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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: Chuck White on February 05, 2019, 04:56:23 PM

Title: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 05, 2019, 04:56:23 PM
Good to see some of us are getting into it already!

Talked a little with a guy from VT a few weeks ago and was surprised that in his area they had been tapping since early January.

We'll be setting up our evaporator in about another week or so!


NOTE:  I saw that @Plankton (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=27042) had made a post in the Maple Syrup 2018 thread, then Stephen1 suggested a 2019 thread, so here's the start!

Good luck to all for a GOOD SEASON! 

Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: TreeStandHunter on February 05, 2019, 07:28:39 PM
Just about finished with my old oil drum evaporator. Now to make the pan, I am in Michigan and will probably start tapping by the end of the month
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/46874/D8A53800-2175-482B-801B-7C7A87FDFC78.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549412899)
 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Old Greenhorn on February 05, 2019, 07:44:46 PM
My young cousin Dan is building a new sugar house (not sure if it's the second or third one he's built) over in Marlboro, VT. I was thinking I might head over for a weekend to help him boil. I haven't done that since Dan's Dad and I were about 10 years old. He is doing a fine job, can't wait to see it finished. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/52103/DansSUgarHouse.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549413861)
 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: millwright on February 05, 2019, 08:01:06 PM
Hope to have a better year than last year, weather wise. We had a lot of snow, then it got too warm real fast. Good luck to everyone.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: TreeStandHunter on February 05, 2019, 08:07:18 PM
My young cousin Dan is building a new sugar house (not sure if it's the second or third one he's built) over in Marlboro, VT. I was thinking I might head over for a weekend to help him boil. I haven't done that since Dan's Dad and I were about 10 years old. He is doing a fine job, can't wait to see it finished.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/52103/DansSUgarHouse.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549413861)

Now that is beautiful. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Old Greenhorn on February 05, 2019, 08:16:06 PM
You guys got me thinking (and maybe a little excited) so I contacted my cousin Dan to see what the local conditions were like, He is just 2 hours northeast of us. He says that some of the lowland guys with lots of trees have been tapping for a while, but not getting much, they just have to start early to get all the lines run. He is in the hills and figures noting much will be happening until middle of March. He runs a route with a bunch of his own trees, and trees on family acreage around the area, and some contracts he has. 1/2 mile back in the woods behind his new shed is one that was built by his Great Grandmother's family, it is still there, but largely collapsed. I used to play in there when I was a little kid and believe I still have a sap bucket I snuck out of there as a treasure.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/52103/Whitney_Sugar_House2016.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549415706)
 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Old Greenhorn on February 05, 2019, 08:30:55 PM

Now that is beautiful.
I could post a lot of photos of the inside which is still a mess during construction, not quite done yet, but I don't want to overdo it. If you are interested, I have some, but as I said, they don't make a lot of sense yet. He is milling all his lumber and building as he goes. Making wall partitions, counters, and getting the evaporator set in place right around now. Also doing the soffits on the outside, adding windows and such as the weather and time permits. Its a fine setup all built on a slab so it's nice and clean.
Here's a shot of his Uncle Don, my 1st cousin, sugaring at that old shack in 1946-7 with some of the family. Don is on the right and was a Junior in High School that year:

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/52103/Suguraing_at_The_Whitney_s_around_1950.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549416603)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: TreeStandHunter on February 05, 2019, 08:55:12 PM
That’s awesome. Is it timber framed 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Old Greenhorn on February 05, 2019, 09:04:43 PM
That’s awesome. Is it timber framed
Nope, it's stick built. He is doing it in spare time outside his regular job, timber would take too long. 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/52103/Sugar_house.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549418515)
 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: WWright on February 06, 2019, 05:45:50 AM
 We are all tapped here. Should have first boil later today. The last couple years I tapped around the first of January, decided to hold off till February this year. Sap was running strong as we finished tapping

 Nice pictures Old Greenhorn!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: TreeStandHunter on February 06, 2019, 07:26:50 AM
That’s a nice looking sugar house. Sure beats boiling out in the open. I’m gonna be making my pan today, my first time doing it so we’ll see how it goes
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on February 06, 2019, 08:12:26 AM
Best wishes for a good season everyone.
I havent boiled since 1977 on my former place.
Could have a 6 - 7 thousand tap operation here but refuse to put holes in my veneer maple.
Plus I am way too old for another enterprise.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 06, 2019, 02:42:56 PM
Well, we got a jump on things, weather was too windy and cold to skid firewood so we puttered around in the sugarhouse!

We got the evaporator all set up and ready to go, in about another week or so we'll be tapping!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on February 06, 2019, 07:03:46 PM
Good work Chuck!
We are good month to 6 weeks out. we will start to open the yard the 1st week of march and then go from there. Our best runs always happen around Easter, Last week of March and 1st week of April.
good Tapping everyone!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: TreeStandHunter on February 06, 2019, 07:43:27 PM
How do you guys recommend I insulate my arch? My wife is not going to be cool with me spending $200 on ceramic blankets and firebrick...I have a lot of old red brick lying around that I could use but from what i am reading that will only give me problems? Would it be ok for me to use the red brick than coat them with mortar? Our welder at work is going to make my pan for me these next few days, I want to be ready to tap next week. Thanks for any info!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on February 06, 2019, 08:53:24 PM
 Hey guys, been a busy year for us. We’ll be tapping around 100,000 this year between two sugarhouses. Didn’t get as much new installed in the Eden woods as we hoped. Lots of repairs from a November storm set us back a lot. Squirrels chewed and dropped 5k taps worth of tubing on the ground, trees and branches down everywhere. We spent all December repairing things when we should have been putting up new tubing. Oh well. Started tapping January 2nd, probably got almost 60,000 tapped so far.
Added a 3rd vacuum pump, another transfer pump and 3” pump line, a remote pump station with a diesel generator taking in about 15,000 taps, a second 7’x20’ evaporator and RO, now we gotta make some syrup!

Here’s some pics from the year.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/45C9674D-7347-4D5B-BB2F-6A8E3385D6B4.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549503076)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/D4F912B9-3D6C-41B4-B324-1207D286D7C9.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549503099)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/EE2046FB-EC5D-4B8F-921B-80959140D2AC.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549503104)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/26878349-8D23-49A9-8198-EBB2253A919D.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549503113)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/2230931C-4A92-4284-9DC2-D3323E4388F2.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549503119)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/2680768D-865A-42CF-9F24-7EA9EAB7EFC2.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549503124)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/C5462D26-539A-4119-884F-3FA1BB07F132.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502618)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/CCBA07DC-64D0-4799-830A-F2104C51DD08.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502624)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/1A222E1D-9190-4976-8F01-05438D60DC5B.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502630)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/7BC8B03B-C92E-4625-8996-FA09345DC8C5.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502636)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/2EC97C21-F1C2-4F7D-BC60-CA70F9FDCCAA.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502641)
 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on February 06, 2019, 09:01:35 PM
Here’s some tapping pics and the two evaporators.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/EA306E5C-B8A1-41A5-8EFF-A51441BEED3C.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502179)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/E3C5AFF5-0845-4B05-B599-77FE84EB8E43.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502210)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/ADF5A33F-63B4-4855-9717-CD5F6403DAD7.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502218)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/EC13BAF8-3C69-454E-AFAE-88E1367EB3C8.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502238)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/E13F66E1-1A7C-4ED5-BBE2-C316BC96AC15.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549502244)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/769606AF-4058-419D-ACD3-4CCDA4058D95.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549501694)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/8E38C70A-4261-4F66-AE79-5C4A59A2B499.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549501713)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/547FA3A1-D2BF-46A2-9D19-308C11DCF47C.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549501723)
 


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/31DF11A9-B157-4ED4-BD4B-9ED49C690E3A.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549501738)



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/2ABA1FE7-887E-4141-BD61-949B06520B34.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1549501747)
 



Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Plankton on February 07, 2019, 07:08:47 AM
Nice pictures celliot, looks like fun. Never seen the ropes for mainline used before. How do you like them?

Is it possible for my post in the 2018 one to be moved to this thread?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on February 07, 2019, 07:27:30 AM
  We were planning/hoping to add another 800 to our existing 800 taps but haven't got there yet.  We got the posts set for the wet dry between the woodlots and then life got in the way.  I've got the steel for the ceiling in the sugar house laying in the garage and am going to start putting it up and tapping this weekend.  On nice days we'll work in the woods and in the building when it's nasty.  If we still have time once the existing taps are ready to go maybe we'll get some more plumbed in.  We did run a new water line to the sugar house and have a new water heater to install as well.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Plankton on February 07, 2019, 07:58:24 AM
Hope this works

Even though its 2019 I'll throw these on here. Been tapping since first week of January here in south vt.

Just some fun tapping pictures, gotta keep it fresh doing this for weeks straight. Also a random picture of a wheeler with my bags on it from a few weeks ago snow got a lot deeper so that one has tracks on it now.

Been perfect tapping weather this season kind of cold but that made for perfect drilling and the snow is nice and light so the going has been excellent. The first real run started yesterday but back to tapping this sat.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190111_133915.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549384524)



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190112_121826.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549384151)




(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190112_140807.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549383815)



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190115_143240.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549384064)



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190203_113602.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549544959)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 07, 2019, 08:01:13 AM
celliot;  Just curious, how many MILES of mainline do you guys have!

Also, I forgot the size of your evaporators!

Thanks;  Chuck
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on February 07, 2019, 08:08:55 AM
We use the braided cable for bigger pipes. 1.5”, 2” and sometimes 3” get 1/4” cable, 3” and 4” get 3/8” cable. It’s very heavy but you can get it so much tighter than high tensile wire, and no worry about it breaking. Pulls very hard though. A whole new set of challenges with it we had to figure out- 3/8” cable can’t anchor to trees, so we use ledge and boulders. Can’t tie back them normally so we use wire tensioners.
It’s amazing, we strung out 8000’ continuous of 3/8” for our pump line. Tried tensioning with a 120hp tractor, didn’t even budge the other end.

Chuck, we currently have about 150 miles of mainlines out at the big woods. When it’s all said and done it’ll be over 300 miles. Currently have about 500 miles of 5/16 tubing out. It’s alot to keep up out of the snow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on February 07, 2019, 08:14:06 AM
We had one day this summer we set a company record- we put up 20,500ft of mainline in a day, nearly 4 miles. Two guys pulling, one guy keeping the pipe uncoiler spinning and swapping rolls of pipe. Wasn’t even that late of a day, out of the woods by 4:30. Previously we had been getting about 10,000ft a day out.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Plankton on February 07, 2019, 08:15:57 AM
Interesting stuff, sounds like relearning to string pipe and wire. Sounds like fun though! It's all 9 guage down here but no ones running enough taps for 4" pipe.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: nativewolf on February 07, 2019, 08:38:13 AM
Very interesting read.  Amazing amount of infrastructure going up into the forest.  
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Plankton on February 07, 2019, 08:40:36 AM
Sitting around with the day off because of rain and warm weather no need to tap and were tight as can be. So here are some pictures I found of a fun little tubing install me and 2 friends did this December 160 taps in one day brushing to drops in so made some money but boy was she steep. Me in first pic.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190102_120222.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549545941)



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190102_084838.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549546742)



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190102_162813.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549546166)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on February 07, 2019, 09:57:06 AM
Great pictures Celliott. 
Nice work Plakton, it is steep
Who is using the 3/16 self vacuuming lines yet?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 07, 2019, 04:45:33 PM
Lots of people around here are removing the 3/16 lines and going back to the 5/16!

The 5/16 will create a vacuum also, as long as it has enough sap to satisfy it!

Certain setups will run really well with the 3/16, but not all of them!

