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Old April 9th, 2016, 01:01 PM
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Default Does this sound like a good plan? What size RO?

So after the 3rd time this year when we where sitting there staring at every storage container that we had filled to the brim (1300 gallons). Even the transport tanks were full and sitting in the driveway. I told the family we need to talk. First and obviously we need more sap storage. 2nd we need to seriously consider a RO or move up to a bigger evaporator. After looking at the amount of wood we had went through already and what we probably would use the rest of the season. In short order the research into a RO is now underway. So my brother-in-law and I work first shift and we are the principle sap collectors. And since I live there I seem to do a lot of the boiling as well. The wife's uncle is retired and he is the am cook as he likes to refer to himself. Now he is in his 60's and I am not sure if running the RO will be his cup of tea. So I think the plan is that after collecting I would then come home and run it through the RO. On normal pick-ups we average about 300 to 675. 675 is the most that we can carry back to the shack with us in a single trip. However there have been days when we had time that we have picked up 900 or more. Planning on expanding the tap count again possibly will be closer to 700. So I feel that it will be more like 500 to 675 on the days that we collect. What size RO should I be looking for? I am thinking at least a 250gph I don't want to be up all night waiting for the RO to get done so I can start the rinse cycle on it. I am thinking along the lines of filling the 800 stainless bulk tank with raw sap and then sending it over to the 400 gallon tank. Start the rinse cycle and go to bed. I get up at 430 every morning I get up and go to work. I am thinking then I should just start the RO and then send it to the 150 gallon head tank. Larry shows up whenever he wants in the morning usually between 6 and 8 and starts the fire. I figure that the RO will just shut off when the low pressure switch is tripped and then when I get home I can start the rinse cycle. Can you do this with an RO or does it need to be babysat more?
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Old April 9th, 2016, 02:11 PM
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I can only speak about the deer run 250 I own but it would probably be adequate to just under sized. Yes they need to be baby sat somewhat as the pressure can slowly build as membrane gets plugged. I collect 550 gallons then start my RO and recirculate while I am gathering for another hour or so. By then there is enough room in the tank for my next 250 load. I then do some odds and ends until the sap in tank is 4-5% then send it to head tank. RO runs just faster than my evaporator and will usually fill the head tank when sap tank is close to empty. I can speed up or slow down slightly to adjust to the amount of sap I get each day. Doing it this way allows me to process 600-900 gallons start to finish in 4-5 hours and that's all by myself.

I am not a fan of leaving the RO sit at all before cleaning. It gets nasty real fast when flows stop due to the high bacteria load.
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Old April 9th, 2016, 02:23 PM
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What is your evaporation rate on your rig? Ours is 25 to 40 depending on who is the one doing the cooking. Does your unit have a high pressure switch?
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Little sugar house has a 28x66 flat pan.
Big Sugar house has a 3x8 pan with dividers and auf.
Two Yamaha Grizzly atv's.
All taps on drop tubes into buckets.
Smoky Lake Filter/Finisher/Filter.
Smoky Lake Crescendo Auto Draw.
Brother-in-law for a partner in crime.
Wife and 4 kids.
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Old April 9th, 2016, 02:34 PM
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About 50 gph on the evaporator. Yes it shuts down I high and low pressure. If I will be cooking the next day I just hook up permeate and let 300 gallons cold rinse through it. I start it up and walk away because it will stop on low pressure when empty. The 250 will put out 1.25-1.5 gpm of concentrate when going to the head tank at 275psi. It puts out 2-3 gpm when recirculating at 200psi.
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Old April 9th, 2016, 02:54 PM
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My process is about the same as jmayerl with my Deer Run 125 but I end up cooking at 4% to 6%. The results for the year were good but I will say I regret not getting the expandable 125. At some point I'm sure there will be an RO upgrade now that I know the benefits first hand.
Enjoy the research and don't go too small.
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Old April 10th, 2016, 12:45 AM
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After the initial fast flow of an ro, pressure increase isnt really an issue. When I had my 4x40... after 20 min the pressure maybe increased 15psi over the next 10 hours. Turn it on and walk away. That is the beauity of technology..
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Old April 10th, 2016, 07:48 AM
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It usually takes us about 4 to 5 hours when we are out collecting buckets. We usually get started about 4pm. So in the past when we get home we pump everything into the bulk tanks and head tank and get the shack set-up for Larry so when he gets there in the morning he just lights the fire and gets rolling along. So I would just like to kind of keep that same pattern going because it works really well for us.
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Little sugar house has a 28x66 flat pan.
Big Sugar house has a 3x8 pan with dividers and auf.
Two Yamaha Grizzly atv's.
All taps on drop tubes into buckets.
Smoky Lake Filter/Finisher/Filter.
Smoky Lake Crescendo Auto Draw.
Brother-in-law for a partner in crime.
Wife and 4 kids.
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Old April 10th, 2016, 08:12 AM
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Later in the season when the weather warms up you will not be able to let concentrated sap sit overnight.
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Old April 10th, 2016, 08:19 AM
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Forgot to mention that we have all the working parts to the 400 and 800 stainless milk tanks. We are going to have one of the guys that service our neighbors tanks come look at them and see if it is feasible to get the coolers back up and running again. So depending on the cost we maybe able to keep the sap chilled till it hits the head tank.
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Little sugar house has a 28x66 flat pan.
Big Sugar house has a 3x8 pan with dividers and auf.
Two Yamaha Grizzly atv's.
All taps on drop tubes into buckets.
Smoky Lake Filter/Finisher/Filter.
Smoky Lake Crescendo Auto Draw.
Brother-in-law for a partner in crime.
Wife and 4 kids.
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Old April 10th, 2016, 09:47 AM
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Trying to not go off topic here, but I have an angle once I figure things out here?
Is it feasible from you to go from buckets to tubing?? Reason I ask because it seems like you spend alot of time gathering at night. Plus the way I read this is sounds like you are depending on this 60 something guy to do the boiling. Can he handle the operation with concentrate.
Have you considered maybe reversing things? Just brainstorming here. I was thinking a long the lines, of before ro-ing up you invest in some tubing. Make it possible for the 60 year to pick up before he starts the rig, then when you and brother get home, one can continue to boil while the other may collect. I don't know you set-up but the sooner you can get away form the manual labor of the bucket, the easier things can fall into place for you
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