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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: ryguy777 on February 24, 2014, 01:58:14 PM

Title: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: ryguy777 on February 24, 2014, 01:58:14 PM
im hoping to tap next week. this is sort of my first year, ive always made syrup with my grandparents from the few trees in their yard. this year my goal is 50 taps, maybe more if I have enough time. what's everyone else's goal this year?
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on February 24, 2014, 02:06:46 PM
Where abouts are you located?

We tapped on the 20 & 21 Feb & hooked the pipeline into the barrels yesterday afternoon. 

We gathered that sap today, only about 100 gallons, turned cold so sap didn't run much.  Not enough sap yet to start boiling!

We have 879 taps on the pipeline and plan on putting up enough sap buckets so we'll have over 1,000 taps all together!

Last year we made 150 gallons of syrup and we hope to better that this year!


Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on February 24, 2014, 04:51:54 PM
I was driving by a apple business place. They sell apples,donuts,disk golf and some veggies. I noticed a truck with a pick up with a tank in it and there was steam coming out of the maple shack.  :o  I should of stopped and found out for sure. yes,it's been warm for the last few days,but that is it for the week. Not suppose to get above freezing here for the rest of the week.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: loggah on February 24, 2014, 05:48:04 PM
I plowed out the sugarhouse,and the loop road thru the orchard with my D5 dozer on saturday, supposed to be cold most of this week, so next weekend or early next week we will be tapping out . Most all my trees are on buckets so you dont want to tap to early or the holes will dry out .
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: yukon cornelius on February 24, 2014, 06:29:06 PM
we are going to try this year but we only have a few maples most of which are small. only one of these are hard maples. we are in south mo.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: BBTom on February 24, 2014, 06:38:54 PM
I logged one section of the sugarbush this winter, so I lost almost 300 taps.  The other 700 are still waiting for me to tap.  Forecast is for below freezing at least until the 5th.  I guess I have some time to get tapped. 
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: ryguy777 on February 24, 2014, 07:16:26 PM
im in the southern tier of upstate NY. I wanted to tap this weekend but this week its not really gonna be warm enough this week and I didn't have all the buckets ready to go. I tapped 3 trees in the yard today cause I got a new drill bit and an old hand brace to I was eager to try it out haha. I got one of those 275 gallon plastic tanks with the cage around it to collect with, I wont wait until its full to boil, I just haven't got enough time or a big enough pan to boil all that. im excited to get going though!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GAB on February 24, 2014, 08:18:10 PM
ryguy777:
My goal every spring is to make 5 gallons of syrup.  Last Thursday I put in my 32 taps and as of yesterday afternoon I have collected 33 gallons of sap.  I've had the sugar content go from 3.00 to 2.45 in that short time frame.  My boiling system is two pots on the wood stove in the basement.  You might say my maple syrup operation is an offshoot or by-product of heating the house.  Some years I make my goal, and some years the season is short and I don't make it.  Gerald
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: ryguy777 on February 24, 2014, 08:39:47 PM
GAB, that's how we have been doing it the passed few years. eventually id like to have a sugar shack and a bigger evaporator. I have an old oil tank in the back yard id like to make an evaporator  out of.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GAB on February 24, 2014, 09:41:24 PM
ryguy777:
For your information two of my projects for this summer are to put up a 26'x70' sugarhouse, after I plant a small (one acre) garden.  The poles are already in the ground.  They need to be straightened and cut to height, as a first step.  The wood or fuel portion of the building is intended to be 26'x30'.  I'm considering taking 12'x 30' of that to put in a wood drying kiln.  The reason for putting in 32 taps is that I think (based on walking the woods) that I can put in 960 taps.  So 32 is 1/30th of my capability so I can get a feel as to how much sap I could expect if all the trees produced like the 32 taps that are closest to the house.  Gerald
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on February 24, 2014, 11:22:45 PM
Most all my trees are on buckets so you dont want to tap to early or the holes will dry out .
  That's good to know, loggah!  I was feeling like I should have had the taps in this past weekend with the warm temps but now I'm glad I waited.  I need another week or two to get ready anyway. ::)

Last year was our first year doing it and I think we ended up with around 4.5/5 gals off 12 taps.  I had grand plans to recycle my old oil tank this winter into an evaporator but that ain't happening.  Going to try and find an old 55 gal drum and try for a 'quick' upgrade from this...

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000441_-_Copy.JPG) ...it made for long days boiling sap.

Sounds like I have 'some' time especially since no one in the family really cared for the 'fancy' (early) grade syrup.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: ryguy777 on February 25, 2014, 01:09:53 PM
im setting up similar, I have an old grimm pan that im putting up on blocks. hope it goes well
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on February 25, 2014, 05:10:50 PM
im setting up similar, I have an old grimm pan that im putting up on blocks. hope it goes well
Every single one of those blocks are cracked, as you can see in the one with pipe coming out.  It's now being held together with twisted wire. ::)  I also filled the blocks with 'play sand', not sure it did much though.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: ryguy777 on February 25, 2014, 09:32:32 PM
as long at this gets me through this year Ill be happy. im hoping to build a 2x6 evaporator from an oil tank this summer
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Den Socling on February 25, 2014, 09:44:35 PM
Too bad that you aren't closer, JohnM. I have a bunch of plastic drums that had soda syrup in them. I'd give them away.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on February 25, 2014, 10:50:18 PM
Too bad that you aren't closer, JohnM. I have a bunch of plastic drums that had soda syrup in them. I'd give them away.
Thanks, Den.  I want a steel one to modify into an evaporator/firebox but I do have one of those blue barrels for sap storage, could use one more though.  My wife and kids will be down in NJ next month...think she'd get some funny looks coming back up 95 with one of those strapped to the roof of the Corolla? :o ;) :D

ryguy, if you're planning on something like mine I'd suggest going 3 blocks high to get more wood in.  I plan on doing at least that this year if not a total redesign.  I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the whole process, it's wicked fun! :D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: justallan1 on February 25, 2014, 11:23:22 PM
Has anyone tried making box elder syrup? I've been reading up on it and am thinking of trying to make some just to see how it works out.

Allan
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Don_Papenburg on February 26, 2014, 03:04:10 PM
I read about some guy making walnut syrup .  I want to try that next year.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on February 26, 2014, 03:16:26 PM
John;  Just a word of caution, I don't think that the damper in your smoke pipe is a good idea, had a neighbor put one in his stack and one day it melted and he found it at the bottom.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on February 26, 2014, 05:05:55 PM
John;  Just a word of caution, I don't think that the damper in your smoke pipe is a good idea, had a neighbor put one in his stack and one day it melted and he found it at the bottom.
Honestly Chuck I had forgot it was even there til you said something. :D  I don't use it, meaning it stays wide open, but I may well take your advice and remove it this year.  As you can see by the pipe it gets pretty hot and I'm hoping to get it even hotter this year. smiley_devil  ;D :D  Thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: bill m on February 26, 2014, 10:19:18 PM
I'm still working on the addition (14 x 32) to my sugarhouse. Hope to get the wiring done by the end of next week, install the new RO machine, set up the evaporator in its new room and then set up all the equipment in the filtering/packaging room. The roofing will be the week after that. Then I can start to set taps.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on February 26, 2014, 10:29:17 PM
John, your rig reminds me of the first rig I was around!  Nastalgia!  :)

Right out in the open, setting on cinder blocks and ours was chinked in with mud!

Didn't make a lot of syrup (of course I was only about 12) but we made enough for our family!

Some different now adays!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: ryguy777 on February 27, 2014, 11:21:15 AM
well tomorrow and today ive gotta go into full gear and get ready or else it prolly wont happen haha, right now im about to go clean up a pile of barn boards my neighbor ripped off his barn (was caving in he made a smaller garage out of it) and get the buckets all ready to go
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on February 28, 2014, 02:47:47 PM
After reading this topic I decided that I would give making maple syrup a try this year. I have a dozen maples around 18"-20" diameter in my yard and went to Tractor Supply this morning and purchased 6 spiles & hooks. I figured 6 would be a good starting quantity as from what they told me I should get 5-10 gallons of sap from each tap so I am hoping to wind up with a gallon of syrup after boiling. My question is how do you know when to insert the taps in the trees? Plus I plan on using empty 1 gallon Ice Tea containers to collect the sap to get started and was wondering how often would they need to be changed? Do you get 1 gallon a day or 1 gallon a week?
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on February 28, 2014, 03:33:32 PM
Takes around 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup!

Sugar maples are sweeter than Soft Maple too!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GAB on February 28, 2014, 07:49:49 PM
21incher:
If you are using the taps that require a 1/4" tap drill and the trees are 18" in diameter then I would not be afraid of putting in 3 taps per tree.  If you are using the old style taps that require a 7/16" drill then stop at 2 per tree.   
One evening I emptied my buckets around 6:00PM and at approx. 6:00 AM the next morning I had some 15 quart buckets that were overflowing.  That was a good sap run.
The sugar content of the sap will determine the number of gallons of sap necessary to make a gallon of syrup.  For example the sap hydrometer on 2/20 read 3.0 or less than 29 gallons of sap per gallon of syrup.  On 2/22 the sap from the same trees tested only 2.45 which equates to over 35 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup.  Gerald
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 5quarter on February 28, 2014, 08:00:01 PM
Allan...I made A pint of boxelder syrup two years ago. I didn't count, but figured I got around 12 gallons of sap. Not much syrup for the effort, but it sure was tasty! BTW...don't mix maple and boxelder. they both taste like maple syrup, but the boxelder syrup is distinctly different.

JohnM...That's a nice little setup you have there. I might try that out this year.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Don_Papenburg on February 28, 2014, 08:24:35 PM
21incher, You will have to keep an eye on the tea bottles one gallon might have you dumping three or four times a day . cooler nights with warmer days will fill them jugs faster than cooler days. 
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: SPIKER on March 01, 2014, 02:18:52 AM
If I had time I would be making some this year but alas no time with school and working full time.

Some photos in my gallery on my setup

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12855/1247/sap_bag_24hrs_of_time.jpg)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12855/1247/0221101341.jpg)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12855/1247/boiling1.jpg)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12855/1247/0303101402.jpg)


I dont have the chimney on mine & do get a bit of smoky flavor on some occasionally.    Really makes it good too. 8) 8)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: justallan1 on March 01, 2014, 07:39:02 AM
Thanks 5quarter.
I'd mentioned it to a vet that I know and he must be getting cabin fever too because he wants to try it. (or his wife is ready for him to be out of the house) This guy has 1 leg, is on oxygen, generally needs a haircut and has a beard about halfway to his belt. I'm thinking I'll get a picture of him cooking it off and make wanted posters for having a still. ;D
Can I just use a 3/8x4" plastic or steel pipe nipple for the taps? I'm figuring on doing that and plastic tubing going into sealed buckets.
Can you let it cool at night or do you need to finish it once you get started? Thanks

Allan
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: BBTom on March 01, 2014, 08:51:37 AM
The actual spouts or spiles are tapered so they seal the tree.  you might be able to make 3/8 pipe work. 

