The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: jrose1970 on January 11, 2016, 11:39:04 AM

Title: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 11, 2016, 11:39:04 AM
Hey Everyone! It's time to start thinking about maple slurp. (I mean syrup.)
Last year we tapped 12 trees. My Christmas present was 12 more taps, so I got the hint.
  I learned not to boil inside thanks my friends on the FF and my own time spent scrubbing walls. LOL
We live in Tennessee, so I have to tap a lot sooner than those of you up north. I tapped
Saturday, which was January the ninth, and got five gallons of sap in about 8 hours!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: GAB on January 11, 2016, 01:09:25 PM
We live in Tennessee, so I have to tap a lot sooner than those of you up north. I tapped
Saturday, which was January the ninth, and got five gallons of sap in about 8 hours!

How many taps do you have, and do you have any idea what the sugar content is?
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: r.man on January 11, 2016, 01:26:12 PM
Good grief winter just got started here, again. Flash freeze last night, cold weather only in the near future forecast.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 11, 2016, 01:32:24 PM
Hey Gerald,
   I have 24 taps.  Normally a five gallon bucket will make a pint. That is 40:1, but we like to boil it down just a little more than that. So, I would say we go to about 50:1 so that it is pretty thick like commercial maple syrup.  It was 11° this morning and now it is already 35° at 12:30 noon.  I'm at work, but I bet it is running!
     :D I know what you mean about winter just starting.  This is the third or fourth year I've tapped, and every year I move forward one week. I started tapping around Jan. 26th, and this year I tapped on Jan. 9th. I think this is plenty soon though.  Next year, I may move back to around Jan. 12th. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on January 11, 2016, 03:42:35 PM
As a matter of fact, even though it was 20° and the wind was howling through the trees, I went out this morning and repaired our 1" mainline.

A limb had fallen on it and one of the connections came apart.

We'll be tapping in about 5 weeks, we're getting anxious and will have the evaporator up/operational by the first week in Feb.

Be tapping by the end of Feb.

We have around 1240 taps, and once in a while we'll add another one, depending on the size of the tree!

Last year we made 150 gallons!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: millwright on January 11, 2016, 05:25:10 PM
We don't start here until late march or even later
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on January 11, 2016, 08:40:30 PM
Keep in mind that this has been a wacky Winter!   ::)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: coxy on January 11, 2016, 10:09:47 PM
I think around these parts there may not be a season the soft maple already started to  red bud  thats not good  chuck do you sell any or is it for the family
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on January 12, 2016, 06:44:43 AM
We do sell it by the Gal, ½gal & Qt.

Usually ship 1-2 barrels via Woody!

They then are shipped to Vt!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: coxy on January 12, 2016, 06:54:16 AM
that's what I find funny you buy pure VT syrup but the sap came from NY  ???:D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on January 12, 2016, 07:53:23 AM
Very true, and in this case, a barrel of SYRUP goes to VT and gets bottled and then a VT label gets stuck on it!   :-\
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 12, 2016, 08:26:34 AM
That's a lot of taps, Chuck! Congratulations.  Beekeepers call the trees budding earlier in the south and moving north the "green wave". LOL It's amazing how much difference there is in 300 or 400 miles of latitude.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: GAB on January 12, 2016, 08:52:51 AM
Very true, and in this case, a barrel of SYRUP goes to VT and gets bottled and then a VT label gets stuck on it!   :-\

There is an outfit that got caught doing that with Canadian syrup.  The State of VT fined them for that practice.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on January 12, 2016, 05:41:40 PM
We're gonna start tapping February first, the people I work for. Got about 20,000k taps, probably a bit more, not sure on the exact count. Hoping in the next couple weeks to add on a new 2-3k tap section.

Been doing repairs and retubing an older woods with 3\16 tubing.

Saw something I'd never seen before, thought it was pretty wild- Lightning hit somewhere on a mainline, and vaporized the high tensile wire from the anchor tree near the conductor, 300ft up the line. Left the wire ties intact, pipe was fine, wire, just gone, no trace. Tied in a new piece of wire and re-tensioned it, re-wire tied, good to go.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on January 12, 2016, 06:54:20 PM
That lightning strike is definitely weird!

Lots of people are now switching to the 3/16" tap lines now, that would cost a lot to tear out all of the 5/16" lines just to make the switch.  ::)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Stephen1 on January 12, 2016, 11:11:07 PM
That lightning strike is definitely weird!

Lots of people are now switching to the 3/16" tap lines now, that would cost a lot to tear out all of the 5/16" lines just to make the switch.  ::)
As our 5/16 line dies we have started installing the 3/16. It is supposed to work better in the vacuum system. I notice they rave about it being able to create a good self vacuum for those on hilly terrain.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Don_Papenburg on January 12, 2016, 11:31:11 PM
Who do you get your spiles from ?  I would like to tap a few walnut these this year.   I have three plastic spiles for 5/16 tube .  I need about ten to twenty more .    Would any tube work or should I get the blue tube that I have with the taps I have now?   
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on January 13, 2016, 04:55:49 AM
Food grade stuff is important. Can't wait for this year!

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/2015-03-19_08_52_20-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on January 13, 2016, 06:01:04 AM
Yup, 3/16 seems to be getting more and more popular. We've actually done more 3/16 installs than 5/16 installs for other sugar makers this year.
The woods we are re tubing does have good slope. The tubing in it was nearly 10 years old. The man I work for installed all new 3/16 in another of his woods and was real pleased with the performance, so he didnt hesitate to replace with 3/16.

I know it's real nice to run tubing with! 800ft rolls of the leader 30p.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on January 13, 2016, 06:58:14 AM
I can see switching to the 3/16" as you go, but to switch out all of the 5/16" with 3/16", when there's nothing wrong with the 5/16", to me anyways, is a waste of money!

I've heard that the 3/16" will create it's own vacuum, but on the uphill end of the line there needs to be 30-40' of line with no taps on it, this is where the self-vacuum effect comes from.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 13, 2016, 08:20:57 AM
Arg!  I burned my first five gallons of sap this morning. LOL It is just barely to black to be candy.
I may eat it, but I doubt the kids will. Oh well.
  I have a question. Do you all leave the lines out all year, or do you bring them in and re run them each spring? Just wondering. I still do buckets. Of course, I only have 24 taps.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Stephen1 on January 13, 2016, 09:03:48 AM
Arg!  I burned my first five gallons of sap this morning. LOL It is just barely to black to be candy.
I may eat it, but I doubt the kids will. Oh well.
  I have a question. Do you all leave the lines out all year, or do you bring them in and re run them each spring? Just wondering. I still do buckets. Of course, I only have 24 taps.
Easy to burn, add sap to bring it back to syrup.
We leave most of our lines out. A real challenge to clean them properly. I see where some are filling their lines at the end of the year, after washing, with a Alcohol. Anyone do this?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: beenthere on January 13, 2016, 10:32:59 AM
Stephan
Did you leave something out regards that large blank space? just curious....
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Remle on January 13, 2016, 11:45:32 AM
Arg!  I burned my first five gallons of sap this morning. LOL It is just barely to black to be candy.
I may eat it, but I doubt the kids will. Oh well.
  I have a question. Do you all leave the lines out all year, or do you bring them in and re run them each spring? Just wondering. I still do buckets. Of course, I only have 24 taps.
Been their done that. That's the problem with a small quantity of sap, for your 5 gals of sap I would expect at a 40 to 1 ratio to get 16 oz of syrup. Control is the thing you must stay on top of, you either need to store your supply till you get enough to boil based on the size of you pan or every time the volume is cut in half reduce the size of the pans bottom area. Once it burns their is NO going back, yes you can add more sap, but the sugars have been turned to carbon and that cannot be reversed. As to your question about leaving the lines out most people leave the lines strung in the woods but the taps in the trees are removed as you do.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on January 13, 2016, 03:18:51 PM
We leave our lines out year-round, we also backflush them with clorox/water at the end of the sugaring year!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on January 13, 2016, 06:45:51 PM
Yup, lines get left in the woods. Trees and branches always fall on them, squirrels chew them up, bears\coyotes bite mainlines, stuff happens.

We do a total walkthrough of all the sugarbushes, mainlines and laterals before we tap to repair downed lines and find other busted stuff, so when tapping time comes, we just go in and drill trees, and hopefully everything is tight once the vacuum pumps get turned on.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Stephen1 on January 14, 2016, 10:33:17 AM
Stephan
Did you leave something out regards that large blank space? just curious....
BT I noticed it also, I did not leave anything out though.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: beenthere on January 14, 2016, 10:46:51 AM
Maybe just a lot of "enters" that can be deleted?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 14, 2016, 03:42:18 PM
It's fun to walk 24 taps every day, but I can imagine that isn't possible with 1200 taps. LOL
I'm sure there is still plenty of walking.  Thank you all very much.
Good luck sappin'!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on January 14, 2016, 03:57:30 PM
Our 5/16" lines run from the spout to a manifold on the mainline, then the sap runs down hill to a barrel.

We drive the tractor to the barrels, at the low end of the line, and put a 12V sump pump into the barrel and pump the sap out of the barrel and up into the gathering tub on the trailer!

We have one 1" mainline, about 300' long and the rest of the mainlines are 1/2".

Mostly, the majority of our walking takes place when we're tapping the trees.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 15, 2016, 10:28:57 AM
Here in Tennessee, even in the big woods, the good sugar maples are fewer and farther between than
in New York I'm sure.  We are lucky to live at about 2300 feet elevation and have a climate more similar to southern Ohio. My forest management plan includes leaving EVERY sugar maple for another generation. Hopefully they will follow suit.  Congrats on your 1200 plus taps!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on January 15, 2016, 10:55:42 AM
And so it begins 8) I will be doing 27 taps this year. Won't start here for awhile yet.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on January 15, 2016, 04:29:44 PM
I finally have my own sugar maples to tap so I will be tapping this year with probably just 15-20 buckets to see how it goes for the first time. I don't really know when to start tapping (southern part of Essex County, Vermont) so I guess I'll just keep an eye on the temperatures there and hopefully my road isn't solid black ice when I need to drive up my hill.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on January 15, 2016, 08:02:30 PM
I finally have my own sugar maples to tap so I will be tapping this year with probably just 15-20 buckets to see how it goes for the first time. I don't really know when to start tapping (southern part of Essex County, Vermont) so I guess I'll just keep an eye on the temperatures there and hopefully my road isn't solid black ice when I need to drive up my hill.

Just doing that many buckets, you'd probably be safe to just tap when the sap first starts to run.
We're starting February 1st just so we're sure we have enough time to get them all done (plus in case we have an early, mid February run)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on January 15, 2016, 09:45:09 PM
I was thinking the first week of March is when I'd start thinking of tapping, unless it's abnormally cold. Does that sound about right? I'm not really sure when the sap normally runs up there. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on January 15, 2016, 10:08:25 PM
It really all depends on the weather. A few warm days to get things thawed out, then freezing at night, warm days.
Beginning march is a ballpark, but a lot of syrup has been made in Vermont in February, as well as April.
Being in Essex county you are a bit further north, and if you are at a bit higher elevation you might expect to run a bit later (and longer) than the rest of the state.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on January 16, 2016, 08:27:15 AM
Yeah it does depend on the weather. I have some elevation (south facing slope). It will be interesting whenever it decides to start running.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on February 08, 2016, 01:35:28 PM
Hey, we are still learning a lot. The north or south slope plays a huge role. The trees on the north slope are not producing very much.  We have made at least 4 quarts so far.  For sure, I will wait until around Jan. 15th  next year to drill and tap. I'm afraid my taps will dry out by the middle of February. Maybe I'll be wrong. We had a deluge around the end of January!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 08, 2016, 02:27:18 PM
Glad to hear someone is making syrup!   smiley_thumbsup

A few in this area have tapped, but we are now due for a cold snap next weekend.   >:(

We don't have any snow now, but the ground is frozen so that holds the sap from running for now.

Going to be a questionable year anyway!   ::)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Roxie on February 08, 2016, 02:58:34 PM
On Friday, Cowboy Bob drove to Conestoga, PA, to deliver a portable milker he sold.  The fella that bought it, gave him a half gallon of maple syrup he had just bottled.  Bob got to see the operation, and was very impressed. 

We love maple syrup.   8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: beenthere on February 08, 2016, 04:04:42 PM
Roxie
Is a "portable milker" a cow ??   ;)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Roxie on February 08, 2016, 06:36:30 PM
 :D :D  The description does fit!   
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: bill m on February 08, 2016, 07:04:10 PM
I just picked up another new sugar bush this past weekend. Flagged and measured for the mainline and got a rough count of 325 taps. This will put me a little over 1000 for this year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on February 08, 2016, 07:40:49 PM
The weather around here last week was perfect for tapping and some syrup was definitely made around here, but the temperatures at my place up north were marginal at best. And now we're in for a deep freeze, so I'm not too upset I opted to wait a bit.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 08, 2016, 08:11:55 PM
We opened all the drains on the tanks when we were tapping earlier this week. Now stuff won't sit and freeze up. We've drilled about 3500 so far. I did 600 today, hope to get up to 1000 a day if I can put in a good full day.

