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Thread: Checking what VT sugar makers are doing

  1. #2271
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Calais, VT
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    62

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    We replace about 1/3 of our drops each year, so no drops are used more than 3 years. And unless I'm really pressed for time, I avoid unions/connectors when doing repairs, replacing whole sections of lateral from drop to drop. I don't do any cleaning at the end of the season, just make sure all lines are empty and dry. Our oldest laterals are 6 years old. We've replaced some gummy sections here and there, but by and large the laterals appear clean and unchanged other than some UV fading. BUT, we definitely get clogs, typically in Ts or even more commonly, in the connector hook fitting at the bottom of the line, just before the mainline saddle connection. I've gotten good at locating clogs and spend as much time as I can checking lines during good runs. Also, as we've put in new sections, the better yields from first-year, new tubing systems is obvious. Our syrup yield last year was 0.4/tap. We are using CV spouts this year for the first time. Not expecting them to have an impact on clogs, but who knows.
    4x10 wood fired Lapierre Hurricane
    2000 taps on 3/16 gravity vac
    600 GPH RO
    www.lambsugarworks.com
    https://www.facebook.com/lambsugarworks/

  2. #2272
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    331

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    We have our tanks in the sugarhouse and evaporator ready to be hooked up for a first fire by CDL on 2/20. Time to build the RO room and then get tapping. It would be nice to be further ahead....

    Mike
    Tapping since 1985 (four generations back to early to mid 1900s). 200-250 taps on buckets and then tubing in the mid 90s. 2013- 275 taps w/sap puller 25 gal. 2014-295 taps w/sap puller 55 ga. (re-tapped to vacuum theory) 2015-330 taps full vac. 65 gal, 2016-400 taps 105 gal, 2017-400 taps 95 gal. 2018-additional 800' mainline and maybe 400 new taps for a total near 800 taps. 2x6 Leader WSE (last year on it) supported by a 250 gph RO.

  3. #2273
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Westford, Vermont
    Posts
    203

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    Quote Originally Posted by drewlamb View Post
    We replace about 1/3 of our drops each year, so no drops are used more than 3 years. And unless I'm really pressed for time, I avoid unions/connectors when doing repairs, replacing whole sections of lateral from drop to drop. I don't do any cleaning at the end of the season, just make sure all lines are empty and dry. Our oldest laterals are 6 years old. We've replaced some gummy sections here and there, but by and large the laterals appear clean and unchanged other than some UV fading. BUT, we definitely get clogs, typically in Ts or even more commonly, in the connector hook fitting at the bottom of the line, just before the mainline saddle connection. I've gotten good at locating clogs and spend as much time as I can checking lines during good runs. Also, as we've put in new sections, the better yields from first-year, new tubing systems is obvious. Our syrup yield last year was 0.4/tap. We are using CV spouts this year for the first time. Not expecting them to have an impact on clogs, but who knows.
    Thanks. I bet CVs will help with yield at least, maybe not with clogs. And using the slide hook fittings could be good if/when you replace lateral, instead of the hook connector. Good luck this season.

  4. #2274
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    4,497

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    Quote Originally Posted by WestfordSugarworks View Post
    Thanks. I bet CVs will help with yield at least, maybe not with clogs.
    That's correct. There appear to be two issues with 3/16" tubing. The first is the standard sanitation-related drop-off in yield over time. That is addressed the same way as it is in 5/16" tubing, with new spouts annually in combination with periodic replacement of droplines OR the use of CV spouts OR proper use of sanitizers (followed by rinse or allowing the first sap to run on the ground). The second issue is clogging with occurs at any type of fitting. Clogging is not a problem the first year, is relatively minor the second, but increases considerably after that. Since tees represent the majority of fittings in a 3/16" system, clogs tend to develop there. Sanitation-related strategies of new spouts and CVs are NOT effective in solving the problems of clogs. Replacement of drops is (the clogs are removed if the tees are replaced as part of drop replacement). Whether the use of sanitizer will also solve this problem remains to be seen, but is under study this year at UVM PMRC and at Cornell. Stay tuned....
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #2275
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Washington County, VT
    Posts
    173

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    Long term forecast (for what it's worth) looks like there isn't much of a warm up in sight. Town meeting day tapping just like the old days.
    https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/produc...14temp.new.gif
    70 on 3/16 natural vac for 2018
    110 buckets
    2 x 5 Smoky Lake Hybrid pan on a custom arch
    12x24 salvaged sugarhouse built by wife's grandpa
    1965 Massey Ferguson 165 tractor to haul sap.

  6. #2276
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    4,497

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    Quote Originally Posted by billyinvt View Post
    Long term forecast (for what it's worth) looks like there isn't much of a warm up in sight.
    Fine by me. We're all tapped, but still have some research projects to finish setting up.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #2277
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Westford, Vermont
    Posts
    203

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    Thanks for that info about 3/16 Dr. Tim. Will be interested in results of ongoing work.

  8. #2278
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ANDOVER, VT
    Posts
    721

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    This weather is really throwing me for a loop this year.
    vacuum
    RO
    filter press
    auto draw
    New leader oil fired


    http://s712.photobucket.com/albums/ww123/jtrap/

  9. #2279
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    331

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    Our test fire with CDL went great on Wednesday. Time to get the vacuum setup and put the taps in.
    Tapping since 1985 (four generations back to early to mid 1900s). 200-250 taps on buckets and then tubing in the mid 90s. 2013- 275 taps w/sap puller 25 gal. 2014-295 taps w/sap puller 55 ga. (re-tapped to vacuum theory) 2015-330 taps full vac. 65 gal, 2016-400 taps 105 gal, 2017-400 taps 95 gal. 2018-additional 800' mainline and maybe 400 new taps for a total near 800 taps. 2x6 Leader WSE (last year on it) supported by a 250 gph RO.

  10. #2280
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    2,075

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    While in the woods yesterday i noticed some of my spouts popped out of the trees. I sure hope this is not going to be a season long problem. I remember General having a bunch of this happen to him a few years ago. The ten day forecast shows no signs of sap running. I'm hoping the season starts the third week of March and runs hard for four weeks straight. The snow is still very deep in the wood. I hope the rain tomorrow melts some.

    Spud

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