It also makes a difference if the line is "gravity" or if it's "vacuum"
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on February 09, 2019, 09:52:15 AM
 I still rebuilding the new sugar house after the old one's rotted frame and rock foundation started falling in last sugar season. Here's some picts of the new one.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10257/IMG_0406.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1549722846)
 
 My home made rafter's.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10257/IMG_0405.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1549723011)
 
 First rafter up I used the tractor and grapple holding a cordwood pole to put them up.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10257/IMG_0423.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1549723192)
 
 It's coming along but needs a lot more before I tap any trees.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 09, 2019, 03:43:17 PM
Looking really nice, Ed!  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Old Greenhorn on February 09, 2019, 05:19:40 PM
Nice work Ed! I like the trusses, that isn't going anywhere. You are in Mass and I see n snow, you lucky dog. My cousin started his in late summer in spare time and got it closed in early October, now still doing finish work. Hope you get it done in time, that's a big'un!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 12, 2019, 06:05:11 PM
A few have tapped in this area now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on February 12, 2019, 06:29:10 PM
Looking good Ed, not much snow on the ground. When will your season start?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: 51cub on February 13, 2019, 03:02:50 AM
Beautiful pictures everybody, thanks for posting! I haven't been in a sugarhouse for 3 or 4 years
 I'm hoping for a move soon that will be easier for me to get out helping again
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on February 13, 2019, 08:43:01 AM
 I should be tapping end of next week. Still have a lot of setting up to do to the arch an pans. Or I'd be tapping this week.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Plankton on February 13, 2019, 08:12:06 PM
Nice looking sugar house! How many taps do you run over there?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on February 14, 2019, 08:20:43 AM
 Small operation running 400 taps on 10 ac. I've got to thin it out according to the management plan I developed with my forester. Planned on logging this winter but it's sugar season and I cut maybe 10 trees. It's just plain hard to cut a maple ;D.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on February 14, 2019, 11:22:44 AM
I'm not tapped yet. Looking at our long range forecast we won't get more than a tease amount until March 11. We are now just fixing lines and changing drops. We will have between 900-1000 taps if we finish it all. We are changing my lease woods to get more vacuum. For years it has been on a vacuum tank and I regulated the vacuum down to 19". This year I'm changing to a bigger pump (Alamo 100 with after market oil drippers) and using a double vertical releaser, hope to get 24-25". Maybe next year get a better pump to get max. possible vacuum at the lease. At the sugarhouse my old BB4 gives me 26-27". Not likely to invest in a better pump there for maybe 1" or so gain.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on February 14, 2019, 11:26:22 AM
Even maples need thinning to open the canopy which then fills in for higher sap sugar %. Maples make good fuel too, if it's not lumber quality.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 14, 2019, 03:43:11 PM
We went up to the sugarhouse today and flushed the cleaner out of the RO.

Tomorrow we will drain that rinse and then we'll be ready to go!

We haven't tapped yet, maybe another week!

We'll have a little over 1,200 taps again this year, next year we should have 1,500! 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Plankton on February 14, 2019, 06:55:08 PM
Small operation running 400 taps on 10 ac. I've got to thin it out according to the management plan I developed with my forester. Planned on logging this winter but it's sugar season and I cut maybe 10 trees. It's just plain hard to cut a maple ;D.

Very cool! I live just a little west of you in charlemont. I agree it's hard to put a saw in maple trees but it does get you more sap when they recover and start growing hard.

I had a logging job for some guy and in addition to it he wanted me to cut a row of field edge sugars probably around 200 years old for his solar panels! If I didnt do it someone else would and I ended up buying the logs from him and getting them sawed so they wouldnt go to waste. But boy was that hard to set the saw in those old beauties.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 21, 2019, 07:45:09 AM
If we don't get rained out today, we'll put our barrels out, and tap tomorrow and Saturday!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: mitchstockdale on February 21, 2019, 09:54:50 AM
Does anyone still tap trees with just spiles and buckets? Understandably this would be just for personal use not commercial.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: hamish on February 21, 2019, 01:52:14 PM
Does anyone still tap trees with just spiles and buckets? Understandably this would be just for personal use not commercial.
I do every year, usually max out at 150 taps.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: mitchstockdale on February 21, 2019, 01:55:26 PM
Hamish,  How do you collect your buckets?  I have been looking for supplies but haven't been able to find any..
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: nativewolf on February 21, 2019, 02:41:13 PM
Small operation running 400 taps on 10 ac. I've got to thin it out according to the management plan I developed with my forester. Planned on logging this winter but it's sugar season and I cut maybe 10 trees. It's just plain hard to cut a maple ;D.

Very cool! I live just a little west of you in charlemont. I agree it's hard to put a saw in maple trees but it does get you more sap when they recover and start growing hard.

I had a logging job for some guy and in addition to it he wanted me to cut a row of field edge sugars probably around 200 years old for his solar panels! If I didnt do it someone else would and I ended up buying the logs from him and getting them sawed so they wouldnt go to waste. But boy was that hard to set the saw in those old beauties.
So a general question.  Does a really old large sugar maple like that support several taps?  Or ?  I looked at a property not far from me and they had some big ol sugar maple yard trees, very unusual here.  Several young ones in the woods (12-20").  
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Plankton on February 21, 2019, 07:43:13 PM
It all depends buckets,gravity or vacuum. Buckets nice big trees can take 3 to get the same amount of sap as one or two taps on high vacuum. The best set up woods I work on have one tap on trees up to around 30 dbh then 3 on the giant spreading old growth trees.

A tight and sterile system only need two holes In those big ones to get same amount of sap as mr.podunker down the road with sagging gravity tubing and 4 taps on a 20" tree and 6 on a big one.

They can take more taps and pump a lot more sap then small trees, but theres a limit to how many holes you want to put in a tree a year. I've worked in some woods that were or still are over tapped and you can see it in the trees. Lots of unhealed holes and dead or dying trees all throughout the bush. New tubing and way smaller drop count and the producers made more syrup then ever before on almost half the taps.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: nativewolf on February 21, 2019, 08:08:42 PM
It all depends buckets,gravity or vacuum. Buckets nice big trees can take 3 to get the same amount of sap as one or two taps on high vacuum. The best set up woods I work on have one tap on trees up to around 30 dbh then 3 on the giant spreading old growth trees.

A tight and sterile system only need two holes In those big ones to get same amount of sap as mr.podunker down the road with sagging gravity tubing and 4 taps on a 20" tree and 6 on a big one.

They can take more taps and pump a lot more sap then small trees, but theres a limit to how many holes you want to put in a tree a year. I've worked in some woods that were or still are over tapped and you can see it in the trees. Lots of unhealed holes and dead or dying trees all throughout the bush. New tubing and way smaller drop count and the producers made more syrup then ever before on almost half the taps.
Ahh interesting.  I have always wanted to tap some trees and the whole business is fascinating.  Maybe next year i may be able to buy a small maple forest up your way.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 23, 2019, 08:34:08 AM
We got our barrels in place on Thursday and yesterday and today, I'm under the weather, caught a cold and now I'm achy and have a constant drip!

Yesterday, my brother and his Son in law got over half of the taps done and will be working on the rest of them today!

I'm not even going to go out of the house today except to check the mail, and even that is a MAYBE!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on February 23, 2019, 07:11:23 PM
My partner and I are both going away for a vacation. I am back on the 8th , he is back on the 20th of March.
We decided to tap on Thursday in the cold. 225 taps on tubing. Wneh I get back I will dig in the tanks and get the pump up and running. 
Our best runs have always been the last week of March and 1st week of April. 
We are hoping we do not miss to much by being away. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 23, 2019, 08:16:04 PM
Supposed to be a cold spell coming up in a few days, it's likely to last a while!

We kind of think we'll get less syrup this year than last!

Good thing we don't do it for business!  ;)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on February 24, 2019, 09:07:31 AM
Supposed to be a cold spell coming up in a few days, it's likely to last a while!

We kind of think we'll get less syrup this year than last!

Good thing we don't do it for business!  ;)
I always find a great year is followed by a not so good year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on February 24, 2019, 09:27:00 AM
 Last yr was not a good yr for us,and this yr I think won't be that great also with little snow around the trees. Anyways I would to find a new back pan for my set up. It's a water-loo small 2x6 pan with raised flue. Not in a rush I think the pan now will be ok this yr but will need a newer one for next yr. Let me know if you hear of one for sale. Thanks.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on February 24, 2019, 05:15:14 PM
Ed, you spoke about not having much snow around the trees and a bad season, we have the opposite problem. The roots sometimes never thaw very well. We pull spouts on snowshoes sometimes. Anyways.

A few more photos.
This is our north pump station. It is located at the northern end of our property, and will service about 12,000 taps this season. We have more to add next year, eventually we will have probably 16-18,000 taps at this station.
We supply vacuum with a 3” line from our main station which is 10,000 ft (pipe length) away, with 3, 25hp Busch screw pumps. A 2” pump line follows the same 10,000’ route and we pump the sap uphill, then it gravity feeds to our main station, where it is pumped 8000’ to the sugarhouse.
We reused a 5000 gallon milk truck tank, and have a diesel generator to run the releaser and transfer pump.
Oh yeah, it snows a little up here.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/FCC7DF90-92BA-44F5-BD6E-A6CAFA0ED5A0.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1551045428)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/B29CAF1B-A0F3-4BBF-94E5-F04006E17144.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1551045412)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/9776B6C3-5535-4389-AE09-4E94033DAE05.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1551045423)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/674A53CE-BC74-4732-B6D9-AD123AC15A13.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1551045432)
 

And some tidy up work at our main station for the twin 3” pump lines that carry every single drop of sap this year to the sugarhouse.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/CE6F4FD8-1856-4A02-BD2D-620CC570FB5A.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1551045682)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/4BB6411F-D1EE-4F47-BFCC-6324AC3F1FAB.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1551045639)
 
You can see the generator in the background, that’s a new addition for this station. Standby only. We had an incident last season where we lost power while pumping sap on a cold night, and it slushed and froze solid in the pipe. Bad news.

And our re-configured hydra releaser.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/C93B0492-C610-4037-8795-2B424AE2C7B2.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1551045664)
 


That’s all I got for now guys. We’re still waiting on a sap run, and the long range forecast looks pretty cold for our location. Which is ok, we still have about 16,000 left to tap, and after that we’re gonna run more tubing, see if we can get 10,000 more new taps tubed and drilled. Ready for it to be done snowing that’s for sure.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on February 25, 2019, 07:52:24 AM
Celliott, your on the west slope of the green mts right? I can see where you'd have a LOT of snow coming off the lakes :(. I think that this coming week will be the turn around for sap runs. Could be like last yr where the first 2 weeks of mar were froze solid. Good luck sugaring anyways.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: millwright on February 26, 2019, 07:20:08 AM
We’ve got a monster amount of snow, and getting more every couple days. I’ll start tapping next week, about 200 on bags and buckets. Putting tracks on the utv, otherwise I’d probably have to wait till July to get in the woods.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on February 26, 2019, 07:40:56 AM
Thinking about tapping in on march 2.  mitchstockdale, I will have 35 taps out this year all on buckets. I collect the sap in food grade 20L buckets with lids. usually there is snow at the camp and I strap the buckets on either a toboggan or in the snowmobile sled.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: mitchstockdale on February 26, 2019, 03:53:39 PM
Thinking about tapping in on march 2.  mitchstockdale, I will have 35 taps out this year all on buckets. I collect the sap in food grade 20L buckets with lids. usually there is snow at the camp and I strap the buckets on either a toboggan or in the snowmobile sled.
Cool,  how many gallons would you get in a season? 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 26, 2019, 09:23:40 PM
We gathered around 300 gallons of sap yesterday and boiled it down today and made about 2½ gallons of syrup.

We'll boil the remainder down tomorrow in the finishing pan and should get between 4 & 5 gallons.

Tested the sap this morning and it tested "just" under 2%!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on February 27, 2019, 05:25:38 AM
Thinking about tapping in on march 2.  mitchstockdale, I will have 35 taps out this year all on buckets. I collect the sap in food grade 20L buckets with lids. usually there is snow at the camp and I strap the buckets on either a toboggan or in the snowmobile sled.
Cool,  how many gallons would you get in a season?

Last year I made about 4.5 -5 ( 20 L) gallons of syrup on 24 taps. a lot of the sugar maples I have are in decline. This year I will tap 10 red maples that I have not tapped in the past.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 27, 2019, 04:31:42 PM
We finished boiling what we had on hand today and ended up with 5½ gallons.

Graded on the line between Dark Robust and Amber!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: GAB on February 27, 2019, 07:59:49 PM
The Old Timers rule of thumb was a quart of syrup per tap, per year, if it was a good year, and you did not overtap.
Like all things agricultural mother nature has a lot to say about the outcome.
My dad said one year his dad boiled once and his uncle never boiled that year.
It was a poor year in their area.
You can tap soft or red maples, however the sugar content is not usually very high which means a lot of boiling time which leads to darker syrup.  A blend of soft and hard maple sap does make for a very tasty syrup.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: randy d on February 27, 2019, 09:23:01 PM
I went and tried to plow our woods road today it was tuff going about 35 to40 " of snow in the woods and cold weather for the next week or more so it will be quite a while before we will be tapping any trees here in north central Wisconsin.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 28, 2019, 07:13:22 AM
If it weren't for Soft Maples, we would have a lot less syrup!

