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Thread: Checking what VT sugar makers are doing

  1. #3021
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Calais, VT
    Posts
    83

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    Yeah, being on the trader midday is not a good sign for maple activity! We stayed busy the last couple days doing a complete sweep of our 4 bushes to look for downed lines after that huge windstorm a few days back. Nothing on mainlines thankfully but a dozen or so laterals to fix. Not sure Tuesday will do much for us here except loosen things up but Wed/Wed night looks like a gusher.
    4x10 wood fired Lapierre Hurricane
    3200 taps - all 3/16
    900 GPH RO
    www.lambsugarworks.com
    https://www.facebook.com/lambsugarworks/

  2. #3022
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    322

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    Hey Drew Lamb, you could go hang out and wait for melting temperatures at the Whammy Bar! My wife and I went there a few years back after stopping to buy some buckets from you. What a cool little joint. And its located at "Maple Corner". Have a great season!
    Ken
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  3. #3023
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Calais, VT
    Posts
    83

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    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    Hey Drew Lamb, you could go hang out and wait for melting temperatures at the Whammy Bar! My wife and I went there a few years back after stopping to buy some buckets from you. What a cool little joint. And its located at "Maple Corner". Have a great season!
    Ken
    Ha! That's fantastic. Yeah, the Whammy's been closed throughout the pandemic. Just so small. Everyone is on everyone else's lap just to fit a dozen people in there. But no doubt an awesome community spot!

    You guys certainly have stepped it up from bucket days, wow. Guess most of us start that way and it often goes one direction after that! We got up to about 700 buckets before switching over. I think that was 2012. Hmm, that means my oldest laterals are 10 years old. Wonder if I need to think about switching that stuff out. Not sure I know what happens to tubing when it reaches the end of it's lifespan. Is it really not useable? Perhaps at some point it just starts to fall apart or not hold fittings well?

    Good luck with your season Ken!
    4x10 wood fired Lapierre Hurricane
    3200 taps - all 3/16
    900 GPH RO
    www.lambsugarworks.com
    https://www.facebook.com/lambsugarworks/

  4. #3024
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Essex VT
    Posts
    381

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    I spent 9 1/2 hours on Thursday and Friday fixing fisher chews on 304 taps on a 1,500' long 1" mainline. I did 81 repairs from replacing multiple chewed drops to 15' long sections of completely chewed 5/16 line. The only way to find the "hidden chews" (one bite on a drop) was to run my hand over every inch of the 5/16 tubing and every drop. That made for two rather unpleasant days. Time to set the traps out again. Plus one deer chew, but that one was easy to spot.
    2004- 470 taps on gravity and buckets
    2006- 590 taps on gravity and buckets 300 gph RO
    2009- 845 taps on vacuum no buckets, 600 gph RO
    2010- 925 taps on vacuum new 2 stage vacuum pump
    2014- 3045 taps on vacuum, new 1200 gph RO
    2015- 3104 taps on vacuum
    2017- 3213 taps on vacuum
    3' x 10' oil fired evaporator with steamaway

  5. #3025
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    271

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    The power went out during the storm, turning off my heaters, making all my pvc shatter. What a mess. So tomorrow I will be working in there again...
    2016- 50 buckets. Made 4 gallons
    2017- 100 buckets, 50 taps on 3/4 mainline and 3/16th tubing + shurflo vacuum. Made 30 gallons.
    2018- 1000 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, 60 buckets - made 378 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 1713 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, NO buckets. Made 500 gallons.
    2020- 2793 taps made 1118 gallons.
    2021- adding 500?

  6. #3026
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Calais, VT
    Posts
    83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatetreehugger View Post
    The power went out during the storm, turning off my heaters, making all my pvc shatter. What a mess. So tomorrow I will be working in there again...
    ****. Feel for you treehugger. We've probably all been there in one way or another. We have no heat in our sugarhouse so there's always a long list of ice mitigation to do at the end of a boil.