The precision tapper drills we are using. I really like these drills. I can reach as high as I possibly can above my head and drill a straight hole, perfect depth. Plus the batteries are awesome! 600 holes today and the battery was only 1/3 gone.

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/image.jpg)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on February 09, 2016, 02:45:01 PM
Where does one buy that tapper ???  Will it fit any cordless ???
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on February 09, 2016, 03:34:24 PM
  We're going to put out about 50 taps this year.  My son Zach has an 8th grade project to do and he decided on maple syrup.  We were going to go "back yard style" and use a turkey fryer but have made arrangements to have a 2X4 continuous flow evaporator built  8) 8) with plans to tap a few more next year and maybe more the next  ;) ;D.  His project grew and he's pleased with it now.  I hope he feels the same when he's done and wants to do it again  ;) 
  Syrup making goes back many generations in our family.  Our ancestors made it in New York  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vroman%27s_Nose    before coming here in 1883.  Simon Warner Vroman and his brother in-law,  Edson Rorabeck came by train to Petoskey and walked here to their homesteads which were part of a land grant given to Civil War Veterans and in the same section our farm is in 8)  Simon homesteaded 80 acres and his brother in-law 160 acres.  My mother is a Vroman  :)  They continued to make syrup here into the 1970s.  I've got a bottle of Vroman Brothers syrup that's never been opened  8)  We made it from the early 70s until 1988.  At that time we had 400 or so taps all on tubing feeding 25-30 taps into 55 gallon drums around the sugar bush and made on the average 100 gallons per year with flat pans on cement block arches.  In March of 1989 we had a super snow storm and the snow was just too deep that year.  We never made it again.  I'm hoping to restart a family tradition.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 09, 2016, 08:36:32 PM
Where does one buy that tapper ???  Will it fit any cordless ???

Corley, it's a CDL product (developed/invented by a young man in VT whose family does 75k taps)  so I would imagine anyone who is a CDL dealer could order one for you. I know the people I work for can get one, I can PM you their contact info if you'd like.

They sell the drill+attachment, comes with everything you get with a standard dewalt drill, two batteries, charger, carry case, and the chuck if you still want to use it as a regular drill, and they do sell an adapter that will fit other drills.
I believe the price on the drill kit+tapper unit is around $800.

I hope you do get the family tradition rolling again, it's a great hobby but be careful it can snowball into a big operation  ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 09, 2016, 08:45:38 PM
I can see switching to the 3/16" as you go, but to switch out all of the 5/16" with 3/16", when there's nothing wrong with the 5/16", to me anyways, is a waste of money!

Chuck, we got the sugarbush we re-tubed with 3\16'' all tapped, and we ended up adding about 1400 new taps in addition to taking out dead trees. The old 5\16'' was original and not in the best of condition. So we gained 3\16'' (and new tubing) performance, made the system more efficient, and added 1400 new taps.

Our crew is setup to install new stuff, not as we go, add ons, etc. We are very quick and efficient at it. I worked on an installation this December where we did 2500 taps start to finish in 3.5 days, without seeing the woods beforehand. These are some of the reasons the boss elected to redo the whole thing.

Now if we just worked at it weekends/on the side, and this was the only sugarbush we had, then no, re-doing the whole thing would take too long and probably not be cost effective to switch out all at once.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Don_Papenburg on February 09, 2016, 09:52:57 PM
So why is the smaller tube more efficient?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 10, 2016, 09:09:32 AM
Where does one buy that tapper ???  Will it fit any cordless ???


I assume you're just talking about the drill bit itself.

Should be able to get one by contacting Leader Evaporator Co. or CDL Evaporator Co.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Stephen1 on February 10, 2016, 09:28:50 AM
So why is the smaller tube more efficient?
I a understand it is easier to vacuum, less volume in the smaller tube. it will also self vacuum if on a slope.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on February 10, 2016, 09:42:28 AM
I was looking at the attachment on the drill  :)  What's unique about the maple tapping drill bits?  We're taking a field trip to Thunder Bay Maple Supply in Posen Saturday.  On my list is a maple tapping drill bit  :)  Along with a filter bag, some spiels, new hydrometer and cup, and maybe some sap bags and holders.  We've got about 25 sap buckets.  We may take a later trip RMG Sugar Bush Supply in Rudyard.  They're a CDL dealer.  I think Thunder Bay is a LaPierre dealer.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 10, 2016, 05:30:52 PM
From what I've read on the smaller diameter 3/16" line, you have to have around 30 feet of free line (no taps) above your first (highest) tap to create the vacuum.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 10, 2016, 06:34:54 PM
3/16 does flow better even with vacuum, but for a gravity/non vacuum system, they can create their own vacuum but like chuck said, you run tubing out past your last tap and I think you leave the end open as well.
I believe it's got something to do with the tube being full of sap more often (less space, same sap)  it's also supposed to lift sap better, if you have a sap ladder or tubing with less than desirable grade (with vacuum)

Really the cats pajamas if you have decent slope and no vacuum system.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 10, 2016, 06:41:43 PM
I was looking at the attachment on the drill  :)  What's unique about the maple tapping drill bits?  We're taking a field trip to Thunder Bay Maple Supply in Posen Saturday.  On my list is a maple tapping drill bit  :)  Along with a filter bag, some spiels, new hydrometer and cup, and maybe some sap bags and holders.  We've got about 25 sap buckets.  We may take a later trip RMG Sugar Bush Supply in Rudyard.  They're a CDL dealer.  I think Thunder Bay is a LaPierre dealer.

Corley, Sarah at Thunder Bay maple is the daughter of the people I work for here in Vermont. I know we can get the tapper attachments here, might still be worthwhile asking about it.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on February 10, 2016, 06:51:07 PM
Corley, Sarah at Thunder Bay maple is the daughter of the people I work for here in Vermont.

That's  8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: bill m on February 13, 2016, 09:39:21 AM
3/16 works better then 5/16 by creating it's own vacuum. I think 5/16 works better with mechanical vacuum. You need the larger dia. tubing to transfer vacuum to the tap hole. On a 3/16 line you need 30 feet of tubing before your first tap and at least 10 feet of elevation for this to work efficiently. Having the 30 feet of line, below the first tap, full of sap creates its own vacuum. You don't want to see sap moving fast thru your small lines, it means you have a vacuum leak.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 13, 2016, 10:21:57 AM
Yes, but it actually works more like a syphon than a vacuum!

Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: bill m on February 13, 2016, 07:21:09 PM
The Maple News, vol. 13 issue 10 of Dec. 2014 has a very good article written by Tim Wilmot about 3/16 tubing and the natural vacuum it creates. He states in his article that "Vacuum in a leak free line of 3/16 tubing that descends far enough to its outlet should be around 27 inches Hg."
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Don_Papenburg on February 13, 2016, 07:30:54 PM
Do any of you use the check valve spouts?  Just saw them on a web site this week. about a little over twice the price of regular pipeline spouts.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 14, 2016, 10:47:09 PM
Personally, no, overpriced.

Too much hype!

It would be really expensive for anyone who's already set up to pull all of his spouts and put the new style in!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 15, 2016, 06:27:50 AM
We use cheap disposable spouts. Put them on when we tap, cut them off when we pull spouts/clean lines.
The check valve spouts I believe are supposed to be one season use. Good idea, the theory behind them is sound but they haven't really taken off I don't think.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 15, 2016, 07:38:35 AM
We pull our spouts at the end of the season and clean the lines and spouts.

We do not take any of our lines down.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Stephen1 on February 16, 2016, 09:41:32 AM
We use cheap disposable spouts. Put them on when we tap, cut them off when we pull spouts/clean lines.
The check valve spouts I believe are supposed to be one season use. Good idea, the theory behind them is sound but they haven't really taken off I don't think.
I have never heard of disposable taps. Are they truely disposable, or is it they are so cheap you do not mind throwing them away?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 16, 2016, 07:35:00 PM
We use cheap disposable spouts. Put them on when we tap, cut them off when we pull spouts/clean lines.
The check valve spouts I believe are supposed to be one season use. Good idea, the theory behind them is sound but they haven't really taken off I don't think.
I have never heard of disposable taps. Are they truely disposable, or is it they are so cheap you do not mind throwing them away?

I guess it depends on your definition of disposable.
If they are so cheap we don't mind tossing them, doesn't that make them disposable?

I think the reason is that bacteria builds up in the spouts and sits all year, then you put that bacteria into your taphole at the beginning of next season. Bacteria triggers the tree to start healing the taphole and that shuts down sap production.
So, new clean spouts each year is getting to be the method of choice for alot of sugarmakers.
They also make an adapter spout where you attach a "stubby" spout, new each year, to a permanent attachment on the dropline.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on February 17, 2016, 05:22:30 AM
We got tapped in and when we got home last nite it was running. Its nice to hear the sound of sap flowing into the storage barrels again. I really like it when we empty the buckets and you can hear the  drips.sweet times!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 17, 2016, 07:00:28 AM
We're not tapped yet, set out some of the barrels a couple of days ago, weathered out yesterday.

We plan on all barrels out and all taps in by the weekend and boiling by Wednesday next!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 17, 2016, 05:28:19 PM
We finished up a 6500ish tap woods today. Was slow going, had a few poor weather\too cold days. Tomorrow we start on another woods of similar tap count, but easily 2-3x the area. Tree density isn't terrible, but the woods where we just finished, it's awesome.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on February 18, 2016, 06:11:13 AM
I think I will be putting out my taps this weekend
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 18, 2016, 09:02:44 PM
We are planning on tapping tomorrow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 19, 2016, 06:32:14 PM
Well, 628 taps are in, about the same left to do tomorrow if the weather permits.  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 20, 2016, 04:29:20 PM
We are all tapped now with the exception of about 30 buckets, all of our line taps are in and they should start (or be) running any time.

Most of the holes were wet when we were finishing the line taps today!

1,200 taps in now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Ford_man on February 21, 2016, 08:30:53 AM
I am curious, does the sap freeze in the small tubing and does it cause a problem?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on February 21, 2016, 02:51:23 PM
Tapped in yesterday. 22 buckets this year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 22, 2016, 06:58:27 AM
Yes, when it gets below freezing, the sap will freeze in the lines and in the taps, but when it warms up, it will thaw out with no ill effects!

We finished tapping day before yesterday in the afternoon.
Sap ran all night and yesterday around noon we started gathering and we got right at 500 gallons and fired the evaporator around 4:00, finishing around 10:00.
We got 3 1/2 gallons, of course we still have the evaporator flooded and around 30 gallons (sap) still in the feeder tank.
Cold enough today, so sap won't run.

Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on February 25, 2016, 05:28:20 AM
Yesterday was 41F and today its going to 52 f today. 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 25, 2016, 10:33:08 PM
Gathered 230 gallons of sap today and then boiled, got about 5.5 gallons of Light Amber syrup!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on February 26, 2016, 10:07:00 AM
I was at my property doing some work for a few days so I figured I'd do 10 taps to see what I'd get. It hit over 50 degrees yesterday. About half of them barely dripped (big trees in the shade so I wasn't surprised), a couple ran like crazy. I missed probably 3 or 4 hours of the run since I had to leave about noon yesterday. I got I think 6 or maybe a bit more gallons of sap and from that I made a half pint of syrup. Actually a bit more than half a pint but some didn't make it to the jar.  ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: GAB on February 26, 2016, 11:02:21 AM
I was at my property doing some work for a few days so I figured I'd do 10 taps to see what I'd get. It hit over 50 degrees yesterday. About half of them barely dripped (big trees in the shade so I wasn't surprised), a couple ran like crazy. I missed probably 3 or 4 hours of the run since I had to leave about noon yesterday. I got I think 6 or maybe a bit more gallons of sap and from that I made a half pint of syrup. Actually a bit more than half a pint but some didn't make it to the jar.  ;D

I especially like your last sentence.  You have to sample to know if you are making good stuff.
Be careful about consuming too much hot maple syrup as it is a pretty good laxative.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 26, 2016, 11:20:03 AM
If it weren't for sampling, boiling wouldn't be fun!   :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on February 26, 2016, 12:15:06 PM
Do any of you use the check valve spouts?  Just saw them on a web site this week. about a little over twice the price of regular pipeline spouts.
Yes we do use check valve spouts 1200 taps on vacuum. Boiled first time last nite 7 gallons medium amber nice flavor. Hope to finish tapping tomorrow only 100 to go. We could have finished yesterday but we spent most of the day walking lines and repairing squirrel damage, we had about 22 inches hg of vacuum at the end of all of the mainlines when we got done. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on February 26, 2016, 05:42:58 PM
Sap ran thursday, we turned the vacuum on for the first time. I went and checked for leaks in one of our sugarbushes. Started out at 14" vacuum, had it to 26" by noon. Then I went and ran tubing in the rain. More tubing today. Almost all tubed in the new section we are adding. I put up about 45, 800ft rolls of 3/16" tubing this week. With a half day Wednesday and Thursday. I'm whooped tonight. Still more trees tomorrow.
We still have probably 8000ish left to tap, including this brand new section we are adding.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 26, 2016, 08:59:31 PM
Too cold for sap to run today, so we bottled up 5 gallons of syrup instead!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jcbrotz on February 27, 2016, 05:02:15 AM
Just a small guy here, mostly for us but would love to sell some if we can make enough, but my question is how does one go about making light colored syrup? We can only ever make dark stuff must be something we are doing but haven't figured it out yet so could someone enlighten me please. :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 27, 2016, 07:32:57 AM
Mostly, it depends on how clear the sap is.