If anyone wants some "tree saver" plastic spouts ( the ones that use a 5/16" hole ).  I have several hundred of them that I am no longer using.   If I get $10 to cover the cost of shipping and something left for the forum, I will send whatever I can get into a small flat rate box to you.  Can only do domestic US in that offer, usps wants to much to send to anyplace else.  I will put this in the commerce section too.

Good luck on your season,  My season is normally half over by now, and I won't see above freezing till the end of the week.  It looks like a very short season this year. 
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 01, 2014, 10:04:22 AM
21incher:
If you are using the taps that require a 1/4" tap drill and the trees are 18" in diameter then I would not be afraid of putting in 3 taps per tree.  If you are using the old style taps that require a 7/16" drill then stop at 2 per tree.   
One evening I emptied my buckets around 6:00PM and at approx. 6:00 AM the next morning I had some 15 quart buckets that were overflowing.  That was a good sap run.
The sugar content of the sap will determine the number of gallons of sap necessary to make a gallon of syrup.  For example the sap hydrometer on 2/20 read 3.0 or less than 29 gallons of sap per gallon of syrup.  On 2/22 the sap from the same trees tested only 2.45 which equates to over 35 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup.  Gerald
I got the 7/16 inch taps. I figured I would just go with 1 per tree so I don't hurt the trees.
I thought the sap would be spread over a month so I better keep a eye on it.
I guess I had better buy a hydrometer to give me a idea of my starting point.
I plan on using 2 of the turkey fryers to cook it down and they only hold about 5 gallons each and from what I have read they should be able to evaporate about a gallon of water a hour each so I am hoping this will keep up with 6 taps.
Thanks Ed.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 01, 2014, 11:48:49 AM
Only 24 here now, so the sap won't run today!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: OH Boy on March 01, 2014, 08:20:44 PM
21 incher - One tap on 18" trees is correct. Generally don't do two until about a 24 in tree. I started and probably many others with the turkey fryer, and I still finish batches with it, but have also grown to 180 taps and a 2x8 pans set, so watch out, it's very addictive. at 1 gal/hr, which sounds right for that surface area,you will average about 15-18 gallons per tank of gas at about 23 bucks a can. You may also have days where you get that 6 gallons or more off of 18 in trees.  If you have time to feed a fire with split wood, look at some of these pics of the cement block arches and a steam pan. more surface area will let you boil 2-3 gallons/hr. It does take the effort though because you have to keep the constant flame on the pan. Good luck with it, our weather hasn't cooperated yet, just a few days of decent runs, March should get better.

Also you can do a hydrometer and should if you're going to get hooked, which you will. but you can also get pretty close to syrup when it starts to boil and rise up the sides like boiling milk. watch closely for that. generally it's close when you get that density.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: OH Boy on March 01, 2014, 08:28:01 PM
OH- BTW- we are ready and finishing a batch as I type. Started about 6 yrs ago and it just keeps growing. Up to 180 taps on tubing on our steep hills, and just waiting on this stupid cold winter to break into reals sugarin weather. Made 22 gallons last year and hoping this year goes better.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Autocar on March 02, 2014, 06:46:28 AM
The way this weather is this so called spring we may have a very small window to collect sap ,I look for it to go from winter to summer over night and by the way it can happen any time for me.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 02, 2014, 05:52:29 PM
We will put 2 taps on an 18 inch tree and 3 on a 24 inch tree.

We have 2 trees that it takes 2 of us to reach around and still lacks about 16 inch, and those 2 get 6 taps.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GAB on March 02, 2014, 09:08:07 PM
21incher wrote: "I guess I had better buy a hydrometer to give me a idea of my starting point."
In case you do not know, or are not aware of it, there are hydrometers for sap and there are hydrometers for syrup.
Yes they are made of glass and are very fragile.
The tall sap hydrometers are the most accurate and most expensive.  Enjoy, Gerald
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 03, 2014, 06:29:09 PM
I would like to thank everyone for all the pointers. If only it would warm up so I can get started.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 04, 2014, 07:36:26 PM
Going to try and find an old 55 gal drum and try for a 'quick' upgrade...
Met some new friends/neighbors last week, the husband thought he could get me a steel drum.  Took the dog out this morning and there was steel and a plastic drum beside my garage! 8)  Got started on it this afternoon. ;D :)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000919_-_Copy.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000921_-_Copy.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000922_-_Copy.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000923_-_Copy.JPG)

Hoping to have it operational by the weekend. ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: justallan1 on March 06, 2014, 01:02:16 AM
Here's a couple pictures of my fun for the day. I tapped a couple Box Elder tress just to see what I could come up with and am quite impressed. I took in about a half a gallon and cooked it down and after switching pots and what was left in the pots I still ended up with 1/8th of a cup. BUT, I know it works and can go from here with a much, much larger amount, and do it on an outside fire.

Allan
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31630/002%7E3.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31630/004%7E4.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31630/007%7E6.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/31630/013%7E3.JPG)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Woodboogah on March 06, 2014, 07:26:11 AM
Setting taps, or starting to set taps tonight then over the weekend.  We missed the first run.  There are four of us in on it.  I started it outside on a woodstove had a couple buddies interested so they came over one afternoon for some beers, venison on the grill, and the chaos started.  We have about 400 taps and grow every year.  It became an expensive hobby really fast!  Great time though.  We had a facebook page I am not sure if it still up and running but it was greenleaf maple coop if you want to check it out
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 06, 2014, 04:05:35 PM
A question for the pros. I drilled holes and placed my 6 taps in sugar maples today. 5 of them were placed on the south side of the trees and started dripping immediately, 1 was placed on the north side of a tree and not a drop has come out of it. Does it matter which side of the tree you place the tap on?
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Woodboogah on March 06, 2014, 05:30:51 PM
It is said to place on the south side.  I have done both and have a small main line set up on a North facing slope and I have not seen a difference really.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 06, 2014, 08:29:54 PM
Another question for the pros. The wife is dying to make some maple syrup. This will be the wife's project,so she says. She will tap 4-5 trees. How long can we keep the sap in a fridge before she needs to boil it. She understands she may be boiling only a few quarts at a time. All boiling will be done in the house,which I know is not the best idea,but all she wants is a quart. Than next year I'll be cutting wood so she can do it outside.  ::)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: OH Boy on March 06, 2014, 08:37:05 PM
Another question for the pros. The wife is dying to make some maple syrup. This will be the wife's project,so she says. She will tap 4-5 trees. How long can we keep the sap in a fridge before she needs to boil it. She understands she may be boiling only a few quarts at a time. All boiling will be done in the house,which I know is not the best idea,but all she wants is a quart. Than next year I'll be cutting wood so she can do it oitside.  ::)

Just in the fridge should last 4-5 days and be okay, frozen indefinitely but here's a trick that will cut your boiling if you watch it. Put it in the freezer or outside, and when it starts to freeze, pick off the ice and throw it away. The ice holds very little sugar and you can actually concentrate it some by repeated part freeze if not frozen in a solid block. Also be ready to re-paper your kitchen if she boils a lot inside. maybe she knows that  ;)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 06, 2014, 08:39:21 PM
No wall paper in the kitchen. I tried to tell her,but no telling her nothing. She is just like her Father.  ::)
She does have a small fan in the kitchen window,maybe 8 feet from the stove? That MIGHT help. Or that is what she told me.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 06, 2014, 09:38:22 PM
Doing that in the house will make the walls and ceiling sticky. :D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 06, 2014, 09:55:16 PM
It is said to place on the south side.  I have done both and have a small main line set up on a North facing slope and I have not seen a difference really.
I did all mine facing south and also inline with major branches farther up the tree.  I'm going to experiment with a north facing tap or two this year.

Ray, I've read/heard of ppl storing up to two weeks but it's not recommended.  Longest I went last year was maybe a week.  I gotta agree with OH Boy and Peter, do the majority of your boiling outside if you can.  With 4-5 taps and good trees you may be surprised at how much sap you get.  Like I said I had 12 taps last year, two taps filling 1gal jugs.  When it really started flowing I was emptying those jugs twice a day and towards the end of the season I was just pouring it out on the ground! :D  Well it was the end of 'my' season at least, it was taking up too much time!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: justallan1 on March 06, 2014, 11:08:18 PM
That little bit that I cooked off last night was about 1/2 gallon and my stove and counters all had a nice coating from it.
I'm kind of baffled by how much sap I'm getting out of these little Box Elder trees though. Last night I got 1/2 a gallon in a few hours and since then the 3 taps I have in probably got me less than that from 8 pm last night until about noon today, and it was even warmer out today. Hmph!

Allan
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Stephen1 on March 06, 2014, 11:21:55 PM
A question for the pros. I drilled holes and placed my 6 taps in sugar maples today. 5 of them were placed on the south side of the trees and started dripping immediately, 1 was placed on the north side of a tree and not a drop has come out of it. Does it matter which side of the tree you place the tap on?
.
Don't worry, that tap on the north side is still frozen. The sap on the north comes later. Trees should be tapped in an upward spiral to the right or downward to the the left, depends on the amount of snow . 3" over and 3" up. Always careful not to be above or below a previous tap hole. Sap only comes from white sap wood. The tree will stain up to 3' above and below a previous hole resulting in dead sapwood.
Each tap will produce about 1 qt of syrup per season.
When your sap starts to turn milky it is the sugar turning, and will result in darker syrup.
Cheers
Stephen
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: BBTom on March 07, 2014, 08:17:56 AM
 We`ve just received an updated calculation of the true cost of making Maple Syrup, with wood as a fuel source. While the actual cost of items will vary from region to region ,we believe that the overall figures should be accurate .
 
 
        Item
 
1.    Evaporator 2x4 ( Hobby Model ) ............$2,100.00
2.    Pipe, Installation........................... .............212.00
3.    Chain saw.................................... .............249.00
4.    Gas, maintenance for saw .........................144.00
5.    Four wheel drive pickup.........................12,379.00
6.    Maintenance for pickup..............................656 .00
7.    Insurance for pickup................................. .879.00
8.    Replace rear window of pickup (twice).........600.00
9.    Fine for cutting in Conservation area.........1000.00
10.  Fourteen Case Coors Light........................560.00
11.  Littering fine................................... ..........500.00
12.  Tow charge from wreck.............................175.0 0
13.  Overbilling from Doctor re:splinter in eye.....250.00
14.  Safety glasses................................ ...........29.50
15.  Overbilling from Doctor re:crushed toes......200.00
16.  Safety Boots.................................. .........175.00
17.  New Livingroom carpet............................1200. 00
18.  Chimney brush an Rods............................125.00
19.  Log splitting Maul................................... .....80.00
20.  Chiropractor fees re:back...........................750.00
21.  Log splitter............................... ..............1750.00
22.  Fifteen Acre woodlot.............................20,000.00
23.  Taxes on woodlot................................ .....900.00
24.  Buckets an Spiles ....................................   50.00
25   Containers with labels .............................1500.00
26.  Divorce Settlement ............................ 250,000.00
 
       Total first year`s Costs......................296,463.50
       Value of Maple Syrup sale`s First year......8,754.00
        First Year Profit or (Loss) .................(287,709.50)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: OH Boy on March 07, 2014, 08:36:32 PM
BBTom, You did make a lot of syrup on 50 bucks worth of buckets and spiles.

