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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: Chuck White on January 29, 2018, 08:49:03 PM

Title: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on January 29, 2018, 08:49:03 PM
Well, How's everybody coming along with preparation for the 2018 Maple Syrup Season?

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

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

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

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

I wish everyone a good season, good luck and good fortune to all!   ;)   :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on January 30, 2018, 11:17:44 AM
  I've been working in my sugar house.  Got it ready enough for now except for tightening it up a bit so we can keep it warm to brick the arch.  We're going to set up the equipment so we can make syrup if the season breaks early and will do finish touches on the building if time permits.  We'll have about 800 taps this season.  We ran out of time and didn't get the other woodlot's 1,200+- taps plumbed.  That'll be 2019 :)  Depending on weather the plan is to start tapping the middle of February. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on January 30, 2018, 01:13:46 PM
Are you mortoring the bricks in?

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

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

Good luck to all!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on January 30, 2018, 05:07:31 PM
I've been getting ready, cleaning the sugarhouse and repairing tubing.Until this season because I didn't have enough storage space I had a lot of tools and other things stored in the sugarhouse. This year, I now have a 14x28 storage shed with 2' deep benches along both long walls and across the back. Under the benches some have 1 shelf, some have 2 and one 8' section is all shelves from floor to the top of the wall. On the front, I have double doors and I drive the tractor in there to park it.
I have now moved most of the extras from the sugarhouse and kept them fairly well organized.
Last week, I re-plumbed my air diaphragm filter press pump to make it easier to flush with hot water for cleaning. Now all of my empty barrels for filling with maple syrup, along with all maple tools and fittings are all in that shed.
I have also recently re-set the releaser at the sugarhouse woods to make it level and easily adjusted for level if needed. Then I fixed any issues with the main lines and following that I started fixing leaks on the lateral lines. Once that is finished, I'll move on to my leased woods. That has only had a 1 day walk thru so far but it is in fairly good shape, far better than last year.
Once those are all fixed I'll watch for the right weather. Last year I started tapping before now and the 2 years before that I was tapped by Jan 20. This year, my long range weather forecast looks too cold until at least early March. About 4 or 5 years ago, I was all tapped by Jan 20-25 but one of those years my first boil was not until March 27. I hope it doesn't got that late this year, that would almost guarantee a short season.
By the way, I'll be at about 850 taps this season, up from 750 last year and that was down from 1320 two years earlier.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on January 30, 2018, 09:04:57 PM
Looks like you're moving right along, Dave!

We just got finished clearing undesirables from an area where we plan on putting in around 400 more taps next year!  Hauled out a bunch of firewood and brush!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on January 30, 2018, 10:30:52 PM
  We're using mortar for the fire brick.  Finished up some wiring today, tomorrow I'm going to fine tune the sliding door so it'll seal up better.  Snow blowing in around the sides just doesn't cut it ;) ;D  Then it's a matter of sliding the arch into its final resting place and getting it set up.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on January 31, 2018, 05:26:58 AM
Weve been tapping since January 1st, got around 70,000 to do this year. We are nearly done tapping the new operation but still have some finish up work to do, gotta connect everything to the 4 pipe conductor system, still a few mainline manifolds to go in, pump station is nearly ready and sugarhouse is nearly there too. Still seems like a lot to do! The RO showed up last week, its a 24 column machine, 18 normal membranes and 6 high brix membranes. Itll process 6000 gallons of sap an hour. Well have 4 eventually  :o

Our first couple weeks tapping the snow was brutal deep. Then we got some rain and a freeze up and its been awesome going on snowshoes ever since. Wed be further behind if not.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on January 31, 2018, 03:36:41 PM
Wow, that's a lot of taps! 

According to the weather reports, we won't be tapping for another 3 weeks or so!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: millwright on January 31, 2018, 03:37:50 PM
Finished up new sugar shack, usually don't have any flow here till early March
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on January 31, 2018, 03:40:31 PM
That's about the same as us!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on February 01, 2018, 10:33:19 AM
 Still thinning the maple orchard then rebuild main lines  >:( . I've been in the sugar house once to inventory the fittings needed for line maintenance. It's a small operation of 400 taps but now that I've been made to retire due to getting cancer, I'm thinking of adding more taps.Everything is on gravity right into the sugar house, but if I get a gathering tank and add buckets I can get another 100.
 Been hearing rumors of state wanting to start inspecting sugar houses  >:( . I want to rebuild the sugar house but I don't need state telling me I need to have stainless steel walls.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 01, 2018, 03:18:50 PM
We've been hearing those rumors too Ed!    :-\
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Papa1stuff on February 01, 2018, 05:21:27 PM
Weve been tapping since January 1st, got around 70,000 to do this year. We are nearly done tapping the new operation but still have some finish up work to do, gotta connect everything to the 4 pipe conductor system, still a few mainline manifolds to go in, pump station is nearly ready and sugarhouse is nearly there too. Still seems like a lot to do! The RO showed up last week, its a 24 column machine, 18 normal membranes and 6 high brix membranes. Itll process 6000 gallons of sap an hour. Well have 4 eventually  :o

Our first couple weeks tapping the snow was brutal deep. Then we got some rain and a freeze up and its been awesome going on snowshoes ever since. Wed be further behind if not.
didn't think there that many trees in VT ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 01, 2018, 06:18:07 PM
Oh there's way more than that. We expect to have 200,000 taps on this property eventually. Not the biggest operation around, but the big draw of ours is we don't have to truck anything. It'll all go to the sugarhouse via gravity/vac lines or pump lines.

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


I got to tie in our sub conductor systems to our super conductor (4"over 4" pipe) I tell you what, after all the work to get that 4" pipe in place I was a bit nerved up drilling a hole into it!
Another day and we'll have almost all the dots connected. Ready to receive sap at the pump station, not quite the sugarhouse yet.
The vac pumps got fired up yesterday to test fire them. Two 25hp Busch screw pumps, they'll move ALOT of air!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Plankton on February 02, 2018, 08:48:42 PM
Sounds like a fun operation to be running in celliot, screw pumps are the way to go one of the producers I tap for replaced 3 liquid ring pumps on 26k taps with one screw pump and gained vacuum!

Been tapping since the second week of january, looking like cold all February so good tapping weather, going to be nice.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 04, 2018, 10:34:33 AM
We took an old barn fan out of the end of the coupalow (sp) yesterday, it's been in there for years and was barely ever used.

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

We have two 12" steam stack pipes and we can also open the side panels on the coupalow whenever it's needed!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on February 04, 2018, 04:42:50 PM
My season? I got hit with diverticulitis last Monday and at the ER they sent me for a CAT scan to confirm what I suspected (I had it 10-12 years ago). It was in fact the case.
However, when the Dr. read the CAT scan he also said I have a 3 cm x 3cm "lesion" on my left kidney. So, off to the urologist. He does an ultra sound and then reads both that and the CAT scan. He tells me that it's 80% certain to be cancer. Now I'm waiting for an appt. for a biopsy to confirm the cancer. If it is, I'll be going for robotic surgery and tapping might not happen, or I might do far fewer taps. I do have an Amish producer about a mile from my leased bush who I could get to tap for me and do the syrup on shares if I need to. He has about 5,000 taps and is trying to get to 10,000 or more. He is also a good friend.
At this point I guess it's just a good thing I got the attack of diverticulitis or the cancer would never of been caught before it was far larger. The Dr. says, if I need to go for the surgery, I'd lose anywhere from 20% to all of my left kidney, depending on issues when they get in there.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on February 05, 2018, 06:09:16 AM
The weather here in NS has been crazy this year. below freezing then above freezing. For January and the first of February this has been strange,  I wonder how this will effect the  Maple season???
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 05, 2018, 07:02:30 AM
We probably won't be tapping until right up near the end of this month!

This is about the weirdest Winter I can recall!   :snowball:
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Papa1stuff on February 05, 2018, 09:27:17 AM
celliott, I lived in Center Rutland VT for  10 years and   was in charge of Paquette Paving in Middlebury ,so I know a little about Vt ,was just kidding about the trees , sounds like a whole lot of work with that many taps ,Enjoy your beautifull weather there will stick to Florida!! ;D ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 07, 2018, 05:35:08 PM
celliott, I lived in Center Rutland VT for  10 years and   was in charge of Paquette Paving in Middlebury ,so I know a little about Vt ,was just kidding about the trees , sounds like a whole lot of work with that many taps ,Enjoy your beautifull weather there will stick to Florida!! ;D ;D

Well that makes sense, you migrated south. South to me is still Rutland  ;)
It's snowing like crazy here right now.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Anderson on February 07, 2018, 08:06:47 PM
Wow I haven't posted for a while! ;D

My wife and I just mess around with syrup a little down here in Virginia..not a whole lot of sugar maples where we are, but I bet we have most of the ones you can get to tapped!

We only have about 50 taps out as of last Saturday and that will be all the sap I care to carry around in buckets. :D

We have gotten some good flow the last three days so I will be boiling down what we have tomorrow on our homemade hillbilly evaporator...Hope to make a couple gallons.

Celliott My head almost exploded when I read your post about having 200,000 taps someday...I can't even imagine the evaporator needed to keep up with that much sap!  smiley_thumbsup

Maple Flats so sorry to hear about your health problems...Hang in there and I hope you can have a syrup season of some sort!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 07, 2018, 08:50:29 PM
Well, one evaporator won't keep up with it. When we get to that point there will be 4 evaporators and 4 reverse osmosis machines. The evaporators are 7'x20' and the RO's are 24 column machines that can process 6000 gallons of sap per hour each. Just one this year, and one next year, so on as we add approximately 50,000 taps each year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 07, 2018, 09:00:51 PM
Man, that's a lot of equipment!   8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on February 11, 2018, 04:41:14 PM
Well, one evaporator won't keep up with it. When we get to that point there will be 4 evaporators and 4 reverse osmosis machines. The evaporators are 7'x20' and the RO's are 24 column machines that can process 6000 gallons of sap per hour each. Just one this year, and one next year, so on as we add approximately 50,000 taps each year.
You're not in with Glen Goodrich are you? His plans sound essentially the same.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 11, 2018, 06:16:40 PM
Yep, Im Glenns woods crew foreman. Were gonna be installing more at the Eden project this week and until sap starts. Almost all tapped for the woods at the Cabot sugarhouse.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 12, 2018, 06:45:46 AM
Our sap lines are all gravity, no vacuum!

Today we will be getting all of the barrels in place and start tapping tomorrow or Wednesday!



EDIT:  All 31 barrels in place!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on February 12, 2018, 08:17:56 PM
Yep, Im Glenns woods crew foreman. Were gonna be installing more at the Eden project this week and until sap starts. Almost all tapped for the woods at the Cabot sugarhouse.
I watched a U-tube video where Glen told about his expansion. It's a massive project for sure. Congratulations on being his foreman, what a fantastic opportunity.

On my home front, I'm on hold even longer. I had a biopsy for tomorrow, but got a call today changing it to 2/21. It seems my bloodwork shows too much blood thinner still in my blood. They need to regulate that first. I'd go tap tomorrow but my Dr. says I need to wait until after the biopsy. I guess I'll miss any early sap flow. My forecast just started looking better with some light sap flows over the next week if the trees aren't frozen too deep still. So, I hope for my sake the temps turn colder again. I also realize most of the rest of you are looking for it to start now. I forecast one of us will get our wishes.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 12, 2018, 08:20:08 PM
Hang in there Dave!

Thoughts and prayers to you!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 13, 2018, 07:06:22 PM
Got up to almost 30 here today, it was nice when we were out of the wind!

We got 665 taps in today, and about that many left to do, hopefully tomorrow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Plankton on February 14, 2018, 09:34:45 AM
Been tapping for a guy in west minster last week, we got him almost tapped out. Had to fix a lot if double mainline this Wednesday bunch of trees came down over the summer, walked vacuum and got him at 25 with the pump idling so tight enough. Most outfits are doing there first or second boil down here so sugar season has begun!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 14, 2018, 05:12:59 PM
We got all of our lines finished tapped today!

