dr. Tim, We do replace spouts each year with new ones, and as far as gravity vacuum, the trees are spaced along the slope all the way from max vacuum height down to the same level as the mainline. I suppose about a third of the taps are less than 20' above the mainline, a third are between 20' and 40', and a third are higher than 40'. We DO wash the lines immediately after the season, so I'm thinking that washing with bleach in the late fall would be the biggest, most cost effective change we could make. I might still have to wash them post-season as well for my own sense of completion to be satisfied. Ha.

    Given this new information, I'm thinking
    1. Wash the lines with bleach in the fall
    2. Add cv spouts to a section of the bush and decide for myself if it seems worth it. I'd have three treatments. New everything in the expansion area, washed in fall with new spouts, and washed in fall with new cv spouts.
    3. probably won't get to this, but trialing a vacuum pump on one of the lines would be interesting.
    2400 taps all 3/16 gravity
    New CDL 600 GPH RO that is freaking awesome
    4x14 Leader/CDL rig with a steam-away
    Still havin' fun

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cody View Post
    Dr.Tim have you ever heard of Star San acid sanitizer. Made by Five Star Chemicals. There web site is fivestarchemicals.com I know one producer that uses it, no bleach sanitizer.
    Yes, it is basically a phosphoric acid based sanitizer. We tried acid-based sanitizers early on, but they didn't make the cut for our large-scale field trials because they were either: 1) not as effective as other sanitizers and/or 2) not as commonly used as other sanitizers.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by springhillsmaple View Post
    New everything in the expansion area, washed in fall with new spouts, and washed in fall with new cv spouts.
    Summarizing a LOT of research at UVM, Cornell, and Canada (Quebec and Ontario), what you will find is:

    New drops + new spouts will produce the highest yields, but is costly due to materials, construction, and installation time. A 3-yr drop replacement interval will work well, but your overall net profit will be slightly lower than other options.

    Washed (long-contact time) in fall with bleach (followed by rinse or allow first sap to run on the ground) and new spouts will produce about the same yields, net profits will be good if your labor costs are low UNLESS you have squirrel problems.

    CV spouts (or adapters) will produce slightly lower sap yields than the former treatments, but cost is low (primarily due to reduced labor and lack of rinsing or letting sap run on the ground), so net profits are high.

    sanitation summary.jpg
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,948

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Summarizing a LOT of research at UVM, Cornell, and Canada (Quebec and Ontario)
    Is that data specifically for 3/16 tubing?

    With 3/16 tubing I have been finding that drop replacement (5/16 drop + Tee) and a new spout is not nearly as effective as with 5/16 tubing. Backflow is more pronounced in 3/16 so even with a new drop and spout the taphole closes earlier in my experience. My solution has been a new drop (tubing + Tee) and a check valve spout. My plan currently is to change the drop every other year on 3/16 and use a CV spout every year.

    I don't use any sanitizer though I do flush the lines on vacuum with a 50/50 water/vinegar solution.

    All my 3/16 is on mechanical vacuum mainline.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,687

    Default

    No, you are correct that this is for 5/16" systems. 3/16" tubing hasn't been around long enough for us to have as good a handle on it, although we do know that sanitation practices alone will not solve the plugging issues in 3/16" tubing, so additional or different approaches are needed in combination with sanitation.

    With 3/16" systems flushing or sanitation OR replacement of all fittings at least every 3 yrs is recommended.

    I personally do NOT like using sodium bleach due to squirrel damage issues.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts