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Author Topic: Maple Syrup 2020  (Read 15372 times)

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Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #180 on: March 25, 2020, 08:46:56 AM »
We produced and packaged 21 gallons last night with some still in the canner when we quit. Sap ran all night and is still running.  I was just over to the sugar house, switched tanks and turned the RO on.  1,100 gallons of raw sap in stock.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #181 on: March 25, 2020, 09:15:37 AM »
Going over to collect this morning. 
I have a problem
I put 2 new vacuum gauges on the top of our  2 -1" lines, 1st time we have used a gauge to measure our vacuum. We have 90 taps on each line.
Line 1 tees into line 2 and then into our Diaphram pump. Each line has its own ball valve before the Tee On either side of the pump are check valves, So it pulls- Vacuum   pushs Pumps, a nice simple system for our 200 taps.
With line 1 T closed, I am getting 17" of vacuum on the gauge Line #2,  sap is just pouring down the 5/16 line
With line 2 closed 0 on the vacuum gauge and the sap is moving back and forth in the line in concert with the vacuum pump
With both valves open - 0 on both gauges, #2 is moving extremely slow in 5/16 line
#1 is still surging back and forth but slower also
I have a leak somewhere, yet I didn't find it last night before it got dark 
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #182 on: March 25, 2020, 07:13:29 PM »
Waiting for the RO to finish its wash cycle.  Then we'll fire it back up and catch the last of sap.  We've made 30 plus gallons of syrup so far today.  Sap's still running too.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #183 on: March 25, 2020, 08:29:57 PM »
Going over to collect this morning.
I have a problem
I put 2 new vacuum gauges on the top of our  2 -1" lines, 1st time we have used a gauge to measure our vacuum. We have 90 taps on each line.
Line 1 tees into line 2 and then into our Diaphram pump. Each line has its own ball valve before the Tee On either side of the pump are check valves, So it pulls- Vacuum   pushs Pumps, a nice simple system for our 200 taps.
With line 1 T closed, I am getting 17" of vacuum on the gauge Line #2,  sap is just pouring down the 5/16 line
With line 2 closed 0 on the vacuum gauge and the sap is moving back and forth in the line in concert with the vacuum pump
With both valves open - 0 on both gauges, #2 is moving extremely slow in 5/16 line
#1 is still surging back and forth but slower also
I have a leak somewhere, yet I didn't find it last night before it got dark
Sounds like a big leak (or maybe a few) on line 1. Do you know to look for sap bubbles in the tubing at the saddle fitting? Lack of a column of sap=leak. You may hear it too. Not very familiar with the diaphragm pumps, what will it max at?
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 Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #184 on: March 25, 2020, 11:49:53 PM »
Early night  8) 8). Rig's cooled down, RO's washed.  Going home to bed.  Close to 40 gallons for the day  :)
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #185 on: March 26, 2020, 11:59:29 AM »
Going over to collect this morning.
I have a problem
I put 2 new vacuum gauges on the top of our  2 -1" lines, 1st time we have used a gauge to measure our vacuum. We have 90 taps on each line.
Line 1 tees into line 2 and then into our Diaphram pump. Each line has its own ball valve before the Tee On either side of the pump are check valves, So it pulls- Vacuum   pushs Pumps, a nice simple system for our 200 taps.
With line 1 T closed, I am getting 17" of vacuum on the gauge Line #2,  sap is just pouring down the 5/16 line
With line 2 closed 0 on the vacuum gauge and the sap is moving back and forth in the line in concert with the vacuum pump
With both valves open - 0 on both gauges, #2 is moving extremely slow in 5/16 line
#1 is still surging back and forth but slower also
I have a leak somewhere, yet I didn't find it last night before it got dark
Sounds like a big leak (or maybe a few) on line 1. Do you know to look for sap bubbles in the tubing at the saddle fitting? Lack of a column of sap=leak. You may hear it too. Not very familiar with the diaphragm pumps, what will it max at?
On line 2 we are gtting 18" of vacuum. I have been changing old fittings, old Taps, ( some will be 10 year at at least) we started lines 10 + years ago with just gravity. We added this diaphram pump 2 years ago. 
Still haven't found the main leak yet. I started getting 1" of vcuum last night before I quite for the day, so progress. It is hard to hear the leak for sure. I even thought about putting my compressor on the line and pressurizing the line and  head out with soap and water looking for leaks. Not there yet. 
I started boiling this morning, raining here now so a little reprieve for leak finding.  
We have lots to boil, 600+ gallons of sap.
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #186 on: March 26, 2020, 01:20:42 PM »
Celiot, Thanks, I didn"t know how to tell at the saddlejoints. We are rookies out here in the little guy bushland.
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #187 on: March 26, 2020, 04:05:34 PM »
You may have a frozen spot at a leaking saddle.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #188 on: March 27, 2020, 04:47:11 PM »
We gathered this morning and got 200+ gallons of sap!

