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Thread: NOOB getting RO -- Practical Considerations

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Speyside, Ontario
    Posts
    271

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecp View Post
    I agree. Sometimes if the sap it reallyclean mid-season sap I'll use the pre-filters for a second run but all season is a bad ideal. you can play around with it but best practice is new every use.
    Yep. Buy a 25 pack off Amazon and use a new one almost every time.
    2015 - 8 buckets, 332L sap, 8.5L syrup - Barrel evaporator, 2 steam pans
    2016 - 8 buckets, 432L sap
    2017 - 10 bags, 470L sap, 9L syrup
    2018 - 20 bags, 1050L sap, 17.6L syrup
    2019 - 20 bags, 970L sap, 22.2L syrup
    2020 - 17 bags, 813L sap, 17L syrup

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Upper Valley, NH
    Posts
    146

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    Agree. I buy 50-packs. I replace every 300-gallons of sap, or every day, whichever comes first.
    2023: Award Winning Maple Syrup and Honey!
    2023: 200 Taps on 3/16" "natural vac"
    2022: 150 Taps on 3/16" "natural vac"
    2022: Lapierre Vision 2x6 with Preheater & Marcland Autodraw
    2022: Brand new post and beam sugar house
    2022: 4"x40" RO
    Kubota L4701, Kubota BX2380
    2 Black Rescue Dogs, 2 Livestock Guardian Dogs, Many Bee Hives, A Flock of Icelandic Chickens
    30 Acres of Wooded Bliss
    vikingmadeforge: Artist Blacksmithing & Bladesmithing
    https://blackdogbeesandmapletrees.com

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Essex Junction, VT
    Posts
    289

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    Thanks everyone, this has been really helpful.
    Got another couple questions.
    The RO bucket comes either as a kit or pre-assembled.
    The pre-assembled are pictured with the membranes and maybe other components in a bucket, while the kit versions are shown with all the stuff mounted on a plywood board, presumably provided by the buyer.
    1) The former is just a method of mounting/housing all the components, and not something that is filled with liquid, correct?
    2) Do you generally have 3 containers in play (raw sap, concentrate, permeate) or just 2 containers (concentrate going back into the raw sap container, plus the permeate container)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Upper Valley, NH
    Posts
    146

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    Good questions. The bucket is just a housing. No liquid in there as there are holes drilled for the pump mounts, etc. For what it's worth, I ended up mounting mine on a board because it was much easier to replace the filter and to fix the inevitable little leaks that happen. If you are getting more than one RO membrane, I definitely recommend a board type setup.
    I always had/have three containers. You can certainly recirculate the sap/concentrate in one container, but you have to mess with the tubes so that you don't get stratification layers, etc. I can't recall how many taps/how much sap you are planning for - that kind of makes a difference for your containers. You will find many uses for the RO water...
    2023: Award Winning Maple Syrup and Honey!
    2023: 200 Taps on 3/16" "natural vac"
    2022: 150 Taps on 3/16" "natural vac"
    2022: Lapierre Vision 2x6 with Preheater & Marcland Autodraw
    2022: Brand new post and beam sugar house
    2022: 4"x40" RO
    Kubota L4701, Kubota BX2380
    2 Black Rescue Dogs, 2 Livestock Guardian Dogs, Many Bee Hives, A Flock of Icelandic Chickens
    30 Acres of Wooded Bliss
    vikingmadeforge: Artist Blacksmithing & Bladesmithing
    https://blackdogbeesandmapletrees.com

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Addison County Vermont
    Posts
    8

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    Greetings Andy, I'm a little late with this reply, but you may find it useful. As others have mentioned, Carl is great to deal with and will promptly answer all your questions. Here is my two cents worth on the RO Bucket/Kit.
    I have a 2 membrane bucket, and just purchased a 4 membrane kit. As I type the parts and pieces are spread out on my bench as I decide how I want to arrange things. My shop where I have my tanks set up is unheated, so I'm going to mount the kit on a hand dolly so I can wheel it into a heated building while not in use. I have a 260 gallon tote, 3 - 60 gallon poly tanks, and some 5 gallon pails. I RO from the tote to a 60 gallon tank, then make a second pass from that tank to the next 60 gallon tank. Doing that I can turn a tote full of sap into 60 gallons of concentrate. When I start to RO, I fill the 5 gallon pails for clean up after finishing, then stick the water line through a hole in the wall and let the balance of the water dump on the ground. The 3rd poly tank is what I have in a trailer that I pull with an ATV to collect sap. I'm happy with my 50 buckets, while I have enough trees for about 2000 taps I don't want to go there. As for the RO Bucket, there are a couple things to be aware of. They use push fittings for the hose, which created some problems for me on the suction side...it you get a leak on a suction line the unit will not work. Keep the lines perfectly aligned with the fitting to help prevent that. I would prefer barb fittings for the suction and two discharge lines, but it is what it is. When operating, its important to keep the water and concentrate discharge the same, and its tough to visually do that when the two lines are different sizes. So what I do is discharge into two small containers. When I have the lines filling each container at an equal rate I know I have it set right. You may also notice some discrepancies in instructions between what's online and the manual that comes with the unit, but again Carl is great to deal with and will answer any questions promptly. Well that's my two cents worth...its a great product, and the most affordable option I know of for folks that operate on our small scale. Good luck with it!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2023
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    63

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    I'm also going to be purchasing an RO Bucket this year. Currently have 30 taps. May expand next year. If I were to expand next year, is it easy to simply add another membrane to an existing set-up?
    2021 - First year: 4 taps; Tapped too late; 4.5 gallons of sap
    2022 - 11 taps; 20 gallons of sap
    2023 - 23 taps. 3 gallons of syrup; founded TruNorth Maple Co.
    2024 - 26 (+10) taps; 4.5 gallons of syrup; added RO filter

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Murrysville, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    483

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    Yes, if the pump is sufficiently sized. I'd always recommend buying the highest flowrate pump if you *might* expand. All of us here know that "might" = year over year expansion 🤣
    D. Roseum
    www.roseummaple.com
    ~100 taps on 3/16 custom temp controlled vacuum; shurflo vacuum #2; custom nat gas evap with auto-drawoff and tank level gas shut-off controller; homemade RO #1; homemade RO #2; SL SS filter press
    2021: 27.1 gallons
    2022: 35 gallons

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