About half of our trees are Soft Maple!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on February 28, 2019, 08:43:37 AM
Chuck what is the sugar percentage of your Soft maple?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on February 28, 2019, 09:39:12 AM
Around my sugarhouse I added almost 200 new taps, about 90-95% on soft maples. In the past, until last year I was about 90% on Sugars. I now might be about 50/50. That bush is tapped but we have only gotten about 4-5 hrs sap flow, only enough to run the vacuum about 3 hrs. Then it froze up hard again. Looking at the long range it may not give me more than 2-3 days before March 11. Then it looks good for the next 3-4 weeks, until it ends because of too many nights with no freeze. I'm still looking at about 1000 taps total for this season.
We had very little snow until the last 2 weeks, now we have about 12-14" on the ground. Still fluffy, no need for snowshoes yet here.
As far as sugar % in the sap, I do not check individual trees, just the tanks, all sap at both the sugarhouse and at my one lease go into one tank at each. While the sugar % changes year to year, I did not notice a significantly lower % when I added the mostly reds soft maples around the sugarhouse. My lease is all sugar maples, that woods has no soft maples and it is about 80-85% maples. To my knowledge I was the only one to ever tap that woods, I found no evidence of previous tapping , but some of the 200+ year old trees could have been tapped long ago. There were only 5 such trees, all roadside and the county has now removed all but 1. They were all 3.5-4.5' DBH. All of the rest of the bush is maples up to about 20", with maybe 15 or so that are 24-30" DBH, those are along one old woods road or one the outer edge of the woods mostly.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on February 28, 2019, 04:26:19 PM
Pete; We haven't tested individual trees, only like Dave said, just tested the tanks!

When the taps are all on lines with a mixture of trees, individual testing isn't always possible.

The Soft Maple will definitely test lower!


Today we bottled up what syrup we had from our first boil, we got 3 gallons, 2 half-gallons and 1 quart! 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: dustintheblood on February 28, 2019, 10:49:53 PM
We are on the north side of Lake Ontario and won't be tapping until the 10th this year.  Much later than the last two years for sure.  We're not huge but the family has fun with about 1000 taps.  New RO going into the saphouse this week and yup - I'm gonna love it.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: welderskelter on March 01, 2019, 04:39:00 PM
Treestand hunter. That is kinda what I built for my syruper only I believe you are going to need a hole for intake a lot bigger than that. Mine has grates in the front third and about a 6x6 hole for draft and then sloped it up to within about 4 in of the pan. Works great . A 10 in stove pipe about 8 ft tall and it will really go. You will really like it.Harold
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 03, 2019, 08:37:11 PM
Just waiting for the "warm up" so we can get into making syrup!

We were just lucky to get that last "itty bitty" run and made the 4½ gallons!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 06, 2019, 06:38:09 AM
Warm up here some, Guys are calling for slabs.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 06, 2019, 07:01:09 AM
In this area, we're all getting impatient to get started again!

Last year we had OVER 100 gallons in barrels and bottles by the 1st of March, right now we have 4¼ gallons!   :o   :-\
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on March 06, 2019, 08:50:58 AM
The weather looks good next week for us.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on March 07, 2019, 12:26:17 PM
In this area, we're all getting impatient to get started again!

Last year we had OVER 100 gallons in barrels and bottles by the 1st of March, right now we have 4¼ gallons!   :o   :-\
AHHHHH Mother Nature. Isn't she grand. 
Patience!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on March 07, 2019, 01:32:33 PM
 I got 26 taps in this morning but their not running :(.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Bruno of NH on March 07, 2019, 02:43:35 PM
-18° at my place this morning 
Not good sugaring weather. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: dustyjay on March 07, 2019, 02:45:20 PM
In this area, we're all getting impatient to get started again!

Last year we had OVER 100 gallons in barrels and bottles by the 1st of March, right now we have 4¼ gallons!   :o   :-\
Very similar here in Charlestown. Maybe this weekend.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 07, 2019, 04:33:32 PM
That's what we're hoping, Dusty!

Supposed to get into the 30's on Saturday and 40's on Sunday.  It'll take a bit for those trees to thaw out!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 09, 2019, 10:32:50 PM
Well, we tapped out TOKEN 50 "bucket taps" today!

Sap was actually running at a pretty good drip!

It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow, we'll see!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: millwright on March 11, 2019, 08:36:05 AM
Going to tap today, finally got a few days above zero. Got 3 feet of snow in woods so that makes things a little harder
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 11, 2019, 06:42:58 PM
We got all tapped on the 9th and because we're expecting a couple of really cold nights and below freezing days, we gathered what sap we had in barrels and buckets!

Didn't get an exact measurement on it, but it looks like around 225-250 gallons of sap sitting in the holding tub at the sugarhouse now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on March 12, 2019, 08:47:31 AM
 Finished my upper orchard yesterday, about 350 taps. I'll start collecting the sap tomorrow,I let it run for a day to wash out any left over water used to clean lines. Happy sugaring all.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Mapleman on March 12, 2019, 08:58:19 AM
     We got all our 1800 taps out on Saturday, beautiful day, lots of sunshine but no sap.  Well, a few smaller trees tapped on a sunny spot oozed a bit, but most holes were dry.  We got a little more seepage yesterday but still not enough to flush the lines out, and today will likely be too cold as well.  We're hoping it'll run enough tomorrow for the vacuum to be effective in checking the system for leaks, getting ready for warmer conditions on Thursday.  It sure is a late start to the season, but it could still be a good year....

Dave
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 12, 2019, 12:40:00 PM
"Late start" isn't really a strong enough phrase to use!

Last year by the 10th of March, we had already made 154 gallons of syrup, this year to date, we have made 5½ gallons!   ::)

We should have about 3 run-days coming right up!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: dustintheblood on March 12, 2019, 11:14:05 PM
Late start here too.  Tapped in today. Evaporator is shiny shiny shiny....

First boil tomorrow and then it's no rest for this wicked fellow till it's all done, clean and put away
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on March 13, 2019, 08:41:32 AM

 then it's no rest for this wicked fellow till it's all done, clean and put away
 Isn't this the truth!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on March 13, 2019, 04:46:29 PM
We are all tapped, dug in the tanks today, hooking up our vauum tomorrow. I really dont expect a run till next week. It was trickilling today, we could still tast the alchohol from spring cleaning so a little more of a run is needed still. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 13, 2019, 04:50:05 PM
Neighbors tapped yesterday. Today it got to 45F this afternoon. Been warm here since Tuesday, but not quite 40 until today. I don't think sap ran though, need more than a couple days to nudge her along. ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 13, 2019, 09:41:45 PM
Our lines just "oozed" a little today, not even to the trickle stage!

Only got up to 36°, supposed to reach 50° tomorrow, then it'll run!  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on March 14, 2019, 06:22:59 AM
nothing really happening here yet. had a few drips but that's it.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 14, 2019, 06:34:56 AM
Looks like it should start running about Noon and with the projected temps, it could run all night!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 14, 2019, 02:18:25 PM
Well, it finally broke loose and the sap is running, we have 62° right now!

We'll gather sap around 5:00 PM!

Then, we'll gather again in the morning!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 14, 2019, 06:33:10 PM
I suspect it is running here since melt water is flowing and snow depth is dropping. About 50F this afternoon.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 15, 2019, 06:56:35 AM
We gathered "near" 500 gallons yesterday and boiled it, and shut down last night around 9:00!

Raining this morning, temp 54° at 6:00, so no telling what's going to happen with the run!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on March 15, 2019, 07:02:38 AM
Its warming up, I expect a really great run all next week. 
Lets see if the weatherman can earn his paycheck with his forcast :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 15, 2019, 08:04:18 AM
Around here it is going to be in the 40's until Sunday, when it is going to drop off with high below freezing for a few days. No abnormal highs predicted for here.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: dustintheblood on March 15, 2019, 04:46:50 PM
We gathered "near" 500 gallons yesterday and boiled it, and shut down last night around 9:00!

Raining this morning, temp 54° at 6:00, so no telling what's going to happen with the run!
Despite the same rain here, we didn't get hardly any.   I'm thinkin we're in for a weird spring....
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 15, 2019, 08:34:26 PM
We are too!

Our barrels didn't gain 1½ inches today!

We are thinking this is the beginning of the end!

Most of the fields in this area are bare, and there's little snow in the woods!

I even saw a flock of Robins this afternoon hopping around in the field next to the house!

Last year, at this time we had just over 170 gallons of syrup in bottles or barrels!  :o  :-\
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on March 16, 2019, 06:28:44 AM
We got all tapped, and installed some more tubing, probably 1000 new taps so far, more to come on the cold mornings. 
Seems like a late start but historically for us, mid March is right  on the money. Last two seasons making some syrup in February spoiled us!

Vacuum is down everywhere. We have a ton of territory to cover to check leaks. With really only 1.5 good days of leak checking we have a long ways to go. 

Upper pump station functioned properly, that was good news. Spa took nearly 30 minutes to make it to the bottom tank! 10,000ft of 2” pipe to go through!

We have enough sap now to concentrate and fire up one of the evaporators. Do that this afternoon.

I’ll update with some pictures later.

Happy sugaring!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: GAB on March 16, 2019, 09:16:35 AM
@Chuck White & @dustintheblood:
You folks wrote: Our barrels didn't gain 1½ inches today! & Despite the same rain here, we didn't get hardly any.
Was it windy?
The reason I ask is because my dad always said that wind dries out the trees.
GAB
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 16, 2019, 10:58:45 AM
I believe there is something to the wind theory to, but it is due to atmospheric pressure versus internal pressure of the tree. When internal pressure exceeds atmospheric pressure you get flow assuming it is not too cold. And we know wind happens when high atmospheric pressure meets lower pressure. :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on March 16, 2019, 11:04:27 AM
 1st boil on the 13th had enough to sweetin the pans about 150 gals. I have 75 gals to boil in this afternoon. It hasn't run much since the 12th. Hope it runs this coming week can't believe it's over already.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on March 16, 2019, 05:19:45 PM
I believe there is something to the wind theory to, but it is due to atmospheric pressure versus internal pressure of the tree. When internal pressure exceeds atmospheric pressure you get flow assuming it is not too cold. And we know wind happens when high atmospheric pressure meets lower pressure. :)
That’s exactly it. And wind from certain directions typically means weather changes coming, around here we say “wind from north and west, runs the best, south and east runs the least”. It’s really true. 55 degrees and south wind, hardly anything. I’ve seen west winds and 33 degrees and snowing hard, and it’s a gusher.
We didn’t boil today, wrapped a few things up, got all the tanks empty and washed. Concentrated the sap and it’s chilling at 35 degrees in our refrigerated bulk tank. We will boil it probably Tuesday. I’d guess enough for 700ish gallons of syrup.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 16, 2019, 07:30:26 PM
GAB;  Partially true, if you have spouts and buckets, the wind can dry up the tap, but that doesn't happen on tubing because the tap is shielded from the wind!

There are several things that can affect the sap run as well as the boil!  The temperature whether to warm or to cold can stop the run, barometric pressure can affect them, wind can stop the run, and cloud cover can stop (or slow down) the run and you can also lose your boil!

We just don't think this is going to be a very good year in this area!

Today we bottled up a around 15 gallons, bringing our total to 22½ gallons!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on March 17, 2019, 11:02:37 AM
Here’s some pics of what we’ve been up to.

Moose hanging around some of our higher elevation stuff. That’s a beaver pond it’s standing on.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/ABBEEE78-3ACE-4C81-A0DF-67F6370C53EE.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552828828)
 
Running some more mainlines and tubing. Skandic wide track and a 6x6 can am outlander with track kit.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/95923770-6D12-40DA-A897-B91D7D13883D.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830678)


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/25107238-F403-400A-9B62-6B77EFC2FFDA.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830105)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/A1EDA2BA-FFEB-40DA-8845-35AD39EFA9BD.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830666)


 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/F2287DB5-F422-4134-9FA5-91C94C5831F5.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830673)
 
The main network of pipe, everything runs through here. Top pipe is a 4” vacuum line, second pipe is a 3” liquid line, third is a 3” vacuum line, 4th is a 3” liquid line, 5th, the black one is a 2” pump line. They reduce in size as we take on less taps, all start out 4”.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/9E6D571E-DAD3-400A-A374-CF5862B65C45.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830636)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/8370D72B-2D7E-4093-AFCA-A4ED0A837BB6.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830632)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/8B95D566-0939-4F67-A309-F62D134BD526.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830626)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/B198A330-E59B-4E6E-80FF-4321C3AE48B6.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830597)
 
This is where the two systems “break apart” one main chunk we call the A system, the other is the B system, and the pump line has its own station, which I’ve showed with 5ft of snow on the roof of a shipping container, that’s the C system. Each of these has smaller wet/dry systems tying in. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/F3C7BFCE-87DC-4313-B8D5-DA2B017A0992.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830602)
 
The B system and C pump line coming across a high brook crossing. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/2C4580E4-A313-46BA-88B1-8FDE6B242258.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830573)
 
Releaser and transfer pump at the C system.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/7CA48B3E-82B1-46E2-BEFA-68B512CE1BAC.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830581)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/FCC7DF90-92BA-44F5-BD6E-A6CAFA0ED5A0.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1551045428)
 
We’ve since shoveled the tank and the generator has melted off.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/7C452BFE-68D5-4BFF-891D-6F0D1A319755.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552830577)
 
I bet our snowpack has settled over a foot, 1.5ft in the last few days. Still got a bunch.
Now some leaks. Finally got to leak check, it was warm enough. Lot of tubing still to check over but we got started. Seems like critter chews are the name of the game so far.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/ACB4FE85-92CE-4091-9D6B-17A3245C47B5.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552828917)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/58FAF28A-60AD-45A6-A0AC-69B847AA9143.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552829889)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/79935EF4-FADA-4DC5-98C7-5CB47FA39385.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552829067)
 
Woodpecker or sapsucker ( :D )

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/9CB35B31-3589-4C0F-AE23-80259C8CABE1.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552829070)
 
Somebody missed one. When you tap for 2.5 months straight, yeah we end up missing a few. We always find them though!