This is hilarious. don't be surprised if it starts showing up on other forums.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 08, 2014, 07:42:18 AM
Should be pretty nice here this afternoon, it's 34 now!

Tapping and hanging about 125 buckets today!

The pipeline should start dripping later today!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 08, 2014, 02:12:00 PM
Ice tea jugs stink to use for collecting sap. It freezes in them and won't come out until the sun melts it.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34694/IMG_0659.JPG)
 The tap on the north side never started flowing so I pulled it out plugged the hole and switched it to the south and all is well. Got about 5 1/2 gallons of sap between yesterday afternoon and this morning from the 6 taps. Cooking it down in my garage in a 5 gallon outdoor wok which seems to work ok. In the beginning some foam formed which I scooped it off and now am able to evaporate over a gallon a hour in the 24" wok. 


 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34694/IMG_0687.JPG)
  I would not recommend cooking it down inside as the mist is quite sticky and would make a mess. I have my doors open with a breeze blowing through and the vapor still sticks to everything. This is fun, off to tractor supply to get another 6 spies and a candy thermometer.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 08, 2014, 02:51:34 PM
This is fun, off to tractor supply to get another 6 spies and a candy thermometer.
:D  It's like the scene from Airplane, "I picked the wrong day to quit making syrup!" ;) :D  Looks great 21!  Get some kind of 'shield' around your burner and wok and I'll bet you'll see a faster burn. :)  Oh and I found shaking the snot out of the jugs will bust up the ice enough so you can at least pour out the sap into whatever storage you're using.  Depending on the amount of ice of course.

Finally got the taps in this afternoon.  The first pic was the first two taps, the second pic is the same jug 1 1/2 hours later! :o  Should have a mess of the stuff come this time tomorrow.  Gotta get hoppin on sap storage and my evaporator!

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000924_-_Copy.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000926_-_Copy.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000928_-_Copy.JPG)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 08, 2014, 03:15:09 PM
Well, we went over a little, we tapped and added 155 buckets, so now we have 879 taps on pipeline and the 155 buckets for a total of 1,034 taps!

A few of them were dripping today, so hopefully they'll be running tomorrow!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 08, 2014, 05:44:52 PM
for a total of 1,034 taps!
:o :o  Holy mackrel Chuck!  I'm thinking about doubling my taps to 24, only 1,010 til I catch up! ;) ;D  You might have said before but what kind of arch are you using?  Wood, gas or oil fired?
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 08, 2014, 07:09:03 PM
Not mine!

Belongs to my brother Jack!

The evaporator (arch) is 3' X 8', wood fired, made by Maple Pro and distributed by CDL of Vermont.

This outfit can evaporate around 70 gallons per hour!

I really enjoy helping out at the sugar shack!

There are a lot of rigs out there that are H U G E compared to this one!  :o
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 08, 2014, 07:56:06 PM
Well Chunk, here's a small one and low budget at that. Just want to make sure the wife can handle it all.
JohnM helped me out ALOT.
This is a front view of the cider block boiler
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/maple_2014.JPG)

This is with the SS steel top on and the SS frying pan.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/4maple2014.JPG)

With no pan

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/2maple2014.JPG)

boiling

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/boiling2014.JPG) 



Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 08, 2014, 08:54:55 PM
Well Chunk, here's a small one and low budget at that. Just want to make sure the wife can handle it all.
JohnM helped me out ALOT.
This is a front view of the cider block boiler
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/maple_2014.JPG)

This is with the SS steel top on and the SS frying pan.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/4maple2014.JPG)

With no pan

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/2maple2014.JPG)

boiling

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/boiling2014.JPG)
smiley_thumbsup  btw this hobby leads to weight gain...just sayin  :-\
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 08, 2014, 09:09:42 PM
thecfarm that is a good idea. I think I will make a plate like that for my wok tomorrow and get some cement blocks. The cost to keep doing it with propane will kill me. I cooked down 8 gallons of sap today and will be enjoying my first maple syrup on some homemade waffles tomorrow morning.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 08, 2014, 09:17:54 PM
21incher,JohnM is the brain of it all. See his #10 reply. I just copied it.
Side view



 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/side_viewmaple2014.JPG)

If the wife can do most of the work and take the time to do it,I might build one from steel. Kinda the same idea. Make it just a thick as the blocks,double wall,fill with sand and weld it all together. She might even get a small sugar shack too.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 09, 2014, 08:34:54 AM
Nice set up Cfarm  smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 09, 2014, 10:18:31 AM
Ray, there were two things that I couldn't answer well when we were talking yesterday.  You asked when do you stop tapping/boiling and I was saying I had to stop last year just because it was taking up too much time.  But the 'real' answer is the sap just stops running. :)

That other term I couldn't remember was 'sugar sand' or niter.  It collects on the bottom of the jars and looks just like what it says, a fine sand.  Doesn't really effect anything though.  Found this blog when I was trying to remember what it was.  I may try what they suggest on how to deal with the niter. http://puttingupwiththeturnbulls.com/2011/04/13/sugar-sand-chalk-it-up-to-learning-experience/

Anyone else have tips/tricks for niter? ???
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Woodboogah on March 09, 2014, 12:01:17 PM
The niter wont hurt you at all.  We filter it out with filter paper out of the evaporater before it goes into the finisher.  Its more of an aesthetics thing if you are using glass containers.  You could filter it with cheese cloth.  I have not tried it but some people use it.  I have tried wool filters but felt I was losing a lot of product in the filter itself.  Now we just buy rolls of filter paper and cut it to size.  Bascoms in alstead NH is where we purchase all out sugaring supplies.  They are online and ship out pretty quick
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: loggah on March 09, 2014, 03:20:32 PM
On the bigger evaporators you can switch your drawoff sides this helps keep your sugar sand  down,  we use the paper filters inside the felt  filters and can draw off a few times by changing the paper ones only.as far as the felt filters after you have filtered your syrup thru them ,just close them up and dip the bottoms in the boiling sap a few times this will get any syrup in them out, and the crap will still stay in the filter which can be washed out and dried and reused. Don
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 09, 2014, 05:30:44 PM
Looks like a nice setup you've got there Ray!  ;)  :)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 09, 2014, 05:41:57 PM
As I said,it all came from JohnM.  ;D
We're using paper filters too,coffee filters.  :D  Remember this is small scale.When we pour it out we have to use use 4-5-6 filters. But this is only about a quart and a half too. The filters plug up with junk and we just change it and put a new one on. It's gets filled up so bad the sap won't hardly even go through the filter. By the way we have no idea what we are doing, But DanG ain't we having fun.  ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: m wood on March 09, 2014, 07:53:35 PM
I like that attitude Ray.  I've been thinkin the last few years of doing the same scale (and knowlege base :D ) as you are doing.  Looks like a blast
mark
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 09, 2014, 07:57:38 PM
I should take another picture of about 6 hours of boil time. It's leaning a little and that SS top does not look like SS now. But it is working good,so far.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 10, 2014, 12:20:40 PM
As I said,it all came from JohnM.  ;D
Don't give me too much credit, Ray, I stole the idea from someone on youtube. ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 10, 2014, 01:05:51 PM
The trees have gone wild today. Temps rose to about 40 deg. and my 12 taps are now putting out about 2 1/2 gallons of sap a hour. I can only evaporate about 1 1/2 GPH so I am loosing the battle. JohnM I have just copied your top design and will be picking up some blocks shortly to be able to start using wood as the price of propane in small quantities has skyrocketed around here. Thanks.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 11, 2014, 09:34:52 AM
Well after a 16 hour day yesterday I got my first good batch of syrup
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34694/IMG_0696.JPG)
Put a shield around my burner and that helped speed things up until I switch over to wood
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34694/IMG_0698.JPG)
Did the final cooking down inside with a candy thermometer
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34694/IMG_0700.JPG)
My first homemade maple syrup. Just had waffles with the rest of it. Boy do I have a sugar buzz.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 11, 2014, 09:51:27 AM
My first homemade maple syrup. Just had waffles with the rest of it. Boy do I have a sugar buzz.
8) smiley_clapping  Congrats, 21!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 11, 2014, 03:49:16 PM
We have 46 here now, so sap is running, we'll be gathering it tonight after supper!

Didn't start running until Noon or so!

I'll try and check in when I get back from doing that and let you know how much sap we get!
EDIT:
All sap was gathered and we came up with 180-190 gallons, so that added to the 100 gallons that we've had in the sugarhouse, we now have almost 300 gallons!

We'll fire up the evaporator tomorrow afternoon!

Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 12, 2014, 09:12:43 AM
300 gallons? I would like to see pics of that evaporator. Yesterday my taps turned to a trickle and I only got about 3 gallons total. I wonder if it has anything to do with the weather staying above freezing the night before.
My first homemade maple syrup. Just had waffles with the rest of it. Boy do I have a sugar buzz.
8) smiley_clapping  Congrats, 21!
Thanks JohnM. If it wasn't for this topic on the forum that got me started, I probably would have put off trying to make syrup as I have done in previous years.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 12, 2014, 02:03:13 PM
21incher,you posted you have 12 taps? I only have 6. One tree is putting out a gallon a day. I get about half what you are getting. Than the other 5 have less than that. One tap I want to pull and move it. That one is real slow for some reason. Have not really had any great sap days. Most days might get into the high 30's at about 2. But not much sun and the wind will blow too.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 12, 2014, 05:24:15 PM
tcfarm , I started with 6 and the sap really was not running yet. Then added 6 more and the sap ran good for a day. 1 tap is a real winner it made about 1/2 gallon a hour with the sun on the tree 1 day and some just trickle. I had one on the north side that never made a drop and pulled it, plugged the hole and moved it to the south side and it started dripping. So far I have gotten about 46 gallons with most of it in 1 day. I now have a little over a gallon of syrup. My wife just made Maple cookies that are wonderful. As previously stated, this hobby will lead to weight gain.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 12, 2014, 06:19:19 PM
Well,kinda meek compared to what 21icher posted. But I'm still going to brag about it.  ;D

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/maple_syrup_2014.JPG)

This is not even a half of a pint. But DanG ain't it good.
The first batch,probably about that much,went a little too far and we got candy. But that is DanG good too.  :D  I put that right to me too. We do have a little more than a half pint in another jar,but that needs to be boiled just a little more.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 12, 2014, 06:51:19 PM
Congratulations on your first syrup. It is like liquid gold, every drop counts. Get 1 good day and you will have buckets of sap. Your syrup looks like it is a lot lighter color then mine.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 12, 2014, 07:11:49 PM
I thought I lost that post. I pressed post and little did I know post is also connected to the power grid.   :D  The power flickered and the computer went blank. We are having a heavy,wet snow storm.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 12, 2014, 07:47:09 PM
Here is supper, pancakes and bacon and maple syrup. Can't see the syrup,but I know for sure it is on there.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/panckes_and_bacon_and_maple_syrup_2014.JPG)

Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Peter Drouin on March 12, 2014, 08:11:13 PM
Here is supper, pancakes and bacon and maple syrup. Can't see the syrup,but I know for sure it is on there.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/panckes_and_bacon_and_maple_syrup_2014.JPG)




 smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 13, 2014, 07:49:21 AM
We boiled most of our sap down yesterday!