We're just a little over 1,300 taps, and we always put out around 30 buckets, mostly so visitors can see how it was done originally!

Some of the taps we drilled today were damp, but most were still frozen!

Soon as it breaks loose, we'll be ready to go!   8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on February 14, 2018, 07:41:30 PM
Chuck, I'm with you in my thoughts. All I've been doing since the Dr put the stop order is making up some drops. If my season goes as originally planned for this year I'll have about 850 taps, if the upcoming biopsy sends me to surgery I may miss it all. I won't know until at the earliest, next week at this time. I suspect however it might be a day or 2 later. The biopsy materiel collected will likely be sent out to a specialist. They don't do much here at our small hospital.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 14, 2018, 10:19:59 PM
You take care of yourself, Dave!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on February 16, 2018, 05:22:15 AM
Tapped in yesterday. 24 for me. The weather has been nuts here, not sure what kind of season its going to be.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 16, 2018, 07:17:55 AM
You should be ready then, when it really warms up, then gets COLD at night!   ;)  :)

By-the-way, Happy Birthday!   8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on February 16, 2018, 11:48:04 AM
Thanks.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Lko67 on February 17, 2018, 11:03:11 AM
Got my 40 tapped 2 weeks ago running good
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 17, 2018, 11:48:15 AM
Checked the barrels yesterday and they varied some due to the differing numbers of taps running into them!

Some barrels had 4-5 inches and others had as much as 12-14 inches!

Hadn't been up there today, today is inc. tax day  ::), so we'll likely be doing our first gather tomorrow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on February 18, 2018, 10:53:06 AM
 Rita an I finished rebuilding sap lines yesterday after dropping a few trees and guessing height wrong  ::) . Today is Daytona so I'm in the house  ;D. We got 5" of snow last night it'll be gone by Tue. due to temps and rain tomorrow. So we'll start tapping Tue. and set up sugar house Thur.  8).
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 19, 2018, 03:08:20 PM
Sap hasn't ran very much, mostly because of the wind, now it's raining lightly and 46, so any gathering will just have to wait until tomorrow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on February 19, 2018, 07:43:40 PM
how much have you made chuck  ill have to call over to see if my wifes family has started yet i would like to see jims new evaporator supposed to be the biggest one they make 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 19, 2018, 09:30:47 PM
Haven't made any yet, checked the barrels this morning and they were 1/4 - 1/3 full!

We'll go and gather in the morning, don't look like they'll do much tonight, it's 44 out there right now!

Sometimes when it's warm through the night sap will run, but usually not so good, best to be cold (below freezing) at night and upper 30's, and into the 40's during the day!

Hadn't heard anything from Jim, but I'd bet he has boiled!

Last year he bought a new evaporator that burned pellets, but that didn't pan out and this year he has a new one and it's oil-fired, so far as I've heard!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on February 19, 2018, 09:48:29 PM
that's all i know also   i need to come up for a weekend to check every ones operation out   i use to like when my aunt and uncle made syrup the old way with a pan on an open fire and hard boil eggs in sap/syrup ummm was they good 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 20, 2018, 06:46:53 AM
The good ole days, coxy!  :-\
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on February 20, 2018, 06:48:35 AM
I have someone checking my buckets today and I am hoping there is some sap.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on February 20, 2018, 07:31:38 AM
I put out around 1800 taps here in Southern Vermont.  I haven't tapped yet, but plan to get started this Thursday after the warm weather passes.  I don't think I've missed much, other sugarmakers nearby who are tapped haven't gotten much sap yet.  I did get everything cleaned and set up in the sugar house so that's out of the way.  Things look better for the coming week (if you can believe the weatherman!).
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on February 20, 2018, 09:45:52 AM
Good gosh with temps in the 60s and more warm weather predicted, it will be buddy before you know it.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 20, 2018, 06:54:16 PM
We've been tapped for a few days now!

This morning we gathered the sap, ran the sap through the reverse osmosis (RO) unit and boiled!

We ended up with 6.2 gallons of syrup, and all of the remaining sap is in the evaporator, the stuff in the front pan is just about ready to draw off, but not quite!  :-\

We won't boil very long, after the next gathering before we will get a good draw-off!  :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on February 20, 2018, 09:22:19 PM
chuck when i come up north would it be ok to stop by and check out your operation ill have a friend with me i want to show him how the northern boys do syrup (http://forestryforum.com/board/Smileys/default/cheesy.gif)(http://forestryforum.com/board/Smileys/default/cheesy.gif)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 20, 2018, 09:27:20 PM
Absolutely!  8)

Give me a little headsup and we'll be ready!

We're only about a 20 minute from Jim's sugarhouse and about the same from his gas station!

I'll PM you my contact info!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on February 20, 2018, 09:31:51 PM
 thanks     ya last summer i was only about 1/4 mile from your house i turned around to soon i think i turned around by the fire house 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 20, 2018, 09:36:30 PM
I live 2 miles up the Blanchard Hill Rd, on the Russell end of the road it starts right at the bridge over the Grasse River, on County Rt 24!

But, that's not where the sugarhouse is, that's on Fordham Hill Rd!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on February 20, 2018, 09:41:50 PM
i guess i was way off  :D :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Peter Drouin on February 21, 2018, 06:04:17 AM
Picking here, I'm selling  cord slabs for boiling, 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: thecfarm on February 21, 2018, 06:11:55 AM
I don't have any contacts with the Big Boys. But the Small Boys are tapping and it's running. Yes,it will stop,way too early for this area,and hope it will start again.
I would like to do it,but I need a building to do the boiling in. I know I said the same thing last year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 21, 2018, 07:01:33 AM
This morning we have 58, with no wind, not much chance with a good haul of sap today!  :-\

Supposed to cool down in the next couple of days!


EDIT 3:30PM:  We gathered around 300 gallons +/- this morning and boiled, we ended up with 9.4 gallons today, makes the total 15.6 gallons so far!  
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 21, 2018, 06:02:00 PM
Here's our new RO chewing through sap at over 100 gallons per minute (Don't know how much it really is going at, the gauge is pegged) We had planned on it doing 6000 gallons per hour, it's exceeding that which is good. Taking the sap to 34% sugar. Lots of water going out, not alot of concentrate, but what there is will only boil about 2.5 gallons to get a gallon of syrup.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/IMG_0725.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1519254083)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 21, 2018, 06:04:36 PM
We haven't boiled yet, planning on one sugarhouse boiling tomorrow and the new one going Friday. We have a refrigerated 6000 gallon bulk tank to keep the concentrate in. We've been checking for leaks and ironing out problem spots. It's still way early for us, alot of snow in the woods, trees really aren't thawed out yet. One load of sap tested 1.1%, the new woods is running 2%, but nothing is running very hard yet. A good primer but we gotta think, we always make a ton of syrup in April, there's a week left of February.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Plankton on February 21, 2018, 07:14:29 PM
I put out around 1800 taps here in Southern Vermont.  I haven't tapped yet, but plan to get started this Thursday after the warm weather passes.  I don't think I've missed much, other sugarmakers nearby who are tapped haven't gotten much sap yet.  I did get everything cleaned and set up in the sugar house so that's out of the way.  Things look better for the coming week (if you can believe the weatherman!).
Whereabouts in southern vt if you don't mind me asking? I only ask because I work tapping and vacuum walking for a few different producers in so. Vt

Celliot that looks like one heck of an ro 100 gals a min to 34%! That's ripping. Who built that one?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 21, 2018, 07:52:34 PM
I put out around 1800 taps here in Southern Vermont.  I haven't tapped yet, but plan to get started this Thursday after the warm weather passes.  I don't think I've missed much, other sugarmakers nearby who are tapped haven't gotten much sap yet.  I did get everything cleaned and set up in the sugar house so that's out of the way.  Things look better for the coming week (if you can believe the weatherman!).
Whereabouts in southern vt if you don't mind me asking? I only ask because I work tapping and vacuum walking for a few different producers in so. Vt

Celliot that looks like one heck of an ro 100 gals a min to 34%! That's ripping. Who built that one?
It's an H20 innovations machine, custom made. 24 posts, 18 regular, 6 high brix. Glenn thinks it's the fastest\biggest single machine in the country. We'll be adding another 3 RO's and evaporators in the coming years. Would be a total capacity of 24,000 gallons of sap per hour and 600 gallons of syrup per hour.
H20 developed the first high brix system, RO and evaporator. The evaporator is a 7'x20', and it only has 3' of flue pan, the rest is all flat to slow down the evaporation rate coupled with the high sugar concentration. The maple flavor is developed in the flat pans where it slows down and carmelizes and cooks. If you tried 34% on a standard rig it'd be a disaster.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 22, 2018, 04:40:50 PM
No gathering or boiling today, so we bottled up 15 gallons of syrup!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on February 23, 2018, 07:41:08 AM
I put out around 1800 taps here in Southern Vermont.  I haven't tapped yet, but plan to get started this Thursday after the warm weather passes.  I don't think I've missed much, other sugarmakers nearby who are tapped haven't gotten much sap yet.  I did get everything cleaned and set up in the sugar house so that's out of the way.  Things look better for the coming week (if you can believe the weatherman!).
Whereabouts in southern vt if you don't mind me asking? I only ask because I work tapping and vacuum walking for a few different producers in so. Vt

Celliot that looks like one heck of an ro 100 gals a min to 34%! That's ripping. Who built that one?
I'm in Marlboro, a small town between Brattleboro and Wilmington.  
I'll be finished tapping tomorrow, I probably should have started taping earlier, but oh well.  The weather looks great this coming week....
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on February 23, 2018, 03:45:08 PM
 We started on Tuesday this is the first tap.
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10257/IMG_0343.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1519418059)
 I did the last one, Rita tapped did all the rest.
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10257/IMG_0350.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1519418245)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 23, 2018, 05:29:30 PM
Yesterday was the first boil at the Cabot sugarhouse, made 400 gallons, today was the first boil at the new facility in Eden, looking like around 500 gallons there. 
We are working on installing more wire pipe and tubing, looks like well get another 2500 or so in between vacuum checking when its cold. Maybe more depending how long it stays cold.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on February 23, 2018, 07:24:25 PM
Here's some pictures of the two evaporators. The one in Cabot is a 6x16 lapierre turbo with a piggyback and steam away, the one in Eden is a 7x20 high brix rig, with only 3' of flue pan, the rest is all flat pan, this rig can only be coupled with a high brix RO machine that takes sap to 30-35%.

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/28276383_1636372843096494_7585869469443765804_n.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519431335) (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/28166369_913254822175108_2664309809165343032_n.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1519431352) That's a 24" filter press you can just see in the last picture. We have one in Cabot as well. The only way to filter the volume of syrup that comes off of these evaporators. Each evaporator will produce around 150 gallons of syrup per hour, they just get there different ways. The lapierre rig takes 15% concentrate and has alot of enhancements to boil sap fast, the H20 rig takes concentrate in at 35% (that's 2.5 gallons of sap to 1 gallon syrup) and boils it slowly in the flat pans to help develop good flavor.
It's alot of stainless steel that's for sure!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 24, 2018, 07:57:13 PM
Nothing happened yesterday, so we did a little clean-up around the sugarhouse!

We went home early afternoon, everything still frozen up, so we figured nothing would happen and today would be another "putter around" day, but we were all surprised :o :o :o when we saw the first barrel was a little over half full, so the plans changed!

We had several barrels that were full, and a couple that were actually running over!

We gathered a little over 1,300 gallons of sap and once the gathering started, we fired up the RO and the evaporator!

We did gather some more after lunch!

We made 17 gallons of syrup today, and were shutting down at about 3:30!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on February 24, 2018, 08:31:14 PM
Like Chuck, we had a pretty good run here too.  Must have started sometime in the night because it was going strong by morning.  With the vacuum on we walked the lines we tapped the last few days to get all the leaks fixed.  With the system tight and the vacuum up around 26" the sap ran even better.  Too late and too tired to boil this evening, so we'll light off tomorrow.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 25, 2018, 11:40:39 PM
Another surprise!