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/5D8B6BFB-88F8-4A1C-9352-55D04BB65BFD.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552829188)
 
Poor taphole location. Pulling vacuum through that seam.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/C305D120-1C60-438D-BBAB-59ECFE766CC6.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552829191)
 
Deer chew it appears.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/EEE763FE-D370-4C0C-B562-83145482D1DE.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552829200)
 
Coyotes...

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/5228DB6B-B603-473F-BA9A-68528E5A5202.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552829204)
 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/0A988340-F9E8-4C34-9CC5-2058F8C23509.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1552828817)
 
Top busted out of a tree and broke this spout.

There was plenty more we found, just a few pics I took. I’m sure there will be more interesting fixes to come!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: GAB on March 17, 2019, 11:14:42 AM
Thanks for the replies.
GAB
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 17, 2019, 11:58:37 AM
Nice photos. :)

Lots of snow like way up here. Be the end of May I suspect before the white stuff is all gone from the shaded places. Not even 30 degrees here today, and frigid wind a screaming. Must be off that inland hurricane from the mid west US, been nasty out there for a month.  Big snow and now tons of rain. Dry here today, except snow squalls in the hills west of here, in Maine. Just March. :)

I think the moose has been eating on them fir in the foreground. You'll know once the snow melts. ;) Some of them line chews might even be quill pigs. One looked like rodent buck-toothed.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 17, 2019, 12:25:06 PM
Best of luck all of you tree drillers.
When I boiled in the 70s the squirrels drove me nuts.
I went thru many bags of couplings during the season not counting where I could stretch the line to a tap.
My last year I had 1200 taps all tubing on a 1 and 1/2 man operation 2 different bushes.
Worked a job all day boiled at night and weekends.
Gathered the remote bush in the dark lots of times, the other one was piped to the sap house.
Lot of work but I loved it.
Divorce stopped the boiling way more effectively than the weather ever did.
I had to wholesale 90 percent of my production that year.
40 years later I still miss it.
BTW who are the tubing makers now?
I used Lamb blue tubing and another mfr from Argyle NY green tubing whose name I cant remember.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 17, 2019, 03:45:05 PM
Those porkies love rubber and plastic. They'll chew the tires off a trailer or pick up for that matter. Even if a busted hose off a piece of forestry equipment is roadside near slash piles, that rubber is snack time. If your tenting out in the bush and hear chewing after dark, you better check the pickup. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on March 17, 2019, 05:56:19 PM
Lamb, IPL, and I’m sure many others are gone now. I’ve seen some of that old stuff. The materials we have nowadays are way ahead of the early stuff.
Lapierre, h20 innovation, Leader, CDL, Dominion and Grimm, DSD, are the big players these days. 
Our 5/16 tubing is leader max flow, most of our mainline is leader high density, we also use a lot of oil creek pipe made in Titusville PA, for our black pipe. And the big 3” and 4” fusion weld pipe is from CDL. Our evaporators and RO’s are from H20. Busch vacuum pumps, Gould’s transfer pumps, lots and lots of stuff.

Yeah those moose have frequented that area, the fir are mowed down pretty well.

Someone a few posts back asked where we were located, we are on the east slopes of the green mountains, between Mansfield and Jay peak. Snow belt country.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 17, 2019, 07:08:42 PM
Most of our stuff comes from CDL,h20, D&G, and once in a while Leader!

Didn't get warm enough to run today!

Last night we got about ½ inch of snow, but the ground was warm enough to melt it, so we're back to partially bare ground!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on March 17, 2019, 08:28:26 PM
Finished tapping today.  Need to do some fine tuning and vacuum check tomorrow.  Same 800 taps as last year.  Wanted to add more but the winter's weather etc. didn't allow it.  More snow on the ground than we've had in several years.  Had to tunnel to the pump house with the Bobcat and tap on snow shoes.  We missed some sap last week.  Hasn't ran since but sounds really good for the next few days.  Here we go.  All our tubing is Leader.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on March 18, 2019, 06:26:02 AM
Finally got some sap on the weekend and the first boil.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Mapleman on March 18, 2019, 06:59:19 AM
We boiled Saturday, sweetened the pan and drew off once, but not enough to bother messing up the filter and canner with, we'll run it through with the next boil.  And I hope that's soon, it's getting late in the season, a lot of work setting up with not much so far to show for it.  Probably too cold these next two days but Wednesday is looking good.  

Nice pics celliot - I'm impressed with the scale you're working on up there and inspired to see the level of professionalism in your installations.

Dave
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 18, 2019, 08:54:00 AM
Thanks Celliot
Of course being away from it for more than 40 years I dont know any of those manufacturers.
RO was just getting started back then.
Cornell U had seminars every winter.
I dont know of too many producers in these parts now.
The Ranger School at Wanakena NY just started their operation back up I think 2 years ago.
Reason they stopped was was heavy forest tent defoliation back 15 or 20 yrs or so ago.
My wife's cousin has a sizable bush tho and we get our syrup there.
Saw some steam on Saturday while out and about at a couple of Amish places 
Do Leader and Grimm still make evaporators?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on March 18, 2019, 07:23:24 PM
There is a lot of seminars these days. We usually do a tubing installation seminar in the fall and a boiling seminar in the winter, they have maple schools where they gather many experts and manufacturers and has different discussion points. No lack of education or resources for sure.

Without reverse osmosis we would be lost. How could you possibly boil the amount of sap we get, in a timely manner so it doesn’t spoil, and economically? Couldn’t do it with raw sap. We burn I think around .2 gal of oil per gallon of syrup. Our two RO machines running together can process around 12,000 gallons of sap an hour and take it to a point where you have to boil off around 2.5 gallons of water to get a gallon of syrup. All our equipment is designed to be easily cleaned. If you can clean it easy, you’ll do it more often. We totally clean the evaporator after every boil. Goes a long way for a high quality, consistent product.

I almost went to the ranger school, I remember talking to them about that. We have had some forest tent defoliation at our big woods. Spraying now, but we did lose around 200 acres of potential tappable trees. Never leafed out, dead. Total defoliation at least 3, 4 years in a row. Scary stuff. The spray was very effective over where we are currently tapping.

Leader and D&G still make evaporators and a full line of supplies. Leader is the only major US maple equipment manufacturer now, all the rest are based in Canada.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on March 18, 2019, 07:28:04 PM
Dave, (mapleman) thanks a lot. This is Glenn’s legacy project, and we all strive for the best we can possibly do. We didn’t want to be a big sugarhouse that cuts corners and makes just ok syrup. We wanted a high quality product, and it takes every aspect of the operation being in top shape to get that. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 18, 2019, 08:28:16 PM
Very professional looking operation.
Good on you folks for caring about a superior product.
My last married year I sold for $4 per qt, $12 per gallon, light amber AKA fancy,somewhat less for medium amber.
Dark went in drums before my marital probs.
The light amber I wholesaled the year of divorce, I got $8 per gallon. But went home with about 1500 bucks
BUT that was a different time.
Did get a good buck for my equipment tho.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on March 18, 2019, 11:10:11 PM
High pressure brings on the sap so if its windy the barametric pressure is changing. Just depends on what side of the high pressure your on.
I had ice hanging out our mainlines.  I did not install the vacuum yet as I am in Vermont to pick up my kiln from IDRY. It should be warm enough to start the vacuum on WED.
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13648/IMG_1556.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1552964974)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13648/IMG_0594.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1552965003)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 19, 2019, 07:02:46 AM
Somehow, it warmed up enough for sap to run for us yesterday, some of the barrels are near 1/2 full, so we'll gather and boil today!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 19, 2019, 09:08:34 AM
I was surprise yesterday, the snow melted in the yard even though the afternoon temp showed 25F. That direct sun is hot.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: millwright on March 19, 2019, 03:47:44 PM
We are just getting going here in northern Wi, dripping a little today.  Looks pretty good for the next few days, just hope it don’t get too warm too fast
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 19, 2019, 06:47:01 PM
Well, it didn't run enough to gather and boil, but there will be plenty tomorrow!  :-\

The next few days look good for sap runs!  :)

We'll see!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: randy d on March 19, 2019, 09:24:05 PM
We collected the first time yesterday we had about 15 taps out and we cooked down about 2 and 1/2 pints of nice amber syrup that we will have on our pan cakes tomorrow. there is still 18 inches of snow in the woods. Randy
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on March 20, 2019, 05:48:43 AM
The last 3 days have been cold here, its been  around 26 F. its supposed to warm up for Thursday and Friday.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on March 20, 2019, 07:31:03 AM
Sugar bush to the north of us ran 355 gallons of sap on 400 taps yesterday.  He's pretty sheltered.  We had a cold wind here most of the day.  It ran late and enough to flush the lines.  We tracked down and fixed some leaks.  Vacuum still isn't as high as it should be.  We'll get that figured out this morning.  Should run today and tomorrow then cold again for a couple days.  We need 900 gallons to sweeten the rig.  Hoping to get that done Thursday evening.  A lot of snow in the woods.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 21, 2019, 07:01:17 AM
We gathered 400 gallons yesterday morning, ran it through the RO and started the boil, didn't get a draw but it was really close.

During the afternoon the run really broke loose and we gathered another 800 gallons, ran that through the RO and fired up again.

I headed home and my Brother and his SIL continued the boil!

Now, we'll see what the day offers up!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 21, 2019, 06:43:48 PM
Sap was all gathered when I arrived at the sugarhouse and the boiling soon started!

Boiled from about 8:30 to 3:00 and ended up with 25.8 gallons produced today!  :)

Tomorrow we'll clean the pans and gather, then fire up again!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Backyardmaple on March 21, 2019, 11:12:43 PM
Anyone on here ever think of using a sous vide to pre heat maple sap. If unfamiliar it is a portable water heater used by chefs to control temps down to 2/10 of a degree.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on March 22, 2019, 07:02:26 AM
Mine on Wednesday and Thursday ran the hardest I've ever seen in the 17 seasons I've been doing maple on a bigger scale. The best part could have been even better. At my lease I'm just running on a vacuum tank and even then, only at 16". New engine and pump and been so busy I couldn't even take the time to adjust the engine up a little to get 19" and give it time to monitor to be sure it doesn't go over 20", I've seen pictures of tanks that imploded (I trust that tank at 19"). Most of all, I have a releaser stand I built to mount on top of the tank and then that pump should get maybe 23-24". Maybe early next week. That change will take about 5-6 hours and we are going full tilt just keeping up with what we have.
This weekend is the first of two Maple Weekends. In the past we have had to slow the boil and sometimes even boil water on Maple weekend, not this year. Right now I have about 1200 gal stored at 3.1% (it started at about 2%, I RO'ed it just to 3.1 just to hold it, I'm hoping I didn't go too high to have it spoil. I've never even lightly run the RO before, just go to 8-12% shortly before boiling. This morning I also have the tank at my lease that likely has 900+ gal more to haul, and around the sugarhouse it ran all night, for the 3rd night in a row now.
Syrup anyone? Got to go boil now, I'll take that sap to 10-12% and boil. If I wasn't looking to cut back I'd be looking at an RO that can go much higher, mine only does 12% well, and can do 15%, but it then needs to be watched and may need a permeate rinse every few hours or it plugs up.
I see some are now going to 35%, all I can say, is Holy Smokes.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 22, 2019, 06:39:03 PM
We gathered the sap and made another 13.8 gallons of syrup today!

