More buckets added and a reverse osmosis update.
To start off, I went to the local hardware store and picked up 6 more buckets – plastic this time. I can’t stand their look but after putting them on, I like that they’re bigger and the lids are real nice. Oversized and lock on real well. They still look awful though. Can’t get over that part.
Had to remove one aluminum bucket. It had a crack in the bottom so the sap ran out.
I have 12 more buckets coming and ordered them from VT on Monday and they only shipped out today. Probably won’t get them until Saturday now. Figures. It’s a conspiracy I tell you.
With the 12 more buckets, I’ll have 35 buckets up and I think I’m going to say that’s enough. I was aiming for 40 originally, but since this is a baseline year and a learning year, 35 will do!
I collected ~ 12 gallons of sap today and I’m currently running that through the RO machine as we speak.
It looks better now, but last night was the night to find every poorly set fitting, something I didn’t fully screw in, etc. Leaks everywhere. I have 99% of them all set now with the one around the gauge and the one around the pin valve leaking so slow I’m just living with it for now.
I was able to obtain a 2:1 ratio. I was going into this hoping for a 3:1 ratio and did most of my math upon that ratio, but a 2:1 is going to work. I think I’ll need to add 1 more filter to try and obtain 3:1 and look for a better pin valve if there is such a thing.
My first days collection – of only 1/2 a day, I got about 5 gallons of sap at a 3% sugar content. It was as high as 3% because some of the water was frozen and I was able to take it out of the buckets and just toss the water on the ground. The original and natural form of reverse osmosis.
I ran that through that through the RO machine to get it up closer to 6% – I honestly didn’t take the best reading, but it was probably slightly under 6%
So even at 6% sugar, using the rule of 86, this means that 14 gallons of concentrated sap will yield me 1 gallon of maple syrup.
Interesting note: The homemade RO machine will process ~ 5 gallons of sap per hour.
Planning on boiling on Saturday.