Sap ran like crazy on a day that most wouldn't have even checked!

We gathered and ended up making around 20 gallons of syrup! 

Shut the evaporator down at 11:00 PM, all sap is in the evaporator, and there will be more sap to gather tomorrow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 26, 2018, 03:40:47 PM
Almost 600 gallons of sap today, we are over 60 gallons of syrup now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on February 26, 2018, 03:47:19 PM
 8) 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on February 27, 2018, 10:49:31 AM
We closed the tank valve's on Sun. morning and the sap hasn't run since :(.Hope to have enough energy to walk the lines and count taps. It's a beautiful day out today, saw geese going north this morning when I went to check the tanks.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 27, 2018, 08:55:43 PM
Gathered about 530 gallons of sap today and boiled, got a little over 18 gallons of syrup!

Pushing toward 80 gallons of syrup so far!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on February 28, 2018, 07:58:34 PM
Another 450 gallons of sap today and then, 10 gallons of syrup!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 01, 2018, 08:25:04 AM
 Sweetened the pans yesterday with 160 gals not running good at all :(. I found out after 7 hrs that I can't work that hard with this cancer :( . At this point I'm not sure what I'll do if we get some real good runs.The real bummer is I love sugaring more than logging. Been addicted to sugaring since I was 7 :) .
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: GAB on March 01, 2018, 09:16:43 AM
Sweetened the pans yesterday with 160 gals not running good at all :(. I found out after 7 hrs that I can't work that hard with this cancer :( . At this point I'm not sure what I'll do if we get some real good runs.The real bummer is I love sugaring more than logging. Been addicted to sugaring since I was 7 :) .
A sugarhouse aroma is definitely a one of a kind and very addictive.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 01, 2018, 10:31:47 AM
Glad to hear you at least got a start, Ed!

Suggestion:  If it gets to where you can't really take care of it, and no other help available, sell your sap to someone nearby!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on March 01, 2018, 06:51:20 PM
Sweetened the pans yesterday with 160 gals not running good at all :(. I found out after 7 hrs that I can't work that hard with this cancer :( . At this point I'm not sure what I'll do if we get some real good runs.The real bummer is I love sugaring more than logging. Been addicted to sugaring since I was 7 :) .
at least your trying and out in the fresh air take it easy and don't over do it  stay safe 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 02, 2018, 09:12:24 PM
No sap today, a little too cold and windy!

Snowed all day too!

We spent a few hours at the sugarhouse, bottling up syrup, and cleaning up!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on March 02, 2018, 10:08:12 PM
how much snow did you get  we got a little over 2ft so far  >:( >:(
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 03, 2018, 06:49:33 AM
It stopped snowing some time between midnight and 2:00AM, and it looks like we have about eight inches or so!

I haven't been outside to measure it yet!

I'll be going out after breakfast to clear the driveways, hope it can be done without tearing up very much turf!

You guys got hammered!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on March 03, 2018, 07:59:38 AM
We've been having a great year here so far, we've made over 1/3 of what we'd expect to get in an average year, and are expecting another run today.

My son Eric made a video of our operation for you tube, here's a link to the video:  


https://youtu.be/LsCFNLEClCg (https://youtu.be/LsCFNLEClCg)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 03, 2018, 08:56:24 AM
That's a very nice video, enjoyed watching it!   :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: TreeStandHunter on March 03, 2018, 12:29:13 PM
Wow there are some large operations on here that is awesome! I own a small 10 acre parcel here in Michigan and I am doing my first ever batch of maple syrup as I type. I have around 45 trees mostly reds but some sugars but I am only running 6 taps to get my feet wet. I am cooking down around 20 gallons today and am only planning on making enough for my family and close friends. love reading the posts and the video is excellent you have an awesome setup Mapleman!

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/46874/IMG_8707.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1520097906)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on March 04, 2018, 07:44:59 AM
Glad you liked the video, thanks for the positive comments!

We had a small run yesterday and boiled that in.  One more run and we'll be at half a crop, and March has just started.  I'm probably jinxing myself right now, but this is shaping up to be a good year.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: millwright on March 04, 2018, 07:56:20 AM
Just started here in northern wi. Have 2 plus feet of snow which makes it a little diffecult
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Dakota on March 04, 2018, 09:17:53 AM
That was really informative.  Thanks so much for sharing.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 04, 2018, 10:17:00 AM
 Spent 2 days in the hosp. with an intestinal infection. When I got home yesterday there was no new sap in the tanks >  >:( :(. So the sap that was there was dumped. This coming week looks better tho.
 TreeStandHunter, your addicted now ;D .
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on March 04, 2018, 11:11:36 AM
Ed slow and steady wins the race  ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on March 04, 2018, 01:32:02 PM
Loved the video, nice job.
My biopsy came back confirming cancer. Robotic surgery scheduled for 4/18. I started tapping the day after the biopsy. Should have gotten lots more done then, when the ground was bare, we got 2' of snow since Friday and now they forecast another NorEaster for Wednesday. For use a NorEaster bring lots of heavy wet snow when the temps are cold enough for snow. Good sun today, but too cold for sap to flow. I'll go down shortly to plow out the sugarhouse. Then tomorrow I'll be tapping more. This is now the latest I've ever tapped, because of my  cancer and uncertainty to when surgery would be. Now, with surgery set for 4/18, I can proceed. I did collect just once, only got 125 gal off 60 taps in 2 days. Since I need about 300 gal to fire up the first time, I hauled it to a friend who boiled it. Sugar was only 1.4% I hope that gets better. Most years my average is close to 2% but last year the season average was only 1.25%. Thanks to an RO I could boil it.
Had my surgery been scheduled mid March, I'd have not tapped at all. Being on a blood thinner, I get cold at about 30 degrees warmer than I did before, that slows me down too. I'm not used to working in 30-35F and getting cold while still dry.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: GAB on March 04, 2018, 07:10:50 PM
My sap hydrometer readings this year (so far) have been lower than in past years.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on March 04, 2018, 08:50:06 PM
Maple Flats - I sure hope your treatment for cancer goes well for you.  

GAB - My sugar content is way down this year too, mostly in the 1.5 to 1.8% range.  I think it may be due to the lousy weather we had last summer, with a lot less sunshine for the maple leaves to do their thing.  Whatever the reason, I've been going through a lot more wood than usual to get the sap boiled down.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: thecfarm on March 04, 2018, 09:00:18 PM
TreeStandHunter,how I miss it. I want to build a small sugar shack. I have the metal for a stove and a stainless steel pan. We have watched it boil from the car to keep us out of a cold rain and wind.
Can you add another tier or two with the blocks? I use to put 3 cement block high. This way I could get more wood and get a better boil. Have fun.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Magicman on March 04, 2018, 09:27:33 PM
Thank You for that wonderful and informative video.  It was my very first time to see the operation from the tap to the jug.   smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ron Scott on March 04, 2018, 10:25:27 PM
Good video documentation of your operation.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: TreeStandHunter on March 04, 2018, 11:48:11 PM
 Thecfarm,

I could add a few more blocks thats a good idea. I have about a 1' deep whole lined with brick in the ground there and then the blocks on top of the ground but more space would definitely help. I have an old oil furnace drum i beleive it is 250 gal that i am going to be making into an evaporator this summer so hopefully next year ill have a little better of a setup. This batch of syrup came out great! Little smoky flavor to which I like. I have to get a little better at rendering I dont think I boiled it down far enough once I hit 219 degrees i shut it off and was done. Should i lower the heat a little and keep cooking it for a bit longer?

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/46874/IMG_8710.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1520225114) 


And the finished product
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/46874/IMG_8712.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1520225128)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 05, 2018, 07:45:22 AM
 T.S.H. take a look at the Maple Trader forum, they have a few operators out your way with set ups for sale. Just in case you really get the bug ;D. 219 degs is right where you want to be for syrup. Your looking for 66.2 brix on the brix scale. Syrup is set at 7degs above boiling point and boiling point changes with weather pressure.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: GAB on March 05, 2018, 10:05:15 AM
TSH:
What Ed_K said is true however the boiling point will change with the barometric pressure and it can vary just enough to be under cooked or over cooked as far as maple syrup goes.  Under cooked the end product can sour and spoil, over cooked it it will cause rock candy to form.  You really need a syrup hydrometer.
Many producers with automatic drawoff systems are frequently checking the product and adjusting the drawoff temperature as the day progresses.  What might be the right temperature in the morning could a half degree or more 
to low or too high 3 hours later.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 05, 2018, 09:14:26 PM
Went to the sugarhouse today and drained and cleaned the front pans and the float boxes, then bottled up another batch of syrup!

We are at about 115 gallons now! 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: thecfarm on March 05, 2018, 09:24:31 PM
Just keep it fun. I did nothing fancy,or I should say we. ;D She poured it in canning jars and put the lid on it right off from the stove. We was on a very small scale. She would bring it up to 215-216 outside. Than bring it inside to finish it off. Most time it was only a quart at a time. Sometimes less.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 05, 2018, 09:46:54 PM
The customers I sell slabs to say the sugar is low here too.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 06, 2018, 07:26:32 AM
Sugar content is a little low here too this year, it's running "usually" 1.2% to 1.5%!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 06, 2018, 10:18:36 AM
 The sugar content of the only run I got was 1.6. I'm really bummed :( the temp was 22* this morning, it's 38* now and the sap isn't running. This is a real head scratcher this yr.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 06, 2018, 07:54:28 PM
Sap just broke loose around 3:00 this afternoon, so we'll have a bunch to gather in the morning!  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 07, 2018, 06:52:30 PM
Started gathering sap around 8:30 this morning and ended up with 790 gallons!

Fired up the evaporator after we had gathered two tubs (180 gallons), I kept gathering and we ended up with the 790 total gallons, boiled it down and ended up with 19.5 gallons of syrup!

When I left the sugarhouse this evening, some of the barrels were close to half full, but the sap flow was shutting down, so we'll have another busy day tomorrow!

Right now we have a little over half (125) as much syrup as we had last year, (245), so we're doing ok!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on March 08, 2018, 05:31:54 AM
Things have been slow here. I have collected 65 gallons so far in 3 weeks on 24 taps. Checked on things yesterday and had 5 mice in the buckets. First time that has happened. Hopefully I do not get anymore.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 08, 2018, 06:45:54 AM
Never heard of mice in the sap buckets, but a few years ago we has a shrew in one and another year we had a Chipmunk!

Most of ours is on pipeline, but we do have about 40 buckets!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 08, 2018, 08:37:02 AM
 I boiled in what I had for sap yesterday. I looked last night at tanks, and only got 40 gals of sap off 295 taps for whole day. Not enough to boil today :( .
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: GAB on March 08, 2018, 09:06:00 AM
Things have been slow here. I have collected 65 gallons so far in 3 weeks on 24 taps. Checked on things yesterday and had 5 mice in the buckets. First time that has happened. Hopefully I do not get anymore.
I've picked sap and gotten chipmunks, and mice before.  It usually happens when the pail is almost full you just need a little more to top it off and bingo, now dump everything on the ground and start over.
I do not like critter juices in my syrup!
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: GAB on March 08, 2018, 09:25:27 AM
Had a conversation with one of my brothers this morning and he told me that some of the local sugar makers (Franklin County, VT) are saying that the RO's are plugging up much sooner than in past years, the sugar content is lower than in past years, and one producer said he usually filters 7 to 8 barrels of syrup through his filter press prior to tear down and changing the filters, however this year he had to do a tear down and rebuild before the first barrel was full.  
I use filters in my miniature operation (42 taps) and I have had to clean filters more than usual.
Thank you mother nature.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 08, 2018, 05:53:00 PM
Gathered about 600 gallons of sap this morning and boiled until about 3:30!