The run was pretty-well shut down at the time we gathered!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on March 22, 2019, 09:16:16 PM
Well out to the barn today and all we have is snow and more snow. Half a tank, 50 gllonas of sap and real cold tonight. We might get a run on sunday but tomorrow is cold.  We will put out the 25 buckets around the barn. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 23, 2019, 05:47:23 AM
Rained here all day yesterday @ 34F and then snowed a little over night. No sap. I don't think it has done much up here at all yet. Lots of snow on the ground though.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on March 23, 2019, 06:37:46 AM
I collected at my lease yesterday, it finally slowed, only got 435 gal in 22 hrs. That is much more common most years for 24 hrs.
At my sugarhouse when I got there yesterday the pump was pulling against a full moisture trap. The 545 gal tank  it was dumping into was full, and that floods the releaser just enough that it can't dump (no place for the sap to flow). I ran the RO and had that vacuum able to start back up in about an hour, but it was still about 30 F. It warmed to 34 about an hour later and the pump was restarted.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 23, 2019, 06:39:47 AM
It started snowing yesterday morning and it's still snowing!

Won't be much going on at the sugarhouse, except bottling syrup!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on March 23, 2019, 08:04:43 AM
800 gallons of sap banked.  We're having our first boil this evening.  Froze up hard last night.  40° for later today so it'll run some but it's going to take a while to loosen up.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on March 23, 2019, 09:13:08 AM
 Boiled in 400 gals yesterday and while Rita tended the firing I caned 5gals all in qts. What a pain doing qts without overflowing you really have to pay attention.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Mapleman on March 23, 2019, 01:03:40 PM
We boiled in what we had yesterday, we've boiled three times and have made about 70 gallons or around 1/6 of a normal crop.  So we have a long way to go.  Tomorrow is looking good, as well as the latter part of next week.  It could still be an OK season, but time is running out for things to turn around, that sun is getting stronger every day!

One good note, our sap has been much sweeter than usual - we usually run around 1.8 to 2 %, this year we've been testing out at 2.4%!  That makes a big difference for us as we don't have an RO.

Dave

Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: dustintheblood on March 25, 2019, 01:02:51 AM
I need some help fellows.  First run tonight with my brand new RO and tonight I didn't do the unsugaring process right after I ran it.

Temps are now too low to run the unsugaring and rinse and wash.

The unit is moved into a warm space until morning

Am I okay to do the unsugaring and rinse and wash first thing in the AM, or did i wreck the membrane?

The manual (which I read carefully but didn't notice) says "5-min after concentration do unsugaring and rinse and wash".

HELP!!!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 25, 2019, 06:38:51 AM
I don't know much at all about the RO, so I'll let someone more experienced give the advice!

Yesterday the temps got up to near 50°, so we have lots of sap to gather this morning!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on March 25, 2019, 12:39:45 PM
  We've got to close to 25 gallons of finished syrup now.  We're setting the canner up today.  We ran out of clean buckets last night with about 130 gallons of sap left.  Boil off rate was good last night.  Pulled 21 gallons of syrup from raw 2% sap in 6 hours.  Got to get the RO setup ;) ;D. 
  It'll run a little today with the sun.  It's cold but the edge trees will produce some.  Another 150 gallons of sap and we'll fire up.  Tomorrow should be alright and Wednesday looks good.  Not supposed to freeze Wednesday night.  Friday and beyond look good if you can believe the extended forecasts.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 25, 2019, 02:35:13 PM
Too cold here today, was 12F this morning. ;) Although ,melting in the driveway on bare gravel. But I have not seen anyone next door boil yet. Definitely late up here. Last year, the day I dug all the foundations (June 3rd) for the new buildings it was 92 F. By the look of it, it will do the same this year, cold then wham, summer's here. :D I'm laughing as I type here, the sun is so powerful in the windows that it is 83F and no fire on. One of them windows is 7' by 9', lots of glass. ;D Been that way since Mid Feb on sunny days. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 25, 2019, 05:28:08 PM
We had a good run here yesterday, so we gathered this morning and started the RO and then fired up the evaporator!

We drew off 18.5 gallons today, mostly light amber (delicate) and that brings our total this season to 89.8 gallons.

Hard to believe the forecasts anymore and all we can do is process what we get!

We'll be bottling more syrup tomorrow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on March 26, 2019, 08:25:15 AM
I am afraid of summer showing up to soon. We still have winter here, the lines are thawing in the sun but not a lot of sap yet. We pumped up and gathered in a snow storm sunday night, before the big freeze -18 C . We still do not have enought boil. Yesterday it wram up to 1C in the sun and hopefully warmer today, the vacuum is set up and we all ready to go. 
We are just praying we will get a spring before summer.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 26, 2019, 09:31:34 AM
No sap here today, cold @ 10F over night. If we don't get 20's F at night, no sap coming the next day. Just came from the woodlot, still 2-3 feet of snow. Any warm spring that never froze last winter, you can sure tell the snow depth around it. Big sink holes and snow higher than your hips around it. :D

I gotta laugh at times. Someone will say they have 4 feet of snow and they get 3 days of warm weather and come back and say the snow is all gone. I never seen that happen here that quick in 52 years. Their 4 feet would have to be light stuff and the days was 75 degrees. :D Hard compacted snow piled up 4 feet with mild spells between to compact it, doesn't melt out here for weeks. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 26, 2019, 02:23:07 PM
We got a small run sometime yesterday afternoon, but not enough to do anything with!

We bottled up 6 gallon, and 8 half gallon jugs this morning and filled one of the 15 gallon kegs!

We're likely to get another small run this afternoon, we'll see what tomorrow brings!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: dustintheblood on March 28, 2019, 12:51:40 AM
Full steam ahead here for the past few days!

Got my RO setup figured out and loving it!!

Pics to come shortly
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 28, 2019, 05:05:47 AM
Been too cold here, yesterday was another 10F morning. It is finally going to warm up today to mid 40's and it was 24F this morning for a change. ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 28, 2019, 06:57:26 AM
Sap ran good yesterday, Jack and I were both "under the weather" so that left Ken and he did the gathering and collected near 700 gallons and the rest will be gathered by us this morning!  Ken found a couple of helpers! 

We'll go over 100 gallons today, that's only 1/3 of what we made last season!  But, we also need to remember that we can only get what mother nature allows us to!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 28, 2019, 08:11:56 AM
Another ignorant question from a former producer.
Is there any flavor difference in RO produced syrup and other products?
We buy ours from my wife's cousin who boils the old fashioned way.
With the temps predicted here should be a good run today in CNY
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on March 28, 2019, 11:40:27 AM
Still winter, but it is leaving now. We had a small run yesterday and no freezing last night. I see the weather is changing today, high pressure coming with a freeze tonight 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: dustintheblood on March 28, 2019, 01:19:07 PM
Still winter, but it is leaving now. We had a small run yesterday and no freezing last night. I see the weather is changing today, high pressure coming with a freeze tonight 8) 8) 8)
It's so late here Ontario this year eh?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 28, 2019, 06:44:44 PM
Pete; IMHO, yes there is a difference in flavor when sap is run through an RO, most notably when it is concentrated to 12% or higher sugar content!  The heavy MAPLE FLAVOR seems to be missing, but don't get me wrong, it's still very good!

We generally run our RO for a 4-5% concentrate!

With what sap was gathered yesterday and this morning, we ended up with near 1,500 gallons of sap.
We boiled it down and ended up with 32 gallons of syrup for the day, "our biggest day", 8)  8)  8) this brings our total for the season to 121.8 gallons!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Plankton on March 29, 2019, 09:32:09 AM
Another ignorant question from a former producer.
Is there any flavor difference in RO produced syrup and other products?
We buy ours from my wife's cousin who boils the old fashioned way.
With the temps predicted here should be a good run today in CNY

I have found that it does above 10 to 12% the longer it cooks the more time it has to develop flavor. I work for a producer who is strictly bulk @26k taps and they have 2 ros and go to 20% admits he doesnt make the best syrup very little "maple" flavor but its fast on the steam pan and it's all a volume/time game.

Syrup from smaller producers who only ro to 10% or so tastes significantly better imo. Raw sap from buckets on a wood fired evap. Now your talking some flavor. Might be a myth but everyone in the syrup industry I know agrees that syrup from bucket sap tastes the best not sure why but it seems to.

On a side note looking like a short season here if the weather man is right were in for a fast and hard warmup that might bud the trees, there already starting too. Only got warm enough to run 2 weeks ago, nobody made syrup basically since the one early run in Feb. Not looking great for producers most I know have made 30 to 50% crop so far.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 29, 2019, 09:02:47 PM
We gathered sap again this morning, but only got 320 gallons, so we boiled it raw, no RO today!

We ended up making 12.9 gallons today and that gave us a season total of 135.5 gallons total production to date!

The lines dripped a little today, but nowhere near what you could call a run!

We'll see what tomorrow brings, might be a good day to sleep in a little!  ;)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on March 29, 2019, 09:24:56 PM
Preconceived notions and opinions, is what I have to say ;) seriously though, proctor maple research  did a blind taste test, and even professional tasters could tell no difference in how syrup was made. None. If you know where it came from or how it was made, well, your brain can make things taste like you think they should. 

Now, my opinion, high concentrate and fast evaporation rate don’t work. You need time cooking in the pans to develop the carmelization, the maple flavor. You try running 30% through a modern high efficiency evaporator, it won’t go well.

Our setup at the big woods. We concentrate to between 30-37% sugar. That’s around 2.5 gallons to 1 gallon syrup. Our evaporators are designed to be paired with the high brix reverse osmosis machines. They are 7ft wide and 20ft long. Setup about opposite of a conventional modern high efficiency evaporator, they are designed to boil slower. Our Cabot evaporator is a lapierre turbo 6’x16’, 12ft of flue pan with piggyback and steam away,and 4ft of flat, syrup pan. The Eden evaporators are 4ft of flue pan, no steam away, and 16ft of flat pan. 16 feet long by 7ft wide of slow evaporation surface area to develop good flavor. And I tell you what, it works very well. We have made amazing tasting syrup last year and this year. Efficiency and speed between the 6x16 conventional and the 7x20 high brix are nearly the same. High brix uses a little less oil but they can both make around 150 gallons per hour. 

The other big deal with the high brix evaporators is how easy and how well it can be cleaned. Who here has cleaned a flue pan? Not easy right? How often do you do it in a season?
We start each boil with a spotless evaporator. Pans totally cleaned. Everything is set up to be easy to clean. Clean in place wash hoods, wash tank to recirculate permeate water and acid water, we have air bags to raise one side of the evaporators to drain them. 
If it’s easy to clean, you will do it more often. And a clean evaporator goes a long way to a consistent, better product.

I invite anyone here to visit the sugarhouse and try our syrup, blind test or not. 

Sorry for the long winded post, I get asked often when it’s told we concentrate to 30%, doesn’t that affect the flavor? Yeah, makes it better the way we do it :)

And yeah, haven’t updated in awhile. Been busy of course. In short we’re still buried in snow and have been shoveling mainlines and wet/dry lines and pulling tubing out of the snow so they don’t back up and can actually make it to the tank and we can actually check for leaks. Slow start to our season. Had generator issues at our upper station finally figured out, we’ve about got everything uncovered and thawed, so next week we’ll get the vacuum higher. Long road for a short season. Gotta love it!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 30, 2019, 05:08:06 AM
Sounds awesome Chris. We still have lots of the white stuff up here to. Just hardly a bear spot out in the open fields, so you can count on 3 times as much in the shade of the woods. :D It's just too cold at temps 32-40 to do much melting and this weekend it is half snow in with rain. And not much of either, but still nasty looking. ;)

I've yet to see any evaporators fire up here. My cousin and a next door neighour do syrup. Still bone dry. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on March 30, 2019, 07:09:56 AM
I heard Proctor Maple Research Center had an evaporator built for high concentration, had not heard that Glen did at Eden. It makes lots of sense.
I only concentrate to 12% max but even on my little (by your scale) 3x8 I changed my pans. My first set of pans had a 3x6 flue pan and a 3x2 syrup (flat) pan, I had new pans made, I now have a foot shorter flue pan and my syrup pan is a foot longer, to give the syrup time to develope a great maple taste.
Celliott is right on, professional taste testers can not tell the difference in the finished maple syrup between syrup made using an RO and that made by boiling just straight sap.
If I were to get a higher concentration RO (reverse osmosis, to remove a lot of the water from the sap before boiling) I would need to get new pans again, less flue pan and more flat pan to give it time to develop the best flavor.
I just came thru my best sap flow period ever. It ran for 9 days harder than any other time in my last 17 seasons. Yesterday it finally went back to reality.  For nine days I was making 35-44 gal of syrup from just 800 taps, 314 on 27" vacuum and the rest on 19" vacuum (vacuum tank that could implode if I go over 20" vacuum). I have gotten that much sap in a day before, but never for 9 days in a row. Yesterday was slower and there will be very little today and tomorrow, but then it will start again on Monday and could go another 7-10 days here, in central NY State. The extended forecast shows no freezes after April 10 for 5 days, then 2 days below freezing overnight then 7 more days no freeze. That will cause the buds to open sometime in there, which ends the maple season. So far it has been a great run here.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on March 30, 2019, 08:09:17 AM
QUOTE: "Now, my opinion, high concentrate and fast evaporation rate don’t work. You need time cooking in the pans to develop the carmelization, the maple flavor. You try running 30% through a modern high efficiency evaporator, it won’t go well.

