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    We've been tapping each fall for the past 3 yrs...

    We've been tapping each fall for the past 3 yrs as part of a research project on taphole longevity and taphole rejuvenation. Sugar content is typically pretty low (but not always). Sap yield varies...
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    Looking good! Keep pushing.

    Looking good! Keep pushing.
  3. How cold was it when canned? ...

    How cold was it when canned? Realistically...probably doesn't matter a lot. I think it unlikely that it broke due to thermal expansion...unless the syrup density was very low or there was a flaw in...
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    The cost of living and similarity to VT makes WV...

    The cost of living and similarity to VT makes WV tempting as a place to retire to in a few years...as long as I could find a place in a warmer valley. Vermont has a lot going for it, but winters...
  5. It generally isn't permitted to sell cold-packed...

    It generally isn't permitted to sell cold-packed syrup in retail containers unless they are marked to be refrigerated. The difference in temperature expansion is probably rather minimal, so I'd lean...
  6. For anyone who does make their own vacuum filter...

    For anyone who does make their own vacuum filter out of stock cookware, be sure that you incorporate some sort of relief valve or that you regulate the vacuum in some way so you can not pull too much...
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    Nice job. Looks great. I have a taphole maple...

    Nice job. Looks great.

    I have a taphole maple desk at work. Works great to explain wounding and staining at times.
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    Get a cheap vacuum gauge and put it on the end...

    Get a cheap vacuum gauge and put it on the end tree (or somewhere convenient near the top) and use that to monitor vacuum. Practice makes perfect. If a fitting doesn't seem quite right, cut it out...
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    OK...my apologies. I'll try to simplify it. ...

    OK...my apologies. I'll try to simplify it.

    Think of the sun as a gentle rain. The equivalent to a drop of rain is a photon (a packet of light energy). Not much use there if you want to get...
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    I agree that wise use (and not waste) along with...

    I agree that wise use (and not waste) along with stewardship of resources is the best course. My personal philosophy is to live and let live (tolerance)...which I think is a common Vermont attitude.
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    What was the sugar content?

    What was the sugar content?
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    If you're just starting out, there is nothing...

    If you're just starting out, there is nothing quite as good as first seeing a GOOD installation and walking with the person who installed it to ask questions.




    Assuming this isn't just a...
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    New version (3rd edition) of the North American...

    New version (3rd edition) of the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual is in the works right now. Should be out fall of 2021.
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    Yes, this is the best approach. Have as much...

    Yes, this is the best approach. Have as much downhill run (maxes out at about 35' drop) as possible after the last tap. The more elevation change, the higher the vacuum (up to the maximum ~ 29.9"...
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    Very briefly...which is hard for me to do...Dr....

    Very briefly...which is hard for me to do...Dr. Abby van den Berg here at UVM PMRC did her Ph.D. (with me as her advisor) on sugar maple pigmentation. A lot of my early research was on light...
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    I'll preface my remarks by saying that I am not a...

    I'll preface my remarks by saying that I am not a climatologist...I am a forest physiological ecologist (I study the function of trees in the environment), specializing in maple trees and maple syrup...
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    Climate change is real. For a long time now the...

    Climate change is real. For a long time now the "window" for maple production all across the northeast (where we have the best records) was shrinking as the production season started earlier and...
  18. Given that "Goat Yoga" is a thing, you might be...

    Given that "Goat Yoga" is a thing, you might be on to something. :lol:
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    Perhaps some differences, due primarily (as Mark...

    Perhaps some differences, due primarily (as Mark says) to weather/climate. Trees grow a little better in WV than in most places in VT, so that is good for them, however VT probably has a longer...
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    We've done both. Doesn't seem to matter much. ...

    We've done both. Doesn't seem to matter much. Too cold for much of anything to grow by that point.
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    We welcome the challenge. :) A 25,000 tap...

    We welcome the challenge. :)

    A 25,000 tap operation would be medium-sized producer here. We were at 1,200 taps in 2004. At 5,150 taps this year (2019). Headed to 6,500 taps 2 yrs from now...
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    Hi John....you actually were right about the...

    Hi John....you actually were right about the "prehistoric skeletons" part. DE is made up of mined deposits of diatoms, which are microalgae. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatom Their cell-walls,...
  23. That should help establish the gradient a little...

    That should help establish the gradient a little faster (assuming nothing is frozen solid of course). It is similar to what we do when we clean (or change) pans. We put the frontpan contents in one...
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    We try to get spouts out in the woods after it...

    We try to get spouts out in the woods after it gets cold, but before there is much snow, and prior to tapping.
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    Good advice. Cooling is necessary for most all...

    Good advice. Cooling is necessary for most all pumps...just achieved in different ways, air, oil, water, etc. Put a bleed air valve in-line somewhere and use it to regulate the vacuum level and to...
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