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Author Topic: Maple Syrup 2018  (Read 23011 times)

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Offline maple flats

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #220 on: April 17, 2018, 11:12:14 AM »
Thanks for the input celliott. After the experiment this year I'm thinking my sap ladders may be changed to a bunch of 3/16 climbing the rise. In my small bush around the sugarhouse I only have 2 mains and each has 2 sap ladders, they will be converted to 3/16 lifts. The other bush is leased and it has 5 sap ladders and was originally planned for a sixth ladder. I now think those will also become "lifts" or maybe more like sap ladders using 3/16. Those sections already have mains. At the sugarhouse I run into a 415 gal SS tank which it plumbed to a 545 gal bulk tank if needed.
Do any of yours do that or do you only run a  3/16 lateral up hill to tie into a main and then the wet/dry conductors?
My sugarhouse woods have an old BB4 pump which gives me 26-27" vacuum (I'm at 430' elevation), my other woods has a 1000 gal Surge vacuum tank and uses an Alamo 30, regulated to 19", but the plans for next year are to swap that pump for an Alamo 50-75-100 I own with new after market oilers. Then take the vacuum off the tank, use the double vertical releaser I own and then have it flow into that 1000 gal vacuum tank. There is no power there, the will run off a 9 HP Honda gas engine to get up to the 100 figure if the HP can do it. The 50-75-100 are just originally the number of cows a farm had and the corresponding number of milkers needed at 15" vac based on different RPM's of the pump. Then a year or 2 later I'd put a true maple pump there to get 27+" of vacuum (that bush is at 1550' elevation where the pump will set and it climbs to 1630' at the top).
In your opinion, would the sections with ladders all be better if I ran all 3/16 to get to the mains and the wet/dry?  
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.

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #221 on: April 17, 2018, 03:57:06 PM »
We don't have any gravity 3\16, we have probably 20,000 taps on high vac, with wet\dry conductor systems and traditional mainlines. The spots where we have lift lines, we run them per usual into a mainline, with a saddle fitting, just, uphill.

It's hard to say without looking at it, but, I would eliminate the ladders in favor of 3\16 lift lines. You're accomplishing the same thing, lifting sap with vacuum. You could use 3\16 as the sap ladder lines, that works well too. But, one advantage over a traditional ladder is that you don't have to wait for everything to thaw out. As you know, the ladders don't drain properly and will freeze up, stopping the flow and lift from everything on the line. With individual 3\16 lift lines, if one thaws out sooner, it'll go. Don't have to wait for everything to thaw. Plus it eliminates the high off the ground stuff, one less thing to go wrong, less things to leak.
Chris Elliott

Clark 666C cable skidder
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Professional maple tubing installer and maple sugaring worker, part time logger

Offline bill m

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #222 on: April 17, 2018, 05:39:32 PM »
Well we finally finished packaging everything and had a great season. 317 gallons on 1100 taps. Going to try to put vacuum on one of our smaller pipelines ( only 300 taps ) Power is not available so we are looking at a 12 volt guzzler pump with solar and batteries. Now to get ready for the farmers market season!
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #223 on: April 17, 2018, 05:52:56 PM »
Power is best, but a 12V diaphragm pump is maybe next best, or maybe a engine driven pump depending on the scale of that bush. Then you need to fuel it all of the time. On my 6.5 HP remote vacuum pump I use a 4.5 gal gas tank on a stand I built. The tank sets just a few inches higher than where the original engine tank sat. When I set my 9 HP engine driven pump up, I will make a double stand, with 2 tanks at the same height, plumbed together and they will set in the same relation as my single tank sat. If you have any way to reasonably get power, do it. In my case the nearest power is about 2500' away and at my age I can't justify that expense of getting power pole service to pull sap from 850-900 taps max. Thus I burn the gas.
I did not get a quote, but back in 1990 my brother paid over $14000 to get a line extended 800' and in 2012 I paid $7200 to get a pole set, buy another pole (had to be from the utility) and run power toward the sugarhouse. With that cost, the first 100' was free, the next 160' I paid thru the nose.
Now, when I send them power on those same lines from my solar electric they charge me over $26.00 a month line charge.
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.

Offline bill m

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #224 on: April 17, 2018, 06:15:41 PM »
Engine driven is not an option. This property is a resort with guests staying nearby, the noise would not be tolerated. To get AC power it is over 350 feet away and would need to be buried and in conduit. This is their requirement. Because of the lay of the land, not a simple straight run, this would be very expensive.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #225 on: April 19, 2018, 09:06:12 AM »
  Beginning of the end for us.  We had a few days off with cold and snow.  The whole season has been starts and stops.  Yesterday we pulled about two hundred gallons of sap.  It warmed up late and the wind was pretty sharp.  It's warming quicker today, the wind isn't as sharp and it might be a bit warmer all around.  The big warm up starts tomorrow.  Forecast is for freezing at night through Sunday maybe.  I expect to be done boiling for the season Monday.  Next week is looking like real spring.  Sugar maple buds still aren't doing much but they're loaded and will go quick now.  The days are long and it's supposed to be near and in the fifties.  Ready to be done.  Got a long list to work on for next season.  Get the rest of the woods tubed (about 1,500 more taps), finish up sugar house, build wood shed, set up R.O. (we've got it but didn't use it this year because of our amount of taps and the rig's evaporation rate), move vacuum pump to releaser shed in the woods, get rid of this season's syrup ;D etc....  If the next five day's forecast holds true we'll be well over 200 gallons for the season.  I'm a bit concerned that the syrup may get buddy the last couple days.  If it does we'll quit.  It's really late now.  We'll see ;D ;D ;D  Been an interesting ride for a first season on this level.  Looking forward to next year 8) 8) 8)
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #226 on: April 19, 2018, 11:22:07 AM »
It's looking like most are getting ready for the end!