Our setup at the big woods. We concentrate to between 30-37% sugar. That’s around 2.5 gallons to 1 gallon syrup. Our evaporators are designed to be paired with the high brix reverse osmosis machines. They are 7ft wide and 20ft long. Setup about opposite of a conventional modern high efficiency evaporator, they are designed to boil slower. Our Cabot evaporator is a lapierre turbo 6’x16’, 12ft of flue pan with piggyback and steam away,and 4ft of flat, syrup pan. The Eden evaporators are 4ft of flue pan, no steam away, and 16ft of flat pan. 16 feet long by 7ft wide of slow evaporation surface area to develop good flavor. And I tell you what, it works very well. We have made amazing tasting syrup last year and this year. Efficiency and speed between the 6x16 conventional and the 7x20 high"! UNQUOTE:


I agree, Chris!

I should have mentioned there will be a difference in flavor when Highly concentrated and run through a conventional evaporator!

Which is why your evaporators were special made, makes sense now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on March 30, 2019, 07:42:35 PM
I should add, we concentrate to 18-20% at Cabot and run that through the lapierre 6x16 and it makes award winning syrup as well. Amazing dark robust and amber rich. Not much golden delicate but that’s ok, we make 99% Golden delicate at the Eden sugarhouse!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 31, 2019, 04:06:59 AM
I actually think the darker syrup has the best taste. 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on March 31, 2019, 11:36:54 AM
We're close to 110 gallons for the season.  No run today with highs in the 20s.  Tomorrow looks good then it doesn't freeze tomorrow night and just barely Tuesday night before we get a some more sap weather.  Looking at the extended forecast I'd say the following week will be the end for us.  If we end up with 250. I'll be happy.  It'll be close.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on March 31, 2019, 12:26:43 PM
Climbing above 50F here today and lots of wind, but I don't see anyone boiling.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 01, 2019, 06:35:43 AM
Hadn't posted in the past couple of days, so here goes!

3-29 we gathered 320 gallons of sap and made 12.9 gallons of syrup.

Yesterday we gathered 400 gallons of sap and made 16.6 gallons of syrup!

Our total production to date is now 152.1 gallons

We're not doing to bad, based on what's been available.

The end is probably not to far off, we're starting to see a little red coloring showing up in the tree tops now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on April 01, 2019, 07:12:37 AM
I noticed some color in the tree tops yesterday.  I think we'll be done by the middle of next week.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 01, 2019, 07:22:56 AM
Rained hard last evening here and now a fresh covering of white and 25F this morning. I've not seen any boils here yet, just 4 days ago it was frigid cold here. So ain't no maple budding here. They better get on with it soon here or it will be all over. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on April 01, 2019, 07:59:25 AM
Another question this time on grading.
Back in the dark ages when I boiled, NY had 3 official grades.
Light Amber, Medium amber and dark amber.
At that time I seem to remember the highest grade in Vermont was called Fancy.
Can you fellows enlighten me as to current "official" grades for your areas?
Just curious.
Thanks in advance
Pete
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on April 01, 2019, 10:03:33 AM
Had a good boil on Friday. so far 128 gallons collected and 3.6 gallons of syrup made
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on April 01, 2019, 03:48:24 PM
Golden Delicate, Amber Rich, Dark Robust.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 01, 2019, 04:46:02 PM
30F this afternoon, so not much sap. I never saw anyone collecting anyway.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: millwright on April 01, 2019, 05:17:46 PM
Chuck, you must be getting some real high sugar content. That’s some great numbers, I just did 350 gals and got a little over 8 gals. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 01, 2019, 06:42:32 PM
We finnaly had enought to boil friday night. Took all week to get it, only 250 gals of sap , ended with 7 gals of syrup. We are at least 3 weeks behind, Snow is still knee deep and we got 6" saturday. Winter is not letting go. It was only 32F here today and it is trying to run, the vacuum is pulling it thru the ice in the 5/16 line. I don't believe the westher man as the long range changes as much as I look at it. 
I wake up in the morning look out side and am so Glad we had sunshime today 8) 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 02, 2019, 03:51:29 AM
23F his morning, suppose to be in the 40's and another sunny day unfolding. Well, there are stars out anyway. :D  Hopefully, there is some sap flow around here. ;)

Yesterday, that light dusting of snow blew around all day like a dust storm, so if it was too cold to stick, weren't no sap. ;)

Man the snow is deep in the woods. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on April 02, 2019, 07:48:11 AM
Thanks Corley,
Much more poetic descriptions than the old NY ones.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: thecfarm on April 02, 2019, 12:17:54 PM
Did not go to Maple Sunday this year,wife had knee surgery. But I see them collecting. So something is going on. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 03, 2019, 05:20:37 PM
Between yesterday, through the night, and this morning the sap really broke loose!

Last night, sap was gathered late and then again this morning with a total of 1800 gallons gathered!

Today was another "record day" for us, boiled all of that sap and we drew off 41.3 gallons of syrup!

Our total production to date is 189.1 gallons, way more than we originally thought we'd get this year!  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 03, 2019, 05:57:33 PM
White today and soon some cold off Hudson Bay here. Wind is suppose to be 40 mph tonight and tomorrow.

What bear ground. :D Sap?? None here. Some places got 10" over in Maine, south of Houlton. Snow plows went on the roads here.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/snow-April4-2019.jpg)

Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on April 05, 2019, 12:24:01 PM
Pete, there used to be several grades depending on where the syrup is made. That changed a few years back. In NY the A grades were Light Amber, medium amber dark amber, Grade B and them commercial or processing grade.
Over the years more and more people started finding that they liked the darker syrups better for traditional uses like pancakes, waffles and french toast while uses like topping ice cream might still lean towards the lighter grades.
Then the International Maple Syrup Council decided it would help consumers know what they were getting regardless of whether it was made in New York, Vermont, Maine, etc. or Ontario or Quebec or Nova or New Foundland or any other place that makes maple syrup. At that time they updated the grades to 4 A grades plus Processing. All syrup is grade A unless it has either an off taste or color for that grade. It took a few years for all states and provinces to officially adopt the new grading system, but I think by now the maple world is all on board.
The new grading system is Golden color, Delicate taste; Amber color, rich taste; Dark color, robust taste and Very dark, strong taste followed by processing grade. The colors are based on the % of light transmission 100-75% is Golden, 74-50% is Amber, 49-25% is dark and 24 to 0% is very dark. The taste for each must be representative of that grade or regardless of the color it becomes process grade. All grade A syrups can be sold retail in any size containers, process grade can only be sold to re-processors generally in SS barrels. That can become maple sugar or cereal coating or ingredients in many other food products.

My maple season in Oneida, NY will likely end with tomorrows sap. After that the temperatures will not be good for maple. No freezes for at least 8 days and daytime temperatures in the upper 40's to about 70 F. In that time the trees will likely open the leaf buds, which ends the season, even it they weren't open after that the sap in the tubing lines would all be spoiled and the lines would need to be cleaned before more sap could be collected (or make processing grade syrup which pays so little no one sets out to make it).
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 05, 2019, 02:42:25 PM
Sap ran yesterday PM and in the early evening.

With the sap gathered then and this morning, we ended up with 800 gallons, we boiled that down and got 23.8 gallons of syrup today, bringing our total to 212.9 gallons to date!

We are well over what we expected earlier on in the season!  8)   8)   8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on April 05, 2019, 07:20:21 PM
My pumps will run all night, last check I had about 400 gal total in 2 bushes, should be 1100-1400 by midday tomorrow. I still don't even have a total, I have at this point 8 barrels at 26.5 gal a half full finisher and whatever I packed already in retail size containers. That is in the log book but I have not tallied it yet, likely about 310-340 gal or so.
In addition to that I had a disaster last Saturday, we had to shut down to clean the front pan because of sugar sand. While we cleaned I failed to drain the pre-heater and the cold sap float box (then let hot sap back to fill the float box) and the flues pan was likely 185-205 maybe hotter. I made ropy syrup about the time what had been in the pre-heater and the float box finally got to the draw off channel. It made a gooey mess and the auto draw filled with the goo which then hardened like hard candy. We had to drain about 250 gal of sap, 75 gal of 10% concentrate, dump the syrup and flue pans and wash everything. At least, after 17 seasons of this I can no longer say I've never seen ropy syrup.
For those not familiar with maple, I had made the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply at an extreme rate in my pre-heater and the float box that feeds the evaporator. I haven't even calculated how much that likely cost me, I will estimate it after the season, just to get more upset about it. My raised flue 3x8 evaporator, has a 3x5 flue pan with 10" high flues and I run it 1/2" over the flues, and my 3x3 syrup pan runs about 1" deep if anyone else cares to do the math. My sap that day was 2.0% sugar.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 06, 2019, 04:02:34 PM
Wow Dave, that wasn't a pretty day for you!

We gathered 825 gallons of sap today and made 24 gallons of syrup!

To date, we have made 236.9 gallons of syrup!

With what the season looked like in the beginning, we're feeling good now!  8)   8)   8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 06, 2019, 04:33:35 PM
That's a lot of liquid gold Chuck. :)

First boil here today. Tells how cold it is up here. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 06, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Made 750 gallons today. Running decent. Tomorrow looks like a big day. Next week looks real good too. Here’s hoping! We need to average 1000 gallons a day for the rest of the month to come out with a decent crop. I would like to see some 2000 gallon days, we certainly have the capabilities to do so.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 06, 2019, 07:08:18 PM
All golden delicate btw. Well above the color scale :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on April 06, 2019, 08:27:12 PM
I finally got an accurate count, I had 317 gal at the end of today, I made 21 gal today, I found I had added one barrel twice in my earlier rough estimate.
My pumps are running all night and I'll collect early and again late morning tomorrow, the temperatures will be up around 69 F so I heed to boil as fast as I can to keep making good syrup. No freeze until maybe Wed. morning, better freeze Thursday morning. Then a freeze every 2-3 days for the next 10-14 days. Someplace in there the trees may open bud. I'm at just .41 gal/tap, last year I got .52 GPT, would like to tie or beat last year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: nativewolf on April 06, 2019, 08:51:47 PM
Made 750 gallons today. Running decent. Tomorrow looks like a big day. Next week looks real good too. Here’s hoping! We need to average 1000 gallons a day for the rest of the month to come out with a decent crop. I would like to see some 2000 gallon days, we certainly have the capabilities to do so.
Wow that is pretty impressive; hope that you hit the 2000 gallons.  
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 07, 2019, 08:54:41 AM
Chris that's a lot of syrup, or is that sap flow? :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 07, 2019, 09:07:42 AM
New Brunswick is the 3rd largest producer of maple syrup products in the world. I know the newest sugary operation here just put in 25,000 taps. That's on Skedaddle Ridge. I've thinned small hardwood out there and it is definitely a large tract of maple forest.

Gus Hargrove started out with 30,000 taps and is suppose to be up around 100,000 trees by now on the Divide maple ridge. He started his around 2001.

Those two sugaries are north and south of one another. :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 07, 2019, 10:53:45 AM
Swamp donkey, that’s syrup ;) 
When the sap is running real good, we get a load at the sugarhouse pumped from the main station about every 30-40 minutes. Typically 5-7000 gallons of sap per pump load.
Next week is gonna get crazy! Love it!

We are hoping to be at or nearly at 100,000 taps next season. Wanted to be there this year but we’ve faced some unexpected challenges the last two installation seasons. 
We still haven’t had the need to run both evaporators at the same time. We have ran them both in the same day, just switched over when one needed cleaning. Our biggest syrup day so far has been 1400 gallons. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 07, 2019, 04:52:57 PM
Well, you've got quite the operation then. :)

We produce about 490,000 gallons here in NB, but last year the production was down 35%. Quebec's production had dropped 22% I think. It's probably down this year, been too cold. Only been getting going here locally this week.

Quebec does about 9 Million gallons. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 07, 2019, 06:11:59 PM
Sap was at a stand-still today, so..... Nothing!