We started out with around 300 gallons and now we have the evaporator flooded and about 20 gallons left in the holding tank, so around 80-90 gallons.

Didn't get any syrup though, ran out of sap, can't boil down too close, when firing with wood!

So..... When we get another run of sap, it won't take much boiling time to start drawing off syrup!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 13, 2014, 03:25:32 PM
Here is supper, pancakes and bacon and maple syrup. Can't see the syrup,but I know for sure it is on there.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/panckes_and_bacon_and_maple_syrup_2014.JPG)
Nice job, Ray! 8)  We just got our internet back cause of the storm, what a mess.  Not much sap around here (7-8gal) but it sounds like it will start running this weekend before it cools off again next week (grrr).  I need to get my evaporator done so I can do a burn Sunday.

Chuck, you and brother are on a whole nother level! :D  I'd like to to see an operation like that sometime.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Billbob on March 14, 2014, 06:29:00 PM
Here is supper, pancakes and bacon and maple syrup. Can't see the syrup,but I know for sure it is on there.

Ok!!!  Now all yer doin' is makin' me hungry!!!!!  :laugh:
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 14, 2014, 07:48:41 PM
There are some evaporators that are  H U G E  compared to the one my brother has!

His will evaporate off 75 gal/hr!

Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 14, 2014, 11:00:00 PM
There are some evaporators that are  H U G E  compared to the one my brother has!

His will evaporate off 75 gal/hr!
I think I was getting lucky if I was getting 5gal/hr last year. :D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Red Good on March 14, 2014, 11:54:39 PM
Is anyone going to have  syrop for sale on the board when you get some ? I would like to get some if possible .  Red 
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: WDH on March 15, 2014, 07:15:13 AM
Check out this thread.

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,69787.msg1101425.html#msg1101425
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: nedly05 on March 15, 2014, 07:53:31 AM
Ive been involved in sugaring my whole life. My dad and grandfather had a 5x14 wood fired evaporator and 2500 taps. My dad and I now have a 4x12 leader inferno arch with revolution pans. We have just south of 1000 taps. Due to some conflicts with the season overlapping with the start of the season in our excavating business we decided not to tap this year, but its such an obsession for me that I bought a leader half pint and I am going to put up 25 buckets. My kids love it too, so I know its going to be a blast. My goal is 5 gallons! Just to be silly I might bring the automatic draw off down and put it on!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 15, 2014, 01:57:51 PM
With more sub-freezing weather coming for a few days, we went out this morning and gathered up what sap there was in the barrels and buckets.

We got about 120 gallons and it's stored in our feeder tank in the sugar house.

We've been keeping a fire in the woodstove to keep stuff from freezing up!

Supposed to start warming up again on Wednesday.

EDIT: We will boil this sap down tomorrow morning!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 16, 2014, 06:36:52 PM
Boiled this morning and got just under 2 gallons.

About 70 gallons remains in the evaporator awaiting the next sap-run!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 16, 2014, 07:44:24 PM
That's a lot of equipment for two gallons of syrup, Chuck! :D ;) ;D 

...awaiting the next sap-run!
The question is "When will that be??!" ??? ::)  This weather is beyond annoying.  It was above 40 yesterday and the sap barely ran, too cloudy and raw.  Mid 20s and a whipping wind today, trees said "Nope!"
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Stephen1 on March 16, 2014, 08:04:07 PM
That's a lot of equipment for two gallons of syrup, Chuck! :D ;) ;D 

...awaiting the next sap-run!
The question is "When will that be??!" ??? ::)  This weather is beyond annoying.  It was above 40 yesterday and the sap barely ran, too cloudy and raw.  Mid 20s and a whipping wind today, trees said "Nope!"
Not only do you need + and - temperatures, you also need a high pressure to squeeze the trees for a good run. That is why vacuums and lines, increases productions even in a low pressure.
North side of the trees will run, you just have to have patience, they usually start as the south side slows down.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 16, 2014, 08:54:19 PM
That's a lot of equipment for two gallons of syrup, Chuck! :D ;) ;D 

...awaiting the next sap-run!
The question is "When will that be?? !" ??? ::)  This weather is beyond annoying.  It was above 40 yesterday and the sap barely ran, too cloudy and raw.  Mid 20s and a whipping wind today, trees said "Nope!"

You can only boil what you have on hand!

Tuesday it's supposed to be up in the 30's and day hi-temps are not supposed drop below freezing (during the day) until Sunday!

Usually we'll gather between 400 & 800 gallons per day during a good run, but not yet, this year!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 16, 2014, 09:18:39 PM
Come about 6 hours North and those temps will change just enough to make things not happen. Don't look like a good next 4-5 days.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 17, 2014, 08:26:23 AM
Friday through sat afternoon it was above freezing here and I got about 20 gallons out of my 12 trees. With it being above freezing the first time overnight all 12 buckets were full and overflowing on the ground sat morning. Then came the wind and cold. The wind has finally stopped so today I will do my first wood fired boil after burning over 40 pounds of propane so far. I never realized that making maple syrup was so dependent on the weather.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 17, 2014, 08:31:44 AM
And snow too. Below freezing nights,above freezing with a bright sun,no wind and snow on the ground and that sap will run. I am only tapping 6 trees and the most I have got is no more than 2 gallons in a day. But the one warm day we had,we was gone for the day. Note "the one warm day" Most times it does not get above freezing here until noon,one o'clock. The temps will come.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 18, 2014, 06:13:08 AM
I kinda wonder about Maple Sunday this weekend. This is when the public will tour the sugar shacks. Will there be enough syrup for the public to buy? I am a very small scale,but even my 6 trees have not produced much. I have been to two of this yearly event and it's quite a turnout at each shack and that was just in my area here.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 18, 2014, 07:12:24 AM
Maybe the producers will have time to explain things to the attendees since they won't be real busy boiling!  ::)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: BBTom on March 18, 2014, 07:59:25 AM
I have cut back to about 450 taps this year and just finished tapping sat afternoon. 

Got almost 350 gallon of sap in that afternoon, and have collected about 75 more since then.  Today and tomorrow look good for sap flow and I will be cleaning up the Evaporator and RO so I can get the sap processed tomorrow.

I am normally shutting down around the 20th of March, this year it might be the first day of boiling.  Sooooo Strange. 
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 18, 2014, 08:49:08 AM
Made my wood cooker. I plasma cut 5 plates and welded them together and added a chimney from a old outdoor fireplace. Then set it on blocks like thecfarm.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34694/IMG_0746.JPG)
Fired it up yesterday and was able to boil 20 gallons in a little over 10 hours so my wok throughput went up. Had to add a couple of wind deflectors to keep things boiling in the wind.
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34694/IMG_0761.JPG)
I think what really helped was being to pre-warm the sap in the 30 quart turkey pan set on the corner
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34694/IMG_0771.JPG)
Adding the smell of a wood fire makes the whole experience better.

Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 18, 2014, 05:54:12 PM
Good job!! That looks good.We somehow got a quart of sap today.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 18, 2014, 06:47:57 PM
Good job!! That looks good.We somehow got a quart of sap today.
I put out my jugs this morning and had 6 gallons by 4:15 and it will stay warm tonight so I should have 12 more gallons overflowing by morning. I only taped my sugar maples and think that helps. We must be a little warmer then you and the trees don't really start to drip until the sun warms them. I am hoping to hit over 2 gallons of syrup this week and then will pull the taps and plug the holes and pack everything away until next year.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 18, 2014, 07:22:45 PM
We was barely above freezing today and maybe for all of 2 hours too.  ::) We have really only had 3-4 good days. and the most was 2 days than if froze up and 2 more days.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: loggah on March 18, 2014, 07:38:16 PM
I'm going to tap out tomorrow, the holes should be good For the rest of the season, no one around here has had any real runs yet!! we still got a foot and a half of snow.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: BBTom on March 18, 2014, 08:35:02 PM
I got about 450 taps in and started collecting saturday afternoon.  It was running good and I collected 350 gallon of sap by the time it froze up that evening.  Sunday didn't thaw out, Monday got about 75 gallon in the whole day.  Today was sunny and warm, the lines thawed out about noon, and I now have over 1000 gal of sap to run.  It should keep running all night, so I could have the entire 1700 gallon tank full by morning.  Now I need to clean out the RO and get it working.  Also need to rinse out the evaporator and  I should be boiling on Thursday. 

Good boiling to all!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 18, 2014, 10:34:50 PM
Good job!! That looks good.We somehow got a quart of sap today.
I put out my jugs this morning and had 6 gallons by 4:15 and it will stay warm tonight so I should have 12 more gallons overflowing by morning. I only taped my sugar maples and think that helps. We must be a little warmer then you and the trees don't really start to drip until the sun warms them. I am hoping to hit over 2 gallons of syrup this week and then will pull the taps and plug the holes and pack everything away until next year. 

Why are you going to pull the taps?   No need to pull the taps until the Maples start budding!
 
Furthermore why are you going to plug the holes?  The holes don't need to be plugged, they will stop running and heal a lot before they get tapped next Spring!

We had 50 here, late this afternoon, so we'll probably start getting enough sap to boil each day, until Sunday, when it's supposed to start cooling off again!

Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 19, 2014, 03:00:28 PM
Chuck my original goal was to make 1 gallon of syrup and I have over doubled that. Every day it is getting muddier and muddier in my back yard making it harder to get the sap up the hill to boil. and it is starting to become more like a job then hobby, so I am quitting for the year. I figured that plugging the holes would keep the sap from pouring on the ground and attracting ants that may like the moist wood. I got 12 gallons this morning, 5 gallons at noon and probably another 5 gallons this afternoon and then I quit until next year. The sap also seems to be getting a little cloudy today. I am really surprised to have gotten over 90 gallons of sap from 12 trees over the past couple of weeks.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 19, 2014, 06:10:24 PM
You did good. And,yes,keep it fun. We boiled down a batch from about 4-5 days ago.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 19, 2014, 09:45:41 PM
21Incher, you've done good!

What the heck, with the outfit we have, we've only made 2 gallons.

When the sap gets cloudy, bacteria is starting to form (sap's still good though) and the syrup will be a little darker!

