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Thread: Vernon County

  1. #181
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West branch Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    154

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    Well hear is my 4 day report, Arrived 9 am Fri March 12th, could not believe it the snow that was still deep on the 8th is gone. no run off just gone. Also noticed Red Winged black birds are back, went and gathered about 60 gallons of sap some too stained so that hit the ground. Sat 13th my son and I cooked from 8:30 to 4:00 made 7 gallons of medium syrup. then gathered again till 6:00 some clean up and 7:00 supper. Sunday March 14th started to cook at 7;30 TO 3:30 made 7 more gallons of dark amber syrup. My son headed for home and I was able to scrape up the snow along the sugar house and took it up top for my tanks.Was glad to be able to replenish them. Then more clean up and 8:30 supper. the wind sure turned the trees off. plus mild nights have all but killed things. usually have a huge run by now where finding storage is a problem. Monday March 15th did not gather the weather was iffy snow in forecast, did cut a large poplar tree by the cabin, it was half dead and worried me when sleeping in there. but that went very well , ever watch tree cutting on You Tube? saw deer tracks no deer, lots of geese in the marsh sand hills also no peepers yet, so that is good. Lots of talking coyotes at night. God Bless.
    12x16 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets 17 Taps on 3/16th tubing on steep hillside

  2. #182
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Viroqua, WI
    Posts
    55

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    Hi all. I think it is my north facing slope that is saving me. It puts me a week behind in spring arrival.. We tapped 3/6 and on 3/9 gathered about 60 gallons from 19 trees. Then things shut down like it did for you between 3/9 and 3/12. Then most were back to crazy fast and with additional trees tapped on 3/13 we had a total of about 140 gallons to boil down over Saturday-Sunday. Today, 4 inches of new snow coming down as we finished inside. Really beautiful around the cabin and in the valley.. 35 birds at the feeders at any given time.

    One thing i am puzzled about....I only got 2.5 gallons of syrup from that 140 gal of 2%sap and am wondering if you have any thoughts on that. Using rule of 86 i should have gotten at least 3 gallons. I know you lose a little in the orlon filter and I do tend to take the phrase "top it off" pretty seriously when im bottling but still should have more. I confess for my whole crew that two rounds of maple old fashions taken from near syrup put a little dent in the final product but,, again,, not enough to explain the end ratio. Any comments welcome. I am counting on 2 more weekends of boiling and with new monovision contacts I can no longer see the buds so am going to assume they're not there😉.

    2014 - Cinder block fire box, 2 roaster pans (thanks Mom), mix of 11 red and sugar maples tapped, 1.75G syrup.
    2015 - Same fire box reconfigured for Smoky Lake 24" x 33" pan. 17 taps on 16 trees with tubing to 5 gal buckets. 114g sap down to 2 3/4g
    beautiful syrup.
    2016 - Cinder block fire box is holding up fine. 20 taps, 155 G sap, 3.37G syrup. Great fun with friends.
    2017 - 21 taps on 5 gallon buckets. Good sap runs and reached my goal of producing 5 G syrup.

  3. #183
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin -Vernon County
    Posts
    42

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    Hi Everyone - similar to Lulu's question, I'm interested in some rough numbers (nothing precise - back of the envelope will do). How many taps do you have, and how many gallons of sap did you get/or do you normally get, and how many finished gallons of syrup? I tap 32 trees, with 35 taps (two are huge and I have 2 and 3 taps on those). I figured I got 120 gallons of sap so far,....not done finishing in the kitchen yet. I'm amazed at the variation between sugar bushes (the ridge vs. the hollow) each year as well as the variation between trees in a bush. Now a few buckets tipped over, at some point, so my operation is a weekend hillbilly sort of thing, but I'm addicted and my family figures there are worse things to occupy my time and energy. I'm grateful to return home on Sunday evenings and walk on endless level ground,.....for a day or two.
    Tom

  4. #184
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West branch Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    154

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    My report for 4 days, Friday March 19th sunny 45 degrees a nice day going. When I arrived figured to check the taps up top to see when to gather for Saturday. Was planning to install a solar panel I got because my cabin is totally off grid. Well to my surprise most buckets were full, took me 7.5 hrs to gather. had 560 gal of sap.Funny thing on the way back down I found 5 deer in a panic all split in every direction then circled back to find each other. Saturday March 20th my son and I cooked from 8am to 8pm made 10.5 gal syrup another late supper and bunk. Sunday March 21st gathered the tubing tank it was overflowing so total sap to cook on sun was 300 gal. Made 7.5 gal syrup. cool down clean up 8:30 supper.the peepers were peeping sun night. Did get up top to gather on Sunday, my son and a friend ran the sugar house, I did get 140 more gallons and put in the top tanks still have snow along them with the white tarps but I did a stupid mistake while gathering when my 65 gal tank was full I forgot to bring up a transfer hose with me ,so had to climb down the hill, followed the main line down and climbed back up. Thats like 800 feet of strait up sure got the old ticker going. trees are done up top tubing on hillside still going strong so hope to get one more day . My buckets are getting moldy and moths are bad did not see bud brake though.have 230 taps on buckets 17 on tubing. been averaging 38 gal sap per 1 gal syrup. I take off the evaporator at 30 Baume so not finished syrup I do that at home before bottling God Bless
    Last edited by Mr Sugar Maple; 03-22-2021 at 08:55 PM.
    12x16 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets 17 Taps on 3/16th tubing on steep hillside