We're up to 145+ gallons now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 08, 2018, 08:04:21 PM
It's cold up here.  We missed a one day run last week.  It's been cold since.  There were a few days where the trees started to bleed about 4PM just as the temps were falling again.  We're all but ready to run and the weather sounds promising for the end of the week.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 12, 2018, 07:26:36 AM
No sap to speak of yesterday, so we drained and cleaned the pans then put the sap back in the pans that it came out of, front & back!

Most likely we won't get enough sap today to amount to anything!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 12, 2018, 07:30:35 AM
Sounds like the sap might run in these parts Thursday or maybe Friday.  It's cold.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on March 12, 2018, 04:52:32 PM
Cold here too. Got a little today but been slow. 
Weve been putting up more tubing and pipe. Last week we got 1725 new taps online, drilled and going to the tank. Now were trying to stretch for another 1000. Nothing else to do and we got trees to go online so well get them.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on March 12, 2018, 08:46:09 PM
Winter's come back with a vengeance here these past couple of weeks.  We got 10" of snow two weeks ago, 22" last week and another 8 - 12" are forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  Doesn't look like any runs until maybe the weekend.  Still, it been a good year so far, We've made half our crop already.   And if it isn't going to run, I'd rather it was because it was too cold than too warm....
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 12, 2018, 10:12:54 PM
It looks like you guys out towards the coast are really getting hammered by that Noreaster!

It started snowing here about an hour ago!

Today we drained our flue pan and then fill it to 3" with perm water and boiled the stuff from the flue pan down, in the front pan and now we will boil it down in a finishing pan tomorrow and won't have any sap until the weather breaks and the sap runs again!

We have "well over" half of our last years total already, so we're lookin' good!

We expect to hit over three hundred this year, last year was our best, at 245 gallons!

Looks like everybody is doing really good this year!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 13, 2018, 07:55:27 AM
Since the last snow saps been running constant but not a full flow. I'm sending my excess to Rita's niece and boiling in 100 gals a day as I found I'm not strong enough to boil a 12-14 hour day like before. Some day I'm going to figure out how to boil 40 gals an hr on my 2x8 but yesterday I did get to 28 gals >:( :embarassed:.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on March 13, 2018, 12:09:38 PM
glad to here thing are going pretty good for you 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 13, 2018, 04:08:54 PM
Went to the sugarhouse this morning, planning on finishing off what we boiled down yesterday, and to our surprise we ended up gathering almost 400 gallons of sap!

So........... we boiled and got just shy of 5 gallons of syrup, so now we're at 160 gallons of syrup!

The thermometer is riding right on the edge of "freeze and thaw", so it is likely that we'll have more to boil tomorrow!

Sometimes the sap will run even when the weather says NO!  :-\

That's ok anyway!  :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on March 13, 2018, 05:30:31 PM
what are you guys in the north going to do with all your money from that syrup  :D 8) oh i know buy more eggs  :D :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 14, 2018, 07:19:06 AM
I am not a financial part in it other than I go up there and help and in the end I get paid!

My brother and his SIL primarily use their income for taxes and replacement parts, and expansion!

We are up to 160 gallons now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: GAB on March 14, 2018, 09:54:56 AM
As a continuation to replies 96 & 97.
Yesterday at the sugar house in Franklin, VT: at noon the draw off temperature was 219.1*, at 3:30 it was 219.6*, using the same hydometer the entire day.  The barometric pressure had to of changed.
Gerald 

Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 14, 2018, 10:31:48 AM
The barometer can be up and down all day sometimes!

Also, many things WILL affect your boil, some of them are: barometric pressure, cloud cover & humidity!

Sap run can be affected by those same three, plus:  wind, temperature, snow on the limbs or stuck on the side of the trees!

 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: GAB on March 14, 2018, 11:14:33 AM
The barometer can be up and down all day sometimes!

Also, many things WILL affect your boil, some of them are: barometric pressure, cloud cover & humidity!

Sap run can be affected by those same three, plus:  wind, temperature, snow on the limbs or stuck on the side of the trees!

 
I do not disagree with any of the above.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 15, 2018, 03:06:19 PM
We didn't get another run, but we flooded the flue pan with water and boiled down the sap that was in there beforehand!

We are up to 164 gallons now!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 17, 2018, 11:36:36 PM
  Pumped our first sap today.  Around 100 gallons.  It's a start ;D  Tomorrow looks to be better before it gets cold again for a couple days.  Hopefully we'll have enough at the end of the day tomorrow to get the rig sweetened.  We did a test boil with water Friday.  Just have to set up the draw off tank and filter press.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 18, 2018, 07:12:11 AM
Spent the day yesterday digging out roads for gathering sap whenever it warms up again!

We have sap in some of the barrels, so we'll probably collect it and put it in barrels in the sugarhouse!

There won't be enough to boil, so it'll just be stored for a while!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 18, 2018, 09:52:02 AM
 I have enough to run for a few hrs so I started to pump some sap from a lower tank and within a couple of seconds the hose going to the upper tank froze right up >:(. Now I have to wait till the sun thaws out the hose :D . i will have to start a small fire in the arch just to thaw whats in the evaporator and hope it didn't crack the solder :o. Took 3 days of a slow drip to get 125 gals off 295 taps, not running very good.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 18, 2018, 10:05:11 AM
Sounds like you're doing ok, Ed!

If you're making a fire to thaw whats in the evaporator, just make a very small one, don't want to burn your pans!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 18, 2018, 07:23:45 PM
 Just came in from firing the arch. Fire box is 18" wide and 24" deep, I built it up 12" high about half way up to the bottom of the pan. Front pan steamed a little and back pan just barely melted. Figured that was good enough. I've never done this before on this set up. My neighbor does the same thing to his 4'x 12' set up. I hope it doesn't get as cold tonight,sap ran just enough that I could boil 4 or 5 hrs tomorrow.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 18, 2018, 07:30:43 PM
I have been selling  cord softwood slabs like crazy. Had one customer a few weeks ago getting ready to tap. I told him to tap the south side/ sunny side of the tree, He came back to get more slabs last Wednesday, 
He was so happy he had so much sap to boil, last year he didn't do much.
Taped the north side. :D  :D 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 18, 2018, 10:45:15 PM
  Pumped 900 gallons of sap into the tanks in the sugar house and filled the sap pan on the evaporator.  Sap tests right a 2% 8)  Jordan Hunt of Michigan Maple Systems our local Leader dealer is coming at 9 tomorrow morning for the rigs maiden voyage :) :) 8) 8)
 
  Got the tubing tightened up pretty good.  Gage at the pump was 25-26 most of the day.  Zach and his friend went out around noon and tuned the system up.  They can hear the leaks 8) 8)  I can't unless it's a big one :(  I ordered some vacuum gages for the pump house, end of the wet dry, and a couple mains.
  Supposed to be cold tomorrow through Wednesday.  Looks like some sap days the end of the week.  Here we go ;D :) :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on March 19, 2018, 06:17:33 AM
Did another boil on Saturday. Total so far 3.2 Gallons. Thankfully no more mice......knock on wood.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 20, 2018, 02:46:44 PM
Wishing you good luck on your evaporators maiden voyage, Corley5
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 20, 2018, 09:01:16 PM
  Everything went very well after a rocky start.  I didn't check the Marcland valve and found it was 1" and the evap. is 3/4.  The temp probes for it came with plastic compression fittings meant to go into the top lip of the finish pan.  A trip to Petoskey for parts and some assembly and we got running much later.  Nothing ever goes as planned.  We finally fired up a 3:30.  We started to idle the rig down at 9 and were out of the sugar house just after 10.  The evap. is rated for 135 gph and we got 150 out of it 8) 8) 8) 8)  Ended up with about 8 gallons of finished syrup 8) 8) that'll grade golden delicate.  We were lacking fittings to connect the draw off tank to the filter press so it has to be re heated and filtered.  Got fittings today.  The devil is in the details.  Looks like sap will probably run the end of the week into the weekend and next week looks pretty good too.    
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 21, 2018, 07:24:42 AM
Well, it sounds like you had a good voyage!  8) 8)

We are starting out this morning with temp at 6 (that's up on he HOT side of zero), and we figure the sap will run a little this afternoon!

Better temps by the weekend and it looks like we'll be busy next week!  8) 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 21, 2018, 07:38:40 AM
 (http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/002~9.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1521631715)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/006~9.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1521631827)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/003~11.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1521631778)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/001~10.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1521631659)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10027/005~12.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1521631881)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 21, 2018, 07:56:52 AM
 Wow 8) Nice setup, Corley.

 I had to dump all the saved sap. With very cold nights and warming to 35 day time the sap coming down the lines is spoiling before it gets to the tanks. Takes to long to thaw out and the sap sitting in the 5/16 lines heat up and go's bad >:(. Took me all day to clean the tanks. I left the main lines unhooked from the tanks and hope we get a good run today to clean out the lines. The rest of the week looks like good running weather.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on March 21, 2018, 06:31:08 PM
Hey Corley, glad youre making syrup! A lot of hard work to get to that point.

Just a tip- you dont need to hear leaks and actually shouldnt rely on noise to find vacuum leaks. That will only get you so far, with big leaks. Getting to 25 or so isnt too hard but the last few inches to max the pump out is hard to get. Got to walk mainlines and look at the saddle fitting loops, if its holding a solid column of sap its a tight line. IF the bubbles move fast or it runs along the bottom of the tubing, that line has a leak. Small leaks like bad tap holes or tiny tiny chews or installation damage are hard to find- you often wont hear them. Takes a lot of walking and time and practice. Good luck!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: millwright on March 21, 2018, 06:52:23 PM
Its been too cold here in northern WI , had a couple good runs but then it shut down again. Hoping for some in the next few days
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 21, 2018, 07:14:23 PM
  Zach's good at finding leaks 8)  When we first turned on the pump we only had 15".  There were some entrances leaking, missed taps(spiles hanging open), some squirrel chews etc.  We'll listen for air coming into the  collection tube and work up the wet/dry from there checking the valves for the mains listening for air while closing them and working out from there.  Sunday around noon we noticed a drop in vacuum and found a couple loose spiles and entrances that needed adjusting.  It's never ending ;D :)  27" is max for this pump.  That's what it'll do dead headed :)
  I thought it might loosen up a bit here this afternoon and planned to turn the pump on but when I checked at 1PM and again at 4 there wasn't even a drip coming in.  Should be some tomorrow.  I think we might have enough to run Friday evening.  Saturday for sure.  But the forecast may very well change in the next couple hours ::) ;D :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 22, 2018, 07:22:44 AM
We are forecast to get up to 38 by 2:30 or 3:00 today, so we should at least get a small run today!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on March 22, 2018, 07:41:41 AM
Things are still frozen up here, we haven't had a run for almost two weeks.  Some of the warmer trees have seeped a little, just enough to fill the mainlines in the cold spots and freeze, so no sap is going to get through them until it warms up into the 40's.  And the ice has been pushing fittings apart here and there, once it runs we'll have to spend some time and a lot of energy in the deep snow (we got almost 5 feet here in the three recent storms) getting the leaks fixed.  Oh well, such is sugaring - we had a great start and we're paying for it now!  The weather next week looks ideal....
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 22, 2018, 03:10:37 PM
Sap has been running "a little" here today, but not enough to gather!

We'll be gathering sometime shortly after noon tomorrow!

We do have a few barrels that are 1/3 to 1/2 full right now, but they'll wait until tomorrow!

