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Thread: Checking what VT sugar makers are doing

  1. #2181
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by spud View Post
    I enjoyed that article. The chart seems to be spot on with my production and tree size.
    Thanks Spud. Appreciate the comment and confirmation.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  2. #2182
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestfordSugarworks View Post
    What's your elevation? A few weeks ago I had heard people at higher elevations, like above 1000', were not in great shape. Had just been too cold. Seems like a lot of people at lower elevations in Franklin county are doing pretty well.
    That matches what we've been hearing. People with some elevation and those more towards the northeast had a slow start. Mark Isselhardt (UVM Maple Extension Specialist at PMRC) does a season update periodically https://vermontmaplebulletin.wordpress.com/

    We've had a bunch of days where others have reported flows, but our elevation kept it just a bit cold. On the flipside, we got a bunch of snow in the last couple of big storms, so it's been keeping it cool and the flows have been good since. Up to 0.51 gal/tap now, and still coming in. Hoping the end of season is still a week or more out there, but this is the time of year when things can happen quickly. One hot sunny day could finish things off, but at this point, our forecast looks pretty good (near freezing nights, low-mid 40s daytime highs) through next Saturday. Flows have dropped off some as usual for this time of year, but it's still coming in, and still decent sugar content (1.8-2.0 Brix) for us. We haven't made a drop of anything darker than AR, so could actually use some barrels of dark stuff with good strong flavor. I don't see any problem getting to 0.55 gal/tap or better, but hoping for 0.61, which means over 3,000 gal syrup for us (which would be a new volume record).

    Got about another 2,500 gal of sap already sitting in the tanks from flow Friday afternoon/night. Will concentrate it to 37 Brix tomorrow and send it up to the bulk tank and wait until probably around Wed/Thurs to boil again. We like to wait until we have 450+ gal of concentrate before firing up the rig. The new Lapierre Volcano 4' x 12' chews through it pretty fast.

    We made a number of changes in our sugarhouse this year, with a bunch more to come. I'll be talking about some of those at Lapierre and at H2O Open Houses in a couple of weeks, assuming the sap stops running soon enough for me to crunch all the numbers we've been collecting (working on getting some of the data input into my computer today).
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #2183
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    Apr 2015
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    Bakersfield, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestfordSugarworks View Post
    What's your elevation? A few weeks ago I had heard people at higher elevations, like above 1000', were not in great shape. Had just been too cold. Seems like a lot of people at lower elevations in Franklin county are doing pretty well.
    The highest point I have piped is at 1309' and the lowest is our tank building is at 639'. Our lower woods tend to be colder, hold snow longer and come on later in the season. I think this has more to do with being the very bottom of a valley than it's elevation. However, this year, we have seen a number of days when only the lower woods ran. My house is at about 950 feet, and I am often amazed when I ride the wheeler the 1/3rd of a mile between the house and the tanks how abrupt the temperature change is about half way down the hill, its like stepping in and out of a walk-in freezer. Needless to say this makes our woods a challenge to manage, and our setup is evolving (slowly) to accommodate the low angle, colder, bottom woods which is prone to freeze first and thaw last, without backing up the upper woods which thaws earlier and freezes last.
    4200 hundred taps
    7.5 hp Airtech Liquid
    1.5 hp CDL electric releaser

  4. #2184
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    Feb 2015
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    Westford, Vermont
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Thanks Spud. Appreciate the comment and confirmation.
    Yeah I liked the article too Dr. Tim, very helpful and interesting. I've looked at it several times since and it makes me feel a little better about our production per tap. I feel that we do nearly as well as we can in terms of optimizing sap production, but our numbers have never been quite as high as some producers. We have new tubing that is installed well with 3-4 taps per lateral max, we stay on top of any issues that come up with slope, we are very on top of leaks for the most part. A lot of it comes down to tree size. We have a lot of super dense red maple stands that are tapped and these just never will give us the sap we want.

    Your study is definitely going to inform our future decisions on minimum tree size that we will tap. So thanks.

    We are about 150 gallons away from 0.5 gal per tap in our Westford woods, looking forward to hitting that number hopefully on Tuesday, as we never have achieved that before there.

  5. #2185
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    poultney vermont
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    Yes, interesting article indeed....and as Westford said I have alot of smaller dense reds and these score even less I'm sure.
    18x30 sugarshack
    3200 taps high vac
    3x10 inferno with steampan
    7'' wes fab filter press
    springtech 600gph RO
    400 gal stainless bulk tank
    1-2500
    3-1550's
    4-275's
    more taps to come in '19

  6. #2186
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    I'm at 1200', north/north east facing and we've had a pretty good year. I stopped and untapped Wednesday only because we've made enough syrup where we won't be able to sell it all if we continue to boil. I'm at .38 gpt and we've got some season left! if we don't get a lot of sun, a few weeks. I had a few really hard runs where we've had to turn the pump off just because we wouldn't have been able to get to all the sap before it spoiled. we could be at .5gpt without a problem. it's time for me to set up my sugarhouse to be able to sell sap if needed!
    Awfully thankful for an understanding wife!

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
    - Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

    Good luck to all!

  7. #2187
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    Sounds like you had a good season tcross. I hope you have a nice summer. My wife and I go to Derby at times to eat at that Italian restaurant in the Shaws parking lot. I love their chowder with blue crab.

    Spud

  8. #2188
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    Bristol, VT
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    Things are just starting to thaw out here after a two day hiatus. We had a decent freezing rain event here and now the ice is coming off the trees with the winds we are having. Supposed to get pretty strong. We already had a big snag come down, graze the house and crush our wood shed. Fortunately it is just a temporary pallet and metal roofing shed. I think we'll be lucky if we can get through this wind storm without the power going out.....
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  9. #2189
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    Apr 2013
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    Derby, Vermont
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    Thanks Spud! I hope you have a nice summer as well! I'm looking forward to getting the garden going... just wish mother nature would help out. I believe you are talking about "Pie and Pasta" in the Shaws parking lot. they make some good food, that's for sure! Nice folks as well! Good luck to everyone still at it and to those cleaning up... by far my least favorite activity. be safe out there... bout 1/4" to 3/8" of ice on everything here and big wind... not a good mix.
    Awfully thankful for an understanding wife!

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
    - Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

    Good luck to all!

  10. #2190
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    Yup...that would be "Pie and Pasta." I have a nephew who works there. We try to go at least 3-4 times each summer. We go to the "Eastside" more frequently though. Most of the family is around the general area (Newport, Barton, Westmore). My wife and I have a house on the lake in Newport we spend most weekends at (except during tax and sugaring seasons). She is retiring in about a month, and we'll be moving there permanently at the end of May (assuming sugaring season ever ends).
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 04-16-2018 at 10:00 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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