If the sap is cloudy, you will get darker syrup.

The sooner you boil after gathering the sap, the better for lighter syrup.

Keep the sap COLD until you're ready to boil.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on February 27, 2016, 08:06:49 AM
Just a small guy here, mostly for us but would love to sell some if we can make enough, but my question is how does one go about making light colored syrup? We can only ever make dark stuff must be something we are doing but haven't figured it out yet so could someone enlighten me please. :D
Clean fresh sap clean equipment fast boil. Back in the 70's my dad had 1200 taps on pipeline occasionally we would end up with a big block of frozen sap in the holding tank then get a good run. The ice would last a long time and keep the new sap ice cold to slow bacteria growth, that is when we always made the lightest syrup. Dark syrup is for the most part is caused by bacteria so the longer you have to hold sap before boiling the darker it will be. Many operation nowadays truck sap from various bushes to a central location to boil so every time the sap is handled is a chance for it to become contaminated with bacteria. We just boiled for the first time it was medium amber the sap was fresh and the equipment was very clean except for the pipeline. The pipeline is left up year round and is not washed we dumped the first 500 gallons of the run. If we get some good runs in the coming days I expect the color to get lighter then as the weather warms it will likely darken. sometimes we drain the evaporator midseason for a cleanup and get the light grade back but it comes at a high price because not all of the sugar in the pans can be saved resulting in some lost production. Although light syrup is my favorite most consumers like a little color and bulk syrup buyers do not pay much more for light amber than they do for dark amber.   
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on February 27, 2016, 05:29:23 PM
boiled 50 gallons of sap last night and today and ended up with a little over  a gallon of medium amber.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 27, 2016, 10:50:57 PM
Nice!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on February 28, 2016, 06:04:40 AM
Some sugaring pics from yesterday.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160227_130744.jpg) 

 the evaporator(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160227_131035.jpg) the finisher

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160227_143554-1.jpg) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160227_152422-2.jpg) the maple mutt ( aka: princess)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160227_193123.jpg) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160227_203043.jpg) the new lantern. It was a nice day
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 28, 2016, 07:22:08 AM
Nice setup, enjoyable ain't it!   8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Ford_man on February 28, 2016, 12:33:11 PM
Do you get any condensation from the steel roof dripping on you? That is a very nice setup,is there any thing you would change if you were to do it over?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on February 28, 2016, 02:19:16 PM
nice set up!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: GAB on February 28, 2016, 08:07:58 PM
Mostly, it depends on how clear the sap is.

If the sap is cloudy, you will get darker syrup.

The sooner you boil after gathering the sap, the better for lighter syrup.

Keep the sap COLD until you're ready to boil.

Mr. White:
I've been led to believe that if the sap height is too high in the pans that that can also be a cause for dark syrup even with fresh sap.
Did I misunderstand?
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: HousewrightVA on February 28, 2016, 09:01:26 PM
Turned off the vac pumps tonight, season is over. We have a warm week ahead, no flow and the trees will probably bud. Not the best year it has been either too warm or too cold for weeks at a time.
Good luck to you guys up north.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: brewdog on February 28, 2016, 09:14:58 PM
Real nice dog,right size camp,braket on stud  to rafter>?Season earley here,but good run, colour not to bad for sap running 3 days no freezing.  What sap testing on average . from NOVA SCOTIA, hope 4 good runds.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Don_Papenburg on February 28, 2016, 11:09:51 PM
So far this season we have made a half gallon of walnut syrup out of 26 taps . I think that this week will be the last . After sunday the temps will be in the 50-60s without any freezing. I wish I had more large walnuts , One of my trees puts out about four to five gallons a day. majority of them give up a gallon to a gal.and a half . then my smallest up to a pint.    I use a five gallon bucket with a lid drilled for tubing to collect sap . The bucket sits on the ground (,staked to keep the wind from blowing it away)Then I run tube from the trees to the bucket . Sort of a pipeline but it works and gives me time to collect once a day. I have two buckets on the one big tree  with four taps.
 I boil on a pan in my built in grill , then finish in the sauce pan on the stove.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on February 29, 2016, 05:43:44 AM
Thanks! Its a lot of work but the smiles it puts on people faces is worth it. Walnut syrup sounds yummy!Wish I could have built it bigger,but a boulder put the breaks on that. I did build it 3" to big( no one told me the 6"x10' were 6"x10'11/2") so that made it tough,but the bracket for dummy builders worked great. The roof dripps a little sometimes.we have a gas canner on order and hope to see it soon. Hope all are having a sweet time this spring! We and the maple mutt are!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on February 29, 2016, 07:21:25 AM
Gerald; I don't think the sap level makes any difference other than the boil.

For example: If the sap level is a couple of inches instead of 5-6" it will boil better/faster.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Magicman on February 29, 2016, 09:03:30 AM
I enjoyed those "sugaring" pictures.   :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Remle on February 29, 2016, 03:04:38 PM
MM and others
For a live action video of maple syrup making google " Maple Syrup Masters of West Sparta NY redit " for a real red neck operation. The video is several years old as they have now changed over to a pipe line collection system and up graded some of their other home made equipment , I keep telling them to shoot a new video, but as of late they haven't.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: brewdog on February 29, 2016, 09:46:33 PM
Amount in pans make a big diference on what they will put outin a day and also colour of syrup. I always finish syrup on evap.wood fire/some with r. o..ran 6x14 with a pigeyback  ,no r.  o.  it was wood fire/one single pan for syrup.ran  no more than 1 in. in syrup pan if ran it deeper didn't get as much syrup and darker.could get bbl in 4 hour. I have 5 x 12 keep aboutsame  in syrup  pan,be careful not to BURN.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jcbrotz on March 01, 2016, 04:13:19 AM
Thanks for the answers on getting lighter syrup. We bought a new 2x8 evaporator this year and all we can get is dark and sweet, we don't plan on selling this year but maybe next and would like to make it a little lighter and maybe a little faster. I think we are leaving quite a bit of syrup on in the extra color. But that is just my thoughts. Its all a learning game and we go through a lot of syrup. :D So how much sap are we supposed to keep in the raised flue pan and also in the finisher? Thanks
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: brewdog on March 01, 2016, 06:35:48 AM
Keep at least 1  inch in each pan but make sure its setting level or little higher at stack.may not be a good idea to go to syrup at first/some pans want to make syrup in centre making harder to draw off .GOTOGOBOIL.SEE YA.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 01, 2016, 07:08:01 AM
We run a 3x8 raised flue evaporator, made by CDL.

We run 2 inches of sap above the flues in the back pan and 1¼ inches in the syrup pan!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: r.man on March 01, 2016, 08:03:43 AM
I prefer dark syrup, I find light on colour to also be light on taste. I hold sap for days at a time and boil batches over the course of days as well as allowing the syrup to go cold in between fires. Very convenient for me and gives great tasting syrup, but dark. The producers that I have known in the past who consistently made light coloured syrup were retired people who made each days sap into bottled syrup that day. Based on the long range forecast our season should start in a week.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 01, 2016, 01:29:17 PM
This morning we bottled up 5 gallons, 5 half-gallons & 4 quarts.

The grade is kind of in the gray area, between light amber and med. amber.

The darker the grade, the more robust (maple flavored) the syrup will taste.

I prefer a good medium to dark amber over the light amber, although they all taste good!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on March 01, 2016, 03:04:22 PM
Season kind of snuck up on us got tapped just in time, haven't had a chance to pick up any jugs so we filled a drum and a couple 5 gallon jugs for a total of 30 gallons. Made 10 of it Thursday and 20 last night if we need to we can reheat and can it later. Last night was like the fastest I have ever seen it boil we usually RO to 8% but had to cut it back to 5% so it would keep up with the evaporator. Got into some fine split 2 year old ash and white birch wood made for a hot fire.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 01, 2016, 04:49:16 PM
We noticed that the boil was really fast last night, too!

We gathered another 240 gallons yesterday and we boiled it down in 3½ hours!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: coxy on March 01, 2016, 06:46:21 PM
chuck did jim start making it yet
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 02, 2016, 07:09:06 AM
As of this past Saturday, no!

When we went there for supplies, he had 3 guys lined up to put in 2,000 more taps, that day!

He must have somewhere between 30,000 - 40,000 taps all together, counting the people who bring/sell sap to him!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: coxy on March 02, 2016, 06:42:02 PM
thanks  :) :) :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 03, 2016, 11:55:55 AM
This area is froze up until Wed or Thu!

Then the sap should run good for a while!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on March 04, 2016, 05:23:17 PM
Chuck, I have a question for you, Today when I finished the boil and filtered the syrup was cloudy. I run the syrup thru 3 filters and I am used to seeing lots of sugar sand and a clear finished product. I filtered 3 times and its still cloudy. I read online and what I found was to let the syrup sit and the cloudy(sediments) will settle to the bottom. My questions are: is that true and how or what do I filter the cold syrup with to remove this?

Thanks
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on March 04, 2016, 06:17:24 PM
I know you did not ask me but I will answer anyway. Yes the sugar sand will settle out in a few days. Before we had a filter press sometimes late in the season we would get some dark syrup that would not got through the strainer so we would settle it out. This practice was very common in the old days, many old timers used to call the strainer tank a settling tank. Just curious what are you using for a strainer?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on March 04, 2016, 07:21:32 PM
Hackermatack, I will take help from anyone :D I use a orlon filter with two pre filters before that. how do I remove it after it settles out?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on March 04, 2016, 07:40:15 PM
The old fashioned settling tanks had a draw off that was a few inches off the bottom so the syrup could be drawn off without disturbing the settlings. The few times we did it we simply poured the syrup off the top, it tends to stir the sand up some but you can pour the stuff in the bottom into a smaller container and let it settle again. Any way you do it you will waste a little. I don't know anything about orlon filters, before we had a filter press we used a paper pre filter inside a felt filter. The paper filter catches the thicker stuff and they need to be washed often, because the felts are just trapping the fines they are good for quite a few gallons.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 04, 2016, 08:04:48 PM
cbla, looks like your question has been pretty well answered.

The only thing that I can think of to add would be that once you get the filter tank emptied down to where you only have a couple of inches left and that is where the sugar sand is, pour what's left into an appropriate sized container and heat until it is around 200° and filter it again, maybe a double filter!

Like has been said, you will always lose a little!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on March 05, 2016, 05:35:08 AM
Thanks
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 05, 2016, 06:34:41 AM
I know alot about the woods type stuff, tubing, sap, etc. but the boiling process is probably my least educated/experienced aspect of sugaring, mostly because I've always worked for other people, and usually am in the woods checking vacuum, repairing, etc. And, well, the boss does the boiling.
It's interesting for sure to listen to you guys talk about boiling.

We finished up our last minutes install. Ended up being 2850 taps. Think I tapped 1100ish on thursday, had someone going ahead of me and putting spouts on. Was nice and fast, no snow, no old tapholes to look for.
Now onto our last woods, which is on a big generator. That's why we save it for last, it's just a pain to keep going for one or two early season runs. Hopefully we knock it out in a few days, 6000ish taps. Long range forecast looks real good for sap!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on March 05, 2016, 07:02:02 AM
Is this the end for us? No freezing temps next week :-\
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on March 05, 2016, 07:10:26 AM
Looking good up this way, checked the long range forecast looks like perfect sugaring weather for the next 45 days, Yeh Rite  :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: brewdog on March 05, 2016, 10:38:41 AM
Sap seems to be running better this year /don't tap as maney as I did before the colour darker than first 2 runs .what the sap testing seems to take a wile to get syrup,no bells ang wisles.Used dewalt 18  volt and 20 volt lith.had5 batterys but onley last about 3 hours,7/16 taps used to use Eco taper but wouldn't work this year,good luck try to sendphotos. snowing in NOVA SCOTIA -6 NO SAP TODAY.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 05, 2016, 03:43:00 PM
That sure is a lot of taps, Chris!

I wouldn't get in a hurry to pull the taps, there's a break in the weather coming, then it'll return to normal sugaring weather for a while.

We isolated the front & back pans today, drained the back pan into 2 barrels then filled the pan with water and boiled and got most of it boiled out.

We got 6 gallons boiled out today and in the filter tank.

We still have about 4 - 5 gallons of sweet stuff in the front pans and will finish that in the turkey cooker tomorrow, and clean and drain the evaporator and have it ready for the next sap run.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on March 05, 2016, 06:36:54 PM
The forecast for my place says 61 Wednesday. I don't think that's good for the sugaring but it will be nice weather to be outside in. I should have a real nice sap run Monday and maybe Tuesday.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 05, 2016, 08:08:25 PM
It'll run good as long as it goes below freezing at night.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Don_Papenburg on March 06, 2016, 12:21:57 AM
Sunday looks to be my last day .  Temps in the 40s at night and 50s-60s daytime for next ten days , there is no frost in the ground  so it will be getting warmer .  We did good for this year .  Hope to find more large walnuts for next year.(over a gallon now)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on March 06, 2016, 05:39:56 AM
9 days with no freezing temps looks like today might be the last run. We made 14 gal. So far. Yesterday we made 4 gal. It was a nice sat. We can't wait to get the new bottler.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160305_105223-1.jpg) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160305_132145.jpg)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on March 06, 2016, 06:52:53 AM
The forecast says a low of 38 on Tuesday night. Monday night is going to hover around the freezing mark. So I'm not sure how the sap will be running Wednesday, but I'll collect it if it runs.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 06, 2016, 08:06:28 AM
I can smell it!!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 06, 2016, 03:57:42 PM
We bottled up 5 1/2 gallons and washed down the flue pan!