    Is that the same Joe that sold me all those 15 gal kegs a few years back? Still using them, but like you have mostly switched to 40s. Curious, how do you know the damage is fisher and not porcupine or squirrel or whatever? Most of our line chew is squirrel, but you can definitely tell when it's a porcupine instead. Just shredded. I don't think there's much to be done with a shotgun to help knock back the squirrel population, perhaps I'm wrong there, but I've taken out some porcupine and have noticed a huge difference. They are pretty territorial and can occupy large parts of a stand, so taking one out can save a lot of damage and a lot of tree girdling. I never feel good about it but feel the need to protect the resource.
    4x10 wood fired Lapierre Hurricane
    3200 taps - all 3/16
    900 GPH RO
    www.lambsugarworks.com
    https://www.facebook.com/lambsugarworks/

  7. #3027
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Essex VT
    Posts
    381

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    Drew,
    Yes, the same Joe. The fishers bite and chew the lines. You can see the two fang punctures about an inch or so apart top and bottom of the tubing.They do not nick or cut them off like squirrels will sometime do.
    When I do manage to trap one of the fishers, the damage goes away for a while.

    Joe
    2004- 470 taps on gravity and buckets
    2006- 590 taps on gravity and buckets 300 gph RO
    2009- 845 taps on vacuum no buckets, 600 gph RO
    2010- 925 taps on vacuum new 2 stage vacuum pump
    2014- 3045 taps on vacuum, new 1200 gph RO
    2015- 3104 taps on vacuum
    2017- 3213 taps on vacuum
    3' x 10' oil fired evaporator with steamaway

  8. #3028
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    W Charleston, VT
    Posts
    31

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    How would you describe each different chewer’s damage? I’m new and knock on wood haven’t seen any yet. But I sure would like to know what to look for, if anyone would be so kind as to describe each critters signature?

  9. #3029
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    322

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatetreehugger View Post
    The power went out during the storm, turning off my heaters, making all my pvc shatter. What a mess. So tomorrow I will be working in there again...
    I've set up a temperature monitoring device in my sugarhouse kitchen. It connects to the internet and notifies me of freezing or extreme hot temperature. I also have an internet camera aimed at the RO and it's clear enough to read the system temperature so I can monitor the actual condition. I won't have either system if the power fails but I'll get several notifications when that happens. I've got a stand-by generator and auto switch for the house. But I need to manually switch to the sugarhouse. If all that fails, I can grab the Buddy heater.
    Ken

    Screenshot_20210307-073717.jpg
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  10. #3030
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Essex VT
    Posts
    381

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    From my experience, squirrels will nick, make a small cut or chew a whole or chew off a 5/16 line or chews large holes in main line or chew on saddles. Deer will raggedly chew 5/16 line with their molars or just cut the line off. I have never had any deer damage on a main line. I have had coyotes chew the 5/16 into small pieces 1/2" to 1" long, chew up 5' to 8' of 5/16 in one place and even chew on saddles. Fishers will bite 5/16 and leave fang marks that pierce the 5/16 or just bite up an entire 40" drop line. You can tel it is a fisher by the small cat like tooth pierce marks. I have never had any main line fisher damage. Bears will leave large tooth punctures that are several inches apart. With my first attack by a woodpecker, I though a kid had vandalized my main line. The hole were so perfectly round, equal in size and spaced the same distance apart, that I thought that the holes had been drilled in the line. I just had my first woodpecker attack in 5 years this season, with four holes in a 12" space. Just great for vacuum. The only thing good about woodpeckers is that they seem to always make a big enough hole that you can hear the air 20' away.
    This may not be a complete list or exactly describe each problem, but this is what I have found.

    Joe
    2004- 470 taps on gravity and buckets
    2006- 590 taps on gravity and buckets 300 gph RO
    2009- 845 taps on vacuum no buckets, 600 gph RO
    2010- 925 taps on vacuum new 2 stage vacuum pump
    2014- 3045 taps on vacuum, new 1200 gph RO
    2015- 3104 taps on vacuum
    2017- 3213 taps on vacuum
    3' x 10' oil fired evaporator with steamaway

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