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Thread: Sugar Content

  1. #1
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    Default Sugar Content

    Does a in line or tank sugar content checking device exists? If so how accurate? Hopefully selling sap next Spring that will be piped directly to a tank beside a large sugar operation, will be using a flow meter to keep account of gallons of sap.
    Any thoughts or suggestions?
    Mark 220 Maple
    1100 taps on low vaccum, 900 on gravity.
    900 plus taps leased and on high vacuum
    35 cfm Indiana Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump
    80% Sugar, 20% Red MAPLES
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  2. #2
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    I would suggest a long sap hydrometer, very accurate.
    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:-)
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    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

  3. #3
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by 220 maple View Post
    Does a in line or tank sugar content checking device exists? If so how accurate? Hopefully selling sap next Spring that will be piped directly to a tank beside a large sugar operation, will be using a flow meter to keep account of gallons of sap.
    Sure...in-line refractometers exist....but ghastly expensive. As Dave suggested, a good sap hydrometer would likely be better and far cheaper. In-line refractometers require frequent cleaning and calibration, so can be a PITA.

    Alternatively, a good temperature-compensated refractometer would also work well...just pay attention to proper technique.

    In terms of flowmeters....get a decent one (GPI units are quite good) and it may be worth buying one that has good accuracy and precision. Cheap flowmeters can be +/- 4-5%, which can add up to a lot of sap over a season. You'll want to either strain out any big crud before the meter or clean it frequently to remove anything that can affect the impeller. Lastly, pay attention to proper installation. You don't want any air flowing through the meter....just liquid, so it should be full-pipe of liquid at all times. Also no elbows, restrictions, bends, fittings for 10X the diameter of the flowmeter both before and after the meter for best results. Turbulence is a bad thing for flowmeters....as is air.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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