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Thread: Cleaning tubing

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BreezyHill View Post
    It is definitely ground breaking data that will change the way progressive producers manage and maintain their tubing systems for maximum production.

    The key to the sanitation is to let the product sit so that it has an affect.
    I'm glad you like the research, but think it is a little premature to declare victory just yet.

    Unfortunately contact time is just part of the story. Steve did his soaking treatments just prior to the season beginning. While it definitely improved yield (and net profit), cleaning with bleach or peroxide in advance of the season is unlikely to have such a beneficial effect. Bleach degrades to chlorine salt over time. Peroxide degrades to water. So if you're doing your cleaning in the spring or summer, there is plenty of time for regrowth of microbes in the line in the fall and early winter. That is what isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is supposed to solve.....leaving some residue in the lines is (supposed to) continue the sanitizing effect until the spring. Unfortunately IPA (besides not being approved for maple use in the U.S.) is non-sporocidal (doesn't kill spores), so as soon as the sap starts to run, stuff starts to regrow.

    I think one thing is pretty clear....sucking a small amount of cleaner/sanitizer in through the dropline under vacuum is not terribly effective. There is simply not enough contact time. To get good enough contact time you need to soak the drops/spouts....which unfortunately seems to be most effective only if done just prior to the season, and is fairly labor intensive.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
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    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  2. #22
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    Dr. Tim,

    Wouldn't bleach, even calcium based kill an RO membrane??
    Brandon

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  3. #23
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    Are you taking syrup quality into consideration with the current study? Just curious if different cleaning methods, or new hardware (spouts, drops, etc) might have a positive or negative affect on syrup quality. Perhaps a benefit of one over the other might be less commercial grade, or off flavor syrup? I.E. Maybe washing my tubing doesn't increase my yield but instead of 2 barrels of commercial, now one of them is grade A.
    Last edited by TheMapleMoose; 10-11-2014 at 09:44 PM.

  4. #24
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    I am curious to know why you are supposed to let the first sap run on the ground as Dr.. Tim indicated? Seems like a waste of some of the best sap?..I always filter the sap.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by adk1 View Post
    I am curious to know why you are supposed to let the first sap run on the ground as Dr.. Tim indicated? Seems like a waste of some of the best sap?..I always filter the sap.
    If using some kind of cleaning solution, the general practice is to let the first run go on the ground to rinse the tubing. Some do this when not cleaning just to rinse all the slime that accumulates in the tubing during the off season. The general concept here is that it is probably not worth making commercial syrup from the first run of sap.
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  6. #26
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    Thanks Dr. Tim for the clarification on the cleaning method used by Steve Childs. I look forward to hearing more about it.
    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
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by WESTVIRGINIAMAPLER View Post
    Wouldn't bleach, even calcium based kill an RO membrane??
    The levels of active chlorine are fairly low, especially if you clean in the spring. There might be enough to taste. This is one reason you are supposed to allow the first run of sap to go on the ground.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMapleMoose View Post
    Are you taking syrup quality into consideration with the current study? Just curious if different cleaning methods, or new hardware (spouts, drops, etc) might have a positive or negative affect on syrup quality. Perhaps a benefit of one over the other might be less commercial grade, or off flavor syrup? I.E. Maybe washing my tubing doesn't increase my yield but instead of 2 barrels of commercial, now one of them is grade A.
    I agree with this. I think more should be done to see if syrup quality improves from tubing cleaning and not just emphasis yield. Even a marginal increase in quality will help your bottom line. So even if changing spouts has a higher increase in yield over cleaning, if cleaning also adds to quality, then it might be worth doing both. After all, we are making a food product so food safety should be a priority.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAP View Post
    I agree with this. I think more should be done to see if syrup quality improves from tubing cleaning and not just emphasis yield. Even a marginal increase in quality will help your bottom line. So even if changing spouts has a higher increase in yield over cleaning, if cleaning also adds to quality, then it might be worth doing both. After all, we are making a food product so food safety should be a priority.
    I agree that this would be nice. Unfortunately there are several operational/methodological issues that make answering this question quite difficult. Not that it can't be done.....all it takes is time and money.

    My sense is that cleaning "might" have a small influence on grade early in the season, but it is unlikely to make a huge difference after the first run or two. Even in the first run the difference isn't likely to be as wide a spread as from a real light syrup to a Commercial syrup. Realistically, with most of those sanitizers you SHOULD be letting the first sap run on the ground, and that is a far greater loss.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 10-14-2014 at 02:00 PM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  10. #30
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    Maple syrup production is probably one of the only food production industries that it is OK to use dirty equipment to produce food. Any other food producing has to spend and even "Waste" money cleaning their equipment to meet sanitation standards. I think you will find that if consumers knew about all the nasty looking stuff that comes out off tubing left over from last years production, they would put up a big stink like what has happened in many of the other Agricultural Food Production industries.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

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