We'll gather whatever there is tomorrow morning and that will likely be it for us, too Warm!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 07, 2019, 08:50:10 PM
We had a nice 4 day run..Now for our numbers...95 liters all nice amber.
I thought I would put it in metric so it sounds like a lot more :D
We have fun, my buddies and I have been doing this for 49 years this year. We have a small hobby here. 
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13648/IMG_6841_2.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1554684472)
 
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13648/IMG_1443.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1554684414)<br
>I am in AWE of of how many taps some of you have. The amount of work is imensive. How many employees does it take for 100,000 taps?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on April 08, 2019, 05:33:07 AM
After this weekend I am at 5.5 gallons.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: thecfarm on April 08, 2019, 07:44:07 AM
Yes that is some tapping!!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 08, 2019, 10:42:39 AM
That did not sound like a good day Dave, It is always nice to know that other people have problems also.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 08, 2019, 03:10:38 PM
Well, today was our last day to gather sap for the season!

We gathered 350 gallons of sap and boiled it down and got 10.7 gallons of syrup, this brings our seasonal total up to 247.6 gallons of syrup.

Everything on hand is in the evaporator and tomorrow we'll drain the flue pan and flood it with water to finish the boiling in the front pan!

When we get it boiled down far enough, we'll shut down, then the next step is to finish it off in a small pan on top of a turkey cooker!

Next step is the cleanup!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on April 08, 2019, 04:54:01 PM
Caught up with the sap last night.  Hasn't ran in a couple days now but looks like it'll start up again Tuesday night and last into the weekend.  We're at about the 185 gallon mark.  We'll clean the pans and reset for the final leg the next two days.  It's been a better season than we thought it would be.  Firewood orders are rolling in now.  Almost time to move on to the next season :) :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on April 08, 2019, 08:17:21 PM
My season ended yesterday. No more collecting of sap. Tomorrow we drain the flue pan and fill it and the head tank with permeate, then boil it down on the front pan, then finally finish it off in the finisher. I don't see meeting last year's syrup per tap, but we sure made more syrup. Last year, for health reasons we only did 225 taps, this year about 725-800. I won't have an actual count until the taps get pulled after cleanup. At the sugarhouse we had 314 taps but only have an estimate at the lease. That I think will be in the 500-575 range I think. We will get the count in a week or 2, when we pull taps and clean the lines.
We were going for 1000 but too many limbs downing lines and we didn't get them all in. The lease should have just about 700 taps but last minute repairs slowed it down, then 9 daays in a row of good sap flow kept us from tapping the rest. 2 old guys (one with after market parts) goes slower than it used to.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 08, 2019, 08:39:34 PM
We figure approximately a guy per 10,000 taps. We’re a little heavy on manpower right now but divided between two sugarhouses it seems like we’re shorthanded all the time...

I added my tapping #’s up the other night, I personally drilled a few over 12,000 holes this season. A few days last week I was up to 8 miles a day snowshoeing checking leaks. Yes, I lose weight all winter :D

Sap is crystal clear here, but not running like we would like it to. Sugar content is high, we’ve seen 2.7 average, off 65,000? That’s pretty cool. Just wish we could get more volume right now. Makes one nervous.
I think we will go right to the end of the month. Weather looks right.

Swamp donkey, little old Vermont produces about 50% of the U.S maple crop, approximately 2 million gallons. Still a drop compared to Quebec!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 09, 2019, 04:39:36 AM
Yeah, the actual numbers seem to be up and down depending on source of the numbers and then one never knows what year the data is from. One source I see is 10 years out of date. :) I know NB has had a huge influx of production in the last 6 years and more than I see shown on different sites. The Association website says we are third in world production with 3 million kilograms of maple syrup. A Kg is 2.2 lbs and weight probably varies by grade. Water is 10 lbs per Imperial gallon, but syrup is heavier than water. And keep in mind our gallons up here are imperial, which is more volume per gallon. :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 09, 2019, 02:15:37 PM
We drained the flue pan today and fed it into the front pan, and boiled off 4.1 gallons of syrup!

In the meantime, we kept the flue pan well supplied with permeate water!

Tomorrow we'll finish the boiling in a pan on the turkey cookers!

As of now we have made 252.7 gallons of syrup!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 10, 2019, 02:39:29 PM
We boiled for the last time this season, today!

Boiled on the turkey cooker and ended our year with 258 gallons of syrup!  8)   8)   8)

All we have left to do is the final cleanup at the sugarhouse, and then the saplines, barrels and a few buckets.

When it dries up a little, we'll refill the woodshed, woods all cut, just has to be cut to length, split hauled and stacked!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on April 10, 2019, 04:27:09 PM
Just got back yesterday from Jake's,
 Thanks for the clarification on grading maple flats.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 10, 2019, 08:54:32 PM
Swamp Donkey you have my head spinning with all those numbers and I'm from here. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 11, 2019, 06:56:10 AM
Swamp Donkey you have my head spinning with all those numbers and I'm from here. :D
I suspect most of the global market is on the metric system. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 11, 2019, 08:35:45 AM
We have another boil coming, ran yesterday, not much but it gives us hope. Looks like it should run today, sunny this morning and barometer is still rising. Tonight is sleet and hail with a full day of rain tomorrow. Looks like the end is near
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: millwright on April 11, 2019, 03:06:18 PM
Finished everything up, trees are getting buddy here in n Wisconsin. Everything went pretty good except for a blowout on the filter press, got sprayed with 200 degree sap. My own fault for trying to push it a little too much.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on April 11, 2019, 08:11:13 PM
We drained the flue pan and boiled everything down in the front pan, we got 14 gal of dark as our last boil. we have a total now of 356 after boiling new sap on 4/7 and making 25 gal more, now the 14 finish off. I still have one partial barrel that might add to that but likely not.
I had drained the front pan to clean it, draining it into my draw off tank by opening the auto draw on manual. Then I put white vinegar in the pan, with the ball valve ahead of the auto draw closed. After that ball valve I have a tee an elbow on each side and then the auto draw on one and another ball valve on the other. After getting all sugarsand loose in the pan, I opened the second drain valve and then the valve ahead of that tee, I forgot to close the auto draw valve. I got about 3-maybe 6 oz. of that in the draw tank. As soon as I saw that I closed the first valve, but I had some white vinegar on the draw off tank. I then pumped that into a barrel to do later, I suspect I will not be able to count it in my syrup total, I will likely need to  make it into salad dressing. I will boil that to density before I know. That will happen next week. I might have 12-14 gal of syrup or that amount towards a large batch of salad dressing or marinade. I don't have a 20C certified kitchen so I may not be able to sell it unless I rent time in a certified kitchen. I might just be giving friends and neighbors some for years. That will be decided after it is boiled to density, I think it will not be added to the syrup total.
I still need to get an accurate tap count, I may have hit my target of .52 gal/tap or better but will not know until the tap count is totaled. If my final tap count is 654 or more I didn't get .52 gal/tap, if less than that I did. Will not know that for a week or 2.
Putting up the greenhouse tomorrow, a few other chores to do too, then pull taps and clean tubing along with a final tap count.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: millwright on April 12, 2019, 07:53:35 AM
Used the vinegar method for cleaning the pan, worked great. Pan looked like new when I was done.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Mapleman on April 12, 2019, 08:31:10 AM
We're  done here too.  We had a good freeze night before last and I was hoping for one last good run yesterday to help bring the total up, but that didn't happen.  We'll boil in the last of the sap today and then its on to the cleaning up.  Over all it wasn't as bad a year as I had feared.  After today we'll have around 400 gallons on 1800 taps, not where we wanted to be, but certainly not the worst year either.  

Dave
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 12, 2019, 09:48:10 AM
Temp warmed up quick here to 40F this morning and the sap pales are filling with fresh sap. :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on April 12, 2019, 11:17:05 AM
We went over the 200 gallon mark yesterday.  Looks like we've got about four more days.  Should put us over 250 on 800 taps. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 13, 2019, 07:15:21 AM
Congratulations to all!

Seems we made the best out of what appeared to be a "not very good" season!

I've been out yesterday and day before for routing Dr appt. and Inc. Tax. prep.

Today it's back to the cleanup!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 13, 2019, 08:33:04 AM
We had a run this week and boiled all day yesterday, 400 gal. we will see what today brings as it only went down to 32 and that wasn't untill 7 this morning. It is a beautiful sunny day ahead of us so our fingers are crossed!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ed_K on April 13, 2019, 10:11:04 AM
 Took my lines out of the tanks and started cleaning monday of last week. I got 27 gals which is average for me but we did it in 3 weeks. This has been the weirdest weather we have had ever. This last week an one coming we've washed lines, I use a 3k power washer with an air attachment to clean the lines. What a weird month :D.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 13, 2019, 04:20:50 PM
Been in the 60's here for two days and the sap wagons are going steady and steam a rolling. :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 14, 2019, 07:05:01 AM
Good to see that some are still hard at it!

We got over half of our lines flushed out and taps pulled yesterday!

We'll be back at it again this morning!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Magicman on April 14, 2019, 08:50:13 PM
I say Thanks to all of you guys that documented and explained your "sugaring" operation.  It was very interesting and educational for us guys South of the Glaciated North.  :P
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 14, 2019, 09:21:35 PM
Biggest sap run of the season for us, Friday- today. Friday we made 1675 gallons, a record for the new sugarhouse, Saturday we ran both evaporators about all day and made 2175 gallons, a new company record! Today the sap has slowed a bit and we made 800ish gallons. Not a bad 3 day total. Still far short of our goal but we’re taking all we can get these next few days. Like Chuck said, making the best out of a slow season.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: cbla on April 15, 2019, 09:16:50 AM
Pulled everything on Saturday. Finished with 8 gallons of syrup.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: btulloh on April 15, 2019, 09:50:42 AM
I second MM's sentiment.  I've learned a lot reading this thread.  For some reason, I usually get a hankerin' for some pancakes when I'm reading it.   :)

Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: thecfarm on April 15, 2019, 12:37:31 PM
The gallon amounts WOWs me.  :o   
I use to do it,but on a very very small scale. Can't get enough verys in there.  ;D  I mean only about 20 taps and get 2 gallons. But I have fun doing it. Well I  should say we,the wife and I.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 15, 2019, 03:26:58 PM
My cousin here only does about 2500 taps. But they have been boiling and not using reverse osmosis. They have one, but apparently it has given them troubles.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Ron Scott on April 15, 2019, 05:46:05 PM
Yes, some great effort has been displayed in the enlarged commercial systems developed to maximize production and quality. A real science for sure.

Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on April 15, 2019, 08:46:40 PM
I can't even fathom how much celliott and company do in a day. They made almost 2,200 gal of syrup in one day at 1 sugarhouse, and then Chris says the season has been slow. By the way, they have 2 sugarhouses too.
I will visit their big one someday, but not likely during my season. The good part is that much of their season runs 2 or more weeks after mine has ended most years.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: CJennings on April 16, 2019, 08:46:01 PM
I hit about 5 gallons of syrup this season this past weekend with probably my last real boil. The red maples were starting to put out bad sap for me so I tossed a lot of buckets of sap. The sugar content noticeably dropped too. A few weeks ago I boiled 35 gallons of sap to a gallon of syrup. This weekend I boiled 90 gallons of sap down and got a gallon and a half of syrup which was a bit disappointing but that's the nature of things. I ran out of firewood (I got way behind firewood cutting last year for various reasons plus it was a bad winter so a double whammy) so if I do a small boil this weekend with sap from the sugar maples it'll be on a gas burner and given the declining sap quality and the fact I have enough syrup for myself for the next year or more, probably boiled down to sugar instead of syrup. 

This year was an experiment for me playing with 3/16 tubing (still doing buckets close to where I boil), a small sugar shack and a home built evaporator. I also filtered and bottled the syrup the way you would to sell it. I did 50 taps and couldn't keep up with the sap once it got going good with a 2x3 pan. I wasn't there all the times I wanted to be either so lost quite  abit of production that way (sap had to be dumped when I got there a few times after warm days when I was away). I might go bigger on the evaporator. I think I could go up to 200-300 taps in my woodlot and have a small commercial operation if I'm not too busy with normal work. Not big but enough to perhaps cover the taxes and then some besides on good years. I won't be buying any syrup this year either which is good. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on April 17, 2019, 01:00:28 AM
Last boil of the season on going.  Got less than 600 gallons of sap left.  We're over 250 gallons of syrup.  We'll inventory tomorrow.  Made over 35 gallons today.  We're ready for it to end.  Michigan Dept. Of Ag inspected us Monday afternoon.  We passed with flying colors.  Just have to pay to license fee and we're a licensed, inspected Michigan maple syrup producer 😎😎😎
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 17, 2019, 08:00:56 AM
CJ, I'm suprised to hear you dump sap. How cloudy was it? Did it smell bad? We have been a hobby operstion forever, come up and gather on weekends and boil saturday nights. We boiled a lot of cloudy sap over the years.( We had to do something while drank beer and socialised) It just turned out dark.
I am amazed at the numbers of syrup produced in 1 DAY!
There goes the little guy and the ma and pops operation.  All good thing come to an end, and maybe it wasn't such a good thing. Now we have operations that support and keep people employed full time!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 17, 2019, 03:24:23 PM
Near the end of the season, the syrup will have a bit of a bitter/nasty taste and it isn't good for much other than a byproduct added to other food items!

