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Author Topic: Maple Syrup 2018  (Read 16677 times)

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Offline Mapleman

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #200 on: April 11, 2018, 07:07:16 PM »
Looks like the season is over for me here.  We had a good freeze last night, and the sunshine this morning warmed things up to 45 or so, but we only got a slight dribble of sour smelling sap.  I think the two weeks of cold weather we had with no sap runs dried up the tap holes.  All in all it was an OK year though, we made over 400 gallons on 1800 taps, not far off our average.  Now it's on to the clean up!
"The older I get, the better I used to be."

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #201 on: April 12, 2018, 07:22:03 AM »
When the sap starts to turn yellow or sour, it's time to pull the plug tap!

We have 1,330 taps and now have 285 gallons either bottled or in the barrel!

Last year we got 245 gallons, so this has been a good year, but we thought we might hit 300 gallons!  We did get another barrel though when compared to last year!
~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 #202 on: April 12, 2018, 11:49:07 AM »
I had to shut the pump off on Monday, when the sap got super cloudy. Besides, I needed the time to finish up before my surgery next Wednesday.
This morning I had a call from an Amish farmer who is at about 1200-1400' higher elevation than I am and he is still going strong, but the forecast looks like he may not get another week or maybe 10 days. He was tapped before the end of Jan. and made over 100 gal in Jan. I think he said he has about 2500 taps, about 700 on mechanical vacuum and the rest on 3/16 gravity vacuum. With the frequent freezes and no flow days he has only made a little over 700 gal, was expecting 1000+.
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 maple flats

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #203 on: April 12, 2018, 11:58:03 AM »
Chuck, my best year ever, back when I had 1320 taps I made 428 gal. All taps were on low vacuum, one woods at 17" the other at 19" most of the season, on old dairy pumps.
This year, with only 225 taps (because of health issue) and the late start I'll likely only end up with 100-110 gal, but this is on an even older dairy pump (a BB4) which gives me 26-27" vacuum. I have not yet finished off the end yet for an accurate total. This PM I'll finish what is in the finisher, then I'll reduce what is still in the evaporator as far as I dare, then pump it to the finisher to get to final density. That will likely finish tomorrow or Saturday. Then to pull the taps.
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 #204 on: April 12, 2018, 03:45:09 PM »
Dave; You've been doing pretty good with the sugaring!

We gathered again today and the sap is starting to cloud up a little, we boiled what we had and drew off 2.6 gallons!

We'll go up tomorrow, and depending on how much is in the barrels, we might be done besides boiling off what's left in the evaporator!   We'll just drain the flue pan and flood it with water and just be done!

Wishing you the best on your upcoming surgery, Dave!
~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 #205 on: April 14, 2018, 05:49:07 PM »
I boiled for 4 hrs in my finisher today, working on the tail end of the season. What is in the finisher is what I pumped there after boiling as low as I dared in the evaporator. I still have more boiling to go, The depth in the 2x6 finisher has gone from 9" deep to 4.5, but the last check at about 5" deep the hydrometer still did not float at all. I think it was barely trying to float at 4.5" deep, but not real sure, if it was it was only by maybe 1/16" or so. I'll boil more tomorrow, I think I can get it to density then. It's beginning to look like my total might end up at between 95-100 gal. Should know tomorrow.
I had a call from the Amish producer who bought one of my leases, he is still going. He is at about 1200' or more higher elevation than I am. He made another 35 gal of Amber today. He thinks he will call it quits later this next week even if the trees are still going. He was all tapped by Jan 30 and no taps were the CV type.
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 #206 on: April 14, 2018, 08:56:47 PM »
All of our barrels are disconnected and buckets pulled as of early this morning!

We boiled, then allowed the evaporator to cool to about 150 (fire completely out) drained the flue pan and pumped it into the feeder tank, then gravity flowed to the front float box!

We flooded the flue pan with water before we refired the arch!

Between yesterday and today (not very much sap) we made 6.9 gallons of syrup, bringing our total up to 294.6 gallons!

