Everything for amateur maple producers

Text from Nancy Malenfant

The hobby product line is intended or small maple syrup producers, wheter they have five or several hundred taps.

The pandemic generated a great deal of enthusiasm among small maple producers. Hobby products are designed specifically with them in mind.

Although it’s not often said, some areas benefitted from COVID-19. “During the pandemic, we noticed enthusiasm for small maple syrup production,” says Jonathan Côté, Marketing Project Manager – Product and Customer Service, at CDL Sugaring Equipment. “In 2020, we saw a lot of people start producing their own syrup for fun and decide to buy equipment. It was a way for people to keep busy during the lockdown.” And, it’s good timing: the Hobby product line, designed for small maple producers and manufactured in Quebec by CDL, is now available at Agrizone (BMR Group).

One of the flagship products in this line is the Nano RO reverse osmosis system for producers with up to 150 taps. “It’s extremely easy to use,” says Jonathan Côté. “You just have it to plug it into a 110-volt outlet and start it. It will concentrate the sap and be more efficient during evaporation because there’s less water to boil. The evaporation time and the amount of wood needed is therefore reduced by about 50%.”

For maple producers with more taps (200 to 400), Agrizone also offers the Mini Hobby RO. “Before, there were no concentrators on the market for maple producers with fewer than 500 taps,” says the CDL specialist. “With the Nano RO and Mini Hobby RO models added to the 125GPH and 250GPH Hobby ROs already offered, small producers now have access to this technology at a very affordable price.”

For evaporation, last year the company launched the Hobby Pro evaporator, equipment for small producers with fewer than 25 taps. The other Hobby line evaporators are suitable for producers with up to 200 taps. There’s also the Evap-O-Grill evaporator, a 3-in-1 solution that transitions to a BBQ grill and a smoker. It’s an attractive option for people who enjoy inviting guests to their sugar shack. Beginner boiling kits are also available.

With the CDL vacuum filter press, syrup is filtered in at least two ways. The vacuum filter press comes in several sizes suitable for producers with up to 3,600 taps. “The idea is to create a vacuum in the lower part of the syrup filter tank using a vacuum or a tubing system, if the system is under vacuum,” says Côté. “The vacuum will force the syrup through the filter. It’s a quicker and more cost-effective solution than a standard syrup press.” Once producers reach the syrup bottling stage, they can use a propane or electric beginner bottling kit that allows them to maintain the syrup at the right temperature.

Lastly, for gadget lovers who want to ensure that their harvest runs smoothly in real time, CDL Intelligence is a maple sugar management system. “This system allows you to determine the vacuum level in the master lines [collectors],” says Côté. “You can consult all your data remotely in real time using a cell phone, tablet or laptop, provided you have Internet access. You can also add multiple features, including pan sensors, pump starters and valve controllers.”

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