  5. #185
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Prairie du Chien, WI
    Posts
    157

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    March 23rd...I am caught up. I can respond to threads. First of all I need the recipe for maple old fashions. I will be looking for that online. I also monitor my sugar content with each collection. Yup, I also run a hillbilly operation (no offense to hillbillies). I have a personal relationship with a few of my trees. Some always are low production, some on the edge of a rock outcropping are always high. One has a spring running from underneath it yearlong. Very interesting. I have never taken my hydrometer with me to get a reading from some of my trees. I figure it would be broke before I got back to my base camp. This year I could not get a reading over 2.5 per cent but still got good final results in my 6 final "finishes." My last batch of the season which was sap from Saturday until noon Sunday when we pulled taps, began with 35 gallons of sap and we got close to a gallon of syrup (7 pints). Go figure.

    I also believe the location of the trees this year was more relevant this year than some. Trees further down my hillside gave more than those right up on top that probably suffered with all those warm sunny days. Reading about 800 feet of straight up puts a smile on my face because those trees of mine located down the hills made me walk this year back up with full buckets. Not complaining but I haven't forgotten that the first part of my season was trailblazing with snowshoes. And there were times I was pausing way too often to catch my breath. Sunday evening we finished for the day at around 8:30 p.m. and as we walked from the sugar shack up (why is everything located up) to the house we also heard peepers in the pond. Spring is here.

    To help you spend a few more hours at your computer, check out Backyard Maple Syrup Maker on facebook. My wife found it and we laugh at pictures of burned pans, funny stories, and responses to questions that are asked. It is very family friendly. Some good ideas are also offered, things I will try next year. Best regards to all of you in Vernon County.
    2019 47 taps and 10.75 gallons of syrup
    2020 45 taps and 21.25 gallons of syrup
    2021 50 taps and 13.5 gallons of syrup
    2022 check back in March 2022

    56 acres above the Mississippi River in SW Wisconsin
    43.01N

  6. #186
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West branch Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    154

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    4 more days in the sugar bush, arrived Friday March 26th did not have to gather had 140 gallons in storage so I spent the afternoon hooking up a solar panel and controller that went well so now we have power with a battery and inverter in the cabin. Saturday my son and I cooked that sap plus 70 gal from the tubing tank.finished at 3:00 he went home I did clean up again.there was a wet rain and drizzle all day. Sunday March 28th I started at 9;00 to pull taps, scrub mold from the buckets and stack. Made 4 trips down to the pick up with all the buckets. Boy the strong north west winds all day beat me up, could not wait to get in the cabin start a fire and warm up, by then it was 6:30. Monday March 29th I rolled up the main line then loaded the buckets in the pickup and headed home.that truck was so packed with buckets, lids, boots, food, cooler but made it home without losing any thing. Strong south winds made travel challenging. next weekend will be my final clean up. God Bless.
    12x16 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets 17 Taps on 3/16th tubing on steep hillside

  7. #187
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West branch Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Well this is my last post for this season, Went over to our land Friday April 2nd arrived 11:00 took things to the cabin and 40 gal of water to the sugar house. went to the tubing tank it had 70 gal sap but opened the plug to drain it out. then took it down to the sugar house to clean it along with 4 other tanks. That took care of Friday. Saturday April 3rd friend John came to work on his deer stand so I cut wood and made brush piles all day. on the way up we saw 4 deer real close to us they dont even care when your on a atv but boy try walking with a gun once. Sunday April 4th I pulled the tubing taps and flushed the lines with a bleach and water mixture. then a fresh water chaser.Stacked the tanks inside and hauled 4 loads of wood down to pile up for splitting. Monday April 5th packed up the pick up with water buckets my finish pan boots had a full load. Been lots of geese sand hill cranes in the marsh. Did notice I have not heard turkeys gobbling this spring hope the large population of coyotes isnt killing them. Have a great summer God Bless.
    12x16 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets 17 Taps on 3/16th tubing on steep hillside

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