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Author Topic: Maple Syrup 2019  (Read 10244 times)

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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #240 on: April 23, 2019, 07:33:28 AM »
Good to see someone still going, Chris!

The end is near though!

How do you flush (rinse) your lines?
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #241 on: April 23, 2019, 07:26:01 PM »
Pulled the plug yesterday. 20,300 gallons total for the Eden sugarhouse. Now a few numbers to give an idea of what kind of season it was.

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

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

So, thats what we do. Way easier and faster. Were pulling 5-6k a day, when that amount would take us a week to wash.
Chris Elliott

Clark 666C cable skidder
Husqvarna and Jonsered pro saws
265rx clearing saw
Professional maple tubing installer and maple sugaring worker, part time logger

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #242 on: April 23, 2019, 10:43:01 PM »
Looks like you've done good, especially during a questionable season, Chris!  ;)
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #243 on: April 25, 2019, 09:16:16 AM »
We use the alchohol in our lines, but we still do find some lines with "funk" the next spring. 
I'm interested to know what size or type of snowshoes that you wear for 23 weeks!
Great job Chris, thanks for sharing.
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #244 on: April 25, 2019, 10:40:16 AM »
Thanks to everyone that has participated in the Maple Syrup thread this year!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #245 on: April 25, 2019, 11:21:24 AM »
Stephen, we exclusively use the MSR evo snowshoes. https://www.rei.com/product/875159/msr-evo-snowshoes

They are MSRs bottom of the line, least expensive model but the only one Id use. We use them with the flotation tails. Honestly I wish they were a bit bigger some days, but, any other snowshoe simply does not hold up. We are seeing 3+ seasons of use before we have to retire a pair. Binding straps break but easy to replace. Easy on/off and did I mention theyre rugged as can be? 
Im not endorsed or sponsored by MSR but I cant give enough praise for these snowshoes. 20+ weeks every year, 5-6 days a week, Id say average 5 miles, sometime 10 a day and they just hold up. Weve used tubbs, TSLs, I had a more expensive pair of MSRs, they just dont last.
Chris Elliott

Clark 666C cable skidder
Husqvarna and Jonsered pro saws
265rx clearing saw
Professional maple tubing installer and maple sugaring worker, part time logger

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #246 on: April 25, 2019, 11:25:50 AM »
What does the off season hold for everyone before tapping/sap season next year? Expansions? New equipment?

We are going to get to our 100k tap goal, a year late but we will do it. Not much for 3,4 pipe to run this year. A lot of 5/16 to go in. No new pumping stations, no new evaporators/ros Just some tidy up work/add 30k taps. 
We do have some rework to do at the Cabot sugarhouse. One woods has 12 year old tubing that needs replacing, about 6000 taps. We will change out our 3/16 tubing droplines as well.
Chris Elliott

Clark 666C cable skidder
Husqvarna and Jonsered pro saws
265rx clearing saw
Professional maple tubing installer and maple sugaring worker, part time logger

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #247 on: April 25, 2019, 12:57:41 PM »
Thank Chris.
Our off season is going to rebuild our sugar barn. We built the barn 36 years ago with creasoted  poles and steel siding. We never expected it to last this long.
Next season is our 50th aniversary of making Maple Syrup together.
We are going to pour a concrete floor and line the inside of the barn with EWP I have sawn on my mill. 
I hope everyone has a great summer!
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #248 on: April 25, 2019, 04:58:05 PM »
During the Off-Season, I'm usually out with the sawmill sawing logs for a little extra income!

I saw from mid-May through early November.

I usually limit my travels to 25-30 miles!

During slack time we convert some of our saplines or put up new ones!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline GRANITEstateMP

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #249 on: April 25, 2019, 08:00:25 PM »
Stephan1,

It'd be great if you took some pics of the old barn and the new one in progress.  Always neat to see something like that come together
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #250 on: April 25, 2019, 08:13:27 PM »
Got a bunch of stuff we'd like to get done this off season.  Priority is getting the remaining 1,200-1,500 taps plumbed in.  We'd like to get foam insulation and steel on the interior walls, a bathroom and drain field, redesign on our head tank location, insulated closet for the vacuum pump and another for the R.O., there's more I'm sure.  I don't think it ever ends with an operation of this nature.  A wood shed is on the short list too.  I've got most of the material to build it.  I just came in a bit ago from excavating @ the sugar house.  It's the old milk house that was attached to the bank hay barn which was torn down.  I'm leveling the bank/driveway and removing the walls/foundations.  I'm going to have to rent a jack hammer to finish busting them up into small enough pieces to move them with the Bobcat.  Working on this project until frost laws go off Monday and we get on with spring firewood orders.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline maple flats

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Re: Maple Syrup 2019
« Reply #251 on: April 28, 2019, 12:14:17 PM »
I finally got my totals. I made 356 gal of syrup off 741 taps for a per tap average of .48 gal/tap. I was hoping to beat last year when I did .52/tap but still my .48/tap is my second best ever. The amazing part of it is that 427 of my taps were only on 18" of mechanical vacuum, however some 150 or so of those taps were on 3/16" gravity vacuum tubing, and those got the mechanical vacuum of 18" and additional vacuum from gravity. All of those laterals had at least 20' of elevation drop and some had 30' drop before they got to the mechanical vacuum tubing.
356 is my second best year ever for a total, and most of what I made was amber, some golden and some dark, no very dark. My sales lean heavily towards dark, but I can easily blend a little very dark from 2 yrs ago to make the lighter syrup into the dark I need. Doing it that way, the taste ends up perfect for a dark syrup
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.


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