There's about 1/2 inch of sweet stuff in the front pan, the back pan is clean and empty!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: bhall on March 07, 2016, 10:42:39 PM
We finally got our taps in two weeks ago, had some good runs, put up 12 gallon of real nice light & medium amber. Looks not to run for better than a week so we cleaned the pan to make ready for the final days. Sure is some nice weather and seeing lots of geese headed north and the small critters must be active since I am seeing the hawks more often. Wishing everyone a good season,
Bob
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 08, 2016, 07:07:50 AM
We're coming in to a break in the weather later today, should last 4-5 days, we should see some good runs!

Good thing to do, clean the pans up a bit between runs when you can, I think it makes for better syrup.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on March 08, 2016, 11:45:18 AM
Looking good for the rest of the week. I just started the vacuum pump and it is running some and should pick up as things thaw a little more. I don't feel that night time freeze up is a critical with vacuum, we have run the pump 48 hours strait in the past and got sap the whole time.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 08, 2016, 05:47:59 PM

Good thing to do, clean the pans up a bit between runs when you can, I think it makes for better syrup.

Chuck, the guy I work for has at least two sets of extra pans, he has to change them after every boil to clean them because the niter builds up so fast. This is a very efficient evaporator, with a steam away hood and RO.

Tapholes were dribbling when we were tapping today. One more long day and we might be able to finish this last woods and be all tapped finally!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 09, 2016, 12:27:50 AM
Sounds like a nice outfit, Chris.

We gathered about 400 gallons today, then boiled it down, got about 4½ gallons of syrup.

Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: r.man on March 09, 2016, 08:04:46 AM
The sap started running slightly in my area yesterday. A soft start will give everyone a chance to either get tapped or get their ducks in a row.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on March 09, 2016, 05:31:50 PM
Ran all night and all day today under vacuum got 30 gallons of medium amber so far today the boys are still boiling, should hit 40 by the time they run out of sap. We will probably run the vacuum all night again. Looks like the next chance for a freeze is tomorrow night. We have one little clump of about 100 trees that is not on vacuum and they didn't run much. Seems like the past few years has been this way, no vacuum no sap. The long range forecast looks like some good freeze thaw cycles next week. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 09, 2016, 07:35:02 PM
We put out 77 taps tonight.  We've missed two runs so far.  Neither have been very good.  We're in the middle of a real warm spell.  Hasn't froze at night since the weekend but it's supposed to tomorrow night.  I'm going to put out another 30 or so taps in the morning.  Our evaporator isn't quite done but a friend is going to make sure the sap from our taps doesn't go to waste until we're set up.  It's supposed to be above normal the next 10 or more days.  Might not be much of a maple season here.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 09, 2016, 09:25:28 PM
Still 58° here, wouldn't surprise us if the season ends a lot sooner than expected.

It don't look like we'll hit the 150 gallon mark like last year or maybe even the 100 gallon mark from the year before!  :-\

We found another area where there was a sugaring operation (still on my brothers property) years and years ago and it looks like we could put in around 400-500 taps pretty easy and all on pipeline, so that's what we'll be doing between sawjobs this Summer.   8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 10, 2016, 07:23:54 AM
I believe that there will be a shortfall in Maple Syrup production this year!

We still have some in this area that haven't even tapped yet, and if I were in that position, I wouldn't even bother!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 10, 2016, 08:09:21 AM
Supposed to be in the mid twenties tonight and push 50 tomorrow.  Should run good.  Then it's warm with no freeze up nights until the end of the ten day forecast when winter may make a comeback.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on March 10, 2016, 12:24:33 PM
I believe that there will be a shortfall in Maple Syrup production this year!

We still have some in this area that haven't even tapped yet, and if I were in that position, I wouldn't even bother!

Looks like you may be rite, at least south of the border. Quebec still has plenty of winter left and they control the wholesale market. We have about 20% of a normal crop rite now. Next week looks a little better.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on March 10, 2016, 01:42:09 PM
Hey everyone,
  The sap has been finished here in Tennessee for about a week or so. We had 24 taps and only got up about five quarts.  I have two questions. This is just my fourth year. Do the trees on the south slope run sooner in the year than trees on the north slope?  How long can you combine sap in the same boiler before it goes bad? I lost two batches by letting them boil too long before finishing them up. Thanks.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 10, 2016, 03:26:03 PM
We have a problem!!!  We tapped 10 trees,I really did not want to deal with it,but the wife............. So we have 10 taps,started around 11,went out,came back at 3,checked the buckets most had at least 2 inches,a couple had 4 inches. I don't even have a place to boil yet.  :o  Looks like we will be filling "something" up to store it. She will enjoy it. Now to get the wood she needs to boil. Looks like I will be setting something up in the dark when I get home tomorrow.  ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 10, 2016, 03:53:26 PM
Hey everyone,
  The sap has been finished here in Tennessee for about a week or so. We had 24 taps and only got up about five quarts.  I have two questions. This is just my fourth year.

 Do the trees on the south slope run sooner in the year than trees on the north slope?

 How long can you combine sap in the same boiler before it goes bad?
I lost two batches by letting them boil too long before finishing them up. Thanks. 

Generally the taps on a "South Facing" hill will run a little sooner than the "North Facing" side, and in this area anyway, the sap from the "South Facing" hill will  make a little bit lighter syrup!

You really don't want to let the sap sit in the evaporator very long unless it's cold when you shut down for the day.  Sap can be cooled, then stored in a refrigerator.  If the sap sits around very long, bacteria will start to grow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Ford_man on March 10, 2016, 07:33:28 PM
If you only have 10 taps you can boil it in an electric turkey roaster if you have one. if you have one do it in the garage not in the kitchen. Done that once about 60 years ago the plaster came off the ceiling. And My mama was not happy.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 10, 2016, 09:33:21 PM
We aren't planning on pulling taps anytime soon. Looks warm this week but next week will cool off at night, 40's to 50's during the day, perfect. We'll make alot of syrup in April I bet.
I think having a tubing\vacuum system does alot to prolong your season.
Our pumps have been on 48 hours. They'll run all night and all day tomorrow too. Sap ran last night, all day today it ran well while I was checking vacuum.
I have no idea how much syrup we've made so far, I've been in the woods most of the time, barely seen the evaporator run  :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 10, 2016, 09:39:51 PM
I hope your prediction is right, Chris!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: brewdog on March 10, 2016, 10:17:36 PM
Weather here is odd this year ,sap ran good better than most years .no frost in ground and no snow/think season more than half done. most was made in feb. and not that sweet/ cant see it lasting.Dont burn the pans from Nova Scotia.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 11, 2016, 07:58:28 AM
We don't expect it to last much longer in this area, a few of the Soft Maples are starting to bud already!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: coxy on March 11, 2016, 09:01:46 PM
could you freeze the sap and then thaw it at a later date say like a month or two  :-\
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 12, 2016, 06:15:00 AM
Seem like we froze some up,I doubt much more than a couple gallons,small scale here.  ;D    I think I used soda bottles,left them out to melt a little,then cut the tops of them. Takes some heat to melt them back down. I just did not dare to leave them out too long,because of bacteria,but I suppose one night would not hurt either.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 12, 2016, 07:05:48 AM
Sap will keep for quite a while when stored at freezing (32°) or slightly below, maybe 30°.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 12, 2016, 11:30:04 PM
Well we had a good run of sap today, we gathered 800 gallons and boiled 650 of it and called it a day & night.

Drew off 18 gallons of syrup today!

We have another 160 gallons to start off with in the morning, 2 of us will start gathering and the 3rd will start boiling.

We expect to gather around 400 gallons in the morning and who knows how much if it breaks loose as it warms up.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on March 13, 2016, 11:09:01 AM
Yesterday was excellent here also, it froze a little last night but the wind is out of the northwest today. The sun is strong so sheltered parts of the bush are running a little under vacuum. It will be just as well if we don't get too much today because we are still a little behind on yesterdays sap. I think we will get 60 gallons of syrup out of this run. Working up toward 1/2 of a crop.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 13, 2016, 05:20:34 PM
Well, we've decided that today was our last day of sugaring for this year.

Bad weather coming for the next week or so, nothing below freezing, and the buds are starting to pop.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 13, 2016, 05:43:22 PM
We are having the biggest sap run of the year this weekend. Wow! Seen 1.5" and 2" pipes running full!
Stopped into the sugarhouse this afternoon, predicting a 1000 gallon day. Supposed to freeze up tonight, and maybe one or two days next week too. Thinking the higher elevation guys will do well this year!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 13, 2016, 09:02:26 PM
I'm predicting a 10 gallon day.  :D  We are finishing off about a quart now. We have a pint done all ready.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 14, 2016, 10:20:43 PM
We are at a stand-still for a few days, supposed to turn cold again later in the week, we'll see, if it doesn't we may get done, if it does we'll gather more an boil.

Right now we're at 63 gallons and last year we put up 100 gallons!

Glad it's not our livelihood!   ::)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on March 15, 2016, 06:45:01 AM
We pulled our taps and waiting on our bottler. Anyone else having trouble getting stuff from cdl?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 15, 2016, 06:47:26 AM
We don't have any trouble at all with CDL!

We usually get stuff from a local distributor, but once in a while we'll order directly from CSL.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 15, 2016, 05:18:59 PM
Mother Nature just turned the faucet on full bore. Another huge run! It's gonna run all night and through tomorrow too.
We use electric releasers for our vacuum systems. They have a charge pump that pumps sap into the bulk tank when the releaser float is triggered. Today, the sap was coming in so fast, the charge pump was running 100% of the time, and still couldn't keep up. When that happens it triggers an override that shuts the vacuum pump off until the charge pump catches up again. This was a constant thing! In multiple woods too. The boss said he hadn't seen that happen before.

Haul sap all night, boil tomorrow. Getting crazy!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 15, 2016, 09:20:19 PM
We are at a stand-still, waiting to see what Thursday - the weekend brings.

Every ounce of sap that we had is boiled down now and the pans are flooded with water, waiting & waiting!

Hoping the Weather Guessers are hitting it with the cold weather coming in!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on March 16, 2016, 05:56:30 AM
Out of the blue the bottler came in from cdl. Going to pick up to nite after work 8). We have 15 gal to bottle. Sweet times!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on March 16, 2016, 03:52:07 PM
did a small boil today. so far I have made 3.25 gallons this year 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 16, 2016, 05:05:13 PM
At 54° the sap started running today around noon!   :-\    :P

We'll have enough to boil tomorrow.

With what we finished off yesterday, we've made 72 gallons, about half of what we did last year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on March 17, 2016, 05:21:47 AM
We had some weird runs? Looks like we pulled our taps to early. Nice running weather coming up for 5 days. We picked up the bottler last night and got to free hats!

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/2016-03-17_05_15_10.jpg)
Just have to get a valve.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 17, 2016, 07:06:29 AM
Should be able to get a stainless steel ball valve at Tractor Supply!

I've got a hat like that (CDL), but can barely read what it says on it!

Didn't get very cold last night, but there's frost on the ground right now, so we should get a good run today!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 17, 2016, 10:10:53 PM
What a surprise, we gathered 320 gallons of sap today.

We flushed out the evaporator and then boiled the sap down to around 80 gallons, didn't quite get a draw!

When we get more sap, it won't be long and we'll have syrup.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 18, 2016, 04:41:42 PM
So, interesting day today. Yesterday we filled all our sap tanks at the sugarhouse to capacity. Got in early today to empty out the 2 big woods tanks and wash them. We were needing more sap because the RO was running and making concentrate and we couldn't run out of concentrate. So we brought two full loads back, probably 10,000ish gallons in all. Plus another truck came in and sold a load. Plus a few from the other woods we haul from with a tractor.
The interesting part is, we didn't boil any of the sap or concentrate. It was sold to an outfit that produces "maple water". Anyone heard of the stuff? Can't remember the exact company name but I believe it's headed for England eventually. We were putting it into bags inside of 55 gallon drums, right out of the RO.
3850 gallons of concentrated sap, 14% sugar. Don't know exactly what it sold for but I don't imagine it would have been sold if it was less profitable than making syrup out of it. I guess the man was impressed with the the quality of our sap and how helpful we were, there could be more orders for next year.