Boiled it down, and with what we had, got almost 4 gallons!

We are at 187.? gallons and doubtful we'll make it to 200!

Oh well, it's pretty good for the broken up season we've had!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 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 Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #189 on: March 27, 2020, 07:06:04 PM »
  Didn't run real hard today but it did and it's still worth having the vac on..  Fired up the RO and it's chewing through 550 gallons now.  We'll fire up the rig around 9PM.
  We've got 215 gallons in 5 gallon buckets and more in bottles and jars.  We don't have an accounting of those yet.  We're in the neighborhood of 250 gallons.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #190 on: March 28, 2020, 06:48:55 AM »
Thursday, we got estimated around 75,000 gallons of sap. Weve heard plenty of reports from others whove been seeing 2 gallons of sap per tap in a run. Thank goodness we havent! That would be 200,000 gallons of sap! 
However the same others reporting big sap flows havent seen over 2% sugar, some as low as 1.4%. Our Thursday run averaged 2.4%! Weve been over 2 most all season, even saw 2.7 once. Well take sweet over volume any day. But I have a feeling our volume is gonna pick up soon. 
We are getting the vacuum really tuned in. Takes awhile covering 4000 acres, and vastly different aspect and elevations. Small leaks stay froze in the higher spots and we have to wait for warm days to find stuff there. Our vacuum monitoring equipment really helps now to figure out where to work, vs needlessly checking tight systems.

Were up to 17,000 gallons of syrup, well definitely break 20,000 before April. 
Goal of 47,000 gallons.
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 2020
« Reply #191 on: March 28, 2020, 07:10:11 AM »
Using a 3rd hand rope repair tool to splice in 3’ of 5/16 that was chewed up




You can see where the spout was improperly installed on the dropline- that’s a leak. Look close you can see a bug that was getting the sugar.




This tiny seam in the dropline tubing makes a vacuum leak as well




Dang squirrels!




We tap all you can see here. Plus more out of frame.




Pvc is the feed from our releaser, the black 2” is our pump line from our remote station. 17,000 taps, pumps 2500 gallons of sap at a time. The 2” line is 10,000 feet long and it takes 30 minutes for sap to get to the lower tank. Also pictured is the float switch that operates the transfer pump, and above is the tank level sensor, so we can keep an eye on how much sap there is.





Crystal clear sap from Friday. 2.4% too.