We should be getting a good run tomorrow or Friday and by the end of the weekend it's supposed to turn cold again!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 19, 2014, 10:22:18 PM
Well I got my "arch" (using the term quite loosely  :D) done and did a test burn with just water.  I lucked out, all I had to do was remove the 'chimney' from last years set-up and the barrel fit just right! 8)  The 8 or so gals I have in a cooler outside is frozen solid and so are my collection jugs.  Hoping to do my first run Saturday but will only have maybe 15-20gals of sap. :(  We'll see what happens.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000937_-_Copy.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000940_-_Copy.JPG) 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000950_-_Copy.JPG)
The pans are crooked and cock-eyed but it seems to work. ;D

And congrats 21!  Fun ain't it! ;D  Btw if you stop now it'll haunt you the rest of the season knowing that there is sap flowing and you're not collecting. ;) :D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Stephen1 on March 20, 2014, 12:01:41 AM
Chuck, we are very similar. No sap yet. We have everything tapped, 265 taps. And the weather doesn't look like it will break till next late...fingers are crossed
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 20, 2014, 08:43:53 AM
All we can do in this area is hope, but I think that once it breaks loose, it'll be fast and furrious!

If everything ran like it did on the big runs last year, we'd gather around 800 gallons per day, and sometimes may even 1,000!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 20, 2014, 09:25:43 AM
Looks good John. Did you put sand in bottom of the barrel? Are those cement blocks the same you used last year for a fire? Mine are all break up and hay wired together. But I'm still a boiling.   ;D  I might build one out of metal just about the same size as the cement block one. I will use fire brick inside. Use some thick metal inside and sheet metal on the outside, Fill in between the 2 metal with sand.We'll see,she is not done this season yet. I do plan on going around on Maple Sunday this week. Who knows where we will end up.
We did buy some lids to cover the buckets.Good thing with the mist we are getting. Last week when it snowed we just tied plastic grocery bags around the cans.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 20, 2014, 02:04:29 PM
Nice arch John. I really like the idea that the combustion chamber is sealed. I tried mine again in the high winds yesterday and could not get it to boil so I am now finishing up with propane in my garage. Next year I will rebuild my arch to be like a woodstove like yours. The funny thing is last fall I sold a double barrel woodstove on craigslist for $40.00 because it got so hot I was afraid it would burn my pole barn down. It always happens that the minute you get rid of something you have a use for it. Hopefully you get some warm days soon but from the long-term forecast I saw they are calling for the cold to stay around until Easter. I really got lucky with those couple of 50 deg sunny days and warm nights that filled my jugs quickly. Taps are out, holes are plugged and I am enjoying the syrup. My wife has been making cookies, cakes, & frosting with it. I no longer feel that $50.00 for a gallon of syrup is expensive, It should be twice that !
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: BBTom on March 20, 2014, 04:05:31 PM
Today being March 20th is the day that I normally am boiling my last batch of sap.  This year I am boiling my first batch of sap.  What a year it has been so far. 

Got everything cleaned up and started the burners at 12:30 this afternoon,  I am having some problems getting the syrup through the filter press due to very fine sugar sand that I normally get at the beginning of the season.  I shut down at 3:45 with about 15 gallon of syrup made so far. 

It is true that I have a nice sugar shack and all the fancy equipment, so on and etc, but I envy you guys that are making a couple gallon of syrup and shutting down when you have enough.  When it becomes a business, it isn't near as much fun as when it is a hobby. 

Good luck and great boiling to all.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 20, 2014, 09:35:26 PM
Did you put sand in bottom of the barrel?
No but I'm gonna now! ;) :D  Was going to get some fire bricks but in the interest of saving money this year it's going to be the one bag of sand I already have.  The bottom of the barrel was glowing red. ;D
Are those cement blocks the same you used last year for a fire?
Yep, didn't move a thing except the one that held the pipe. :)  I'm going to get some stove door gasket to fill the gaps between the bottom edge of the pans and the barrel.  Try to keep the heat right against the pans.  Going to tap several more trees cause I'm guessing once the weather breaks the sap season will be pretty short.

BBTom, the post office called me this afternoon, the taps went to the wrong address (721 instead of 722) and they said it was short 20 whole cents. ;D  My wife will pick them up in town tomorrow.  Why our carrier couldn't make the simple correction and put it in our mailbox we'll never know. ::)   (I worked for the PO one summer years ago, I can say without a doubt it is the most poorly run organization and toxic working conditions (mental not physical) I've ever seen.  There's a reason for the term "Going Postal!" :-X)

I no longer feel that $50.00 for a gallon of syrup is expensive, It should be twice that !
:D  Yup!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 21, 2014, 08:31:18 AM
The reason I asked about the cement blocks,is that mine are all cracked already. Wire is my friend. I did put the sand into them as you said. Maybe town sand is diffeant than play sand.  :D
Above freezing,but the wind is blowing and some dark clouds out there. Might get some snow today.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 21, 2014, 10:15:53 AM
Cinder blocks, used to make a fire pit are usually temporary, they won't take the heat but they will usually last long enough to get your syrup made!

Putting a few wire twists around them makes them last a little longer!

If you were to make something permanent, it would need to be lined with fire brick!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 21, 2014, 11:41:42 AM
Yes chunk,see post #116. I just want to make sure the wife wants to do this, She gets all fired up to do something,than I pour money and time into and than she says Oh this is way too much work.   :o  Yep,just as I told her.  ::) I really don't have the time to do it. But than I am the one that has to cut the wood up for it.
The blocks I brought are really taken a beating. They may not last the season. I think we only boiled 4-5 times. And than no more than 3 hours at a time. Just about to go out and start it up. We have quite a bit to boil. What I mean is we have saved it for 4-5-6 days. Than most times we did not get much more than a quart.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 21, 2014, 01:17:21 PM
I don't know if it makes a difference but I used 4 inch solid blocks for mine but only burned it twice. Once for 12 hours and then again for 6 hours and the blocks did not crack or crumble. Final total was 22 pint mason jars hot packed and 1 quart in the fridge  :). The last batch of sap had a much higher sugar content then the first batches and made more syrup with less sap. Took 80 lbs of propane and about 1/4 face cord of slab wood. Thanks for all the help everyone.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 21, 2014, 05:58:09 PM
21incher,I noticed that. But someone suggested I go 3 block high so I could get more wood in and have more heat. Seems to be working fine. As long as the wire holds it all together.  ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 21, 2014, 10:25:04 PM
Ray, I was thinking (it happens sometimes!), the sand from the town likely has salt in it (ours does) and I'm betting that leads to more cracking in your blocks.  The 'thinking' part is the salt retains water and when it heats up it expands that much more.  Just a 'thought'.  All my blocks cracked last year but only the one with the pipe cracked on both sides.

I'd say whoever suggested going three blocks high owes you some blocks! ::) ;) ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 22, 2014, 08:07:01 AM
I betcha right with the town sand.Three blocks does work better, higher,don't have to bend over so much,can get more snow covered wood in too.  ;D Next year be better. I should be all set now. I think the ground is all thawed out under the blocks now. It just about fell over twice. We got almost a pint yesterday. BUT that was from collecting for 3-4 days too. We did not start a fire for about 5 days.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 22, 2014, 07:52:23 PM
Above freezing, snow and wind here today!

We gathered enough sap to make 5 gallons of syrup today!  8)

Now the weather reports call for freezing temps for the next few days!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 22, 2014, 07:55:14 PM
I think my high was 33 here today.  ::)  And that was not until about 2 o'clock. The wind blew hard here today. I checked one bucket, did not bother with the rest.
Of all the years to try to get some syrup,I had to pick this one.  :)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 5quarter on March 24, 2014, 12:15:02 AM
I can finally join in the fun! Sap finally started running this afternoon. Got in 10 taps and this evening collected about 6 gallons. a couple trees are running fast, others are just now getting outta bed.  :D I'll get in another 10-12 taps in the morning before work and get my burner set up by the wood shed. next couple days look real good weatherwise so I'm hoping for a decent run.. it ain't spring til the saps boilin!  ;) :D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 24, 2014, 08:58:47 AM
We finally boiled on Sat.  The arch worked great, the digital thermometer not so much.  Hit 217 outside brought everything in in two big pots, about 3.5gal.  I started with about 20gal of sap so the 3+gallons didn't seem right. :-\  Started to boil one of the pans on the stove and the temp quickly climbed to 220, then 225 and then 234.  Took the batteries out of the thermometer, corroded connection.  Thermometer in the trash. >:(

Put everything in the frig and came back to it last night.  Had another thermometer, got everything boiling again and 2.5hrs later we 'canned' three and a half quarts of syrup (nearly a full gal! 8))!  That's pretty darn good for 20 (+/-1gal) of sap.  It's not the cleanest batch, most of the sap was over two weeks old (but frozen solid for most of that time) and I think I'm getting quite a bit of 'debris' (read: ash ::)) from my arch.  I needed new filters for each quart.

Pancakes for breakfast this morning! 8) ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 24, 2014, 09:24:46 AM
That sounds good John. End of the week looks good for us sapers.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 24, 2014, 09:48:55 AM
JohnM I am glad you finally got enough to boil and that arch worked out. I also noticed that the first sap I boiled took about 40 gals to make a gallon of syrup, and then the last batch only took a little over 30 gallons of sap per gallon of syrup. Makes me wonder if the trees are trying to make up for all the bad weather. I was going to purchase a digital thermometer but wound up buying a glass and mercury candy thermometer and after hearing your story am glad I did. Enjoy your syrup :)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: OH Boy on March 24, 2014, 08:50:52 PM
For our 200 taps, we had some great runs last week. about 400 gallons of sap and took me all weekend to boil it down. guess that means I need to build a faster evaporator. just to warn you "newbies", this seems to be a very addictive habit and you just seem to want more taps and boil it faster. I think we're going to wind down soon with the weather here though. Been a better season than I thought it was going to be. I'll keep taps in until the trees bud.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 24, 2014, 09:05:57 PM
This newbie wallet only has so much money to spend on sapping. No matter what the wife thinks.  ::)  This sapper is not about to go out and spend a bunch of money on boiling when I can go about 15 minutes from me and flop down about $20 and buy a quart of it. Or whatever a quart cost.  :D The wife is looking at 2x4 and 2x6.   ::) I did not even know what that was last week.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Alcranb on March 24, 2014, 10:00:28 PM
Cfarm, what's 4 grand for an evaporator?  ;D besides your close enough you can pick it up and save yourself shipping charges maybe even bring the bride and take her out for lunch  smiley_love
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 24, 2014, 10:04:29 PM
I will tell the wife.  ::)  Is that a 2x4 or 2x6  :D
But I think I will build a small sugar shack for her. It will look just like a big one,but about 6 feet wide by 8 feet long,I think. With the vented roof top and all. I have the trees,I have a sawmill. I have some steel roofing that was going to be used on another horse run in, but sold the horse. So I have the steel.I want to build her a boiler. Just about the same size as the cement block one that she is using.

