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Thread: Filtering recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Florence
    Posts
    10

    Default Filtering recommendations

    As my hobby maple syrup operation progresses each year the part I struggle with the most is filtering. I am currently using cone filters which are messy and slow. I am considering the 9” CDL Vacuum filter system or a flat filter system. I’d appreciate hearing advice, recommendations and experience people have had. Thank you.
    2021 - 55 taps, RO Bucket RB10, 10 gal syrup
    2020 - 44 taps, WF Mason 2x3 XL, 4.3 gal syrup
    2019 - 50 taps, 2-18"x24" flat pans over cinderblock arch, 4 gal syrup
    2018 - 50 taps, 2-18"x24" flat pans over cinderblock arch, 3 gal syrup
    2017 - 40 taps, 2-18"x24" flat pans over fire, 2 gal syrup
    2016 - 25 taps, 2 12"x20" warming pans over fire, 1 gal syrup

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,141

    Default

    You see a lot of people struggle with cones. Filtering is the most aggravating part of syrup making, but necessary. Search through the threads there are literally thousands of post on it. I use flat filters that my wife makes for me. I use a wire basket that hangs in a 16 qt pot and she sews them up to fit, so I am using every bit of surface area. I usually gilter about a half gallon at a time.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Rumney NH
    Posts
    104

    Default

    I second that. gravity. I have my mother sew them for me. my canner is a little bigger, as I filter 10 gallons at a time. If it is hot enough goes right through. I use 1 Oregon filter on the bottom and 5-7 prefilters on top if filtering slows I slowly remove one prefilter.
    2017 140 taps 30x8 12x16 shack 28.5 gal
    2018 158 taps 30x8 12x16 shack with 8x8 kitchen 44 gal
    2019 223 taps 30x8 12x16 shack with 8x8 kitchen 36 gal
    2020 226 taps 30x8 12x16 shack with 8x8 kitchen 250 waterloo ro 63 gal
    2021 230 taps 30x8 12x16 shack with 8x8 kitchen 250 waterloo ro 37 gal

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    431

    Default

    I used to struggle with the cone filters too, but getting the “optimizer” cone filter rack was a game changer.

    Dave
    Mountain Maple farm
    2021: 260 taps, 70% red maples. Mountain Maple S4 diaphragm pump controller with automated sap transfer and text messaging
    New website:
    https://www.mountainmaplefarm.com
    https://www.facebook.com/MountainMapleFarm/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Murrysville, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    170

    Default

    You can build a vacuum filter for pretty cheap. Works far better than gravity / cone filters. Key is to use diatomaceous earth with the right filter papers.

    I built one and it worked great but last year went to a smokylake stainless filter press and loved it. Would never go back to vacuum or gravity. Its fast, easy to clean, incredible results, and isn't much more $ than the CDL vacuum units.
    D. Roseum
    www.roseummaple.com
    ~100 taps on 3/16 custom temp controlled vacuum; custom nat gas evap with temp and level controllers; homemade RO; SL SS filter press
    2021: 27.1 gallons

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    1,636

    Default

    Ditto on the Optimizer. I've used 2 in tandem for years and filter right off the evaporator. I have an RO and they can keep up. Last year, I made the jump to boiling 11% concentrate which I think was about 3+ gallons per hour of syrup and I was good. There was just one tough boil after a long warm spell that was a little nerve-wracking, but I got through it. If I was to continue on the cheap, I'd probably buy a third Optimizer for nights like that. At $60 each, it's the most bang for your buck you are going to get with gravity filtering.

    That said, like D. Roseum, I made the jump to a filter press this off season. I considered the vacuum filter as a next step, but decided to make the bigger move at once. I've always wanted to try a press.
    Woodville Maples
    www.woodvillemaples.com
    www.facebook.com/woodvillemaples
    Around 300 taps on tubing, 25+ on buckets if I put them out
    Mix of natural and mechanical vac, S3 Controller from Mountain Maple
    2x6 W.F. Mason with Phaneuf pans
    Deer Run 250 RO
    Ford F350
    6+ hives of bees (if they make it through the winters)
    Keeping the day job until I can start living the dream.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Hudson NH
    Posts
    65

    Default

    I ordered the 9 inch CDL vacuum at the Bascom open house. I have used the cone filters the last two seasons. They actually have worked pretty well for me. Using a sailors hat method by just inverting the filter with a pre-filter was good but as you all know we are looking for ways to improve efficiency every year. I looked at many videos online of sugar makers using these vacuum presses in their operations and seemed like a good idea to me. Yes you can build one however my wife would rather pony up the money to buy one then have me spending hours fabricating in the garage. I came to the same conclusion on a R/O and ordered the Nano for this year.

    19x48 mini pro oil fired, Nano R/O, CDL Vacuum Press
    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
    Two kids one patient wife
    "The days are long, but the years are short"

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