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Thread: Checking what VT sugar makers are doing

  1. #2231
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Washington, VT
    Posts
    128

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    Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this thread. It has been really fun and informative to read how the season progresses for everyone. We first boiled 3/1 and will finish today. We ended up making 100 gallons more than last year ending at around 770. Color and taste has remained good throughout the season. Early and mid season runs were average. Late season runs were below average. We utilized a one post RO to the fullest using various batch and recirculation tanks. Boiling at around 16-18% sure saves the wood. Another post would sure be handy. The bottleneck in the system is waiting for concentrate. We switched out a Filmtech 270 membrane for a MES. Performance was about the same. Best to you all and stay safe.
    3x8 Algier Evaporator. 600 gph Lapierre RO. 10" Filter press. We buy sap.

  2. #2232
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Bakersfield, VT
    Posts
    172

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    Shut the pump off last night. Still making good dark syrup but the sap just wasn't coming. Finished a little ahead of last year. Overall good season for us. Now to start the clean up, tap pulling so we can move onto filling the woodshed.
    54 Acres bought in Sept 2010, hope for a lot of fun
    Kabota 3400 w/ bucket
    couple Husky chainsaws and a couple of Stihl
    Big dream
    2011 = 106 on gravity tubing, 100 bucket
    2012 =700 vaccuum 100 gravity 80 bucket's
    30" x 12' Vortex with Leader Revolution Max Raised pans
    2013 = 1200 vac, 200 gravity, 5 buckets, buying from 300 buckets, 500 vac
    Springtech RO 600 Deluxe
    2015= 1800 all vac @ home, buying sap from 1200.
    2017= 2200 all on vac. no longer buying sap

  3. #2233
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    4,025

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    Flow has slowed quite a bit. 1,768 gal at 1.5 Brix overnight. Boiled some test concentrate and it was quite good, so will send it off to the bulk tank to boil today starting around noon. Should make about 170 gal of syrup from what we collected from Friday until today. We're getting really close to 3,000 gal (4,929 taps), so as long as it isn't buddy or off-flavored (sour), we'll keep the pumps running. Given the high temps forecast for today, I can't imagine it going much longer, but we'll see. Likely we'll see what we have collected again in the morning and either RO it and boil to finish up the pans, or boil Thurs.

    Afternoon Update
    Made a bit over 150 gal of Amber/Rich syrup. Flavor was nice, but still a bit mild. Very little niter. All of it went in the drum. Total is now 2,963 gal or 0.60 gal/tap. Sap is still running from some sections of the woods. We will collect in the morning, concentrate and do a test boil again. If the sap is good, we'll boil it -- if not, we'll dump it. Either way, we will boil out the pans and call it a season. Hoping to crack that 3,000 gal mark first.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; Yesterday at 03:29 PM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #2234
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Central Vt
    Posts
    376

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    Pulled more buckets yesterday and was amazed to see clear sap still dripping this late in the season from taps that went in way back in Feb. Pretty amazing year for production !
    31 Taps in 2011 with buckets, Barrel evap
    45+ Taps for 2012 with buckets, 2x5 Dryer Arch with steel pans ! 8x11 Sugar Shack, Dump Stations,
    60 Taps for 2013- Insulated Dryer arch, AUF,
    2014 watched from sidelines...
    70 Taps for 2015 - dryer arch, new 2x5 divided pan from Smokey Lake with a float box !
    70 Taps for 2016 - added a preheater and new grates for the Dryerator.
    80 Taps for 2018 - Dryer arch got new front and door

  5. #2235
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Westford, Vermont
    Posts
    188

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    Just finished boiling out the rig and ended up with 0.53 gals per tap for our Westford production on our 3000 taps here. By far the best production these woods have ever seen. The last 40 gallons of syrup ended up with definitely a strong taste, a bit raisin-like. I bet we will not get knocked on price though, it still tasted pretty good to me.

    Sap is still being trucked out of Jericho woods to our buyer in Fairfield but the last load will be taken tonight or tomorrow morning. Will be a bit before production numbers come in there. Good season overall. Very smooth boils. We only used 1.5 bags of DE all season. I think for us, using less DE really helps increase the volume we can put through our press. We still have crystal clear syrup too.

    Sap flow decreased quite a bit in the last 1-2 weeks. I don't know if tapping a bit later would have made a positive difference in our production this year. But tapping when there is no snow on the ground and getting those early season runs and having vacuum tight for the big runs is worth it to me. Rather than tapping a bit later and getting the end of season runs. This year maybe it would have been worth it, but it's a gamble and this season was an anamoly.

    Starting to pull spouts tomorrow. Luckily have a few people lined up to help.

    Good luck to all those still going and to everyone else with clean up, etc.

  6. #2236
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Calais, VT
    Posts
    55

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    Remarkable to read all these numbers. Just a fantastic year. Felt real good yesterday pushing last sweet through the pans as the sun rays did their god-ray thing through the steam in the cupola. Nice small mellow boil to reflect a bit on the season. For us, it won't be the big numbers we remember about 2018, but rather the first year with RO. What a game changer. RO brought other changes, like the need for a different filter press. Went from the SIRO to a plate press - another game changer. Less time in the sugarhouse with the RO this year also gave me more time in the woods to walk lines. Found a lot of clogs in my 3/16 lines, mostly in older tubing, so got a lot of practice chasing those down. One big change for me for next year will be experimenting with CV spouts. Even though all spouts were new, sap yield from older tubing, not surprisingly, slowed significantly at the end of the season. New tubing flowed equally well all season but older stuff tapered big-time. I have no mechanical vacuum so probably have higher taphole contamination than most, and thinking CVs for 3/16 gravity might be particularly appropriate.

    We ended up with just under 700 gal from 1711 taps, or about 0.4 gal/tap. Not much compared to many of you on mechanical vac but our highest yield ever.

    Thanks to everyone for their posts. Fantastic community here. Great to be able to connect with the greater maple community on a daily/weekly basis instead of just at open houses, meetings, or at the supplier shop. Have a great summer.
    4x10 wood fired Lapierre Hurricane
    2000 taps on 3/16 gravity vac
    600 GPH RO
    www.lambsugarworks.com

  7. #2237
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    4,025

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    The peepers have sung. Only 1,006 gal at ~1.4 Brix overnight. Sap is just a tiny bit sour (60-70 deg F and sunny will do that), but will make fine syrup (we did a test boil with concentrate already and we need some dark syrup). We'll start boiling the little concentrate we will got from that last run, and will put it and the contents of the backpan into the frontpan and boil it all out later this morning (with permeate running into the backpan). Will update this pm after we boil.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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