Tomorrow we'll boil what's left in the front pans, in the finishing pan, we expect to BARELY reach our goal of 300 gallons!
~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 #207 on: April 15, 2018, 01:25:51 AM »
Made 15 gallons Thursday and 26.75 tonight.  Winter storming last night, today and supposed to through Monday morning.  Looks like sap weather again next week.  I can't imagine it lasting much past next week.  It's getting late.  We're well over a 100 gallons now but I don't have an actual tally yet. 
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #208 on: April 15, 2018, 11:43:23 AM »
If I may put my tongue in my cheek, when you have that higher vacuum are the trees shorter by season's end?
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #209 on: April 15, 2018, 01:29:12 PM »
Just got back from boiling some more on what was in the finisher. It didn't take as long as I thought. I just went by temperature, then I shut down with one channel at 219 and the other at 217.4. In the morning I will warm the finisher to maybe 120-130, then shut down, pump it all to one channel, with the plug in place to keep them separated, then put permeate in that other channel and then finish it off, get to density, grade it and then filter it and pump it to a barrel. At this point it looks like it may end up as Dark, but usually my final finish off ends as very dark.  Looking now like it will be about 15 gal +/- about 1. That would make my total about 100 gal off 225 taps.
The season lasted much longer this year than many in recent years. It's just too bad my health issue caused me to start so late, had I been tapped on 850 taps in Jan. like usual I might have had my best total ever or at least close, even comparing it to back when I had 1320 taps. Well, hopefully there's still next year and beyond. I will not be getting much bigger than 850-900 taps in the near future and after that I'll likely just do my sugarbush and maybe expand that to about 300. The hills on my lease get steeper it seems every year, especially if we get enough snow to require snow shoes. This year I only needed them 1 day, after a 2'+ nor'easter storm. My woods is rather flat, only about 7-8' max difference between the high point and the low area. (thus maple flats)
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 petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #210 on: April 15, 2018, 03:24:32 PM »
BTW all the best in coping with your health issues.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #211 on: April 15, 2018, 06:49:25 PM »
If I may put my tongue in my cheek, when you have that higher vacuum are the trees shorter by season's end?
Nope, they're just a little closer to the sugar house!   :D  ;D  :D  ;D  :D  ;D
~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 Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #212 on: April 15, 2018, 06:53:47 PM »
Final boil today, in the finishing pan!

Started about 8:15 this morning!

We boiled the last of it down and got 5 gallons!

We  "J U S T" squeaked over the 300 gallon mark, and got 300.1 gallons, a new record for us!

Now, all we have to do is the cleanup, then off to other things like firewood and lumber! 
~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 cbla

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #213 on: April 16, 2018, 05:48:59 AM »
Congrats on the good year Chuck!! I pulled my taps on the 14th and did the cleanup. I managed to get 4.7 gallons. The last 2 years have been very strange weather wise here in NS.

Online 51cub

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #214 on: April 16, 2018, 06:04:38 AM »
Congratulations, Chuck! You both exceeded your goal, and made a new record!
I believe in the hereafter, because every time I take two steps into the tool crib to get something I wonder " what did I come in here after"

Online celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #215 on: April 16, 2018, 06:07:20 AM »
We are still going. Still making golden delicate syrup with good flavor too. This season the weather has been by and large too cold for us. While operators south of us got runs, we were frozen up or just got a trickle. Even with the long cold snap and 45 degree weather its just kinda trickling in. Weather for this week is low 40s and low 30s at night. Not sure if much will happen. Maybe the trees will finally turn on for us! Or not, this week will be a telling week Im sure.
We are up to about 10,000 gallons. Not nearly where we would like to be (17,000 is a good production goal)
Chris Elliott

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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #216 on: April 16, 2018, 06:33:40 AM »
Congratulations to all for the good year!

Good to hear you're still going, Chris!

Chris, how many taps do you figure you have in?
~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 #217 on: April 16, 2018, 07:18:25 PM »
I finished off the end of my season. Too bad the tap count had to be so low because of my Cancer surgery this Wednesday. With late tapping as a result, and 26-27" vacuum I ended up with 102.5 gal on 225 taps. Still .455 gal/tap is not too bad, If this had been any other year when we were tapped by late Jan. I would have broken the half gal/tap that I keep trying for. Still this was my best per tap ever, by a little.
To top it off, I had 5 lines as an experiment. 3/16 tubing lines from 5-30 taps per line and all pulling from below the main. Two of them pulled from 400 and 475' away from the main from an area that was 5-7' below the main, and they had to climb over a driveway. Each was on 3/16 tubing, as they reached the driveway they went up a tree,across the driveway at 14' over the driveway and then sloped to the main at a drop of 10' and a distance of 30'. Then they tied into the main that was on 26-27" vacuum. I declare that experiment a success.
Next year I will be adding about 4-5 more similar lines, going up to 1000' on the longest one and all but one will be pulling from below the main without a conventional sap ladder.
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 #218 on: April 16, 2018, 07:56:00 PM »
Way to go, Dave!  smiley_thumbsup
~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

Online celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #219 on: April 16, 2018, 08:08:55 PM »
We got in approximately 37,000 taps. When I tell visitors to the sugarhouse that last year at this time the building they are in had a Skidder parked between the stakes of the footprint they usually say wow! Wanted to get more in but just too much to do.

Dave, we despise sap ladders and avoid them at all costs. Think we have one over 75,000 taps and I can confidently say we will not have one at the new Eden woods. We do just what you are doing. If you can keep high vacuum, you can simply lift it with a normal tubing run. 5/16 works too but 3/16 is definitely better for it. We figure 25 vertical feet of lift. Looks funny seeing all the tubing running uphill but man it works! 
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


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