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Thread: Beginner filtering. Hate it.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Richmond, Vermont

    Default Beginner filtering. Hate it.

    Orlon cone and 2 prefilters. Got them wet. Ran through during draw off so sap was hot. Very quickly clogged
    Seemed to be more the orlon filter than the pre filters but they weren’t working great either. Any tips or suggestions? There seems like a pint of syrup is still in the filter material after we stopped using them. What do with used pre filters? It seems like there’s a bunch of sugar left in there cannot be rinsed out? Not sure it’ll these filters are always this much of a pain or if we’re doing something wrong. Any tips or advise would be greatly appreciated!
    Marty, Sam, Henry, Jim, Brandi
    Richmond, VT

    2021: 49 bucket taps, TBD gallons

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Hudson NH


    Ah the joys of filtering with cone filters. I feel your pain. I am still using the cone filters as well. I use the sailor hat method to set up the filters. Its a little hard to explain but Bascom sells a wire rack that makes the filter into this sailor hat for you. I just invert the cone filter until it takes this shape. I did not buy the wire rack as there was no need and the filter can take the shape without the rack. If you are handy you can make one. The sailor hat method made a real difference for me. It is rare to have any syrup left from the draw off. Like you I draw syrup straight from the evaporator. I have never had the issue you are having with pre-filters. I use hot oil filters that are disposable. I only use one pre-filter. At the start of the season the pre-filters last a whole boil now I am only getting two draws due to the niter. I got these off amazon they come in packs of 50. As far as what is left in the filter you dont want to keep anything that is filtered out. Not sure why you would be getting a lot of sugar residue. I would check the density with a hydrometer to make sure you are drawing of at the right point. Try the sailor hat method. I will say a shop vac filter press was on my wish list until I started using this method now I dont mind the gravity filtering. Now tops on the list is an R/O. Pulling most of my taps today. Ran out of time and forecast looks iffy here with some heat coming in. Good luck up on the rest of your season. I am sure others will chime in with some advice for you. Have fun.

    19x48 mini pro oil fired, Nano R/O, CDL Vacuum Press,Mountain Maple Vacuum setup
    6x12 sugar house off back of shed
    2019- 50 taps all buckets- 6 Gallons syrup made
    2020 -50 taps, more Sugar Maples, with some Reds- 6 gallons made
    2021- 46 taps- 26 on 3/16 tubing, 19 buckets - All Sugar Maples this year - 12.2 Gallons made
    2022- 83 taps - all 3/16 tubing, 48 on vacuum -All Sugars - 21 Gallons made
    "The days are long, but the years are short"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Rutland, Vermont


    We used 3-4 prefilters then the Orlon filter. As far as syrup still left over in the filters when you rinse your filters out, we used to do it in a pail of hot water. That sugar water that is left would go back in the evaporator so nothing is wasted. The inverted cone helps filter a bit better. Flat filtering over a canner works better because of the surface area.
    CDL 2.5*8 Venturi with all the bells
    Leader Clear 5 bank filter press
    Memprotec 350H RO
    600ish taps and looking for more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Are your filters contained in a pot or something to keep your
    syrup warm? Look up some of the threads on using a coffee
    urn to filter! We used to use cone filters and actually filtered
    100 gallons through them in one season. Let them drip out overnight
    to catch all the syrup you can get. Also, we used 6 prefilters and pulled
    them out one at a time as they plugged. hth
    90 taps on vacuum
    100 taps on 5/16 gravity
    35 taps on 3/16 gravity
    50 taps on shurflo vacuum
    about 50 buckets on giant roadside sugars
    neighbor bringing from 45 taps


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Haverhill, Ma


    I can never see how to remove the clogged top filter without making an ungodly mess with the syrup pooled inside.

    I just said screw it and built a small vacuum filter.
    2019 - New 12X12 boiling pavilion
    2018 - New Mason 2X3 Hobby XL and homemade RO
    2017 - 49 taps on gravity, 6 on buckets.
    2016 - 19 taps on new 3/16 tubing, 24 on buckets
    2015 - 51 taps, 26 buckets
    2014 - 50 taps, 14 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, new 2X3 continuous flow Phaneuf from Homestead Maple
    2013 - 33 taps, 12 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans
    2012 - 26 taps, 10 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    hudson river valley


    I don't know if it's right or wrong but I decant finished syrup. Pour most of it off the sediment to filter and can a couple days later.