Gonna have a good hard freeze tonight, looks like right through till Tuesday. The season marches on and on  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on March 18, 2016, 09:23:35 PM
It wasn't VT Sweetwater out of Poultney was it? They make maple seltzer and various sodas. That's the only "maple water" I've ever had, besides tasting my sap.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 18, 2016, 09:33:15 PM
No, the man buying the sap was from Washington state, the load was headed for refrigeration in NY and it's final destination is England I believe. I'll try to find out the company name...
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on March 18, 2016, 09:41:59 PM
That's interesting.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 18, 2016, 09:58:20 PM
Found it.

http://www.sibberi.com/index.html

I guess their primary product is birch sap water, but they are delving into maple water now.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on March 19, 2016, 06:54:00 AM
I hear of that stuff,but didn't know it was European or for real. Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on March 19, 2016, 05:16:08 PM
Well the maples are budding out where I am in southern VT. I hope northeastern VT holds out long enough I get more sap.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 19, 2016, 06:22:45 PM
Our maples won't be far behind yours CJennings!

Right now, we're on a freeze-up, but it's likely to break loose for a couple of days and we should get a couple of good runs, then pull the plug!

We may catch up with last year but at this point we're unsure!   We're hoping!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on March 19, 2016, 07:26:50 PM
I think towards the end of the coming week I'll have a decent sap run at my place in northern VT but I don't think the season will make it too much longer if the warm weather keeps up then.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 20, 2016, 10:00:42 AM
Seems the little buds are slowly coming out whenever it warms up a little!

Like the old saying:  The End Is Near!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Stephen1 on March 21, 2016, 06:39:45 PM
We had 2 runs last week, 500 g of sap so far. Winter is back with a vengeance here. 3 days of snow coming with a little rain mixed in. The long range always looks good, but changes over night. Good old mother nature. right now we are looking good, the season is typical now, our best week has been that 1st week of April , so will see. Cheers
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 21, 2016, 11:26:34 PM
We had a little bit of a turn-around today, it ran and we gathered 375 gallons of sap, boiled it down and drew off 9.9 gallons of syrup.

Cold again tonight and expected to get warm tomorrow, so we'll likely get another run tomorrow!

The end is near, we have no snow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: GAB on March 22, 2016, 09:25:10 AM
We had a little bit of a turn-around today, it ran and we gathered 375 gallons of sap, boiled it down and drew off 9.9 gallons of syrup.

Cold again tonight and expected to get warm tomorrow, so we'll likely get another run tomorrow!

The end is near, we have no snow!

How did it taste and what was the grade using the old rating scale?
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: PPT_Man on March 22, 2016, 06:16:56 PM
I am new to this forum and forums in general.

I live in central NH and last year I made about 5 gallons of syrup.

But here is what I can offer. I boil my sap using electricity - and not on the kitchen stove. Well, actually,  I FINISH the syrup on the kitchen stove (while my wife is out), but almost all the boiling is done outside with electricity. I make special boilers using large stock pots into which I have inserted the heating element from a hot water heater. I have been doing variations on this for several years and it works well for me at least. I don't know if anyone else would be interested in this, but if so, I will post more information. Let me know. My technique would NOT be approved by Underwriter's Laboratory!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on March 22, 2016, 07:30:54 PM
Some of my maples at my woodlot are budding out, some are not. I think the season is just about done for me. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 22, 2016, 07:42:24 PM
We collected about 75 gallons of sap this afternoon from our 110 taps.  We had a 120 and a 100 gallon day week before last then it warmed up and then it got cold.  This was the first sap since then.  After the storm tomorrow we should have a few days with runs starting probably Friday.  Our evaporator won't be done for this season but our friends are boiling our sap with theirs on their evaporator.  They've got a 2X4 Smoky Lake continuous pan on an arch he made.  Between their 50 taps and our 110 there's 12 gallons of finished syrup thus far.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 22, 2016, 08:34:30 PM
The buckets was over flowing today. Did not think it flowed much yesterday,was kinda on the cool side and the wind was strong. The wife does it all,I have the easy part of cutting the wood for it.  ::) I guess she should of checked them yesterday.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 23, 2016, 09:17:01 PM
We had a little bit of a turn-around today, it ran and we gathered 375 gallons of sap, boiled it down and drew off 9.9 gallons of syrup.

Cold again tonight and expected to get warm tomorrow, so we'll likely get another run tomorrow!

The end is near, we have no snow!

How did it taste and what was the grade using the old rating scale?
Gerald

It tasted really good and a good strong Maple taste.

Really smooth.

But it was very dark ie, Dark Amber, robust flavor.

Strong, not so good smell in the sugar house, but very good taste.

Yesterday, we gathered 475 gallons and boiled most of it down, then started up again this morning, and gathered another 500 gallons.

We at about 107 gallons now, and we'll have around 300 gallons to gather tomorrow morning.

If this keeps up, we may reach last years total of 150 gallons of syrup.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: bill m on March 23, 2016, 10:12:42 PM
Collected another 1000 gallons today and made 19 gallons. trees were still running but slowing down compared to yesterday.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 23, 2016, 10:44:32 PM
We collected 60 gallons tonight.  I'd have left it in the buckets if it weren't for the 12" plus snow fall we're expecting.  Sounds like a few good days after the storm but the season should be getting short now.  Once upon a time when we made syrup we took the buckets down on March 31st.  The next year we put them up on April 1st.  Just never know.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 24, 2016, 05:53:10 AM
Buckets are ¾ full here!!! I have no idea how much longer. Kinda on the cool side for now.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 24, 2016, 04:45:31 PM
We had a little bit of a turn-around today, it ran and we gathered 375 gallons of sap, boiled it down and drew off 9.9 gallons of syrup.

Cold again tonight and expected to get warm tomorrow, so we'll likely get another run tomorrow!

The end is near, we have no snow!

How did it taste and what was the grade using the old rating scale?
Gerald

The syrup tasted really good, heavy Maple taste, but while boiling it had an off-smell (not so good) to it.

This would have been graded Dark Amber, still a good grade, just dark!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 24, 2016, 04:51:15 PM
Tuesday we gathered 475 gallons and boiled most of it down, yesterday we gathered 500 gallons and boiled it down and made 17.7 gallons and today we gathered 200 gallons and boiled it down, made 6 gallons.

Big turn-around in color, aroma & taste between the 21st and 22nd.  We're back making light amber now!

28° now, all day, everythings froze up, supposed to break loose again tomorrow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 24, 2016, 04:54:58 PM
Well the past few days haven't produced much for us, been frozen up. Got a little sap and boiled yesterday. It's been too cold to check vacuum so we have been doing some TSI\thinning in a stand, releasing small maple stems, and removing all softwood. We are leaving some other hardwood species occasionally and if there is a large gap we may leave a nice spruce. Lots of small diameter fir though. We may get enough spruce\fir to make a truckload of logs, we'll see.

Tomorrow through the weekend looks real good for sap!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 25, 2016, 07:09:43 PM
Today, we started gathering around 10:00.  We gathered 600 gallons, 3-loads, when the first load was dropped off, 1 guy stayed at the sugar house and started boiling.  When the 3rd load was back, we had to wait for storage space.

When the space was available again, we emptied that load into the storage tank, then around 3:30 we went and gathered another 300 gallons.  900 gallons total.

Boiled till around supper time, then shut down, will start boiling again around 8:00 AM tomorrow.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 25, 2016, 07:23:18 PM
Dumped the snow out of the buckets this afternoon after it thawed a bit.  Sap ran a little.  Supposed to be 17 tonight and mid 40s tomorrow.  Should run.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 26, 2016, 06:54:36 AM
20° now, it'll be a while before sap runs today, works out well so we can boil what we didn't yesterday!  ;)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: GAB on March 26, 2016, 07:57:28 AM
Some of my maples at my woodlot are budding out, some are not. I think the season is just about done for me.

I hope you are aware that the soft maples will start budding out earlier than the hard maples.  If you have the typical New England mix in your woods you may have some 2016 sugar season life left yet.  The weather is a very high deciding factor as to how long and the type of season it will be.
In my area the buds on the soft maples (silver) has been out for a while and yesterday I picked quit a bit of sap (note I only have 45 taps) and most of it was fairly clear.  That being said if I look at the tree tops with the right sunlight I am seeing a reddish hue now.  I am in the Champlain valley.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on March 26, 2016, 04:35:32 PM
Even the sugar maples were starting to bud. Actually it's mostly sugar maple anyways. I've got a southwest facing slope that really catches the heat early apparently. Truck trouble is making me miss this weekend whether I like it or not too.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 26, 2016, 07:30:59 PM
150 gallons of sap today.  Should run tomorrow too  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 26, 2016, 07:57:09 PM
2 gallons of sap today.  Should run tomorrow too.  ;D  Remember I only have 12 taps.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 26, 2016, 11:24:45 PM
500 gallons of sap today, boiled most of it down, got 10 gallons of syrup and still have around 100 gallons of sap left in the tank for start-up in the morning, in the morning we project that we'll have another "at least" 500 gallons of sap to gather.

Looks like we'll out-do last years harvest of 150 gallons of syrup, we're at 145 gallons now!

This late night stuff gets old quick, and I've got to get finished with the sawmill so I can get to sawin' again!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 27, 2016, 10:41:00 AM
It didn't freeze last night and the trees didn't quit running.  Zach just came in with a report that a lot of the buckets are over flowing or near it.  On our way to collect.  We're gonna have tubing next year  ;) ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 27, 2016, 11:02:04 AM
Brenda cooking so I am collecting. Not much of a collector,I can't remember if I filled the 5 gallon bucket 4 times or 5 times. I am a boiling. Won't finish it off today,just getting it boiled down so she can do a quick boil tomorrow.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 27, 2016, 12:42:03 PM
We got around 120 gallons this time.  It's still running but slowing down.  It's supposed to rain late this afternoon so we'll gather up what's in the buckets one more time today.  It's not supposed to freeze tonight but will Monday night with 40s for highs Tuesday then it's warm nights until the end of the week when we've got a cool down.  Extended forecast is for below normal temps the 1st week of April.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 27, 2016, 05:18:07 PM
Well,buckets was emptied at 11:00. Than we collected about 20 gallons more today.
Today is Maple Sunday in Maine.It's a day that the sap houses are open to the public. But as I say and the sap houses say,if you see steam stop in and we will talk. I have seen the sap done for the year or not getting much. Now we are getting sap.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 27, 2016, 09:53:20 PM
Had a good run of sap today, not freezing up tonight, ought to go all night through tomorrow.

Went into work this afternoon to haul some sap from the woods that is just down the road from the sugar house. We haul this sap with a tractor and trailer because it's close by and the road is liable to get very muddy. Since we added 2800 new taps to this system, we need to keep a close eye on the tank or it's liable to run over with a hard sap run. It was originally sized for a system that has grown by 35%.

Meghan came along for the ride  :)
The tractor is a Landini 120, and the sap tank in the trailer is 1600 gallons. I tell you what, you know it when the tank is full! The bulk tank at the pump house is probably 4500 gallons.
We also have an International truck with a 5500 gallon tank, and a Kenworth with a 4800 that is mostly a backup\short haul truck now.

Brought back two loads this afternoon, sap is crystal clear, measured 1.7% sugar. Made some light colored syrup today. The season marches on!

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/photo.JPG)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 27, 2016, 10:12:04 PM
Nice outfit Chris!

Today, we gathered 1175 gallons of sap.  Boiled it down, except 500 gallons.  Gonna get started again in the AM about 7:30 or so and gather whatever is available, it'll be about 1,000 gallons or so and pull the plug, We're done!

Made 165 gallons of syrup already, beat our two time record of 150 gallons.

We'll leave the barrels out for a bit and who ever gets there first can have the sap.

The buds are popping out now!  Noticeable excelleration today!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 27, 2016, 10:44:00 PM
We didn't bother to gather this afternoon as there was very little sap in the buckets before the rain started.  I'll dump them out tomorrow and we'll start over.  It's supposed to be in low 20s tomorrow night and mid 40s Tuesday so it should run good then.  That'll probably be about it.  Our evaporator guy is getting tired.  150 taps is quite a bit to keep up with using a 2X4 continuous pan and having a real job too.  IF our pan is done this week we'll try it but if it's not there's always next year :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on March 28, 2016, 06:01:02 AM
We got some bottling done...

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/28754/20160326_150641.jpg)  its really neat hearing/seeing the different maple makers! Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 28, 2016, 06:34:24 AM
its really neat hearing/seeing the different maple makers! Thanks for posting.

It is, isn't it?

We have producers from small hobbyists, small, medium and large scale operations, from different areas of North America (the only place maple syrup is produced). I think it's cool to see the progression of the season for folks south of me.

We all have one thing in common- boil water out of sap to make syrup! Love it!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 28, 2016, 07:13:25 AM
We'll gather this morning and call it "IT".

Got up this morning and it's 54°, so I know the sap will just start progressively getting more cloudy.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Magicman on March 28, 2016, 08:00:53 AM
I too enjoy watching you guys progress with your gathering and sugaring.  Thanks for sharing your syrup season.   ;)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on March 28, 2016, 10:31:22 AM
Did a boil yesterday 25 gallons of sap got just over half a gallon of syrup. Nothing running here this weekend. the temperatures are supposed to come up this week so hopefully that will get things going again.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 28, 2016, 06:33:51 PM
http://www.vlt.org/land-weve-conserved/property-for-sale

Two properties for sale in Vermont, 2200 and 1900 acres, 90%+ hardwoods. Estimated 67,000 and 60,000 potential taps. I want one of those properties in a bad kind of way....
Anyone want to invest with me? I'll install and tap!   ;D
Oh, a fella can dream can't he? If I won the powerball, that'd be where my money went. 2200 acres of land, 60,000 tap tubing system, state of the art high production sugarhouse, awesome.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 28, 2016, 08:55:28 PM
We gathered 160 gallons of sap this morning and boiled until 7:00 tonight.

