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Author Topic: Maple Syrup 2018  (Read 16927 times)

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Offline Chuck White

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Maple Syrup 2018
« on: January 29, 2018, 08:49:03 PM »
Well, How's everybody coming along with preparation for the 2018 Maple Syrup Season?

Some of you are probably already tapping or even done tapping!

We are not adding any new taps or lines for this season, right now we are at <2,000 1,400  taps!

We started getting things set up for the season sugar house pretty-well cleaned up, syrup filter tank is all set, this year we have two, over this week we'll likely be setting the evaporator up along with setting up our holding tanks, and getting the gathering tanks onto the trailer!

Sometime within the next three weeks we should be tapped and ready for the season!

I wish everyone a good season, good luck and good fortune to all!   ;)   :)
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 11:17:44 AM »
  I've been working in my sugar house.  Got it ready enough for now except for tightening it up a bit so we can keep it warm to brick the arch.  We're going to set up the equipment so we can make syrup if the season breaks early and will do finish touches on the building if time permits.  We'll have about 800 taps this season.  We ran out of time and didn't get the other woodlot's 1,200+- taps plumbed.  That'll be 2019 :)  Depending on weather the plan is to start tapping the middle of February. 
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 01:13:46 PM »
Are you mortoring the bricks in?

Some do, some don't, keep it warm until the mortor is set!

We have some in this area that were bombarded with Gipsy Moths so bad through the Summer that they are not even going to tap this year!

Good luck to all!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline maple flats

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 05:07:31 PM »
I've been getting ready, cleaning the sugarhouse and repairing tubing.Until this season because I didn't have enough storage space I had a lot of tools and other things stored in the sugarhouse. This year, I now have a 14x28 storage shed with 2' deep benches along both long walls and across the back. Under the benches some have 1 shelf, some have 2 and one 8' section is all shelves from floor to the top of the wall. On the front, I have double doors and I drive the tractor in there to park it.
I have now moved most of the extras from the sugarhouse and kept them fairly well organized.
Last week, I re-plumbed my air diaphragm filter press pump to make it easier to flush with hot water for cleaning. Now all of my empty barrels for filling with maple syrup, along with all maple tools and fittings are all in that shed.
I have also recently re-set the releaser at the sugarhouse woods to make it level and easily adjusted for level if needed. Then I fixed any issues with the main lines and following that I started fixing leaks on the lateral lines. Once that is finished, I'll move on to my leased woods. That has only had a 1 day walk thru so far but it is in fairly good shape, far better than last year.
Once those are all fixed I'll watch for the right weather. Last year I started tapping before now and the 2 years before that I was tapped by Jan 20. This year, my long range weather forecast looks too cold until at least early March. About 4 or 5 years ago, I was all tapped by Jan 20-25 but one of those years my first boil was not until March 27. I hope it doesn't got that late this year, that would almost guarantee a short season.
By the way, I'll be at about 850 taps this season, up from 750 last year and that was down from 1320 two years earlier.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 09:04:57 PM »
Looks like you're moving right along, Dave!

We just got finished clearing undesirables from an area where we plan on putting in around 400 more taps next year!  Hauled out a bunch of firewood and brush!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 10:30:52 PM »
  We're using mortar for the fire brick.  Finished up some wiring today, tomorrow I'm going to fine tune the sliding door so it'll seal up better.  Snow blowing in around the sides just doesn't cut it ;) ;D  Then it's a matter of sliding the arch into its final resting place and getting it set up.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 05:26:58 AM »
Weve been tapping since January 1st, got around 70,000 to do this year. We are nearly done tapping the new operation but still have some finish up work to do, gotta connect everything to the 4 pipe conductor system, still a few mainline manifolds to go in, pump station is nearly ready and sugarhouse is nearly there too. Still seems like a lot to do! The RO showed up last week, its a 24 column machine, 18 normal membranes and 6 high brix membranes. Itll process 6000 gallons of sap an hour. Well have 4 eventually  :o

Our first couple weeks tapping the snow was brutal deep. Then we got some rain and a freeze up and its been awesome going on snowshoes ever since. Wed be further behind if not.
Chris Elliott

Clark 666C cable skidder
Husqvarna and Jonsered pro saws
265rx clearing saw
Professional maple tubing installer and maple sugaring worker, part time logger

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2018, 03:36:41 PM »
Wow, that's a lot of taps! 