Yes, definitely, next week looks good!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 22, 2018, 04:17:10 PM
  I clicked the vacuum on today about 1.  It was running a bit.  Releaser had cycled twice.  I don't expect much.  It's not very warm and is supposed to be colder tomorrow.  They've backed our highs off for the weekend too.  Look like a couple nights next week won't freeze. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 22, 2018, 07:26:47 PM
We've pumped about a 150 gallons so far.  Pretty surprising for as cold as it is.  I'll go over and shut the vacuum off around 9. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 22, 2018, 09:41:01 PM
We are projected to reach 45 or so tomorrow, so, we'll be gathering sap!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 23, 2018, 09:07:03 AM
  We ended up with close to two hundred gallons yesterday.  34 today, 32 tomorrow and 38 Sunday with sun all three days.  I think by Sunday afternoon we'll be able to run the evaporator.  Monday 47 and sunny 8) 8)  After Monday it doesn't freeze up for a couple nights.  Thursday will be the next day.  The forecasts change hourly ::) :)
  Anyone have any experience with the wireless tubing system monitors?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 23, 2018, 04:17:53 PM
Well, today we gathered 450 gallons of sap, ran it through the RO, then boiled!

Keep in mind that our evaporator was dry!

In the end, we made 3 gallons of syrup, and now our pans are flooded!

The sap is still running, so we'll have more tomorrow!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 23, 2018, 09:40:13 PM
Pumped about 150 gallons today for a total of 300 or so gallons on hand.  Surprised it ran that much.  Tomorrow's weather is to be about the same.  I'd like about 500 gallons before we fire up.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 24, 2018, 06:58:30 AM
We'll likely get around 350 gallons or so today, but most likely it's what ran late yesterday!

We're only projected to get up to 30 today!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 24, 2018, 07:42:40 AM
 Only had enough sap for a quick boil yesterday so I put it off and worked on the skidder winch again  >:( . I'll start boiling today at 9 this morning for a long day of boiling ;) . The way the saps been running around here it'll be an every other day boil 8).
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on March 24, 2018, 12:03:48 PM
Update on my situation. Since I have surgery coming on 4/18 and because of the cancer delaying everything, I only tapped 225 at the sugarhouse (Unlike Glen Goodrich who will eventually have about 200,000 taps all direct to the sugarhouse). That includes some trees that have never been tapped before. Since the tapping was finished the weather has been so cold that I've only gotten a little sap. I hauled one load to a friend to boil because it was not enough to run the RO and start a boil. Today I'll get a little, temps going up to 36-37F, tomorrow everything should run and I will finally have my first boil. Yesterday it got to 37 but I only got 100 gal, most areas never thawed until late in the day. Shortly I'm headed down to check for leaks and maybe my first boil, more likely tomorrow. From here on our forecast looks like maple weather for 10 days at least.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 24, 2018, 04:47:33 PM
Good to hear from you, Dave, glad to hear you're getting into it a little!


We gathered 630 gallons today, RO'ed it and boiled, drew off 22 gallons of syrup!

After we got done yesterday, before feezeup it really kicked off, many of our barrels were running over!

The barrels and lines were froze up and we just broke a hole through the ice and pumped the sap out!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on March 26, 2018, 06:07:52 AM
been too cold here for the last week to get a run, but the next week looks good.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 26, 2018, 06:53:15 AM
We should get a little sap today, it got into the low 40's yesterday!

It should reach into the upper 40's today, and Tue, Wed & Thu it's not even supposed to get below freezing!  Could run 24 hours on all three days!  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 26, 2018, 08:42:20 PM
We gathered just over 400 gallons of sap this morning and boiled it down!

We got just a hair over 10 gallons of syrup, we are now a little over 200 gallons!  8)

Our last years total was 245 gallons!

Looks like we'll likely go over 300 gallons this year!  fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 27, 2018, 06:29:37 AM
At $60.00 a gal that can be nice for the wallet. 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 27, 2018, 06:46:19 AM
Not even close to that, Peter!  ;)

But, ya, it would be nice!  ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 28, 2018, 06:53:34 PM
Gathered about 700 gallons of sap today and boiled!

We lack 2 gallons to reach our last years total of 245 gallons!

We figure that before it's done, we'll reach 300!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 28, 2018, 07:21:04 PM
  After some technical difficulties brought on by operator error we got running again last night.  We chewed through 1,200 of our 2,000 gallons of sap before running out energy.  Another 800 or so has come in today so far.  It's still running.  We processed more firewood today for the rig and we off to fire up in a few minutes.  Plan on running until 1AM or so and will catch the woods with a boil tomorrow.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on March 28, 2018, 09:45:47 PM
Not even close to that, Peter!  ;)

But, ya, it would be nice!  ;D
peter your way to low on price  :D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 29, 2018, 06:33:58 AM
Here the guys are getting $50 to $60 a gal, Go south and get more $$$
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 29, 2018, 07:02:52 AM
Sounds like you really got a flood of sap, Corley!
That's when the barrels fill up and the wood pile goes down!  8)


In this area bottled syrup in gallons goes for $35.00 - $45.00, and in the barrel, it's a lot lower!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on March 29, 2018, 09:18:20 AM
I sell gallons for $52, around me I see prices from $45 to $60. My biggest seller after my bourbon barrel aged maple syrup is half gallons at $27. I intensionally keep that closer to the gal. rate because I sell so much that is shipped across the country and 2 half gal go nicely in a medium flat rate box and that ships cheaper than a gal jug in a box. I do not pack any gal. in glass (at this time).
To see my whole price structure check out my web site   CNY Maple ? Delicious New York State maple syrup (http://www.cnymaple.com)   Those are my prices at the sugarhouse too, I don't have 2 prices structures.
The only bulk I sell is if I make any commercial and I retail all the rest.
While my flows have slowed, it's still pretty good, I did have to remove my few reds and fewer silvers yesterday, but the sugars are still good. I'm still making amber, have not yet made any dark or very dark. I'm sure that will change as temps get warmer.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 30, 2018, 07:45:07 AM
 If your shipping USPS make sure you get the proper insurance for the price of the syrup. We sent 3 half gals to florida last week and only insured it for $50. not really thinking about it. The package made it to my son with no product inside >:( .
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Magicman on March 30, 2018, 12:19:13 PM
As in leaked out or was stolen?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on March 30, 2018, 01:23:28 PM
  We've got about 60 gallons finished thus far.  Got about 500 gallons of sap still tanked and it'll run yet this afternoon.  Got pretty cold last night.  Zach just went over to turn on the vacuum.  We'll fire up again this evening.  Winter storm warnings for tomorrow.  Sounds like we'll be on the warm side at 40.  Should have sap.  Then cold Sunday.  Looks like a run maybe Monday and Tuesday and then unseasonably cold again.
    
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 30, 2018, 04:19:05 PM
We are at 249 gallons, so we've beaten our last years total of 245, and it looks like cooler weather is on the way, so that should extend the season!

We're looking forward to quite possibly making over 300 gallons!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: bill m on March 30, 2018, 07:46:33 PM
We are having a good season also even though it has been a strange one. Weather has been identical to last year with way above temperature end of Feb., 10 days of below 32 and now it is running good. sugar content started from 1.6 to 1.9 till the freeze then came up to 2.2 and has been there most of the week. Still at 2.0 today. We are up to 236 gallons on 1100 taps, no vacuum system yet. Maybe next year. If the weather cooperates this coming week we should be close to 300, maybe more.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 31, 2018, 07:01:39 AM
Doing good, Bill! 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on March 31, 2018, 07:39:34 AM
Here's a video of our pump station. Releaser, vacuum pumps and the releaser manifold showing the flow from 40,000, not running very hard at all yet.

Maple sap Pump station - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dkDnYkqwm8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: nativewolf on March 31, 2018, 07:54:24 AM
Love reading this thread even though I'm stuck down in northern VA with only the rare sugar maple tree here and there.  I plan to buy 5 taps and tap my 5 14" trees, did not get to it this year.  For me it would just be something fun to do with the kids/neighbors.   However, for you guys with businesses how do you guys sell it all?  Wholesale would seem to be quite the discount, can you retail it all off the shelves?  I could retail every drop here on our upick farm but alas, no trees.  Some folks like Corley seem to far from big metro areas to retail easily.  Just curious how the business side of it works.

Really impressive operations and the enthusiasm is infectious, thanks again for all for contributing.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Ed_K on March 31, 2018, 08:18:57 AM
 Magicman, The syrup we sent, the box was empty when it got to my son in Fl.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 31, 2018, 10:08:49 AM
Outta run great today
25 degrees this AM and expected high around 50.
I dont make any but enjoy reading this thread as I made quite bit back in the mid 70s.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on March 31, 2018, 12:43:19 PM
We have 44 here now, so normally the sap would be running pretty good, but today the wind is cold and blowing pretty good, that slows the sap from a run to a once in a while drip!

The majority of the syrup we make goes in barrels to a local buyer, then off to Vermont!

We do bottle quite a bit and most of that goes locally!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on April 01, 2018, 07:41:33 AM
Well, I thought for sure we'd get a good run yesterday - it froze the night before and was a nice, clear high pressure day with not much wind.  But not much happened.  My first thought was that the week and a half of no sap from it being frozen up had caused the tap holes to dry up.  But yesterday I tapped a couple of trees that we missed earlier and they didn't run much either.  Now I'm thinking that it didn't freeze hard or long enough the night before for a good run.   Even after 40 years of sugaring, Mother Nature still has me guessing!

All in all, its been a good year so far, I've made 360 gallons of my expected 450, and the season isn't over yet....
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 01, 2018, 10:31:00 AM
Thats interesting mapleman, we had our hardest run yet yesterday. Ran all night too. All the tanks were full this morning!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 01, 2018, 11:55:23 AM
  We caught the woods last night.  The sap tanks are empty and it's cold today.  We made 19 1/4 gallons of syrup last night.  We filled a keg and filled our first quarts.  Looks like there might be a bit of a run tomorrow and then a snow storm Tuesday and cold for a few days again.
 We're selling most of our production in bulk with a little bottled for sale.  The retail market around here is pretty crowded.  Most every vendor at the farmer's markets have syrup.  We'd just as soon package it as bulk and move it out :)  
  We're pushing a 100 gallons for the season so far.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 01, 2018, 02:22:10 PM
We had a good run (not huge) during the night and boiled, starting at 7:30 this morning and were done at 12:30!

We made 16 gallons, we're up to 267 gallons!

Last year we got 245 and now we're expecting to reach "at least" 300!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on April 01, 2018, 07:08:17 PM
just thinking after cleaning the freezer out how old is the oldest syrup any of you have or have or used  i know mine that was in the freezer is 8 years old i know it don't freeze solid  but i know its still good  8)  
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 02, 2018, 07:10:18 AM
Yup, syrup will keep indefinitely in the freezer, or sealed in syrup bottles and canning jars!

When my brothers FIL passed away several years ago, they were picking up the pieces and they also found syrup in his freezer, been there 10-12 years, still very good!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 02, 2018, 09:30:52 AM
After my late start due to instruction from my doctors because of kidney cancer, I am still getting sap. I ended up just tapping around the sugarhouse and I left my lease idle for the season.  I started with 225 taps, but about a week ago I had to remove 65 that were on reds with 3 of those on silvers, because those buds started to show a little green tip. So far, all I have made is amber. While we have a warming trend late tomorrow, over night and then falling during the day the next day (it will hit 59F early on Wed.), the rest of the forecast looks good for at least 9-10 days and the buds are still tight on the sugars. On the days when the sap runs I'm not getting very much though, with 160 taps remaining I'm only getting 100-125 gal a day (on 26-27" vacuum) and it's running a 2.0-2.1%. However, I also have a local producer whose got a little 2x4 and he taps about 250 taps. I process on shares for him when he gets a good flow, plus he is almost out of wood so I may get all of his sap soon. He taps mostly yard and roadside trees, but his sugar is running about what mine is and most of mine are in a thinned woods, with only 20 or so taps in sunnier spots that might be considered roadside.
With my cancer surgery set for 4/18 I'll need to be done a day or 2 before that, even if the sap is still flowing after 4/15, that will be my last day to collect sap. Then I'll need to finish off everything on 4/16-17 to be ready for the surgery. I will then be on 6 weeks no lifting more than 10#.
So far I don't have a good count on syrup made, I've only packed 35 gal so far but my 2x6 finisher has maybe 35 more gal in it, then my draw off tank maybe 15 more, but both of those are rough estimates. Early on I had sap before I could get the equipment cleaned in the sugarhouse and I took enough sap to a good friend to make 5 qts for me (and he got 5 qts for him) but that's my total so far. A long cry from 179 gal last year, but there is still some hope. This season is looking like a much longer one than last year and last year the sugar was at 1.25% for the season average, this year so far the avg is just over 2%, where it usually runs most years.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on April 03, 2018, 05:16:28 AM
sap has slowed to a crawl here. the temps look good for this week.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 03, 2018, 05:19:40 AM
Long day yesterday. Was helping in the sugarhouse, vacuum is good everywhere. We started the RO at about 1, boiling at 1:30, each time the RO would be about to catch the sap, our pump station would pump and send a bunch of sap. It finally got ahead at about 6:00. And this is an RO that can process over 125 gallons per minute.
Syrup was filtering hard too. We were up to about 650 gallons and the filter press pressures were too high, plugged up. So, we probbussr a record for changing a 20 filter press. No pressure doing it mid boil!
Near the end the pans were getting pretty nitered up too, foam was hard to keep down. 
Ended up doing 1000 gallons yesterday, biggest day yet at the new sugarhouse.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 03, 2018, 04:51:16 PM
We gathered this morning and ended up with 375 gallons of sap, then RO'd and boiled!