We had some sap left from yesterday and with what we got today, we made 18.6 gallons of syrup and tomorrow we will drain the back pan and flood it with water and finish everything else in the front pans!

So far, we have made 179 gallons of syrup, and after boiling tomorrow, we should have 185 gallons, maybe a little more.

After all that, it clean-up time.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 29, 2016, 05:05:48 PM
Drained the back pan into a barrel, then flooded the back pan with water.  Started the fire and pumped sap from the barrel to the front float box as required according to evaporation from the front pan.

Boiled enough to get a little over a gallon, then gave the rest of the "sweet" away to the neighbor, who's still sugaring.

So, we're done, we made 180.9 gallons, best year yet and to think, it looked so bleak back when we were at the 40 gallon mark!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 29, 2016, 06:22:19 PM
All right Chuck!

I'm thinking there will be a few people having a "best year ever". Bumper crop is a good thing!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on March 29, 2016, 07:41:12 PM
We gathered about 80 gallons of sap tonight.  It didn't run as good as we thought it might.  It took a long time for it to warm up today and even then the drips were slow.  It may run tomorrow as it might freeze tonight.  It'll probably be it for us.  It's supposed to warm up a couple nights and then get cold for a stretch with sap weather maybe early next week.  The trees have been tapped quite a while and the buds are just barely starting to swell.  We've got enough syrup for us for the year and for gifting. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Magicman on March 29, 2016, 07:42:14 PM
Congrats to all.   smiley_clapping
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Plankton on March 29, 2016, 09:00:12 PM
It's great so many members here make syrup! I've been enjoying reading in here every once and a while this season. My family doesn't sugar anymore but in a few years I hope to get it going again.

My friend works on a sugar farm in southern vt. There just wrapping up now he said they did better then last year. Little over 10,000 gals of syrup! I thought because it was so warm thus winter it would be hard on large producers but I guess not.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 30, 2016, 06:59:07 AM
Got a little ahead of myself on my last post.

We drained and saved what was in the front pan (almost syrup) and we'll boil that down a bit more in the turkey cooker and maybe get another gallon or two.

There are a few big producers in this area, one in particular has made over 3,000 gallons, but that comes with a lot of busy time, because he has over 8,500 taps, and some people just bring their sap to him and he trades them half the syrup volume for their sap.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 31, 2016, 09:21:50 AM
We're done with making the syrup now!

Finished off what was in the front pan and made another 4+ gallons, bringing the total to 185 gallons produced.

Now, when it stops raining, comes the barrel and line cleaning and putting stuff away.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Magicman on March 31, 2016, 11:41:54 AM
Thanks for your continued progress reports Chuck.  I have enjoyed following along.   :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on March 31, 2016, 03:16:56 PM
sap is flowing good here this week. I am going to have about 75 gallons to boil tomorrow.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on March 31, 2016, 05:51:13 PM
Ran good yesterday, all night, and today, still going......
Our sap is still crystal clear, made golden delicate (fancy) yesterday. Wondering if the trees are gonna be done before the weather gives out....?

Came in after dinner to haul a load of sap, when I got back both trucks in the yard full, the tractor was full, and all the sap tanks were full. Boss had to start the RO to make room and then hauled sap all night!
Came in this morning and the 3800 gallon concentrate tank was full, ran the RO as he boiled today. Probably was a 900-1000 gallon day.
Tanks are full again tonight, will be another long day!  8)
Looks like a hard freeze this weekend, down below 10 degrees Sunday, cold Monday. We'll keep on going  :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: dustintheblood on March 31, 2016, 07:52:48 PM
Still going to beat heck up here!!!  Haven't had time to post cause of boilin'

Back at er I go    8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: thecfarm on March 31, 2016, 08:55:57 PM
I might be done here. I mentioned how I got 20-25 gallons the other day,be lucky if I got 4 gallons today. Looks like the trees are coming to life too. That will end it for sure.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on April 01, 2016, 07:44:29 AM
Well evidently I still had a few sugar maples in a shady area running that haven't budded out yet but stupid me I didn't have any buckets with me to catch the sap. :D I did stick a water bottle on the spout and had some fresh sap to drink. I'm already working out how to run tubing around the place to get more sap when it's running next year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on April 01, 2016, 12:52:03 PM
  We gathered 60 gallons of sap Wednesday evening and that's it for us.  It may run next week after this cold snap but we're done.  There's quite a bit to get canned and then we'll have our final numbers  8) 
  Looking forward to next season.  I've got a line on an older Leader King Jr. 2X6 evaporator that's in really nice shape and am researching ROs.  The arch is done that we had built but the pans didn't make it.  Depending on what happens with the Leader I'm looking at we'll get a warming pan and continuous flow main pain from Smoky Lake this summer.  If we can work a deal on the Leader I'll get a straight flat pan for the arch.  We want to get tubing strung this fall and want to get at least two hundred taps out maybe more for 2017 depending on our equipment situation  :)  A rough estimate is that we've got 1,200-1,500 potential taps for the future.  I've got a building that will serve well as a sugar shack with the addition of stacks and some new concrete.
  We've got the bug  8) 8)  My sons are all in to it too  8) 8)  There mother is humoring us but supportive  ;) ;D :)  Zach thought gathering sap from the buckets was cool the first couple times.  Now he's all about tubing  8) 8)  Looks like we're back in the maple business after an almost 30 year absence  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 01, 2016, 05:23:18 PM
We gave away the last "gather" today.

Contacted some friends and they said they would really like to get the last of our sap.

Well, they came over and we gathered it and transferred it to the totes in their trucks.

Ended up with right at 580 gallons.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on April 01, 2016, 07:25:20 PM
  It needs a flue collar cut in and installed, the forced draft blower attached, a piece welded in at the front and back for the pan gasket and support for the pan, and a set of pans.  It also needs to be wire wheeled and painted with high temp paint.  The metal that it's sheathed with is 5/16" high carbon steel so it should be pretty heat resistant but I'm planning on ceramic blanket and fire brick.  It is heavy ;D :)  The door came from a barrel stove kit that Grandpa Whittaker bought many years ago.  It's been upstairs in the shed, brand new in its original box where he put it way back when. 

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/022~3.JPG)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/023~1.JPG)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/025.JPG)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/027.JPG)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/028~0.JPG)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/029.JPG)

Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 01, 2016, 08:14:52 PM
Well evidently I still had a few sugar maples in a shady area running that haven't budded out yet but stupid me I didn't have any buckets with me to catch the sap. :D I did stick a water bottle on the spout and had some fresh sap to drink. I'm already working out how to run tubing around the place to get more sap when it's running next year.

If you want some help/ideas/advice/whatever on the tubing, let me know, I may be able to help.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: CJennings on April 01, 2016, 09:11:40 PM
If you want some help/ideas/advice/whatever on the tubing, let me know, I may be able to help.

Thanks. I need to do a complete inventory of the maples to see how many taps I can do then work out a plan. I also have a cabin to build and an apple orchard to plant to keep me busy this spring and summer. I figure 3/16 tubing so I don't need any pumps. I've got some steep terrain to help too.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 02, 2016, 06:57:02 AM
Nice looking arch, especially for being "homemade".   smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Gearbox on April 02, 2016, 10:06:32 AM
Corley 5 cut the braces to the back legs that stove will grow at least a 1/2 inch . if you leave it braced like now the stove will hump up and you won't get your pan to seal . Keep putting fire brick in under the pan till you can get your stack temp down to 600 degrees . Nice job on the stove .
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on April 02, 2016, 04:09:39 PM
well finished the year with 5.5 gallons of syrup 8) pulled my buckets today. The sap that ran today was cloudy and yellowish.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 02, 2016, 07:35:21 PM
Congrats to all Forestry Forum syrup makers!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 02, 2016, 09:17:06 PM
Sap slowing down today. Freeze up the next few days, next Thursday looks like snow and 45, after 3-4 days of freezing weather, ought to be another good reset!

We went through this tubing system yesterday and found a couple leaks. 27" vacuum is pretty darn good, that's a tight system. Over 3 seperate conductors on one vacuum pump, each 2500ish taps, give or take some.
I'll try to get a video of 3/16 tubing flowing sap if I get a chance.

Trickling in today.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/photo_2~1.JPG)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on April 02, 2016, 10:16:45 PM
  Thanks for the tip on taking out the bottom braces.  I can see how they would cause issue  8)
  I'm interested in 3/16" tubing  :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: timberlinetree on April 03, 2016, 06:54:24 AM
Nice! Like the door on the evaporator and that vac setup! This text made our day "My kids loved your maple syrup. They don't like the stuff we get from the store. Yours has better flavor... More sugary" My favorite was an old man we gave some to said that he hadn't had real maple syrup in 15 years...
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 03, 2016, 11:38:29 AM
Nice! Like the door on the evaporator and that vac setup! This text made our day "My kids loved your maple syrup. They don't like the stuff we get from the store. Yours has better flavor... More sugary" My favorite was an old man we gave some to said that he hadn't had real maple syrup in 15 years...

Nothing better!   ;)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on April 03, 2016, 12:16:23 PM
so I guess it is looking like a bumper crop for NE VT. this year. 600 gallons is now within reach as we are around 540 now and a good looking week coming. If we hit the 600 mark it will be 1 gallon for every 3 taps best we have ever done. Got a lot of dark amber early last week because the sap got old before it got processed but the light color was coming back Friday afternoon. The wood pile will be gone soon so I am sure the boss (my son) will quit at 600 if he gets there. Time to do other stuff.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 03, 2016, 02:33:30 PM
It sure is hackermatack!
We've broken the 12,000 gallon mark. If we can get to 16,000 we'll be at 1/2 gallon per tap. Never done that before.
A few more weeks, it could be possible. Seems every hard running day we are making nearly, or over 1000 gallons each boil.

Thursday looks like it could be a hard run again!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on April 03, 2016, 05:10:39 PM
Wahoo
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on April 03, 2016, 09:15:13 PM
We came up with 28.5 gallons of finished syrup out of 150+- taps 8)  The bottling was just finished this afternoon.  We may be done but our taps and our friends are still up.  There may be a couple runs this week between clipper systems.  Tuesday and Friday may produce.  We're curious as to how the grade might be so may be we'll run a couple more times  :)  Maybe  :)  We've got enough to last us the year and gift some.  Zach gave his classmates and teachers a pint as part of his class project that started this all.  He still doesn't have his grade :-\ and is on break this week and won't know now until next week.  Zander gave his teachers all a pint too.  They both had inquiries about buying more 8) 8)  It's been fun  8)

These are the old arches where my relatives, the Vromans, made syrup.  My mother is a Vroman.  They had two flat pans side by side on these cement block arches.  I've got an unopened bottle of their syrup from the 70s on a shelf.  We borrowed some of the buckets that my uncle still has as well as some spiles.  There are hand carved wooden spiles as well.  We didn't use them :)  The old wooden sap barrels Uncle Ralph made into benches and other furniture and sold at a high end shop in Harbor Springs  :)  They never had any metal or plastic barrels.


 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/017~2.JPG)

These are some of our taps from this year. 

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/021~0.JPG)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/020~0.JPG)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/019~0.JPG)

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/018~2.JPG) 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Stephen1 on April 04, 2016, 03:08:26 PM
Hey guys we have been way to busy boiling, but finally everything froze up again and we have a break for a few days. winter is back with a vengeance. We are almost out of firewood and are now heading out to salvage any of the small standing dead trees. We had thought we had enough wood for 2 years, boy were we wrong. We even went thru 4 cords of sawmill slabs that I had sawn up just for the little wood burning heater. When we run out of wood we will be pulling the taps.
It has been the best season we have had in the 45+ years we have been doing this. We had it running all night and into the next day on the nights it stayed above freezing. I don't think I have ever seen that before.
I saw an article in the news Maple Syrup can help Alzheimer, so keep putting that syrup on your pancakes and in your coffee!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 08, 2016, 06:42:21 PM
Well, sap ran a little yesterday and some today. Got enough to fire up the RO and boil. Weird, getting to the middle of April and it's too cold. Today was borderline all day. Now cold all weekend. Next week looks good though!
Sap is beginning to get cloudy, sugar content is dropping, even after the hard freeze we just had. So the end is near. Maybe another week, hopefully two.
Haven't made any dark C grade yet. Most of the crop has actually been golden delicate, probably 2/3-3/4 of our syrup. Some amber rich and a handful of dark robust.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on April 09, 2016, 03:15:30 PM
Sugar content seems to be staying up and the sap still looks good however the color has gotten pretty dark. The boss said he is going to boil in all of the sweet today and wash everything down. Should get at least one more run before it is over. Probably got enough dry wood to make another 100 gallons if we get that much sap. As the woodshed was empty and I have been milling a bunch of pine we filled the shed with green pine slabs for next season. Never have had the shed full for the next year this early before! 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 12, 2016, 06:22:31 PM
Got to check some vacuum today!
Went to the woods closest to home, and we got that tuned up to 27.5", and the VFD box was slowed down to 750 hertz (1795 is full bore with less than perfect vacuum), that makes for a happy boss!