According to the weather reports, we won't be tapping for another 3 weeks or so!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline millwright

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 03:37:50 PM »
Finished up new sugar shack, usually don't have any flow here till early March

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2018, 03:40:31 PM »
That's about the same as us!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 10:33:19 AM »
 Still thinning the maple orchard then rebuild main lines  >:( . I've been in the sugar house once to inventory the fittings needed for line maintenance. It's a small operation of 400 taps but now that I've been made to retire due to getting cancer, I'm thinking of adding more taps.Everything is on gravity right into the sugar house, but if I get a gathering tank and add buckets I can get another 100.
 Been hearing rumors of state wanting to start inspecting sugar houses  >:( . I want to rebuild the sugar house but I don't need state telling me I need to have stainless steel walls.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 03:18:50 PM »
We've been hearing those rumors too Ed!    :-\
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline Papa1stuff

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 05:21:27 PM »
Weve been tapping since January 1st, got around 70,000 to do this year. We are nearly done tapping the new operation but still have some finish up work to do, gotta connect everything to the 4 pipe conductor system, still a few mainline manifolds to go in, pump station is nearly ready and sugarhouse is nearly there too. Still seems like a lot to do! The RO showed up last week, its a 24 column machine, 18 normal membranes and 6 high brix membranes. Itll process 6000 gallons of sap an hour. Well have 4 eventually  :o

Our first couple weeks tapping the snow was brutal deep. Then we got some rain and a freeze up and its been awesome going on snowshoes ever since. Wed be further behind if not.
didn't think there that many trees in VT ;D
1987 PB Grader with forks added to bucket
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Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 06:18:07 PM »
Oh there's way more than that. We expect to have 200,000 taps on this property eventually. Not the biggest operation around, but the big draw of ours is we don't have to truck anything. It'll all go to the sugarhouse via gravity/vac lines or pump lines.

BTW Vermont is still far and away the biggest producer of maple syrup in the United States. Canada still far outpaces everyone else but still. Last year we (our operation) made more syrup than Connecticut and Rhode Island, to put it into perspective.
World syrup production, Canada accounts for 70ish percent, Vermont 14ish percent, NY and Maine are the next big players, and the rest of the maple belt states make up the rest.


I got to tie in our sub conductor systems to our super conductor (4"over 4" pipe) I tell you what, after all the work to get that 4" pipe in place I was a bit nerved up drilling a hole into it!
Another day and we'll have almost all the dots connected. Ready to receive sap at the pump station, not quite the sugarhouse yet.
The vac pumps got fired up yesterday to test fire them. Two 25hp Busch screw pumps, they'll move ALOT of air!
Chris Elliott

Clark 666C cable skidder
Husqvarna and Jonsered pro saws
265rx clearing saw
Professional maple tubing installer and maple sugaring worker, part time logger

Offline Plankton

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2018, 08:48:42 PM »
Sounds like a fun operation to be running in celliot, screw pumps are the way to go one of the producers I tap for replaced 3 liquid ring pumps on 26k taps with one screw pump and gained vacuum!

Been tapping since the second week of january, looking like cold all February so good tapping weather, going to be nice.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2018, 10:34:33 AM »
We took an old barn fan out of the end of the coupalow (sp) yesterday, it's been in there for years and was barely ever used.

The louvers on it allowed to much heat (at this time of year) to escape, so we took it out and boarded up the hole!

We have two 12" steam stack pipes and we can also open the side panels on the coupalow whenever it's needed!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline maple flats

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2018, 04:42:50 PM »
My season? I got hit with diverticulitis last Monday and at the ER they sent me for a CAT scan to confirm what I suspected (I had it 10-12 years ago). It was in fact the case.
However, when the Dr. read the CAT scan he also said I have a 3 cm x 3cm "lesion" on my left kidney. So, off to the urologist. He does an ultra sound and then reads both that and the CAT scan. He tells me that it's 80% certain to be cancer. Now I'm waiting for an appt. for a biopsy to confirm the cancer. If it is, I'll be going for robotic surgery and tapping might not happen, or I might do far fewer taps. I do have an Amish producer about a mile from my leased bush who I could get to tap for me and do the syrup on shares if I need to. He has about 5,000 taps and is trying to get to 10,000 or more. He is also a good friend.
At this point I guess it's just a good thing I got the attack of diverticulitis or the cancer would never of been caught before it was far larger. The Dr. says, if I need to go for the surgery, I'd lose anywhere from 20% to all of my left kidney, depending on issues when they get in there.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline cbla

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2018, 06:09:16 AM »
The weather here in NS has been crazy this year. below freezing then above freezing. For January and the first of February this has been strange,  I wonder how this will effect the  Maple season???

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2018, 07:02:30 AM »
We probably won't be tapping until right up near the end of this month!

This is about the weirdest Winter I can recall!   :snowball:
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline Papa1stuff

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2018, 09:27:17 AM »
celliott, I lived in Center Rutland VT for  10 years and   was in charge of Paquette Paving in Middlebury ,so I know a little about Vt ,was just kidding about the trees , sounds like a whole lot of work with that many taps ,Enjoy your beautifull weather there will stick to Florida!! ;D ;D
1987 PB Grader with forks added to bucket
2--2008 455 Rancher Husky
WM CBN Sharpener & Setter


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