We went to Maple Sunday,6 sap houses,and only one was using wood for fuel.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 25, 2014, 06:39:11 PM
We went to Suga Country products in Vassalboro today.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/suga_country_products_2014.JPG)

Note the sign,Custom Milling. He has a LT15. I did not have a chance to talk to him. Looks like he had some white pine logs piled up. A customer had a leak in his arch and he was dealing with that problem. His wife did know what he had for a mill. Some wife's I ask and they say,I don't know,it's a sawmill.  ;D

She had me buy her something.Ten sap buckets.

 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/sap_buckets.JPG)

We have seen some others,but these looked like new inside. Nice and clean. Prices were was very good. Much better than the hardware stores we have been going too.  ::) Also 2 more covers and a 3 foot square piece of filter cloth. She said it would work much better than our coffee filters.  ;D
It was a good day for a ride. I hour to get there. Sap did run,might of got a quart from 8 taps. Looks like the end of the week things will start to happen.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 25, 2014, 07:04:58 PM
Sounds like a nice road trip, Ray.  Wish there was a place like that in Bangor or nearby.  Closest that I know of is Kinney Maple Supplies in Knox.  I want a hydrometer so I can stop guessing when it's syrup! >:( ;D :D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 25, 2014, 07:09:17 PM
Brenda wants one too.  ::) If I'm a paying ,it ain't gonna happen. The hydrometer is not all that bad, But the thing that is needed to dip the sap and than put the hydrometer into is the killer. Seem like $30.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 25, 2014, 07:32:41 PM
Brenda wants one too.  ::) If I'm a paying ,it ain't gonna happen. The hydrometer is not all that bad, But the thing that is needed to dip the sap and than put the hydrometer into is the killer. Seem like $30.

If you buy the metal or glass ones, they cost a lot, but you can also get them, made of clear plastic!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 25, 2014, 07:39:20 PM
They did not have the plastic ones. Or she did not mention it. I think she would of the way I acted when she said how much.  ;)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Alcranb on March 25, 2014, 07:44:35 PM
If you have a home brew supplier close by they should have a hydrometer and container to go with it.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 25, 2014, 07:54:57 PM
Here's all you need for the hydrometer!

These are plastic and range in price from $8.50-$8.99


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hydrometer-Test-Jar-Cup-Bottle-Plastic-Wine-Beer-Wasted-Proof-Tralle-Without-Lid-/221358257444
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 25, 2014, 08:08:46 PM
If you have a home brew supplier close by they should have a hydrometer and container to go with it.
I know nothing about hydrometers but a friend offered me his beer hydrometer and that one, at least, didn't cover the 'range' that syrup falls into.  Judging by Chuck's post there are quite a few options out there.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 25, 2014, 08:17:54 PM
Might be a reason why the 6 sap houses we went too all had the stainless steel ones. Maybe the plastic ones don't keep the heat as a SS ones. I sure don't know.
We have questioned all 6 places we went too and the one that sells supplies about getting the syrup just right. If you are just making it for yourself and you like the way it taste than what more do you want? Good point,I thought.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Alcranb on March 25, 2014, 08:40:08 PM
I used my brew hydrometer years ago in a deep Tupperware container as I was afraid the plastic hydrometer container wouldn't be able to handle the heat of the syrup. Learned three things, one the hydrometer once calibrated worked, two....what a mess, more stuff to clean and three, just like you said Cfarm, just making it for ones self. So long as it looks and most importantly taste good who cares?!!
I found after a while you get an idea of when it's right by the looks of the boil, how it slides off the spoon and of course how it taste. I only do it for myself and those who I've given some to have never complained  :)
Hey, it's suppose to be a fun hobby right?  :D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on March 25, 2014, 08:42:38 PM
My local tractor supply sells the stainless cup listed here http://www.tapmytrees.com/starter-kit.html . I hope they go on clearance soon because they have quite a few left.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 25, 2014, 08:49:14 PM
The TSC stores that I go to did not have much at all. One only had an end cap and was all gone. That price on the test cup looked good. The splies I brought today was $2 bucks each.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 25, 2014, 08:59:19 PM
The problem with the stainless steel hydrometer cups is you can't read the hydrometer through them!

When you use the hydrometer to test your syrup, the syrup is only 60F or just over!

edit:  Certainly not hot enough to melt the cup.

We fill our plastic test cup right out of the draw-off and it hasn't melted or deformed yet!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 25, 2014, 09:06:44 PM
I'm sorry Chunk. I don't know the lingo. I must have the wrong word. Normal for me.  ::)  The thingy I'm talking about is put into syrup at 217-219. To see if you have syrup. I saw it done Sunday. At 2 diffeant places. They dipped a dipper into the pan and poured the syrup into the test cup with the thingy in the test cup. This thingy floated and a red mark was read. It was well above the top of the cup to read. The test cup was just about full too.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: BBTom on March 25, 2014, 10:22:37 PM
Save yourself many many headaches and buy a syrup refractometer that reads from about 50 to about 80.  Maple syrup is supposed to be 66. 

A refractometer only takes a couple drops of syrup and reads directly when you look thru the lens.  I think it is the best syrup making purchase I ever made.  I see some on ebay for 35 to 100 bucks.  I paid over 300 for mine and would do so again in a minute.  I have several hydrometers and cups hanging on the wall just in case, but they have never been used. 

I have a refractometer that reads from 0 to 20 also,  to check the brix of the sap or concentrate. 

Brix = % dissolved solids = sugar content
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 5quarter on March 28, 2014, 12:13:02 AM
Hi guys...y'all must be at the sugar shack.  ;) :D :D Just getting in from boiling this evening. getting off about six gallons an hour. I need to stop dipping into the sweet sap or I won't have anything to make syrup out of.  :D :D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 28, 2014, 07:23:20 AM
We have 36 here now, so we should be out gathering this afternoon!  :)

Looking good, out into next week!  8)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 5quarter on March 28, 2014, 08:54:54 AM
Chuck...how many gallons have you gotten so far? Next week looks pretty good for us too. Hoping for another 100 gallons, but we'll see. It's been hit and miss this year.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 28, 2014, 09:23:26 AM
I'm kind of scared my taps have dried up/closed up.  Didn't get anything yesterday, that I could see, it was above freezing and sunny but a cold wind.  Should see some today (I think ???) but it's cloudy and raining so not sure.  I'll put out more taps tomorrow hoping this coming week is "The One"! ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 28, 2014, 09:30:16 AM
I got the wind here too. That might button the sap up for a while.  :(
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: ryguy777 on March 28, 2014, 12:31:34 PM
well ive got a little over 50 taps out this year, ive boiled once. it really hasn't been a good year for this area. boiling didn't go quit as planed. one of the previous owners of my pan decided it was a good idea to solder a divider and a handle with wire solder... its not lead, too shinny and I brang it to my welding teacher to make sure. I can still boil with it but I should weld it up. made some really good dark amber syrup. my block arch with my old pan worked really well ill try to post pictures soon.  now that ive got the rest of the family excited about sugaring there all wanting to start tapping.  hoping to build a small sugar shack this summer and an evaporator out of a 275 oil tank
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 28, 2014, 02:51:34 PM
We've got 42 here now and the sap is just starting to drip.

So, the trees are starting to warm up, and by the end of tomorrow we should gather at least 200-300 gallons of sap.

So far we've made 8 gallons of med. amber and the pans are still flooded, so all we need now is fresh sap!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 28, 2014, 03:16:09 PM
That funny Chunk. You made 8 gallons of syrup and I have collected about 8 gallons of sap. The wife wanted some more trees taps. We are up to 10 taps now.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 28, 2014, 07:55:42 PM
Saps running now.  It's 43 now, so I don't expect the trees to freeze too hard through the night!

Should be a good gathering tomorrow afternoon!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 28, 2014, 09:31:15 PM
Wife did a small batch last week sometime. Came out kinda thick. She had about an inch in a pint jar. Less than half of that is gone. Someone keeps grabbing a spoon and they open up the fridge and unscrew the cover and put a spoon into that jar. Man,that is mighty good. And than some!!
She did another batch today. About of a mason jar. Let's see if that will slow the Maple Syrup Bandit down a little.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 29, 2014, 07:24:30 PM
Well, sugaring didn't go very well today!

We gathered all of the sap today and only ended up with 160 gallons, so we boiled it down and ended up with around 4 more gallons of syrup and shut down with about 100 gallons of sap in the pans and holding tank!

It didn't help with the overcast skys and the barometer reading 30+ all day!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on March 29, 2014, 07:53:06 PM
Maybe that is why I did not get much today.  :(  We have got more at 34 for one day than we did today at 50. One tap will give us about 3-4 inches in the bucket. Last time I checked,it barely covered the bottom.  :o
At this rate the Bandit is eating it faster than she can make it.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 29, 2014, 10:46:47 PM
Maybe that is why I did not get much today.  :(  We have got more at 34 for one day than we did today at 50. One tap will give us about 3-4 inches in the bucket. Last time I checked,it barely covered the bottom.  :o
At this rate the Bandit is eating it faster than she can make it.
It's weird how this stuff works, this was our best day so far.  Couple of the jugs were overflowing this morning and again this afternoon.  Had hoped to do a boil tomorrow but the weather doesn't look good til Tue.  Was cutting on the mill most of the day in a t-shirt!! 8)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 30, 2014, 07:35:56 AM
Lots of things affect the sap flow!

Barometric pressure and temperature are the most noticable!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GAB on March 30, 2014, 02:06:48 PM
 Chuck White Said:
Lots of things affect the sap flow!

Barometric pressure and temperature are the most noticable!

The wind is also a factor.  A south wind is a drying wind as far as sap flow is concerned.
Gerald
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 30, 2014, 03:23:10 PM
Chuck White Said:
Lots of things affect the sap flow!

Barometric pressure and temperature are the most noticable!

The wind is also a factor.  A south wind is a drying wind as far as sap flow is concerned.
Gerald


Very true Gerald.

It can be up to 40 or even a little higher and if the wind blows much more than a breeze, the sap will stop running!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: BBTom on March 31, 2014, 08:01:43 AM
I am thinking that this will be the last decent run of the season for me.  Temps are not supposed to be below freezing for the next week and by then, the trees should start to bud.  The soft maples have already started to bud, so I have pulled the taps from them.  I collected about 600 gallon sap yesterday and expect better days today and tomorrow. 

My season total of syrup is up to 65 gallon so far with another 25 gallon in sap and concentrate form.  Overall it does not look like a very good year.  I had hoped to hit 150 gallon of syrup for the year and it doesn't look like we will get much over 100.  We will take what Mother Nature gives and be thankful for what we got.

Happy boiling to all.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: loggah on March 31, 2014, 07:14:04 PM
I gave up on it this year, between the weather and snow ,and being in the flood plain. I did tap 1 tree just to check on the run, it aint happening around here yet,i have had 1 1/2" in the bucket, thats it so far. :(
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GDinMaine on March 31, 2014, 09:01:19 PM
You guys made me do it too.  Actually JohnM and his wife lent us five taps and we made about a quart of syrup. Hopefully a very good run is coming up over the next 6-7 days with below freezing at night, but 30's and 40's during the day.  I would love to have over a gallon of syrup at the end of the season.  I already plan on a much bigger operation next year, because that stuff disappears so fast.   ::)

Here is what I use to boil off the sap.  I work with what I have.