Then, we went to the woods the next town over. Vacuum was 25.5" when we got there. Walked a bunch of lines, didn't find hardly anything, gauge still at 25.5''. The remote sensor says 26.5", so we're thinking the gauge is off a bit.
But there's still some kind of leak somewhere.
In the releaser bottle, you can watch two lines (from one conductor system) and they appear to have some air in them. No ball valves at the releaser here so we can't isolate. But after going through the whole woods (twice we've done this one and couldn't get higher than 25.5") there's still air in this conductor. I personally walked every mainline off that conductor and it was TIGHT. So where's the leak?
This conductor runs through a culvert, probably a 36" diameter one, nearly 100 yards long. If the manifold is good, the pipe we can see is good, we hate to think so but there might be a leak inside the culvert..... A bad connection, maybe a critter chewed it, who knows. All I know is, I'm glad I'm not the smallest guy!  :D There is alot of cold water going through that thing right now!

We'll see I guess. Maybe, we might not bother with it with only a week or two left in the season, and check it when temps are warmer and there is less water flowing.

Made some amber rich syrup today, but it had a dark robust type flavor. Good stuff  food6
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 13, 2016, 03:41:18 PM
We got some decent weather over the last couple of days and got all of our sap lines back-flushed, so we're done except for refilling the woodshed.

The firewood is mostly all cut, just needs to be split and hauled to the woodshed and stacked!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: coxy on April 13, 2016, 04:44:25 PM
you quit its still running  ;D the 2 hard maple I cut today it was pouring out of  must have been cause of the cold snap over the last 2 weeks   how much did you end up with chuck
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 14, 2016, 07:02:05 AM
Still running here also, but the buds are popping out and the sap doesn't taste or smell good anymore.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 14, 2016, 05:27:49 PM
The weather here looks good next week, but no freeze this weekend and 60 degrees, thinking the sap is gonna turn and we'll just quit. Dark robust today, still good flavor but it'll probably go fast.
We mixed up washing solution today. Boss said Monday we'll probably pull taps. Its giving a strong final run though! Running hard today!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on April 14, 2016, 07:09:25 PM
We were going to be done but stuck it out until the end  ;D :)  We collected 70 gallons yesterday and again today.  The first runs we've had in a while.  The sap is still good and the syrup has good flavor and color but this is the end for sure.  Supposed to have highs close to 70 and not freeze for a while and maybe warmer next week.  The buds are starting to get some color now too.  We're gonna pull the taps and buckets Saturday.  It's been fun.  Looking forward to next year  8) 8) 8)   
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Gearbox on April 14, 2016, 08:19:34 PM
My brother quit today was clear sap this morning turned as it warmed up . still running good but road tar syrup .
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 15, 2016, 07:16:03 AM
We got the woodshed about 1/3 full yesterday, might be close to full by this afternoon!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: brewdog on April 15, 2016, 06:26:04 PM
what price on bulk syrup.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 15, 2016, 08:00:27 PM
I think right now it's 2.20/lb table grade, 1.60/lb maybe? For very dark.

Still running hard today. Freeze up tonight too, on orris might be the last big push, don't know if the trees will hold out past Sunday.
Broke the 15,000 gallon mark today. Another 1000 and we'll be at 1/2 gallon per tap.

Got some troublesome squirrels. Chewed a big hole in a 3/4" mainline yesterday. Fixed that. Today, we fin another big hole. Gotta be some hungry squirrels to be gnawing holes like that in mainlines!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: cbla on April 16, 2016, 06:39:56 AM
I think right now it's 2.20/lb table grade, 1.60/lb maybe? For very dark.

Still running hard today. Freeze up tonight too, on orris might be the last big push, don't know if the trees will hold out past Sunday.
Broke the 15,000 gallon mark today. Another 1000 and we'll be at 1/2 gallon per tap.

Got some troublesome squirrels. Chewed a big hole in a 3/4" mainline yesterday. Fixed that. Today, we fin another big hole. Gotta be some hungry squirrels to be gnawing holes like that in mainlines!

They must really like Maple Sap :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on April 16, 2016, 07:22:17 AM


Got some troublesome squirrels. Chewed a big hole in a 3/4" mainline yesterday. Fixed that. Today, we fin another big hole. Gotta be some hungry squirrels to be gnawing holes like that in mainlines!

They must really like Maple Sap :D

I have found that if you shoot a few of them the problem goes away. I know that shooting 3 or 4 does not make a dent in the population but I wonder if it encourages them to move out of the area and find a new food source. We had a kid helping pull taps last year and he did not plug the spouts into the plug on the tee. Every one that he left dangling got chewed, cheap help proved to be very expensive.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 21, 2016, 05:14:19 PM
Whew well we are finally DONE. Sap ran again today but we gathered up everything from yesterday and washed all the tanks, opened the drains and shut the vacuum pumps off. Sap was getting pretty gross, syrup was commercial grade. Thought we would pull the plug earlier but the boss wanted to keep going.
We finished up with just shy of 17,000 gallons. Made over 1/2 gallon of syrup per tap, best production ever here. Conditions just were perfect for our area.
Now we'll pull spouts, wash tubing, get ready for the open house sale (10% off equipment, etc.) along with all the people bringing their syrup crops in for us to buy. We handle a lot of syrup as well, ship it for smaller producers.

What a season!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 21, 2016, 08:13:43 PM
Congratulations on your production Chris!

1/2 gallon per tap is almost unheard of!   smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Stephen1 on April 21, 2016, 08:44:05 PM
Sounds like the perfect season. How many taps do you have there? Sounds like quite the operation. We are busy playing with 300 taps. Our 2nd year on a vacuum. We doubled our syrup from the best year, and the bad part was we burned next year's firewood, and we trolled the bush for dead uprights with no bark. But it was great year for all!
 We were surprised by the amount the SAP would flow without a cold nite. We pulled SAP for 2-3 days after a freezing nite, and then rain for 2 days.
Did anyone else notice funny SAP runs?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 21, 2016, 09:27:03 PM
Congratulations on your production Chris!

1/2 gallon per tap is almost unheard of!   smiley_thumbsup

Thanks Chuck!
It really is uncommon in the northern part of Vermont. We are sometimes pulling spouts in snowshoes because the trees are budded already. We stay buried in snow and too cold so we don't get big sap runs but this year was a perfect storm and just exceptional in our area.

The people I work for have been sugaring for a long time. This is the first time ever they have made 1\2 gallon per tap production. I think most ever syrup was 17,000+, but that was boiling from over 40,000 taps.

Sounds like the perfect season. How many taps do you have there? Sounds like quite the operation. We are busy playing with 300 taps. Our 2nd year on a vacuum. We doubled our syrup from the best year, and the bad part was we burned next year's firewood, and we trolled the bush for dead uprights with no bark. But it was great year for all!
 We were surprised by the amount the SAP would flow without a cold nite. We pulled SAP for 2-3 days after a freezing nite, and then rain for 2 days.
Did anyone else notice funny SAP runs?
We have approximately 24,000 of our own trees. Funny enough, only 2,000ish are on the owners land. All the rest is leased and trucked in. We also bought sap all season from an 8,000 tap operation. That's give or take a few here and there but we boiled from about 32,000 this year.

There was alot of people here who were scrambling for wood for their arch, or already burned through next years wood and had to quit early because they ran out!
And, that is the beauty of a vacuum system, you will get a continuous run through the night if it doesn't freeze, and the marginal days you still get decent production.
We did have some huge sap runs this year, which was cool.

You smaller producers, if you're looking to get into a vacuum system, maybe check out a sap puller. It's a diaphragm type pump, runs off 12v electric, and requires no releaser or special equipment. Mount it right above your tank. If you keep up on your leaks and maintain a tight system, they will do 26-27" vacuum. Alot more affordable than a vacuum pump, releaser, moisture trap, etc. etc.
They come in smaller sizes, up to 500 tap, 1200 tap, and maybe to 2000 tap capabilities.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 21, 2016, 10:25:07 PM
Sounds like the perfect season. How many taps do you have there? Sounds like quite the operation. We are busy playing with 300 taps. Our 2nd year on a vacuum. We doubled our syrup from the best year, and the bad part was we burned next year's firewood, and we trolled the bush for dead uprights with no bark. But it was great year for all!
 We were surprised by the amount the SAP would flow without a cold nite. We pulled SAP for 2-3 days after a freezing nite, and then rain for 2 days.
Did anyone else notice funny SAP runs?


Lots of people in this area ran completely out of firewood!

We pulled taps "just" before running out of firewood, had maybe 1/2 days wood left.

A couple of days ago we filled the woodshed for next year.  Shouldn't need so much wood next year, looks like we're going with a "reverse osmosis" (RO) rig!  That will be different.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 22, 2016, 06:19:03 AM
An RO will definitely help with burning less firewood. You'll be be able to boil faster and avoid some of the late night boils.
I don't know of anybody who has gone to reverse osmosis and regretted the decision.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Magicman on April 22, 2016, 09:25:19 AM
Quote
reverse osmosis
How about a brief overview for those of us that don't know sugaring.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: GAB on April 22, 2016, 10:48:41 AM
Quote
reverse osmosis
How about a brief overview for those of us that don't know sugaring.

Lynn:
An RO is a piece of equipment that removes some of the water out of the sap.
In other wards it increases the sugar content of the sap by removing water.
If your Brix sap hydrometer reading is 2.0 then it takes 43 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup (you need to boil off 42 gallons of water).  If using an RO you raise the Brix reading to 12 then you only have to boil off ~6.2 gallons of water to make a gallon of syrup.
Recently I heard that some Sugarmakers are removing so much water out of the sap prior to boiling that the syrup can not be used in the production of maple candy as it will not set properly.  I'm hoping some one else who has more knowledge than I can speak on this concern.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: r.man on April 22, 2016, 10:53:24 AM
An R/O machine uses a membrane and a pump to remove pure water from the sap by filtering instead of boiling. The sap volume can be lowered by two thirds to three quarters by R/O resulting in huge time and fuel savings.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on April 22, 2016, 12:21:17 PM
Reverse osmosis has been used for quite a while to purify water. When adapted to sap the sugar and minerals is the impurity that is being removed. The water that we throw away is about as pure and clean as you can get, I have heard of some enterprising sugar makers bottling it and selling it. We have trouble with frozen water pipes early in the season so next year we are planning to modify the plumbing to use the water from the RO. Presently we only use a small portion of it to rinse & wash the RO machine itself.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 22, 2016, 05:39:17 PM
The R.O. takes raw (freshly gathered) sap and separates the water (permeate) and sugar concentrate.

The permeate goes through the membrane (filter) and into a holding tank and the concentrate (sweet sap) cannot go through the membrane, and goes into a separate holding tank.

If you have a 250 GPH RO, when you get all of the sap ran through it, you then have to back-flush (clean) the membrane with a minimum of 250 gallons of the permeate water.

Note:  The permeate water is pure water (nothing in it) and is also a byproduct called Maple Water which is the new thing in bottled water and is quite pricey!

Sending the sap through the RO cuts the volume of what needs to be boiled, in half, so therefore boiling time will be a lot less than normal, so your production rate goes up.

I think that's about it!

Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on April 27, 2016, 10:54:45 AM
Hey!
  Do you think it would be possible to do RO on a small scale to save time?
Thanks!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 27, 2016, 04:54:47 PM
Hey!
  Do you think it would be possible to do RO on a small scale to save time?
Thanks!

Certainly. There are hobby sized units made, slightly larger, whatever you have for a taps count, they probably make an RO that will work.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on April 28, 2016, 06:40:11 AM
Hey!
  Do you think it would be possible to do RO on a small scale to save time?
Thanks!

Before my son bought his RO I did quite a bit of online research and found that a few hobby size sugar makers put together their own RO machines from home water purification equipment. I don't know how well they work but I am sure if you do some google searches you can come up with the same information that I found. Small used units often come on the market as most people buy just what they need for the taps they have then add more taps.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Hackermatack on April 28, 2016, 06:51:07 AM
We cleaned up all of the sweet in the pans last week and got enough to finish filling the last drum. Total production of 696 gallons from our 1400 taps and purchased sap from another 400. The guy with the 400 taps quit a little early because of family matters(new son) so all & all a great season. An the best news of all is a buyer called yesterday and the price is up $.20/lb.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on April 28, 2016, 01:28:17 PM
We cleaned up all of the sweet in the pans last week and got enough to finish filling the last drum. Total production of 696 gallons from our 1400 taps and purchased sap from another 400. The guy with the 400 taps quit a little early because of family matters(new son) so all & all a great season. An the best news of all is a buyer called yesterday and the price is up $.20/lb.

But what did they give you for a price?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on April 29, 2016, 06:52:44 PM
Hey!
  Do you think it would be possible to do RO on a small scale to save time?
Thanks!
Our open house equipment show is today\tomorrow, and I helped the representative from H20 unload a small RO unit, said it was a hobby unit, meant to service about\up to 100 trees. Said it was real simple to use, there's two valves total on the unit to turn to operate it. Didn't get a price figure on it though.

