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Old March 20th, 2017, 07:52 PM
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Default Lapierre / UVM PMRC Research Collaboration

Lapierre Equipment U.S.A. and UVM Collaborate on Maple Technology
Maple Equipment Company helps advance maple research and development
Swanton, VT— March 20, 2017 — Lapierre U.S.A. of Swanton, Vermont, and the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill Center, Vermont, announce a research collaboration to investigate new methods of maple sap processing.

Background
Lapierre Equipment is an international leader in the production of maple-related technology. The company has introduced several innovations in the maple industry over the past 40 years. In 2016, they released the HYPERBRIX Reverse Osmosis (RO) and evaporator system in Canada and are now making the system available in the U.S. Most RO systems currently in use in the maple industry can concentrate sap from about 2 to 8-15% sugar. The new Lapierre HYPERBRIX RO is a leap forward in that it allows the concentration of maple sap up to 35% sugar prior to evaporation, representing a huge savings in time and energy. Whereas boiling 40 gals of sap is required to make a gallon of syrup traditionally, with the Lapierre HYPERBRIX RO and evaporator, only 2.2 gal of concentrate is needed to produce a gallon of syrup, producing large energy and time savings compared to boiling sap alone.
“It was a natural progression for RO’s to go higher sugar concentration. We chose to stop at 35%, which is close to 95% of the water removed from the sap. The reason for this is simple –some amount of boiling is necessary to develop good flavor. We have completely redesigned the evaporator to optimize performance while maintaining excellent caramelization”. said Carl Lapierre, Director of R&D at Lapierre U.S.A.

The University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center (PMRC), established in 1946, is renowned for its work on the science and application of technology in the maple industry. Previous work has focused on the effects of RO processing on syrup chemistry and flavor.

Impact
As part of this collaboration, Lapierre Equipment U.S.A. will supply UVM with a state-of-the-art RO machine, specialized evaporator, and syrup processing accessories for use in research and in UVM’s 5,000 tap maple sugaring operation in Underhill Center.
“This collaboration will put UVM solidly in the forefront of the technology of maple sap processing,” said Timothy Perkins, Research Professor and Director of the UVM PMRC. “We look forward to several years of research on this new system to help push the curve ahead a little more.” In a 2016 study, UVM PMRC researchers found that syrup produced with high RO concentration produced syrup that tasted as good that produced at a lower level of RO concentration, indicating that this new technology could produce further savings in time and energy for maple producers.
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Lapierre / UVM PMRC Research Collaboration-lapierre-hyperbrix-evaporator-operation-uvm-pmrc.jpg  
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Old March 20th, 2017, 08:19 PM
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Looking snazzy there Dr Tim!!

Gotta love new shiny stuff in the sugar shack. Also it's cool to see you guys push the curve, as you say, and keep doing great research.

I understand the high concentration RO idea, but could you tell us a little about the cooker? It looks like there's still a flue pan on it, but only a very small one. Also, is the front pan a single pan rather than several cross flow pans? I gather that producers who adopt this technology will most likely need to switch to a different set of pans than what most of us are using, is that correct?
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Old March 20th, 2017, 08:32 PM
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The evaporator is a 4' x 12' unit, oil-fired. The backpan (hard to call it a sap pan anymore when it is fed with 30-35 Brix concentrate) is 4' long. The front pan (syrup pan) is 8' long. It is one pan, with 8 partitions. It is set up with reverse flow, so you can feed to the rear (draw off in front), feed from the front (draw off in rear), or feed both rear and front simultaneous (and draw-off from the middle) if you prefer. It produces about 55 gal of syrup per hour while consuming about 10 gal of oil per hour. The arch has some interesting new damper controls that move the floor to push the heat further up into the flues of the backpan and also control the angle of the "ramp" near the front to induce turbulence into the air stream to increase heat transfer. It uses a Riello burner with infinite fire control from 20-100% (rather than just HI/LOW fire). It also has a modulating auto-draw. Basically once it is running you just stand back and let it go. This new evaporator processing high concentrate has shortened our boil times considerably.

We have both front and back pan washers and an automatic defoamer, but just got them installed so haven't yet operated them.

The RO is a 5-post unit. Three of the membranes are standard, and two are the HyperBrix membranes. We're still working on fine-tuning it to our operation, but so far it has operated flawlessly. I'm not 100% positive, but I think you can either get the complete RO system as we did, or add just the HyperBrix membranes to an existing RO. You'd have to check with Lapierre for details on that. I just know what we have.

And yes....you wouldn't want to try to run 35 Brix concentrate in a standard evaporator. It would very likely be making syrup in the backpan.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 10:20 PM
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Wow! That will separate the men from the boys!
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Old March 20th, 2017, 11:01 PM
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VERY COOL!!

The idea of feeding the syrup pan from the from and the back is crazy. It's kinda neat (to me anyway) that my rig is sort of similar in the way the syrup pan is set up. My Algier front pan is 4x4 and has only 4 partitions, but it's able to be run back to front or front to back, like your new Lapierre. I think Moser's Maple has the same setup. It's new to me for this year, but I like it. Kinda unique, I think.

It'd be really amazing to watch a rig like that go. 55 gallons of syrup from 10 gallons of fuel is really fantastic. I wonder if they'd even suggest running a high concentrate setup on anything but oil or pellets. I wonder if you could get a wood setup that would be consistent enough. Anyway, enough of my ramblings. Thanks for the pic Dr Tim. I hope you guys have a great rest of the season!

Ryan
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Old March 31st, 2017, 10:15 AM
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=INOoT4EGZgI
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Old May 11th, 2018, 10:34 AM
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Maple Taste Test
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Old May 12th, 2018, 11:50 AM
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How long ago was this written? Quote,,," I'm told there are only five machines in the state."???
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Old May 12th, 2018, 08:00 PM
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I suspect it is now at least 6, because Glen Goodrich bought one for his new operation with 24 posts, 18 regular and 6 high brix, but he also has 3 more on order, one each year for the next 3 years as his new sugarbush expands about 50,000 taps each of those years, to end up with about 200,000 taps with all sap coming directly to the sugarhouse with no trucking.
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Old May 12th, 2018, 11:07 PM
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With as much chatter on here and and the other web site I would had thought there would have been a lot more. I got an RO three years ago, in spite of my 400 taps and actually I did not tap a single tree this year as I did not have time and also wanted to put 3/16" tubing before moving on.
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2012 Built my own arch with AUF for drop flues when i get it using old flat pans,,, 200 taps
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2009 and before cooking out side
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1972 Mom and dad made some syrup in kettles for first time
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