Ahh the fruits of our labors


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 petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #192 on: March 28, 2020, 10:36:19 AM »
Lookin good Chris
Gonna make some pancakes tomorrow as you got me salivating.
I have noticed some smaller trees in your operation.
What is the smallest you tap.
Back in the dark ages I used the Cornell rule, very conservative, I think nothing under 12 or maybe even 14 dbh.
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Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #193 on: March 28, 2020, 11:26:59 AM »
Pete, we strive for a 10 minimum diameter. If the tree forks below DBH, we count that as two separate stems, however if there is say two 6 stems, we will cut in one dropline and alternate year to year. We use a 24 minimum for two tap trees. We used to push the two tappers harder, (organic standard I believe is 16 or 18) but its not worth it for per tap production. The small trees arent either, and paying a lease per tap, you want the most bang for your buck. 
We have neighbors that brag about 200 taps/acre density. Well, they are tapping down to 4 trees, and clusters of red maple equal a lot of taps. 
Doesnt pay off IMO.
Well get the 6-9 trees next time we replace the 5/16 in about 10 years.
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 petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #194 on: March 28, 2020, 12:45:00 PM »
Vacuum and RO certainly have revolutionized the industry since my last tapping in 1978.
Cornell U now says that with vacuum you only need one tap prer tree to get all the sap you should from most trees up to 24"
Wow.
I would have put 4 tap holes in a 24" back then.
Also my sap was pretty low sugar content averaging 1-1/2 percent.Lamb was the pre eminent tubing and tap producer then with the main evaporators being Leader and Grimm.
Vacuum had been around for a little bit and RO just starting out and was prohibitiely expensive for my small 1200 tap operation.
Had to sell my land with the closer bush due to a divorce and didnt have any maple woods again until 1992.
I then decided that high quality timber was my goal.
I do miss making syrup tho.
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #195 on: March 28, 2020, 01:03:21 PM »
I know have 7" of vacuum on both lines, Thanks Chris, I folowed the sap from the saddles . We had tapped a hollow tree! :o I blamed it on my buddy right away.  
I have 2more smaller ones to work on today. 
I have been working the bush with my GF Cathy as my other buddies are locked up down in the city . I think its a good place for them considering. 1 has had his 2 week lock up on Monday. He is coming up to give me some relief on Monday. I have been boiling for 10 hrs a day . It is certainly a challenge. I have been tromping the woods looking for the leak ,collecting buckets, well some of you know!
1 more tank to pump up later this afternoon. It is running now, but only on the vacuum 8) It works!
I have 10 gallons to can tomorow. Rain is forcast.
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline celliott

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #196 on: March 28, 2020, 01:58:26 PM »
Finding leaks is a lot easier when you have help, or dont have to spend as much time in the sugarhouse.
To emphasize how much importance we put on a tight vacuum system, at our big operation (97,000 taps) on a typical day during sugaring season, we will have 2-3 workers at the sugarhouse to process up to 2000 gallons of syrup. We will have 8+ workers checking for vacuum leaks. Once we get it perfect we try to make it more perfect. And its an ever changing game, animals chew, trees come down, stuff breaks, we find it. Money is made in the woods. Yes you have to process it, but higher vacuum levels equate to exponentially more sap and a longer season.

Stephen, you may not want to get the vac tighter, youll start drowning in sap, next youll buy an RO, bigger evaporator, add taps, its a vicious cycle lol 
Seriously though, keep at it. A small diaphragm pump like that does not move much CFM so its more sensitive to leaks. You could only have one or two more sizable leaks, get them fixed and youll see 20 or better. A hanging dropline or wide open 5/16 is typically worth about 1 vacuum loss, on your system something like that could be 2-4.

At our remote station, we usually supply vacuum from a 3 line from our main station, 3x 25hp screw pumps. We accidentally froze that air line, and have been running a 5hp pump at that station. A 5hp usually would be used for 5,000 taps. We are doing 27 of vac off 17,000 taps solely with that 5hp pump! Not much for leaks left there!
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 2020
« Reply #197 on: March 28, 2020, 06:58:06 PM »
We drained the flue pan into a barrel this morning and flooded the pan with water, and boiled what was in the font pans and the barrel down and got almost 4 gallons of syrup!

We boiled it down to where there should be about 3-4 gallons of syrup in the front pans and tomorrow we'll drain that out and boil it down in the finishing pan.

We're done except for the cleanup!

Our final tally should be about 193-5 gallons for the season!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 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 Corley5

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #198 on: March 28, 2020, 11:20:36 PM »
  It might freeze tomorrow night and should Monday night and then late week again.  I'm thinking we'll be done in a week.  Might squeeze 10 more days.  Will quit sooner if it gets buddy.  We were hoping for five hundred gallon...  400 is still possible :)
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

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Re: Maple Syrup 2020
« Reply #199 on: March 29, 2020, 09:44:19 AM »
 On the clean up,how do you clean your lines that have the check valve taps? I run water an air up my lines and pull taps starting at the top an work down a line. But with the check valves it seems they would block the water-air from coming out or ruin the ball valve?
 We pulled our main lines out of the tanks last night while boiling down the last sap. Might get close to an average season of 25 gals off 270 taps. Had 400 before thinning the bush this winter.
Ed K


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