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Crown Maple Sugarhouse: Building Sustainability through Energy EfficiencySubmitted by Robb on November 4, 2011 - 5:43pm
At Crown Maple, Lydia and I are truly committed not only to sustainable forestry but to managing all aspects of Crown Maple in a way that preserves the environment. Tomorrow we get to talk about how we’re putting that commitment into practice as we produce the purest maple syrup on Earth.
Crown Maple will be speaking at the Oblong Land Conservancy’s “Building Sustainability: Renewables and Energy Efficiency Options for New and Existing Structures” event from 9 am – noon Saturday, Nov. 5 at Dover Furnace in Dover Plains.
We had the luxury of building our maple syrup production facility from scratch and every step of the way we planned for maximum efficiency and energy conservation, which doesn’t always happen when building plans are designed.
We set up design goals for our maple processing system and enveloped the building around those goals. We started by setting the process capacity and then figured out how much sap and concentrate we needed to bring into the facility, this then led us to determining the size of the sap holding tanks, concentrate tanks, reverse osmosis (RO) system, evaporating equipment, refrigeration area and bottling equipment.
The size of the RO equipment and the evaporating equipment is key because you want to be able to process all the sap you collect everyday. Storing the sap, which is done too often at other processing facilities, can cause the sap to spoil because bacteria and yeast propagate in watery sap. In addition, because we reduce the volume of water by 85 to 90% with the RO system prior to evaporation, we save energy.
There are two side benefits to all of this efficiency. The first is that we’re able to make syrup that actually tastes better because using less heat for evaporation reduces the amount of carmelization; we’re darkening the syrup less and producing more light amber syrup and medium amber syrup. Also, the lighter syrup we’re creating retains more beneficial minerals, like potassium and zinc.
We’ve also put other sustainable features in our facility: our refrigeration area is under ground to reduce cooling costs and using reverse osmosis for water reduction coupled with a high efficiency three-stage evaporator save us 55 percent in fuel oil costs.
So when you buy Crown Maple Syrup and use it on your waffles or in that great recipe, you can be sure you’re getting a very “green” product produced in a sustainable facility with maximum energy efficiency. And it just happens to be the best pure maple syrup ever.
From the Farm provides updates on how the Crown Maple team is turning sap from the some of the most regal maple trees into quite possibly the purest maple syrup on earth. The Crown Maple team shares their insight into maple sugaring, the latest maple syrup production techniques, life in the sugarbush, conserving the land and sustainable forestry. Interested in more? Subscribe to receive updates.