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Thread: Installing Pipeline & Selling Sap

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Albany, Vermont

    Default Installing Pipeline & Selling Sap

    To get some experience in the sugaring business, I am thinking about having pipeline and holding tank installed on 500 or so taps, of 2500 potential, in the best of our sugar bush sections. Ideally this will be done so we can participate in the 2015 season. Our farm is in Albany, VT.

    I would appreciate advice on the following:

    1. How to select the best installer?

    2. With the technology in tapping changing, what is the current best design and practices I should expect of the installer? Highest quality components?

    3. In that I want to sell sap to a sugar maker that picks it up at our farm, is there a holding tank / outlet configuration that is best?

    4. I could have the pipeline installed without vacuum pump / releaser equipment and simply depend upon gravity. Should I decide on having this equipment installed, what are the best brands out there?

    5. In that I expect to expand beyond this initial 500 taps, are there any features like GPS mapping of taps, that it would make sense to install now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT


    You may well have some difficulty finding a professional installer at this late date to set up your woods. There are several installers to choose from, but if you really want to be in operation for 2015, you're likely to have few (if any) choices, especially since 500 taps is a fairly small job for them. Most any decent professional installer will be familiar with the current practices and be able to design and install a system that will work well. Find one that has done several installations, and ask for and check references.

    In terms of selling sap, you might want to check into sap buyers in your area, and then check with them about whether they will pick up and how they'd like the site configured.

    You'll produce at least 2X as much sap with vacuum (assuming you do adequate leak checking and repairs during the season). If you've got good slope, you might consider using 3/16" tubing to generate natural vacuum instead of a traditional 5/16" system with vacuum. The installer you choose will likely have a particular equipment manufacturer they like to work with, so the choice of installer will likely dictate the type of tubing/fittings used.

    GPS mapping probably won't help much at this point, but in your walk though with the installer, discuss your expansion plans so they can factor it into their installation plans for the initial system.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    northfield, CT


    I agree with Dr Tim, at this time of year your unlikely to find one who isnt booked up. if you realy want to get it done for this season better order your parts in day or two and get busy clearing brush while they are shipped then work like crazy and you might make it in time. Good luck, 500 taps isnt huge but its not a weekend project either
    11x29 sugarhouse
    2x8 airtight arch homemade with waterloo flue pan, welded syrup pan and parallel flow preheater hood
    250gph cdl ro
    1100+ taps for 2014, approx 1000 of them vac

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