Then comes the "get ready for next season" part, new equipment, new lines, added taps, new sheds, and some sugarhouses!
~Chuck~
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #227 on: April 19, 2018, 01:35:19 PM »
I have been rooting for you Chuck.  Congrats on reaching the 300 goal.  smiley_thumbsup
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #228 on: April 19, 2018, 06:39:29 PM »
Close to 1,300 gallons of sap today thus far.  Had some other things to attend while it was running.  It still is and will late.  Not supposed to freeze up until after dark and the days are long now.  Going over right now to start chewing on it ;D 8)
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #229 on: April 20, 2018, 12:17:08 AM »
Made 11.5 gallons of syrup in four hours tonight.  Still have close to 900 gallons of sap in stock.  The releaser cycled as we were walking out the door of the sugar house @ 11:15 PM.  We left the vacuum on.  It's freezing up now.  Tomorrow should be another good day and good right through Sunday.  It looks like now it will just freeze Sunday night.  Monday might be good too.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Coach

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #230 on: April 20, 2018, 05:16:52 AM »
Hey guys. It's in the middle of the night here and I just sat up in bed with a brainwave.  Not gonnna be able to fall asleep without posting this.

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

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

Or is there something like that already available, and at what price? 

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #231 on: April 20, 2018, 06:43:43 AM »
Thanks Lynn!  Appreciate the cheering team!  8)
~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.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #232 on: April 20, 2018, 09:26:13 AM »
A Google search for "wireless maple vacuum monitor" will show what's out there :)
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #233 on: April 20, 2018, 11:49:41 AM »
Years ago I tapped a couple of boxelders that were around the yard and boiled the sap on the stove. It made some good syrup for home use.

Does anyone use boxelders for commercial syrup production? They are of the maple family and those miserable trees should be good for something besides growing crooked and falling down.
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Offline GAB

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #234 on: April 20, 2018, 07:38:48 PM »
Hey guys. It's in the middle of the night here and I just sat up in bed with a brainwave.  Not gonnna be able to fall asleep without posting this.

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

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

Or is there something like that already available, and at what price?
I have a nephew who has installed numerous cameras for sugarmakers that can be monitered from smart phones so that they can see if they need to go home and boil or can continue doing other work.  He has also wired numerous barns to be able to see what is going on at any hour of the day.
Cost depends on what the owner desires to some extent.
Gerald
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Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #235 on: April 20, 2018, 08:00:59 PM »
We have some wireless vacuum monitors that tell us the vac level on different mainlines, so we can easier pinpoint problems. We also have wireless monitors for tank levels at remote stations, temp sensors, basically anything you want to monitor you can do it.
Chris Elliott

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Husqvarna and Jonsered pro saws
265rx clearing saw
Professional maple tubing installer and maple sugaring worker, part time logger

Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #236 on: April 21, 2018, 12:17:21 AM »
20.75 gallons of syrup tonight.  700 gallons of sap to get started with tomorrow.  Should run good again tomorrow.  Have to fire up the firewood processor first thing in the AM and run off some wood to finish up the season :)
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #237 on: April 21, 2018, 11:51:10 PM »
25.75 gallons today.  Sap ran steady all day.  Not real strong but steady.  26 for a low tonight so it should run about the same tomorrow.  Grade is holding steady at Amber Rich. 
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2018
« Reply #238 on: April 22, 2018, 07:05:14 AM »
We made 830 gallons of golden yesterday. It is darker but we were so far above the color scale for golden weve just now come down to where its on the edge. Maybe well make some amber today. Sap has been hammering in yesterday and will today as well.
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 2018
« Reply #239 on: April 22, 2018, 08:28:56 PM »
 1045 gallons today and still running strong. Hardest runs yet actually. Be another long day tomorrow. We could make a good portion of our crop in these next couple days. 

Heres a few pictures from our Woods. 


4 over 3 conductor and a sub conductor that is 1.5 over 1.25, carrying about 2700 taps into the main system.


 

Heres a few vacuum leaks.  That pinhole is what we call a micro leak. 
Not audible but makes the sap run quickly. Believe it or not you can hear that leak by shutting the valve at the beginning of the mainline and slowly cracking it open, with your ear to the valve. The chewed tubing is a big leak and you can hear it from a ways off.



Our can am 6x6 on tracks. Quite a snow vehicle but slow.

My ugly mug out checking for leaks

We still have some snow up on the hill!


 
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


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