    I save the sediment and pour off more syrup as it separates.

    Definitely makes the filtering process a breeze for me.

    I'm just a backyarder so my quantities are manageable this way.
    Last edited by red dorakeen; 03-21-2021 at 04:24 PM.
    2018 Built the sugar shack, produced 10.5 gallons (converted some to sugar,& cream). taps varied 45 to 50
    2017 Built 2x4 arch for a divided pan, 8.5 gallons from 30 taps increased to 42 taps during season.
    2016 Produced 3 gallons & 1 quart Syrup, Block arch & 3 buffet pans, 12 taps
    2015 Thought about tapping

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Central Ohio


    I feel your pain as well. I think cone filtering is one of life's great tortures. Probably puts a lot of marriages on edge too. Life changes for the better when you step up to a filter press. I know you feel you may not be able to justify it with 49 taps, but a small filter press (think 5" with 10 papers) and a small air diaphragm pump would put a smile on your face.
    Central Ohio
    Leader WSE 2x6
    Old metal corn crib converted to "The Shack"
    Smoky Lake 6 gallon water jacket canner
    Daryl 5" filter press with air pump

    2019: 100 taps, buckets, 45 gallons syrup
    2018: 100 taps, buckets, 31 gallons syrup
    2017: 100 taps, buckets, 15 gallons syrup
    2016: 100 taps, buckets, 30 gallons syrup
    2015: 100 taps, buckets, 34 gallons syrup
    2014: 100 taps, buckets, 30 gallons syrup
    2013: 100 taps, buckets, 52 gallons syrup
    2012: 100 taps, buckets, 37 gallons syrup

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2021


    hi there, ive found a quick cheap solution, i purchased 2 , 5 gal brew kettles from home brewers supply online, i got one with a 1/2// outlet , first i cut a hole in the bottom of the one with no outlet, then cut a hole of the same size in the lid of theont with a outlet, added a second hole and outlet just below the top of solid pot, that outlet has a ball valve on it, attached a small stingar vacuum from home deopt, i purchased a sheet of fabric filter and a few sheets of prefilter, cut them about 1 1/2’’ larger than the pot top, install fabric than 2 prefilter rounds on top of solid kettle then the cut out top, then the kettle with the bottom cut out, afix the stack with a bungee between handles, i draw 1-2 galons and while still piping hot pour into top kettle then hit the vac. usually takes about 2 min to completly pull thru, and immediatly can from the lowest spiggot, works real nice and cleans up so quick, just rinse filters in hot permiate and reassemble in mintes, cutting thru the ss steel is a bit obnoxous, i used a cut off wheel on my angle grinder then smoothed with a grinding wheel, whole thing cost under 200 bucks, good luck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Northeast Vermont


    i've used cone/orlon filters for many years. i've never really experienced any issue with them. i draw off and filter (3-4 pre filters with the orlon). my filters go in a 5 or 7 gallon stainless milk jug. i fold the top of the filter down over the rim of the jug and filter into it, pulling the pre filters out when they clog. when i'm done filtering, i put a cover over the jug until it's drained. then it goes on a hook over the syrup pan and drips back in. the steam from the pan helps that. i always have two filters. one filtering and one hanging over the evaporator. Keeping your syrup and filter hot is key!
    Awfully thankful for an understanding wife!

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
    - Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

    Good luck to all!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    North Grenville, Ontario


    Second season using a filter press and filtering is the easiest part of the whole syrup process now. I used to cone filter , flat filter. Hated it like everyone else does.
    For someone that can’t justify the cost of the filter press I would get that wire rack that lets you get most out of a cone filter and use lots of cone pre filters , or I used to have an orlon filter that fit right onto a 5 gallon pail. And just bought the big pack of prefilters that were in sheets.
    It worked pretty good as well.
    600 taps on vacuum
    Lapierre Releaser
    2.5 x 10 wood fired Frankenstein evaporator.
    Auber auto drawoff
    Homemade RO single 4" MES 4040 membrane
    CDL 16 x 16 bottler
    Wesfab 7" short bank filter press
    Delaval 73's

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