 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/24706/Maple_syrup1_sm.jpg)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on March 31, 2014, 09:45:25 PM
You guys made me do it too.  Actually JohnM and his wife lent us five taps and we made about a quart of syrup. Hopefully a very good run is coming up over the next 6-7 days with below freezing at night, but 30's and 40's during the day.  I would love to have over a gallon of syrup at the end of the season.  I already plan on a much bigger operation next year, because that stuff disappears so fast.   ::)

Here is what I use to boil off the sap.  I work with what I have.



 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/24706/Maple_syrup1_sm.jpg)
Been meaning to call and see how it went, that pan fits perfect! 8)  Did you have to modify the top of the stove at all or just luck out?  I've got more taps if you want em for this week, metal like the ones we gave you or the plastic ones I got from BBTom (you'd need tubing for those).  Temps look good for us this week, we'll see.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on March 31, 2014, 10:45:36 PM
I had other stuff to do (accompany wifey to Bingo) so I didn't get to gather the sap this evening.

The other guys did though, about 400 gallons and we'll gather another possible 800 gallons tomorrow and then start boiling!

Should make lots of syrup!

I'm pretty sure season will be short lived, so we'll get it while the gettin's good!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on April 01, 2014, 08:14:15 AM
GDinMaine they also made me try it this year. It is like sawing, once the syrup gets in your mouth you are hooked for life and start planning to expand your operation next year.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GDinMaine on April 01, 2014, 09:27:35 AM
...once the syrup gets in your mouth you are hooked for life ...
Right you are.  I have been hooked on syrup for many years but now I'm getting hooked on the production too.  I didn't really need another hobby but it's so addictive.






 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/24706/Maple_syrup1_sm.jpg)
Did you have to modify the top of the stove at all or just luck out?

It was pure luck that the large pan fits right into the stove.  I just took the top plate off the stove and I was in business.  It only boils off about 1 gallon per hour, but I don't mind.  It's plenty good to get my feet wet.  Have an oil drum that has been sitting around for 10+ years.  I think it will be put to good use next season.


Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 01, 2014, 09:35:19 AM
We have been only boiling about a gallon at a time too. Just becuse that's all we have been getting each day.  ::)   She did have about 3 gallons gathered from 3-4 days. She had a deeper pot that she used,than when it got down to about a gallon,it went into the small pan so she could keep track of it better. Hope this week will be better. Wind is blowing.  :(
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 01, 2014, 02:15:05 PM
Doing a boil now and the sap is running like mad! 8)  Put in three more taps for a grand total of 15 in 9 trees.  I'm thinking this week will be it so I'm getting what I can get. :)

Had a question for the pro's.  Plug or not to plug?  Do you guys fill/plug your tap holes?  And if you do with what kind of wood? (meaning does it have to be maple?)  I've read/seen/heard pros/cons for both.  I didn't plug mine last year, some are half closed up and some don't looked closed at all.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 01, 2014, 04:57:02 PM
Glad your is running like mad. Mine is crawling like happy.  ::) Not doing much yet. As I said,did better 2 weeks ago than now. But that wind is still blowing,it feels warm out. It's not a cold wind.Brought a digital thermometer. The glass candy one was broke. So had to buy something. And as you said,much easier. She is finishing off a batch now.
I don't plan on plugging mine. Seem like someone on here said not too.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GAB on April 01, 2014, 07:37:17 PM
Got my best sap run of the year today.  It averaged just a smidgen above a gallon of sap per tap.
Checked 3 different pails for sugar content and got readings of 3.9, 3.6, and 3.7.  For me that is very respectable.
JohnM: I have never plugged a tap hole yet and do not plan on starting any time soon.
As an FYI: I've been involved in sugaring for over 50 years and have never seen my grand parents, uncles or my dad plug a tap hole ever.
Gerald
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 01, 2014, 11:50:04 PM
Sap was running really good until midafternoon today.

Sky was completely overcast and the sap all but quit running!

We gathered this morning and again around 5:00PM and gathered around 850 gallons.

With the 850 gallons + what we had already, we boiled all day and ended up making 23 gallons of syrup!

Tomorrow (mid-morning) we'll start bottling up in gallons, halves, & quarts!

Then see whether the sap will run again or not!

Whew, what a day, bed will feel good tonight!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 02, 2014, 07:02:23 AM
We'll go to the sugar house a little later on this morning and bottle-up most of the syrup we have on hand!

That job goes pretty quick, just seems tedious!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 02, 2014, 06:03:23 PM
Well, so far, we've made 40 gallons of syrup!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 02, 2014, 06:06:20 PM
Well, as of now, we've made 4 pints of syrup!
That my small scale sap boiling.  ;D  But boy it's mighty good. And than some!! Still not getting any huge amounts. Only have 10 taps,but get 3 gallons a day???
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 02, 2014, 08:36:04 PM
Sap storage was (is? :-\) becoming a problem so I saw-all'd the top off a barrel a friend had given me last year.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000974_-_Copy.JPG)

And between yesterday and today it's over half full! :o ;D

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000973_-_Copy.JPG)

This is what we've got so far

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/17161/P1000978_-_Copy.JPG)
...minus the stuff we've eaten, what's in the syrup dispenser and we gave a pint to a neighbor.  Nears as I can tell we're getting around a 20:1 ratio, pretty happy with that. :)  Only problem is I'm going to be boiling more than I expected...there are worse problems to have. ;D ;)

Ray, I can't understand why your trees aren't running better. ???  Do they have full sun?  Down in a hollow?  This should be prime time with the cold nights/warm days.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 02, 2014, 08:43:44 PM
Yep,full sun. Most are first in line. The sun shines bright on the trees at high noon. But most are not much bigger than a foot across too. No hollow. But we would be in the storing part too if we had more.

Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 02, 2014, 08:53:18 PM
 

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10436/across_garage2013thecfarm1.jpg)

This is just about the area,just a little to the right,but it's all cut the same way.I am up by the house taking the picture,than the driveway,than the trees that you see. I think we might have a tap in that tree on the far right.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 04, 2014, 07:47:45 AM
We gathered just over 500 gallons of sap last night, so we'll boil it all down today.

We should draw off 10 - 12 gallons of syrup today!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 04, 2014, 06:43:00 PM
Made another 12 gallons of syrup (med amber) today, then gathered sap again and got just over 400 gallons, so we'll boil that down tomorrow!

Mud is getting quite common around here and it's raining right now.

Sometimes when it rains, the mud will stiffen up!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 04, 2014, 08:34:24 PM
Man oh man oh man oh man.I could not take it any longer. Temptation did me in. Finishing off some maple syrup in the house.Man oh man oh man oh man,there I go again!! That smells up the whole house!! That needs to be a scent with those so called candles.Wife made some biscuits. A biscuits,lots of butter and lots of maple syrup. In the microwave and I stood in front of the microwave with the door open and shoveled it right in,before I came too,to where I was and what I was doing. Man oh man oh man oh man,that is mighty good. And than some!!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 05, 2014, 07:28:56 AM
Sounds like you're right into it Ray!

I think Maple Syrup is one of those things you can taste before you even open your mouth!  ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: 21incher on April 05, 2014, 08:26:21 AM
Man oh man oh man oh man.I could not take it any longer. Temptation did me in. Finishing off some maple syrup in the house.Man oh man oh man oh man,there I go again!! That smells up the whole house!! That needs to be a scent with those so called candles.Wife made some biscuits. A biscuits,lots of butter and lots of maple syrup. In the microwave and I stood in front of the microwave with the door open and shoveled it right in,before I came too,to where I was and what I was doing. Man oh man oh man oh man,that is mighty good. And than some!!

I did my first boiling in my garage with the doors open and I think the whole garage got a coating of maple vapor. 4 weeks later it still smells like maple syrup in there, every time I go out there my mouth starts watering and I get a syrup craving. I think it is addictive.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: MikeON on April 05, 2014, 11:52:09 AM
I've been boiling sap on a sawdust burner. 

Sap boiling:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcaGD9NLc2w

The burner:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bda-S2-Lq2g

It has a 30 gallon burner inside a 55 gallon drum.  The outer drum contains the heat and holds the dishpan full of sap.  Usually get about 3 gallons of syrup from 9 trees.  The burner starts out real hot and gradually tapers off. Burns about 5 hours on sawmill dust or planer chips.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 05, 2014, 12:09:08 PM
Looks like a good idea.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Permaculturist on April 05, 2014, 08:35:52 PM
We're getting about 5 gallons of sap per day from 10 taps right now, and we're cooking it down on an open fire.  This is our first year collecting sap.  Most of our trees are still on the small side for tapping, but I've been looking into tapping saplings under vacuum using "sap caps".  I did a few tests with a hand vacuum pump, and got just as much sap from a topped 1.5" sapling or a 1.5" branch stump as I do from a 10" tree with a spile in it.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/36059/20140329_1352285B15D.jpg)

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/36059/20140329_1354245B15D.jpg)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/36059/20140328_1120155B15D.jpg)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/36059/20140404_1804125B15D.jpg)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 06, 2014, 07:40:45 AM
Half-gallon a day is good, but when it really runs, I've seen it fill and even over-run the bucket!

You should be able to make some good syrup!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 06, 2014, 09:00:19 AM
Nice work, Perma!  Fun ain't it! :D

We put up another gal (+a half pint) of syrup yesterday and have enough sap for at least one more gal.  Leaving the taps in for now but can imagine we'll see much more judging by the forecast.

I meant to mention this book earlier in the thread/season. ;D  "Backyard Sugarin'" by Rink Mann.  It's a small little book, about 90pgs, over half is which is showing different evporator ideas.  He preaches keeping it simple and cheap! ;D  It was really helpful for me last year.  (...better late than never, right? ;D ::))
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Gregg Huffman on April 06, 2014, 11:22:46 AM
What's the best way to store maple syrup? I made a gallon of it and wondered how long it would last in the fridge.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 06, 2014, 11:27:27 AM
How much freezer space you got? Could freeze up 3 quarts and leave one quart out.
Could can it too. But don't know the in and outs of it.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 06, 2014, 12:00:45 PM
Canning syrup is most likely the simplest canning job there is!

1. Get yourself adequate number of jars with lids and some new seals!

2. Put your syrup in a pot on the kitchen range and bring it to a boil.

3. Jars all clean!  Pour syrup into the jars and put the seals and lids on them!

4. Let the jars cool down, then put them wherever they are to be stored.

DONE !

The easiest and fastest way to preserve it is to place the jug of syrup in the freezer!
It will get might thick, but it won't freeze solid!