We now have our woodshed about half full for next season, some of it was leftover and we brought some other in, but we'll fill it over the next few days!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 17, 2019, 04:46:47 PM
I believe it has ended for my cousin as well, no one was hauling sap today and it would have ran at 50 degrees and 30F overnight.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 17, 2019, 07:12:42 PM
I can't even fathom how much celliott and company do in a day. They made almost 2,200 gal of syrup in one day at 1 sugarhouse, and then Chris says the season has been slow. By the way, they have 2 sugarhouses too.
I will visit their big one someday, but not likely during my season. The good part is that much of their season runs 2 or more weeks after mine has ended most years.
Come on up! We’ll be boiling till at least Saturday. 
That day we made 2200, they did 1400 in Cabot, and set a new record, pushed the evaporator to 180 gallons of syrup per hour. That’s cranking!
We did 1400 gallons today, boiled 9-2, just ran out of concentrate, RO was down for rinsing. I expect at least 1500 tomorrow, sap is going as hard as it has all season. 2% still.
We may just salvage what looked to be a grim season after all!
I know I work at the biggest operation that is posted about on the forum, but I do enjoy reading about the smaller operations and the hobbyists. Brings me back to hanging milk jugs on the yard trees and boiling for hours on the grill :)
The process of making maple syrup has changed quite a lot, but the end product is still the same as it was years ago.  We have huge operations that concentrate to 35%, we have guys using no RO and firing with wood, we have guys doing buckets and homemade arches, and we all make the same thing, maple syrup! It’s a wonderful product and a great industry and I’m glad to be apart of it and doing something I enjoy every day. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: CJennings on April 17, 2019, 09:09:56 PM
CJ, I'm suprised to hear you dump sap. How cloudy was it? Did it smell bad? We have been a hobby operstion forever, come up and gather on weekends and boil saturday nights. We boiled a lot of cloudy sap over the years.( We had to do something while drank beer and socialised) It just turned out dark.
I am amazed at the numbers of syrup produced in 1 DAY!
There goes the little guy and the ma and pops operation.  All good thing come to an end, and maybe it wasn't such a good thing. Now we have operations that support and keep people employed full time!
It smelled off. Some of it was dark yellow and some was foamy. I've had buckets hang for a week and went and boiled on a weekend and the sap was fine but it wasn't 50-70 degrees multiple days for those weeks. I'm on a southern slope so it's often quite a bit warmer on my land than most of the surrounding area. That's a double edged sword in that I get sap running before most others in town but I also start getting bad sap first too and in real warm weather spoiled sap if I don't gather the buckets frequently. By the last boil I only had enough wood for one large last boil so I wasn't chancing ruining the whole batch with a few buckets of bad sap. I don't want to run out of firewood next season though. It hurt more to know there was good sap flowing last Sunday that I just couldn't boil because I didn't have enough wood than it did to toss some iffy sap. I'm actually real happy with the season overall. I boiled only a handful of times and still made a lot more syrup than previous seasons.
I'd say there's still room for the small producers. I'll never have more than a sideline thing with maple on my place, the same as some neighbors who do syrup, but there's plenty of people up for buying the syrup from the small guys, the same as with other crops. The farmers' markets are doing great in VT. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on April 18, 2019, 12:14:33 AM
The last ten gallons or so last night was just starting to get buddy.  Color was still good on the darker side of Amber Rich.  The niter load was extreme.  It didn't take just a few gallons and the filter press was plugged.  It did freeze last night and the sap ran today but we called it.  Opened the drain in the releaser and let it run out.  My son started pulling taps after school.  Didn't get our final tally yet.  Will do that tomorrow.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 18, 2019, 05:04:39 AM
Wasn't much of a run up here, started too late and now it's warm. I'm sure the large operations out on the edge of civilization had a decent run, but here along the river valley the climate is different. The aspen trees are in flower here now and still snow covering the forest.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on April 18, 2019, 08:50:28 PM
  308.25 gallons from 800 taps.  Someone forgot to turn on valves to 150 taps and it wasn't discovered until halfway through the season.  Whoops :D  We had a couple gallons spill in a bucket tip over incident as well :) 
  What I thought was buddy the last boil is much better after cooling down.  Drained, filled, flushed, soaked, repeated and currently soaking the pans.  Zach pulled more taps tonight.  Putting it to bed.  Going to do our best to get the rest of the taps added in for next season.  There's another 1,200-1,500.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: CJennings on April 20, 2019, 03:17:23 PM
I got a little over 10 gallons of good sap (maybe 12) at my woodlot late this week. Everything else was buddy or spoiled from the heat. It stopped running too since it was above freezing too much. It's not much sap but I boiled it down to almost syrup yesterday. I'll probably boil it down to sugar, it's very dark. That's the end of the season for me. I pulled my buckets. I'll clean my tubing in the next week or two when I have time.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 20, 2019, 07:20:54 PM
The season is slowly coming to an end, but there are some still going up in the Northeast and over in Michigan!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 21, 2019, 06:28:55 AM
I would imagine they are still at it in Juniper area and Edmundston area because it is colder there than here and deeper snow. We'll be farming here and still snow out there 2 weeks later.

I looked out the window this morning on the north side of the house, still lots of white in the field. Looking out the south end and she's pretty much bare. Just depends on where you want to look. :D

North
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/April-21-2019-snow.jpg)

South
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11009/April21-2019-bare.jpg)

And lots of fog.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 21, 2019, 08:52:03 AM
We are all finnished, we made an impressive for us, 150 liters (x4 to convert to gallons) We averaged 3/4 of a liter per tap. 
We are slowly getting our little vacuum system working better each year!
Nothing worse than running out of firewood and still have sap. We had that problem last year, this year we had 4 skids of wood left over. 
We brought in our tanks and will wash the lines and equipment next week, if we get some sun. The sun has been lacking the last while around here.
CJ , the sunny slopes do that. I wish we had sun! Mother Nature has been a little slack on providing sun in my area.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 23, 2019, 05:22:08 AM
The Cabot sugarhouse is all done. Not sure on gallons total there yet. I have most of the woods crew pulling spouts at the lower elevation woods that shut down first. 
Friday was the first day since the 2nd week of November I’ve gone to work in the woods and have not worn snowshoes. 23 weeks, 5-6 days a week. It felt good to put them away :) we will pull all the spouts for Cabot 1st, then head to the Eden woods, hopefully the snow will be down enough at that point we won’t need snowshoes anymore. 

Still boiling in Eden as of yesterday. Haven’t got a report yet but pretty sure we broke 20,000 gallons, and have made a respectable season out of what looked grim a few weeks ago. Made 2/3 of our syrup in a week and a half !
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 23, 2019, 07:33:28 AM
Good to see someone still going, Chris!

The end is near though!

How do you flush (rinse) your lines?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 23, 2019, 07:26:01 PM
Pulled the plug yesterday. 20,300 gallons total for the Eden sugarhouse. Now a few numbers to give an idea of what kind of season it was.

Our first boil was March 22nd. Last boil April 22nd. Short season right?
We made 14,000 of our 20,300 gallons in the last TWO weeks! Things were looking pretty grim a few weeks ago. A nearly perfect tight vacuum system these last few weeks made the most out of our short season.

We’ve pulled about 12,500 taps so far, moving along very quickly.
We previously had applied peroxide solution under vacuum as we pulled spouts. Last season we did a side by side comparison, and, going on advice of other large producers, we pulled spouts and let them hang, open air. They drain and dry completely this way. We noticed less mold and cleaner appearing tubing side by side, new tubing, VS stuff we washed with peroxide. Peroxide did very little for sanitation, and was minimally effective at cleaning funk out of tubing. Research has found, unless you apply under pressure (not vacuum) anything you do is not very effective. New practices suggest hanging open air, and replacing drop lines every 4 years.
If we were in Canada, where using alcohol as a cleaning agent is legal, we would likely apply isopropyl alcohol to every dropline, as this does sanitize the tubing. However isopropyl alcohol is not legal for use in the United States, it’s just not approved by the FDA.

So, that’s what we do. Way easier and faster. We’re pulling 5-6k a day, when that amount would take us a week to “wash”.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 23, 2019, 10:43:01 PM
Looks like you've done good, especially during a questionable season, Chris!  ;)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 25, 2019, 09:16:16 AM
We use the alchohol in our lines, but we still do find some lines with "funk" the next spring. 
I'm interested to know what size or type of snowshoes that you wear for 23 weeks!
Great job Chris, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 25, 2019, 10:40:16 AM
Thanks to everyone that has participated in the Maple Syrup thread this year!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 25, 2019, 11:21:24 AM
Stephen, we exclusively use the MSR evo snowshoes. https://www.rei.com/product/875159/msr-evo-snowshoes (https://www.rei.com/product/875159/msr-evo-snowshoes)

They are MSR’s bottom of the line, least expensive model but the only one I’d use. We use them with the flotation tails. Honestly I wish they were a bit bigger some days, but, any other snowshoe simply does not hold up. We are seeing 3+ seasons of use before we have to retire a pair. Binding straps break but easy to replace. Easy on/off and did I mention they’re rugged as can be? 
I’m not endorsed or sponsored by MSR but I can’t give enough praise for these snowshoes. 20+ weeks every year, 5-6 days a week, I’d say average 5 miles, sometime 10 a day and they just hold up. We’ve used tubbs, TSL’s, I had a more expensive pair of MSR’s, they just don’t last.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: celliott on April 25, 2019, 11:25:50 AM
What does the “off” season hold for everyone before tapping/sap season next year? Expansions? New equipment?

We are going to get to our 100k tap goal, a year late but we will do it. Not much for 3”,4” pipe to run this year. A lot of 5/16 to go in. No new pumping stations, no new evaporators/ro’s Just some tidy up work/add 30k taps. 
We do have some rework to do at the Cabot sugarhouse. One woods has 12 year old tubing that needs replacing, about 6000 taps. We will change out our 3/16 tubing droplines as well.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Stephen1 on April 25, 2019, 12:57:41 PM
Thank Chris.
Our off season is going to rebuild our sugar barn. We built the barn 36 years ago with creasoted  poles and steel siding. We never expected it to last this long.
Next season is our 50th aniversary of making Maple Syrup together.
We are going to pour a concrete floor and line the inside of the barn with EWP I have sawn on my mill. 
I hope everyone has a great summer!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Chuck White on April 25, 2019, 04:58:05 PM
During the Off-Season, I'm usually out with the sawmill sawing logs for a little extra income!

I saw from mid-May through early November.

I usually limit my travels to 25-30 miles!

During slack time we convert some of our saplines or put up new ones!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: GRANITEstateMP on April 25, 2019, 08:00:25 PM
Stephan1,

It'd be great if you took some pics of the old barn and the new one in progress.  Always neat to see something like that come together
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: Corley5 on April 25, 2019, 08:13:27 PM
Got a bunch of stuff we'd like to get done this off season.  Priority is getting the remaining 1,200-1,500 taps plumbed in.  We'd like to get foam insulation and steel on the interior walls, a bathroom and drain field, redesign on our head tank location, insulated closet for the vacuum pump and another for the R.O., there's more I'm sure.  I don't think it ever ends with an operation of this nature.  A wood shed is on the short list too.  I've got most of the material to build it.  I just came in a bit ago from excavating @ the sugar house.  It's the old milk house that was attached to the bank hay barn which was torn down.  I'm leveling the bank/driveway and removing the walls/foundations.  I'm going to have to rent a jack hammer to finish busting them up into small enough pieces to move them with the Bobcat.  Working on this project until frost laws go off Monday and we get on with spring firewood orders.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2019
Post by: maple flats on April 28, 2019, 12:14:17 PM
I finally got my totals. I made 356 gal of syrup off 741 taps for a per tap average of .48 gal/tap. I was hoping to beat last year when I did .52/tap but still my .48/tap is my second best ever. The amazing part of it is that 427 of my taps were only on 18" of mechanical vacuum, however some 150 or so of those taps were on 3/16" gravity vacuum tubing, and those got the mechanical vacuum of 18" and additional vacuum from gravity. All of those laterals had at least 20' of elevation drop and some had 30' drop before they got to the mechanical vacuum tubing.
356 is my second best year ever for a total, and most of what I made was amber, some golden and some dark, no very dark. My sales lean heavily towards dark, but I can easily blend a little very dark from 2 yrs ago to make the lighter syrup into the dark I need. Doing it that way, the taste ends up perfect for a dark syrup