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Thread: Gihring Family Farm photos - gearing up for the 2014 season!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    SE Missouri
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    Default Gihring Family Farm photos - gearing up for the 2014 season!

    Gihring Family Farm photos

    2014 season is under way. We finally had snow to start our maple season! Makes Southeast Missouri feel a little bit more like real maple country!

    Also had some of that Murphy's Law luck: -5 deg F + water in the flue pan drain = you know what. Fortunately, a local metal fabrication shop owner is a big fan of our maple syrup and everything was back to normal 4 hours after the problem was discovered, which is good, because we will be sitting on 500 to 1000 gallons of sap in 24 hours.
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  2. #2
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    Feb 2009
    Location
    Springfield, MO
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    I guess we should tap now. Keep us posted on your season!

  3. #3
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    Default 1st run update

    First run has been a bit slow, but by the end of the day, we will have made about 15 gallons of syrup, with another 5 or so to go. Syrup seems dark (A-med), good flavor but dark. I was hoping to get some light this year, but since I finally got a true evaporator (this being our third year on it, a Leader king 2.5 X8), our syrup has been dark. Our semi-batch method (divided flat pans) gave us lighter syrup than the evaporator does. I thought that was supposed to be the other way around, isn't it? Not getting light is somewhat frustrating. We do tap about 3 weeks earlier than when we got the lighter syrup, I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not. Temps down into the teens for the next several nights, should be a good reset.

    Groves - did you get those trees tapped? I'm hoping to build one more run up this weekend - that should get us to about 450 taps.
    Last edited by Goggleeye; 01-15-2014 at 09:48 AM.
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Springfield, MO
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    174

    Default

    I thought continuous pans were supposed to yield lighter syrup as well.

    Maybe something else in your process has changed? Collection frequency? Sap storage?


    We tapped a row of 14 trees with tubing, but I haven't put buckets out yet. We're all residential here, so I can put out as many buckets as I want, but it's one tree at a time on one neighbor at a time.

    I have a half barrel of sap to process. Last year I waited 1 or 2 WEEKS between boils. I know, I can feel the scorn. Syrup tasted fine, though. I think I lost some yield because of the sugars being consumed.

    Ah the life of the incidental sugarmaker.

    You know the drill, or you used to.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    SE Missouri
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    We're doing more and more by the book, but the syrup doesn't get any lighter!
    And sometimes I want to go back to the "life of the incidental sugarmaker." But sugar making has become about 10-20 % of our family's income - it keeps our heads out of the water.

    I'd never criticize you for keeping sap too long. Just keep it cold and everything usually turns out OK, and as long as it still tastes good to you, who cares!?
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Posts
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    Believe me we didn't even bother to keep it cold.

    One year our last batch was a little stringy, but the rest of it has been right as rain.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SE Missouri
    Posts
    248

    Default Tree rats with a death wish

    100_4406.jpg

    Just what I cleaned out of my pockets tonight. 4 years of using tubing and not a single squirrel chew. Then this year, half of them seem to need a daily plastic fix. I see a lot of squirrel dumplins in our future!
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SE Missouri
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    248

    Default Bigsap & tree rats

    After a month of pretty much no sap thanks to one of the coldest winter anyone around here can remember, were at the beginning of a big sap, I think. Hopefully this will put us back on track in terms of production volume. Now so it doesn't go straight to warm and stay there.

    As for those tree rats, I think some of my lines have more linear feet of spliced-in connectors than they do actual tubing!
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florissant Missouri
    Posts
    128

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    This is my first post on this site and my second year of suguring here in Missouri up in Florissant right on the bluffs of the Missouri river. I tapepd 20 trees in mid January on a day when the temperature got into the upper 40s. Unfortunately that was the only day and I did not rush out to collect the sap and it all froze in the buckets. Now I think those early taps are running dry and I am not getting much now that it has finally warmed up. I did tap a few more trees last weekend hoping to get enough sap to cook this coming weekend. I maybe have 30 gallons total. I was hoping for 100+ gallons by this time of year. It has been a cold winter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florissant Missouri
    Posts
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    I have four lines of tubing with three trees on each line. All of my trees are on the bluffs of the Missouri so it is very difficult to walk from tree to tree collecting the buckets. So far I have not seen any tree rat chew marks on the tubing. Do the rats chew through the tubing to lick at the sweet sap? If that is the case and they develop a taste for the sap then I can see taht being a serious problem. You might look around on other parts of the forum to see how others handle it.

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