With what we had just gathered, we made 5 gallons of med. amber, bringing our total up to 272 gallons produced this season, looks like our goal of 300 gallons is now within reach!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 05, 2018, 07:14:45 AM
We had a small batch of sap to collect yesterday, but we gathered, RO'd and boiled!

We ended up making 3 gallons, we're now at 275 gallons!

The goal of 300 gallons is looking easy at this point, but we ARE seeing a little color in the tree tops!  :-\
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 05, 2018, 10:32:22 AM
  We're down with weather.  We got about 12" inches of snow yesterday and we had 15 degrees this morning.  Some areas not far away were in the single digits.  It might just break freezing today with another shot of snow tonight and cold and windy the next two days.  Sunday and Monday look iffy for sap but it should get going Tuesday.  No signs of any budding yet here.  We've got all sugar maples so they'll hold off.  Basswood buds are just getting some color but aren't swelling yet.  My concern is it's getting late enough now that Mother Nature could flip the season switch and we're in full blown spring overnight.  Being our first season on this scale with this equipment I'm hoping to make 200 gallons on our 800 taps.  We're halfway there.  300 isn't out of the question if the maple season holds.  A friend boiled his last batch April 17th last year.
  I'm finishing up wiring some wall plugs in the sugar shack.  I've got accessories ordered to add as well.  I found a remote wireless stack thermometer to mount under the Marcland so I'm not running back and forth checking the temp and adjusting the draft blower.  I've got fittings coming to plumb a manifold on the filter press so we can fill bottles right off it.  And I found a large digit countdown clock with a remote to mount on the wall for firing the evaporator.  We fire every seven minutes and have been using timers on cell phones.  This way it's on the wall in big digits easy to see and keep track of.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 06, 2018, 08:45:24 AM
We had a huge wind 2 days ago (Wednesday). I had boiled and was done early, shut down , cleaned up and left about 4 PM. Then I returned at 7 PM to find a 15" ash tree that was the anchor tree for a mainline, and had been marked for removal because it had died a few years ago. As I drove the 400' in to the sugarhouse, I saw a big limb leaning against the roof and standing up above the cupola. As I checked further it seems that ash tree slated for removal no longer needs to be taken down. The main trunk had fallen thru 2 hemlocks, taking branches as it fell and that hit one corner of the sugarhouse roof overhang, breaking two purlins and then it fell just missing a bulk propane tank by about 6". Yesterday I cleaned it up, cutting it into logs 8-10' long and stacking them in a pile to process after the season. I also put a chain on the one limb that I had seen as I drove in the driveway. I hooked a chain as high as I could, then attached the free end to the excavator bucket. I then lifted that bucket high and pulled away from the sugar house. As I did the limb (about 7-8" diameter at the big end) started to swing to the left, and then the top swung towards me in a big roundhouse swing. I barley got the boom low enough in time to have the fast swinging top hit the railing on the operator station or it would have hit me, just before it got to the roll cage side post. It could have ended poorly but in the end all was well. I then bucket that up into logs too and stacked them with the other logs. Today I need to re-hang that mainline, sap will likely start to run again about 1PM or so. For now I think the excavator may be my anchor. Then after the season I'll move to a hemlock about 6-7' to the side of the anchor tree that fell. I'll have 7-8 laterals to adjust that are between the last side tie on the mainline and the anchor tree.  I also need to fix the broken mainline wire and add a length of tubing, both broke (yanked apart) as that tree came down.
Upon inspection of the sugarhouse it appears it fared OK. I have 2 over hang purlins to replace and where the limb had landed I only see a minor wrinkle on the edge of the steel roof. There are also some minor edge damage where the purlins broke. I won't likely address the wrinkles, just the purlins. The minor steel damage will not affect it's purpose.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 06, 2018, 11:52:07 AM
Dave, sounds like your equipment fared pretty well considering the strength and speed of that wind!

That was brutal up here in this area too, but we didn't have much damage out on the sap lines!

I did lose a major limb out of a W/Pine in my back yard, I've been wanting to take that down anyways, so, no real loss!  ;)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 07, 2018, 02:53:14 PM
No sap yesterday or today!

Tomorrow we'll go up and drain the flue pan and flood it with water, and boil down what we have left in the front pans and the barrels drained from the flue pan!

We're slowly creeping up on that 300 gallon mark!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: coxy on April 07, 2018, 05:17:50 PM
well looks like ill miss another sap season just cant seem to get the hell out of here  >:( >:(
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 08, 2018, 07:06:28 AM
Oh well, we'll catch up with each other when you're up here again, Coxy!

Seems the biggest culprit has been THE WEATHER!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Stephen1 on April 09, 2018, 12:36:15 PM
We are up to 98 liters as of yesterday, and the weather looks real good for a run this week. We still have the same amount of snow in the bush as we did when we tapped back in Feb. and that usually means the sap will still run.
We are calling this the year of the ice!!
We have had to use hammer and chisels to bust up ice in the collection tanks, from the minus temps we are getting over night and during the day after a run. 
Who uses a filter press for their syrup? We are looking into them for the future.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: MrMoo on April 09, 2018, 04:33:07 PM
Pulled the taps yesterday. We made 5+ quarts for our use.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 09, 2018, 04:37:49 PM
We use filter presses. I dont know of anybody who regrets going to one, just that they didnt do it sooner.
There are smaller size options out there. Good idea to stay away from the brass pump ones, those will need to be replaced in the near future.
We use a 20 dominian and Grimm press at each sugarhouse, at the new place we are wishing we had a second 20. Had to change it mid boil last week! Talk about stressful.

Ive heard it said, if you bottle in glass, theres no better way to filter than with a press. Biggest drawback for most is the price and lack of smaller scale options, but they are out there, 7 presses with only a few banks.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 09, 2018, 08:03:49 PM
We finished off the "sweet" that was is the pans, went pretty good!

We lack 14 gallons + 1 quart and we'll have our 300 gallon goal this year!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 11, 2018, 06:54:43 AM
Looks like the sap is at an "almost" stand-still for a few days, only 3-4 inches in the barrels as of yesterday afternoon!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 11, 2018, 03:01:14 PM
We're feeling it's the beginning of the end!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Mapleman on April 11, 2018, 07:07:16 PM
Looks like the season is over for me here.  We had a good freeze last night, and the sunshine this morning warmed things up to 45 or so, but we only got a slight dribble of sour smelling sap.  I think the two weeks of cold weather we had with no sap runs dried up the tap holes.  All in all it was an OK year though, we made over 400 gallons on 1800 taps, not far off our average.  Now it's on to the clean up!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 12, 2018, 07:22:03 AM
When the sap starts to turn yellow or sour, it's time to pull the plug tap!

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

Last year we got 245 gallons, so this has been a good year, but we thought we might hit 300 gallons!  We did get another barrel though when compared to last year!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 12, 2018, 11:49:07 AM
I had to shut the pump off on Monday, when the sap got super cloudy. Besides, I needed the time to finish up before my surgery next Wednesday.
This morning I had a call from an Amish farmer who is at about 1200-1400' higher elevation than I am and he is still going strong, but the forecast looks like he may not get another week or maybe 10 days. He was tapped before the end of Jan. and made over 100 gal in Jan. I think he said he has about 2500 taps, about 700 on mechanical vacuum and the rest on 3/16 gravity vacuum. With the frequent freezes and no flow days he has only made a little over 700 gal, was expecting 1000+.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 12, 2018, 11:58:03 AM
Chuck, my best year ever, back when I had 1320 taps I made 428 gal. All taps were on low vacuum, one woods at 17" the other at 19" most of the season, on old dairy pumps.
This year, with only 225 taps (because of health issue) and the late start I'll likely only end up with 100-110 gal, but this is on an even older dairy pump (a BB4) which gives me 26-27" vacuum. I have not yet finished off the end yet for an accurate total. This PM I'll finish what is in the finisher, then I'll reduce what is still in the evaporator as far as I dare, then pump it to the finisher to get to final density. That will likely finish tomorrow or Saturday. Then to pull the taps.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 12, 2018, 03:45:09 PM
Dave; You've been doing pretty good with the sugaring!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tomorrow we'll boil what's left in the front pans, in the finishing pan, we expect to BARELY reach our goal of 300 gallons!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 15, 2018, 01:25:51 AM
Made 15 gallons Thursday and 26.75 tonight.  Winter storming last night, today and supposed to through Monday morning.  Looks like sap weather again next week.  I can't imagine it lasting much past next week.  It's getting late.  We're well over a 100 gallons now but I don't have an actual tally yet. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on April 15, 2018, 11:43:23 AM
If I may put my tongue in my cheek, when you have that higher vacuum are the trees shorter by season's end?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 15, 2018, 01:29:12 PM
Just got back from boiling some more on what was in the finisher. It didn't take as long as I thought. I just went by temperature, then I shut down with one channel at 219 and the other at 217.4. In the morning I will warm the finisher to maybe 120-130, then shut down, pump it all to one channel, with the plug in place to keep them separated, then put permeate in that other channel and then finish it off, get to density, grade it and then filter it and pump it to a barrel. At this point it looks like it may end up as Dark, but usually my final finish off ends as very dark.  Looking now like it will be about 15 gal +/- about 1. That would make my total about 100 gal off 225 taps.
The season lasted much longer this year than many in recent years. It's just too bad my health issue caused me to start so late, had I been tapped on 850 taps in Jan. like usual I might have had my best total ever or at least close, even comparing it to back when I had 1320 taps. Well, hopefully there's still next year and beyond. I will not be getting much bigger than 850-900 taps in the near future and after that I'll likely just do my sugarbush and maybe expand that to about 300. The hills on my lease get steeper it seems every year, especially if we get enough snow to require snow shoes. This year I only needed them 1 day, after a 2'+ nor'easter storm. My woods is rather flat, only about 7-8' max difference between the high point and the low area. (thus maple flats)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on April 15, 2018, 03:24:32 PM
BTW all the best in coping with your health issues.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 15, 2018, 06:49:25 PM
If I may put my tongue in my cheek, when you have that higher vacuum are the trees shorter by season's end?
Nope, they're just a little closer to the sugar house!   :D  ;D  :D  ;D  :D  ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 15, 2018, 06:53:47 PM
Final boil today, in the finishing pan!

Started about 8:15 this morning!