If you have any syrup that get a light mold on the top, don't throw it out, pour it into a pot and bring it to a boil and skim the stuff off the top and re-can it!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Gregg Huffman on April 06, 2014, 01:23:06 PM
Thanks guys!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 06, 2014, 02:26:51 PM
Sap's running pretty good right now, so we'll be out gathering again in about another hour!

Looks like another 500 gallon gather!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GAB on April 06, 2014, 08:51:03 PM
To All:
Do not freeze maple syrup in glass jars unless it is at 39 when hot on the syrup hydrometer.
If you do the probability of broken jars is better than 1 to 2.
Of course the freezer temperature will affect the outcome to a certain extent.
Don't ask me how come I know.
Like someone else said just can it, and put it away in a safe place.
Gerald
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 06, 2014, 08:53:06 PM
The wind blew here for 2 days. A cold wind too. I MIGHT of got a quart with 10 taps. Oh well,there is always next year.  ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 07, 2014, 10:46:32 PM
Sad day today...I pulled my taps. :( ;D :D  Boiled all ALL day, started around noon and just poured the sap/syrup into kettles, for finishing inside tomorrow, at 9:30pm. :o  Have to stop, it's just taking up too much time.

Still have probably 8-10 gallons of sap, supposed to pour rain here tomorrow so will try to boil it off Wed.  If I can't boil it then I'll have to call it a season and dump it as it's starting to cloud up.  Had hoped for around 5gal of syrup but will likely end up with around 3.5-4. 
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 07, 2014, 10:50:07 PM
Today was not a good boil day, overcast all day!

We'll gather in the morning and see where it goes from there!

I'm thinking the sugaring will be done maybe as early as this weekend!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 08, 2014, 08:43:29 AM
Done is right,nothing here for 2 days. We did not even get a gallon. But boy did we have fun!!!!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Alcranb on April 08, 2014, 08:50:05 AM
March 30th was the last day for me. About the latest I can recall. Made a gallons worth which should last till next year. This years syrup is about the darkest I've ever made and last years was by far the most amber. What a difference a year makes!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 08, 2014, 03:21:14 PM
March 30th was the last day for me. About the latest I can recall. Made a gallons worth which should last till next year. This years syrup is about the darkest I've ever made and last years was by far the most amber. What a difference a year makes!


I agree, We made quite a bit last year that was "fancy", almost no color to it!

After we got going, we made a lot of "medium amber"!

Totaled out last year at just over 150 gallons!

This year we started out making "medium amber" and after about 2 weeks we got 2 days worth of "light amber", then right back to the medium.
Today we went over 85 gallons!

So because of the screwy weather, we are way down in production!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: loggah on April 08, 2014, 06:23:33 PM
I,m glad i didn't tap this year, the long range forecast is for warm days and nights!!! i'd say the short season is about over here. All the guys i have talked to are way back in production,and all the syrup is pretty dark. Well i have a full woodshed for next year !! ;D
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 08, 2014, 10:01:22 PM
I didn't realize the color could vary this much year to year (only our second year).  Like Chuck said, our first batch last year was nearly clear, finished yesterdays boil today (7quarts 8) ;D) and it's nearly black.  Definitely like the late stuff better.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 09, 2014, 08:33:32 AM
Still tastes good, doesn't it John!   :)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 09, 2014, 09:07:00 AM
Still tastes good, doesn't it John!   :)
Ayuh, you know it does, bub! ;) ;D :D  (it ain't like any of it is bad :D)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 09, 2014, 03:45:56 PM
Just got it figured up what we made yesterday, 9+ gallons!

I think we are at 93 gallons, total now!

Saps not running today, maybe tomorrow!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: loggah on April 09, 2014, 06:17:50 PM
supposed to be cold tonight, that should make it run tomorrow.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 10, 2014, 07:24:57 PM
Well, I guess our plan for tomorrow is to gather whatever is there and pull the spouts.

Done for another year.

Lots of firewood left over!

Now it's time to get the sawmill ready!  8)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GDinMaine on April 10, 2014, 07:36:22 PM
I have not had time to boil in a few days and the sap is getting cloudy. Has been sitting since last weekend.  How long can I keep it?  I have enough to make it worth boiling but I will not have the time until Saturday.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: GAB on April 10, 2014, 08:03:25 PM
GDinMaine: Unless the temp has been below freezing for 80+% of the time since you last boiled I would pull the plug unless you want to make vinegar.
That is my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
As a matter of fact I dumped some tonight that was newer than what you described.
Gerald
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 10, 2014, 08:31:00 PM
Taste it, if it's still sweet to the taste, boil it!

If it has an "off" taste, dump it!

Understand though, if it's cloudy, it will make darker syrup.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 10, 2014, 08:45:28 PM
Boiled off the last of our sap today, got two more quarts for a grand total of 4 1/3gal for the season.  Had hoped for 5 plus but we'll survive. ;D

GD, ours was starting to cloud as well, but as Chuck said, it was still sweet and turned out just fine.  Just keep it as cool as possible til Sat.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 11, 2014, 12:56:11 PM
I would expect the batch she is finishing off right now will be out last. Here I go again with the man oh man,oh man oh man. That smells mighty good.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 11, 2014, 10:05:03 PM
All of the sap was gathered today and they (I had to be someplace else) boiled it down and got a little over 7 gallons.

Tomorrow we'll pull all of the spouts and pick up the buckets and wash them and in the meantime, we'll also be draining the sap from the back pan and filling the pan with water, and finish all of the boiling in the front pan!

So, We'll finish out with over 100 gallons!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 13, 2014, 05:42:04 PM
Finished the season with 102.5 gallons!

Our first day of actual boiling was the 12th of March and today, the 13th of April  was out last!

Not really a good season, but better than it was looking like!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: OH Boy on April 14, 2014, 08:24:21 PM


Not really a good season, but better than it was looking like!

I agree. I'm still finishing and bottling but its turning out to be better than I thought it would at the beginning.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 14, 2014, 11:12:21 PM
Once we were tapped, we had a one month and one day sugaring season and got 2/3 of what we got last year in a season that lasted over 2 months, so in a funny kind of way, we're ahead of last year!  :-\
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 18, 2014, 05:27:11 PM
JohnM,you should've kept your taps in.  :D Just a kidding. You have way more than I do. I got my normal 3 gallons a day of sap for 2 days. That would be Thursday and today.It looks good,clear,smells good. The maples are not all budded out strong. I can see some red just on the tops down the road. I won't be bragging more until I boil it down. I froze it up for now. I will see how it comes out next week. Getting ready for the Big Dinner on Sunday.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 18, 2014, 08:20:38 PM
Finished "clean-up" today!

Evaporator clean and dry.
Barrels washed.
Buckets washed.
Saplines backwashed and sanitized.

All we lack is refilling the woodshed, wood is all cut!

Now it's time to get the sawmill going!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 18, 2014, 08:40:42 PM
Chuck, how do you guys sanitize your lines and/or spiles?  Is bleach a no-no?
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 18, 2014, 08:46:46 PM
Good question.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 19, 2014, 10:02:21 AM
The sap is running.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 19, 2014, 01:57:02 PM
The sap is running.
Yep, right down the side of my trees. :(
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 19, 2014, 02:16:12 PM
Chuck, how do you guys sanitize your lines and/or spiles?  Is bleach a no-no?


We use a generator, water pump and a barrel of "off the shelf" Clorox and water, mixed with enough Clorox so that we can smell it!

We hook the waterpump line in at the low end of the sapline and run the pump until the water comes out at the far end of the line, when we smell clorox water at the top end, we shut the pump off!

Then starting at the high end of the line we pull spouts and tip them down so that the clorox water exits the spout and just work our way down, pulling spouts to the low end of the sapline!

We just put a 5gallon pail on the ground near the low end of the sapline and when we disconnect the pumpline, we recover whatever amount comes down the line.

We let the spouts just hang there a couple of days to dry out, then we will go back through and put the spouts on their respective pegs!

For our metal spouts, we put them in a metal pail filled with water and boil it on the gas stove in the sugar house.  Let them boil for 15-20 minutes then we take them outdoors and drain off the water and dump the spouts out on a piece of plywood to dry (spread them out so they will all get air).  Seeing as how they are hot, it doesn't take very long for them to dry!

Hope this info helps you guys out!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 19, 2014, 06:26:43 PM
Chunk,do you do the same cleaning before start up too?
Sap is runing. I filled up eight 2 liter bottles and half of another one. That should put me well over 4 gallons. Not bad for my taps.  :) Into the freezer it goes. Don't really dare to leave it out. Temps are in the 50's-60's.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: JohnM on April 19, 2014, 07:21:38 PM
Hope this info helps you guys out!
It does. :)  Thanks, Chuck.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 19, 2014, 09:52:00 PM
Chunk,do you do the same cleaning before start up too?
Sap is runing. I filled up eight 2 liter bottles and half of another one. That should put me well over 4 gallons. Not bad for my taps.  :) Into the freezer it goes. Don't really dare to leave it out. Temps are in the 50's-60's.

Nope!

We just tap the trees and drive the spouts, then just let the sap run for a couple of days!
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 20, 2014, 08:07:34 AM
Thank you Chunk.
29,might be running today too.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 20, 2014, 09:34:52 AM
Ray, long as the sap is running good and the trees aren't budded out, catch what you can, preserve it, and boil it when you pull the spouts.

Sounds like it's been another adventure for you this year!  8)
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 27, 2014, 11:24:23 AM
All done,I boiled a little when the Grandson was here. Leaves was kinda dry,so I hooked up the garden hose and kept putting the water to the ground. I forgot how many 2 liter bottles I filled up. Maybe 14-15?? I think I got about 10 gallons of sap in that last cold spell. I froze the bottles.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Magicman on April 27, 2014, 01:58:26 PM
So you froze the sap and will boil it down later?
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 27, 2014, 02:27:13 PM
Sorry did not make it clear. I filled 2 liters soda bottles with sap. Than I froze them. I really did not dare to leave them out in the temps we was getting at high noon,60's. I took the bottles out about a day before I needed them,so they would melt. I boiled down about 8 gallons. It's easier for us to boil about 4 gallons at a time. That's all the pan will hold anyways. Than instead of adding to the pan as it boils down,we just go until it's just about syrup then bring it inside to finish off. So I did 2 four gallons boils. Than when the Grandson came I kept some bottles so we could do a boil with him,so he could see how it was done. I only had about 2,maybe 3 gallons to boil with him. Did not want to do a 4 hour boil,he would get bored with it. I have no more sap to boil.
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: Chuck White on April 27, 2014, 09:06:52 PM
So how much did you end up making Ray?
Title: Re: who's ready to make some maple syrup?
Post by: thecfarm on April 27, 2014, 09:32:06 PM
Don't laugh. Probably a little more than a gallon. But we had fun. And don't that taste good. Wife got real good at finishing it off. I have a little bit that is real thick. But you have to remember she was only finishing off about a half to a pint at a time. When it first started it was about a inch in a pint jar. That was not around long.  ;D Looking forward to next year. I go to sleep building a small sugar shack for her each night.