We buy syrup in bulk and ship it to/for Maple Grove. It's been $2.20\lb all season for the top 3 grades, $1.60 maybe? for very dark.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Carson-saws on May 01, 2016, 12:00:53 AM
Love the stuff!!!  Have Family in Cadillac that sell their goodies throughout the State.  Always a treat and another reason to visit.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on August 21, 2016, 01:51:53 PM
  Moving along with the maple venture.  The building blocks are all in place and will just need assembly.  We'll be placing our tubing supplies order next week and the processing equipment order in a few weeks.
  We've been working with the local Leader representative and are doing our whole woods on high vac, about 1,500 taps.  We're sizing the evaporator and R.O. for 5,000 tap capacity for future expansion.  As designed we should be able to boil 135 gallons per hour.  400 gallons of 8% concentrate are well within the four hour boil off window.  A Steamaway will be added at a later date to keep up with added taps.
  There's a barn dismantling company coming in October to take down the old hay barn and we're going to turn the attached cinder block 20'X48' milk house into the sugarhouse.  We'll start stringing tubing as soon as the leaves are off and we can see where we're going.  Lines for vacuum, sap and water need to be trenched in from the milk house to the site where the pump house will be.  The milk house will need an electrical upgrade and the stanchions and ceiling removed as well as fifty years of accumulated junk.   Got lots of work to do this fall and winter to have it all in place for Sugar Season 2017.
 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 21, 2016, 02:05:46 PM
   Its been interesting reading this thread as I knew nothing about maple syrup making. I met a man at our local flea market who makes syrup here locally in southern WV. I had bought a quart off him a while back and it is good. Now I am working a deal to swap him my slab wood (which I have been burning to get rid of it) for maple syrup. He has picked up a couple of p/u loads and says he needs all I can produce so this has potential.

    I discussed with my local furniture maker customer about possibly putting some in his store on consignment and he likes the idea so this may work out well for all of us.

   My Syrup maker friend is buying a bigger evaporator. I may even get interested enough to try tapping some of my trees and taking to him to make on shares if he has excess capacity.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on August 21, 2016, 04:15:09 PM
  Moving along with the maple venture.  The building blocks are all in place and will just need assembly.  We'll be placing our tubing supplies order next week and the processing equipment order in a few weeks.
  We've been working with the local Leader representative and are doing our whole woods on high vac, about 1,500 taps.  We're sizing the evaporator and R.O. for 5,000 tap capacity for future expansion.  As designed we should be able to boil 135 gallons per hour.  400 gallons of 8% concentrate are well within the four hour boil off window.  A Steamaway will be added at a later date to keep up with added taps.
  There's a barn dismantling company coming in October to take down the old hay barn and we're going to turn the attached cinder block 20'X48' milk house into the sugarhouse.  We'll start stringing tubing as soon as the leaves are off and we can see where we're going.  Lines for vacuum, sap and water need to be trenched in from the milk house to the site where the pump house will be.  The milk house will need an electrical upgrade and the stanchions and ceiling removed as well as fifty years of accumulated junk.   Got lots of work to do this fall and winter to have it all in place for Sugar Season 2017.

That's awesome Corley!
Good luck with it. If you have any questions about installation\running tubing, tips and tricks, feel free to ask.
You will really like the steam away when you add it on, I'm betting. Hot water as a by product and you can pipe it all through your sugarhouse for washing tanks, etc.

We are working on an 8000ish tap installation project right now. Have to cross a major river, railroad bed, and under a state road with the main conductor pipes  :-X Gonna be a challenge putting 2" over 1-1\2 pipe over a 200' span with no posts or tiebacks..... 1\4' steel cable...
Good on you for waiting for leaf off. It is absolutely miserable running tubing in this heat and humidity. We have been starting way early in the AM and quitting in the afternoon. No problem seeing, this place was logged, whole tree chipped, and anything left standing is a maple...
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on August 21, 2016, 06:05:31 PM
  I really wanted the Steamaway but they talked me out of it for now  :)  It would have given us almost two hundred gallons an hour of boil off.  We would have just gotten things going good and it would have been time to idle down.  It was their suggestion to wait until we add more taps.  It'll be a good way to add capacity at that time.  I thought that we should have a preheater in place of the Steamaway but it would have only added about 25 gallons an hour and in the future when we do upgrade we'd have a preheater to get rid of. 
  Leader has been really great to work with.  The rep is the son of one and the nephew of the other owner of Maple Bluffs Maple Farms in the Eastern U.P.  http://mackinacbluffsmaplefarms.com/mackinac-bluffs-maple-farms/
I went to school with his parents, and aunts & uncles  8)  I remember when he was born.  I'm getting old  :-\ :)  One of Leaders reps from the main office stopped and looked our sugarbush over when he was in the area and has been working with Jordan on the design.
  This is all because of my son Zach's 8th grade school project  :) ;) :)
  I may very well call on you celliot  8)  Thank you  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on August 22, 2016, 06:06:51 AM
We just got done adding on an additional 300 taps.

This was a small (old) sugar bush that had been tapped way back when I was in my teens.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on August 31, 2016, 08:25:34 AM
I bet those trees are getting nice by now. (Not that it's been that long. LOL)
Congratulations!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on August 31, 2016, 08:36:38 AM
There are quite a few "old growth" trees that were tapped 40-50 years ago, but most of those have gone back to earth or into firewood because they were going bad, the ones that are still there, now will have 5-6 taps on them.

Lots of trees there that are around 20" dbh, those will have 3 and sometimes 4 taps, depending on the condition of the trees.

The condition of these trees is seen in the tops, some of the tops are broken, due to the Ice Storm of 1998.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on September 08, 2016, 01:49:22 PM
I see what you mean. My best producing tree has a few small branches that are bare. I guess no tree lasts forever. It is about 18", but I only put one tap into it, because is so pretty and kind of special.
  I guess I will just stick with my usual 24 taps this year. I may go to about 30, but I'm not sure yet.
I'm still trying to hone my boiling skills. LOL  I learned that the south slope gives much more than the north, or at least that's what I saw last year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on September 08, 2016, 07:43:25 PM
Another thing about a south facing hill side, it will usually produce a lighter colored syrup.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on September 09, 2016, 01:10:25 PM
That's interesting. I noticed a difference. I was hoping the trees on the north facing slope would produce later in the winter. If they do, I could stagger my tapping. Maybe wait a couple of weeks to tap the trees on the north facing slope. Is that a possibility?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on September 09, 2016, 07:59:19 PM
The only thing is, you have to tap while the sap is running!

Wait too long and you'll miss it!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: trapper on September 11, 2016, 10:52:19 PM
bought my supply for the year yesterday.  Fellow gets a booth at our state trappers convention.  Go to the pig roast next year and you may win some.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on September 15, 2016, 10:06:15 PM
Swiped the card tonight  ;) :)  The tubing and related supplies will be on its way from Vermont to Northern Michigan shortly.  And we put the down on the evaporator equipment to get on the build list.  That stuff should be ready to ship after the 1st of the year.  The old hay barn came down without damaging the milk house and has mostly been salvaged and hauled away.  The salvage company should be wrapped up with that tomorrow.  Next thing is to get my portion of that mess cleaned up and disposed of and muck out 50 years of accumulated junque from the milk house so work can be begin in there.  Lots to do this fall  :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on September 16, 2016, 06:32:51 AM
Always good to get an early start!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on September 20, 2016, 08:31:40 AM
Right. That's good advice about tapping while they are flowing. In your experience, how many weeks do you have before the tree starts to heal and the sap stops?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on September 20, 2016, 01:15:09 PM
It all depends on the weather.

If you get good sugaring weather, you could get 8-10 weeks and on the flip side you could get as little as 3-4 weeks!

All depends on the weather.

When your tub of sap starts looking cloudy, sugaring is about done!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on September 20, 2016, 05:50:38 PM
Vacuum, and good vacuum management (keep on top of leaks, high vacuum levels) can increase a season quite a bit as well. If you keep a leak free system, and your vacuum shuts off only after it's below freezing, you don't have sap flowing back into the taphole, and they stay cleaner. Less bacteria, longer the taphole stays open. There is also a check valve spout that seals the taphole off after the vacuum shuts off.

We are a large operation and simply cannot start tapping when the sap starts running. We need to be 100% tapped before the sap runs. Some of our trees this season, we tapped mid February. They were still running sap (although it was not fit for syrup at that point) when we were pulling spouts in the end of April.

Smaller producers who have the time ability to wait as long as possible before tapping, certainly, do it. It definitely does not hurt.
Our best producing woods this year was the last to be tapped. Possibly a factor, but there are other factors at work as well.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Corley5 on September 20, 2016, 07:24:31 PM
Are you using check valve spouts on your tubing system?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on September 20, 2016, 08:40:31 PM
I think that the check-valve spouts will work good on a vacuum system, but not so good on a gravity system.

We bought some used check-valve spouts and found that a lot of the rubber pellet inside was actually stuck at the end of the spout, so we removed the pellet and will use them as a regular spout!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on September 20, 2016, 09:13:05 PM
We do not use them. We were finding the little balls in the releaser....
We use a cheaper disposable spout.

Our vacuum pumps are set up with a temperature sensitive starter. Set them to automatic, they will start up/shut off when the temperature at that pump station hits 32 degrees. The woods is higher elevation than the pump station (a little) so vacuum stops after the trees have stopped running/froze up and starts a little before they thaw out. So no sap (theoretically) should run back to the spout.
We don't need to worry about running around everywhere every day and turning stuff off/on at just the right times.

You could possibly utilize check valve spouts on a 3/16 gravity system set up right with the natural vacuum it can create, although I wonder how effective it would be with variable vacuum levels at each spout.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Joe Hillmann on September 22, 2016, 02:24:40 PM
Does anyone here know of a link that clearly explains how to set up pipelines using 3/16 tubing?  I would like to set up about 100 trees this next year using a gravity vacuum system and another 100-150 using a vacuum pump.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on September 22, 2016, 04:25:18 PM
I don't have audio on my computer at this time, but this looks like a good video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQnQ-SZhBI0

Google "setting up sap lines with 3/16 inch lines"

Lots of good info on youtube.com

Hope this helps you!

Chuck

Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on September 22, 2016, 04:45:37 PM
That's a good video. I guess I will stick with walking the line everyday as long as I'm under 50 taps.  :D Although one benefit to a line would be a longer season before the tap seals itself. How much do the lines cost?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on September 22, 2016, 05:12:13 PM
With a 3\16 gravity system, you will want more distance between your mainlines. If you are only doing ~100 taps, it is probably feasible to simply run all tubing lines, and have them dump into your tank.

The steeper your tubing lines, the better it will work, as well as the more taps you have on the line.

A perfect 3\16 gravity setup would be a hill, with all the trees on top, and the tubing lines dropping near vertical down a cliff.

Your vacuum will be zero on the end that dumps into the tank\mainline, but will be highest at your end tree.

I would recommend at least 10-12 trees per lateral line and don't be afraid to add more than that. With 100 or so taps, you could have less than 10 runs of tubing. It all depends on the layout of your woods of course.
3\16 works very well with a vacuum system also, it is not just for gravity feed systems, it simply works better than 5\16 in that regard.

One more tip- if buying 3\16 tubing, I would recommend the Leader 30p tubing for lateral lines instead of the dark blue D&G tubing like in the video. It is much stiffer and you can tension it much better. The D&G holds fittings well, but it's stretchy, and you can't seem to get it properly tight. Easy to over tighten and then you stretch the tubing too much. The 30p also comes in an 800ft roll VS 500ft for the D&G, with a similar price tag, so you're up 300ft with the 30p. Cost is approx. $45 a roll.
However, the D&G tubing makes absolutely excellent droplines. They stay flexible, and we were putting spouts on them with no tools.

Leader 30p lateral lines and D&G droplines make for a good combo. We probably installed ~15,000 taps last year with these materials (under vacuum though).

OH! one more thing- Try and get the leader end hooks. The kind that is a combination hook and dropline T are just miserable.

We install alot of this stuff and we really get to find out what works and what doesn't. We have a woods that was installed with the dark blue D&G tubing, before the 30p was available. It's easy to see the superiority for lateral line tubing.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: jrose1970 on September 23, 2016, 08:45:08 AM
Thanks! That is good info. I like most that you get 800 ft with the 30P vs. 500 with the D&G.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: celliott on September 23, 2016, 03:12:26 PM
Thanks! That is good info. I like most that you get 800 ft with the 30P vs. 500 with the D&G.

I do too! It's a better value, but I really like the extra 300ft because I don't end up chasing after tubing throughout the day as much as with 500ft rolls (regular 5\16 tubing is all 500ft rolls as well). It's the same size as a 500ft roll of 5\16 too.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Backyardmaple on March 22, 2019, 08:43:55 AM
Has anybody ever thought of using a sous vide to help preheat the sap. It is a commercial submersion cooker/ circulator used in restaurants. It has me curious because it can maintain temp of +/- .2 degrees indefinitely and can boil water in a bucket
Title: Re: Maple Syrup!
Post by: Chuck White on March 22, 2019, 06:36:45 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!