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

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

Now, all we have to do is the cleanup, then off to other things like firewood and lumber! 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: cbla on April 16, 2018, 05:48:59 AM
Congrats on the good year Chuck!! I pulled my taps on the 14th and did the cleanup. I managed to get 4.7 gallons. The last 2 years have been very strange weather wise here in NS.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: 51cub on April 16, 2018, 06:04:38 AM
Congratulations, Chuck! You both exceeded your goal, and made a new record!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 16, 2018, 06:07:20 AM
We are still going. Still making golden delicate syrup with good flavor too. This season the weather has been by and large too cold for us. While operators south of us got runs, we were frozen up or just got a trickle. Even with the long cold snap and 45 degree weather its just kinda trickling in. Weather for this week is low 40s and low 30s at night. Not sure if much will happen. Maybe the trees will finally turn on for us! Or not, this week will be a telling week Im sure.
We are up to about 10,000 gallons. Not nearly where we would like to be (17,000 is a good production goal)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 16, 2018, 06:33:40 AM
Congratulations to all for the good year!

Good to hear you're still going, Chris!

Chris, how many taps do you figure you have in?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 16, 2018, 07:18:25 PM
I finished off the end of my season. Too bad the tap count had to be so low because of my Cancer surgery this Wednesday. With late tapping as a result, and 26-27" vacuum I ended up with 102.5 gal on 225 taps. Still .455 gal/tap is not too bad, If this had been any other year when we were tapped by late Jan. I would have broken the half gal/tap that I keep trying for. Still this was my best per tap ever, by a little.
To top it off, I had 5 lines as an experiment. 3/16 tubing lines from 5-30 taps per line and all pulling from below the main. Two of them pulled from 400 and 475' away from the main from an area that was 5-7' below the main, and they had to climb over a driveway. Each was on 3/16 tubing, as they reached the driveway they went up a tree,across the driveway at 14' over the driveway and then sloped to the main at a drop of 10' and a distance of 30'. Then they tied into the main that was on 26-27" vacuum. I declare that experiment a success.
Next year I will be adding about 4-5 more similar lines, going up to 1000' on the longest one and all but one will be pulling from below the main without a conventional sap ladder.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 16, 2018, 07:56:00 PM
Way to go, Dave!  smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 16, 2018, 08:08:55 PM
We got in approximately 37,000 taps. When I tell visitors to the sugarhouse that last year at this time the building they are in had a Skidder parked between the stakes of the footprint they usually say wow! Wanted to get more in but just too much to do.

Dave, we despise sap ladders and avoid them at all costs. Think we have one over 75,000 taps and I can confidently say we will not have one at the new Eden woods. We do just what you are doing. If you can keep high vacuum, you can simply lift it with a normal tubing run. 5/16 works too but 3/16 is definitely better for it. We figure 25 vertical feet of lift. Looks funny seeing all the tubing running uphill but man it works! 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 17, 2018, 11:12:14 AM
Thanks for the input celliott. After the experiment this year I'm thinking my sap ladders may be changed to a bunch of 3/16 climbing the rise. In my small bush around the sugarhouse I only have 2 mains and each has 2 sap ladders, they will be converted to 3/16 lifts. The other bush is leased and it has 5 sap ladders and was originally planned for a sixth ladder. I now think those will also become "lifts" or maybe more like sap ladders using 3/16. Those sections already have mains. At the sugarhouse I run into a 415 gal SS tank which it plumbed to a 545 gal bulk tank if needed.
Do any of yours do that or do you only run a  3/16 lateral up hill to tie into a main and then the wet/dry conductors?
My sugarhouse woods have an old BB4 pump which gives me 26-27" vacuum (I'm at 430' elevation), my other woods has a 1000 gal Surge vacuum tank and uses an Alamo 30, regulated to 19", but the plans for next year are to swap that pump for an Alamo 50-75-100 I own with new after market oilers. Then take the vacuum off the tank, use the double vertical releaser I own and then have it flow into that 1000 gal vacuum tank. There is no power there, the will run off a 9 HP Honda gas engine to get up to the 100 figure if the HP can do it. The 50-75-100 are just originally the number of cows a farm had and the corresponding number of milkers needed at 15" vac based on different RPM's of the pump. Then a year or 2 later I'd put a true maple pump there to get 27+" of vacuum (that bush is at 1550' elevation where the pump will set and it climbs to 1630' at the top).
In your opinion, would the sections with ladders all be better if I ran all 3/16 to get to the mains and the wet/dry?  
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 17, 2018, 03:57:06 PM
We don't have any gravity 3\16, we have probably 20,000 taps on high vac, with wet\dry conductor systems and traditional mainlines. The spots where we have lift lines, we run them per usual into a mainline, with a saddle fitting, just, uphill.

It's hard to say without looking at it, but, I would eliminate the ladders in favor of 3\16 lift lines. You're accomplishing the same thing, lifting sap with vacuum. You could use 3\16 as the sap ladder lines, that works well too. But, one advantage over a traditional ladder is that you don't have to wait for everything to thaw out. As you know, the ladders don't drain properly and will freeze up, stopping the flow and lift from everything on the line. With individual 3\16 lift lines, if one thaws out sooner, it'll go. Don't have to wait for everything to thaw. Plus it eliminates the high off the ground stuff, one less thing to go wrong, less things to leak.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: bill m on April 17, 2018, 05:39:32 PM
Well we finally finished packaging everything and had a great season. 317 gallons on 1100 taps. Going to try to put vacuum on one of our smaller pipelines ( only 300 taps ) Power is not available so we are looking at a 12 volt guzzler pump with solar and batteries. Now to get ready for the farmers market season!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 17, 2018, 05:52:56 PM
Power is best, but a 12V diaphragm pump is maybe next best, or maybe a engine driven pump depending on the scale of that bush. Then you need to fuel it all of the time. On my 6.5 HP remote vacuum pump I use a 4.5 gal gas tank on a stand I built. The tank sets just a few inches higher than where the original engine tank sat. When I set my 9 HP engine driven pump up, I will make a double stand, with 2 tanks at the same height, plumbed together and they will set in the same relation as my single tank sat. If you have any way to reasonably get power, do it. In my case the nearest power is about 2500' away and at my age I can't justify that expense of getting power pole service to pull sap from 850-900 taps max. Thus I burn the gas.
I did not get a quote, but back in 1990 my brother paid over $14000 to get a line extended 800' and in 2012 I paid $7200 to get a pole set, buy another pole (had to be from the utility) and run power toward the sugarhouse. With that cost, the first 100' was free, the next 160' I paid thru the nose.
Now, when I send them power on those same lines from my solar electric they charge me over $26.00 a month line charge.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: bill m on April 17, 2018, 06:15:41 PM
Engine driven is not an option. This property is a resort with guests staying nearby, the noise would not be tolerated. To get AC power it is over 350 feet away and would need to be buried and in conduit. This is their requirement. Because of the lay of the land, not a simple straight run, this would be very expensive.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 19, 2018, 09:06:12 AM
  Beginning of the end for us.  We had a few days off with cold and snow.  The whole season has been starts and stops.  Yesterday we pulled about two hundred gallons of sap.  It warmed up late and the wind was pretty sharp.  It's warming quicker today, the wind isn't as sharp and it might be a bit warmer all around.  The big warm up starts tomorrow.  Forecast is for freezing at night through Sunday maybe.  I expect to be done boiling for the season Monday.  Next week is looking like real spring.  Sugar maple buds still aren't doing much but they're loaded and will go quick now.  The days are long and it's supposed to be near and in the fifties.  Ready to be done.  Got a long list to work on for next season.  Get the rest of the woods tubed (about 1,500 more taps), finish up sugar house, build wood shed, set up R.O. (we've got it but didn't use it this year because of our amount of taps and the rig's evaporation rate), move vacuum pump to releaser shed in the woods, get rid of this season's syrup ;D etc....  If the next five day's forecast holds true we'll be well over 200 gallons for the season.  I'm a bit concerned that the syrup may get buddy the last couple days.  If it does we'll quit.  It's really late now.  We'll see ;D ;D ;D  Been an interesting ride for a first season on this level.  Looking forward to next year 8) 8) 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 19, 2018, 11:22:07 AM
It's looking like most are getting ready for the end!

Then comes the "get ready for next season" part, new equipment, new lines, added taps, new sheds, and some sugarhouses!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Magicman on April 19, 2018, 01:35:19 PM
I have been rooting for you Chuck.  Congrats on reaching the 300 goal.  smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 19, 2018, 06:39:29 PM
Close to 1,300 gallons of sap today thus far.  Had some other things to attend while it was running.  It still is and will late.  Not supposed to freeze up until after dark and the days are long now.  Going over right now to start chewing on it ;D 8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 20, 2018, 12:17:08 AM
Made 11.5 gallons of syrup in four hours tonight.  Still have close to 900 gallons of sap in stock.  The releaser cycled as we were walking out the door of the sugar house @ 11:15 PM.  We left the vacuum on.  It's freezing up now.  Tomorrow should be another good day and good right through Sunday.  It looks like now it will just freeze Sunday night.  Monday might be good too.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Coach on April 20, 2018, 05:16:52 AM
Hey guys. It's in the middle of the night here and I just sat up in bed with a brainwave.  Not gonnna be able to fall asleep without posting this.

So, would there be any interest in a device that would allow you to check the sap level of your barrels remotely, like from from your cell phone?  Or perhaps have it send you a text when it's at 80% full, 85%, and so on.  Or a guy could log in and check levels.

But have got an even better idea here I'm contemplating. It's something like a standalone vacuum pump, requiring no electricity.   A guy could set it up to give you hourly flow rates (via texts or logging in), also have current temp at location and and stuff like that. This would be for a small setup at a remote location where no electricity is available.

Or is there something like that already available, and at what price? 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 20, 2018, 06:43:43 AM
Thanks Lynn!  Appreciate the cheering team!  8)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 20, 2018, 09:26:13 AM
A Google search for "wireless maple vacuum monitor" will show what's out there :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Gary_C on April 20, 2018, 11:49:41 AM
Years ago I tapped a couple of boxelders that were around the yard and boiled the sap on the stove. It made some good syrup for home use.

Does anyone use boxelders for commercial syrup production? They are of the maple family and those miserable trees should be good for something besides growing crooked and falling down.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: GAB on April 20, 2018, 07:38:48 PM
Hey guys. It's in the middle of the night here and I just sat up in bed with a brainwave.  Not gonnna be able to fall asleep without posting this.

So, would there be any interest in a device that would allow you to check the sap level of your barrels remotely, like from from your cell phone?  Or perhaps have it send you a text when it's at 80% full, 85%, and so on.  Or a guy could log in and check levels.

But have got an even better idea here I'm contemplating. It's something like a standalone vacuum pump, requiring no electricity.   A guy could set it up to give you hourly flow rates (via texts or logging in), also have current temp at location and and stuff like that. This would be for a small setup at a remote location where no electricity is available.

Or is there something like that already available, and at what price?
I have a nephew who has installed numerous cameras for sugarmakers that can be monitered from smart phones so that they can see if they need to go home and boil or can continue doing other work.  He has also wired numerous barns to be able to see what is going on at any hour of the day.
Cost depends on what the owner desires to some extent.
Gerald
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 20, 2018, 08:00:59 PM
We have some wireless vacuum monitors that tell us the vac level on different mainlines, so we can easier pinpoint problems. We also have wireless monitors for tank levels at remote stations, temp sensors, basically anything you want to monitor you can do it.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 21, 2018, 12:17:21 AM
20.75 gallons of syrup tonight.  700 gallons of sap to get started with tomorrow.  Should run good again tomorrow.  Have to fire up the firewood processor first thing in the AM and run off some wood to finish up the season :)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 21, 2018, 11:51:10 PM
25.75 gallons today.  Sap ran steady all day.  Not real strong but steady.  26 for a low tonight so it should run about the same tomorrow.  Grade is holding steady at Amber Rich. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 22, 2018, 07:05:14 AM
We made 830 gallons of golden yesterday. It is darker but we were so far above the color scale for golden weve just now come down to where its on the edge. Maybe well make some amber today. Sap has been hammering in yesterday and will today as well.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 22, 2018, 08:28:56 PM
 1045 gallons today and still running strong. Hardest runs yet actually. Be another long day tomorrow. We could make a good portion of our crop in these next couple days. 

Heres a few pictures from our Woods. 

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/BADA727D-68BC-4741-BACD-E4631424216C.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1524442046)
4 over 3 conductor and a sub conductor that is 1.5 over 1.25, carrying about 2700 taps into the main system.


(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/0868741A-0286-4717-8B93-5C993BF16AB4.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1524442041) 

Heres a few vacuum leaks.  That pinhole is what we call a micro leak. 
Not audible but makes the sap run quickly. Believe it or not you can hear that leak by shutting the valve at the beginning of the mainline and slowly cracking it open, with your ear to the valve. The chewed tubing is a big leak and you can hear it from a ways off.
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/708C4CD0-5A7D-407D-9D63-C58766F3E32A.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1524442023)
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/098BC3DE-4EF2-4594-996D-493D4C190E63.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1524442140)

Our can am 6x6 on tracks. Quite a snow vehicle but slow.
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/9E40C031-C47B-4151-8527-3C1D926A515B.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1524441990)
My ugly mug out checking for leaks
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/80741F05-5EF2-4E30-949C-25B17B985977.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1524442011)
We still have some snow up on the hill!
(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/ADEAA59E-DB55-46DD-963B-421AE05B0660.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1524442166)

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20145/8AECB160-8341-4A5B-9F09-197CE1A20F17.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1524442034) 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 23, 2018, 01:14:44 AM
  21 gallons tonight.  Ran out of sap and jars.  Came out just right.  Still at Amber Rich 8)It may not freeze tonight but it might depending on the forecast.  It might be Wednesday before it freezes again.  We'll see what it brings but we may be done and that's fine.  I need to tally what we've made.  I think we've done pretty well for our first season.
  Cool pics celliot :) :) 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: 51cub on April 23, 2018, 06:05:18 AM
Great pictures, Chris. Thanks for posting them!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 23, 2018, 06:36:06 AM
Chris, it's easy to see that you'll be going for a while yet, with all that snow!

We don't have any snow in our woods!

We were out yesterday flushing our lines and pulling taps, got most of it done, and we'll finish it today!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Bricklayer51 on April 23, 2018, 08:10:18 AM
Corley are you going to sell to the public?
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 23, 2018, 02:07:29 PM
We finished flushing our lines today, and then finished cleaning the flue pan!

The only thing we have left to do is cut next years firewood!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 23, 2018, 05:40:53 PM
Corley are you going to sell to the public?
Yes, we've been filling 15 gallon kegs first and the balance of the day's run goes into quarts and pints. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 23, 2018, 11:26:35 PM
Ran 4 gallons of syrup tonight from the 200 or so gallons of sap we pumped today.  Still Amber Rich and tasting great.  Finally figured our total and not including the several gallons my wife has sold at her work, she has those figures at work, we've made 225.75 gallons.  Going for 250.  Supposed to freeze Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.  We might make it.  Buds are swelling but not a lot.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 24, 2018, 11:49:31 AM
Engine driven is not an option. This property is a resort with guests staying nearby, the noise would not be tolerated. To get AC power it is over 350 feet away and would need to be buried and in conduit. This is their requirement. Because of the lay of the land, not a simple straight run, this would be very expensive.
Run the electric, you will never regret it. 350' is peanuts, I ran 320' from a pole just in my woods to the sugarhouse for a 225A box because of solar regs. I ran 450MCM copper, the service is a 200A service but you can not feed in more than 10% over the rating, thus I have a 225A box with a 200A main breaker but when the solar is at peak I put in up to 46.8 amps at 240V, the rated max for that box is 247.5A (225 x 1.1=247.5, 10% over). 200A from the grid and up to 46.8 from my solar.
I went 1 number higher than the minimum because I wanted to send more power to the grid and have less loss in the conduit (net metered).
For 350' just use a voltage drop calculator available online, plug in the info and hit "calculate". You want less than 3% voltage loss, and I prefer staying under 2%, but code says at max 3% "suggested". It is less voltage loss to run 240 than 120V, I'm not familiar with 3 phase, but that's a whole new kettle of beans.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 24, 2018, 12:48:10 PM
I ran power 900'+ to my releaser/pump house from the sugar house.  It was costly but well worth not dealing with a gas engine.  I used the online calculators too.  Moving the vacuum pump out there is under serious consideration.  I need to dig out my multimeter and check amps and volts.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 24, 2018, 08:06:40 PM
Be aware of the surge amps, that is the true figure to plug into the calculator.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: bill m on April 24, 2018, 08:35:53 PM
The wire, conduit, and distance is not a problem. The problem is all the obstacles to run the conduit under. A concrete set of steps, 6 foot high retaining wall, another set of large stone stairs and a blacktop road. For under 300 taps payback would take a very long time
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 24, 2018, 10:25:10 PM
230 gallons plus a bit.  We had two odd jars that came out of the farm house.  One is a Del Monte and the other an old apple sauce jar.  Both accepted regular lids and rings and sealed but aren't standard size.  They're personal syrup ;) ;D  So we're 230 gallons plus a half gallon or so.  Supposed to be in the twenties Wednesday night and we've got lots of snow in the bush so I'm thinking it may do something Thursday.  It may freeze Friday and Saturday nights too but not as hard.  I'd like to see 250 gallons for the season.  I'm also ready to do something else now ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 25, 2018, 09:37:49 AM
Corley5, Be careful filling too many pints, while I usually sell 250-300 gal of syrup a year I only sell about 10-12 pints a year. Maybe your market for pints is better.
From home and the sugarhouse half gal are my best sellers, followed by qts, then gal and finally the pints. For my online sales it's HG, then QT, then I think I did sell 2 pts at Christmas time, I do not ship gal because 2 HG ship much cheaper in a Med Flat rate USPS box.
Just keep these in mind.
Finally, by far my best seller has turned out to be bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, PM me if you want to learn a little about that. For every batch so far I've used Very Dark syrup to fill the barrel for aging. Right now I have 2 ten gal barrels aging.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 25, 2018, 11:20:59 AM
  Quarts are what we've sold the most of but we've just started.  We've got 80 gallons bottled up in mostly quarts with some wholes, halves and pints.  Way back when we did this when I was a kid quarts were what sold.  Mom would take orders for pints before season, we never stocked any, and we never did halves or gallons.  We've got 10 15 gallons barrels full too.  We'll see how this batch sells before we get rid of this as bulk.  It's all Amber Rich.  I can see the possibility of a water jacketed bottler in our future.
  26 tonight, 32 tomorrow night, 29 and 28 Friday and Saturday nights.  Seventies possible for highs next week.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 25, 2018, 11:26:37 AM
  One of Zach's teacher bought a gallon and he shipped it to his brother in NM.  The shipping was almost as much as the jug of syrup.  We'll surely keep the flat rate boxes in mind and let clients know as well :) 8) :) 8) 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 25, 2018, 11:28:24 AM
I've got distilling in mind.  I think maple rum would be good ;) ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on April 25, 2018, 09:51:39 PM
FYI:  Two half gallons will fit in a Flat-Rate USPS box and ship for $13.xx, a one gallon jug will cost almost the same as the price of the syrup, just to ship it!

A couple of years ago we had a good friend of mine order 25 pints!  He is closely involved with "Wounded Warriors" and was buying the syrup to send to the "Mess Halls" in Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia!  This really touched home and we gave him a good price and threw in a few extras for free!

Our biggest sellers are halves and quarts!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: bill m on April 26, 2018, 08:49:25 AM
We do not sell a lot of half gallons or half pints. Our biggest sellers are quarts, pints, and gallons in that order.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: maple flats on April 27, 2018, 08:45:31 AM
Bill, my sales used to be similar to yours (except we sold almost no pints) until we started to sell online, then using the medium flat rate boxes filled with 2 HG, became by far our big seller. Right now, in order for all products my sales in descending unit sales order are: bourbon barrel aged syrup, half gal, qts, gal then pints. I do not pack half pints or smaller except sometimes 50ml leaves as wedding favors by order only. We do pack a little in glass but find that most of our customers look at the glass but then buy the jugs because of price.
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Corley5 on April 29, 2018, 11:42:19 AM
  We're done.  The trees gave up and so did we.  Yesterday we pulled the plug on the releaser, flushed out the sap tanks, drained and flushed the pans and cooked off the sweet.  Going over to the sugar house in a bit to clean up the filter press and do some general tidying up.  Tomorrow we start pulling taps and flushing lines after I do some plumbing in the sugar house so I can install the frost free hydrant at the pump house.       
  We ended up with an even 235 gallons of syrup from 800 taps.  I'll take that especially for our first season.  The first six gallons are Golden Delicate.  The rest is all Amber Rich.  Have a potential buyer for some of the bulk coming by tomorrow.  It was a good season in Wolverine Michigan 8) 8) 8) 8) 
  And Yes, I'm a real sugar maker.  I burned a pan.  Got it out of the way early in the career ;) ;D
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on April 29, 2018, 03:37:06 PM
Well Chuck, I was planning on telling  you we were done last week, I couldnt imagine we would keep going after 60+ degrees for 4 days in a row. But I cant say that because the sap is still running and were still boiling! I havent got a gallon report lately, we started pulling spouts at one of the Cabot woods last week. Everyone thought we were finished. Nope. Keeping tanks washed as much as possible, and processing sap as fast as possible this time of year when its warm goes a long way to making better syrup out of this sap. I know we broke 4# per tap on Wednesday. Maybe we can hit 5#, I dont know. 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Stephen1 on May 01, 2018, 07:43:05 AM
We finished cleaning the lines this weekend. 140 liters for the season, and we would have had more but we ran out of firewood. It was the best year we have ever had. Our normal amount is around 100 liters. 
Cleaning the lines was a breeze, we went to buy solution and were told that all we have to do now is inject isoprol alcohol into the taps and all is good, we will see. We did flush with city water and then let it drain. We then injected the alcohol and tied up tap lines, acid washed the evaporator cleaned all the tanks, and put the shack away for the summer.  
Next year more wood!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on May 02, 2018, 04:22:32 PM
Finally pulled the plug on the Eden sugarhouse. Made syrup in May, last boil yesterday! Finished just shy of 16,000 gallons. We hit 4.8# per tap.  Washing tubing in the other woods, open house this weekend.

Brand new pipe ran forever 
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Chuck White on May 03, 2018, 07:38:30 AM
We took our syrup in a couple days ago!

They're paying $2.00/pound, so "somewhere around" $24.00/gallon, in the barrel!

Down from last year, but it has to go somewhere!
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: celliott on May 09, 2018, 06:05:44 AM
Thought Id share a few videos that have been filmed at our new sugaring operation. A few from the maple news and a clip from across the fence, VT public tvs ag section. 
Enjoy!

https://www.themaplenews.com/video/on-the-scene-boiling-with-glenn-goodrich-on-his-high-brix-evaporator-on-his-last-day-of-season/57/ (https://www.themaplenews.com/video/on-the-scene-boiling-with-glenn-goodrich-on-his-high-brix-evaporator-on-his-last-day-of-season/57/)

https://www.themaplenews.com/video/on-the-scene-goodrichs-new-200000-tap-install/43/ (https://www.themaplenews.com/video/on-the-scene-goodrichs-new-200000-tap-install/43/)


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pTyVZwfNnDQ (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pTyVZwfNnDQ)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: nativewolf on February 04, 2019, 06:31:55 PM
coming up on this sweet time of year.  Is there a new 2019 thread that I missed?  
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Plankton on February 05, 2019, 11:41:41 AM
Even though its 2019 I'll throw these on here. Been tapping since first week of January here in south vt.

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

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


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



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




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



(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37042/20190115_143240.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1549384064)
Title: Re: Maple Syrup 2018
Post by: Stephen1 on February 05, 2019, 12:11:58 PM
We need a 2019 page now.