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Thread: Vernon County

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    112

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    Hey guy's, yesterday March 24th I went over to our sugar bush to gather sap, the sun was out but quite cold the snow was about six inches deep. Had to use the snowmobile to gather, collected about 100 gallons, lost a lot to ice in the pails.Late evening I took my four wheeler up top to check the pails and they were running fast, so worried they might run all night, I went and got our gathering tank to start regathering. The snow started, sleet, freezing rain, I collected until nine pm when the trees quit. I got about 100 gallons more, then a 10:30 supper, boy my bunk sure felt good after that long wet day. Today March 25th morning low temp 31 degrees two inches of new snow the wind was gusty from the west. Went to gather again was able to use the four wheeler so I started where I left off last night.10:30 am trees were running gathering as I drove out there were fresh Deer tracks in my four wheeler tracks as always did not see them. Gathered 160 gallons more so my total saved sap 360 gallons, will go back Friday to gather more for weekend evaporating. On my way home between Viola and Richland Center on hwy 56 the guy was evaporating at his sugar bush, he cooks outside on a block arch with big flat pan.
    Last edited by Mr Sugar Maple; 03-25-2015 at 09:24 PM.
    12x14 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    112

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    Hi guy's, I went over to our sugar bush on Friday March 27th, while unloading my pickup, the neighbor came by told me his daughter had a big sap run on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday . So I should have sap running down my hill, I told him no way its too cold, well when I got up top the pails were all overflowing and full of ice because the low temp was 15 degrees. But I still gathered 250 gallons. So with my saved sap from mid week and now, I have 610 gallons to evaporate. Saturday March 28th my son and I cooked from 9am until 11:00 pm, then cool down time so we hit our bunks at 1:00 am. Sunday March 29th up at 6:30 am we went back to the sugar house to finish 135 gallons of sap. Made 3.5 gallons for a weekend total 17.5 gallons of great maple syrup. Sunday afternoon we went up top to gather, Saturday must have been a good run we gathered 250 gallons of sap, some clean up in the sugar bush, then back home about 9:00 pm. This warmer weather looks like a season killer, have to wait and see. I and two of my grand kids will gather tomorrow to add to our stored sap. Didn't see much for wild life, lots of birds around, geese, sand hill cranes in the marsh. no peepers, I think it will be awhile yet. Hope you all are enjoying your time at this crazy thing we call sugaring.
    Last edited by Mr Sugar Maple; 03-31-2015 at 07:30 PM.
    12x14 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    112

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    March 31st I and two of my grand kids went to our sugar bush to gather sap, what a beautiful day in the woods, most pails were half or more full. total 240 gallons. down in the valley,our road was all Mud,MUD, and more Mud. still some melting snow there. Total to evaporate now, about 490 gallons. even though we are all tired we all know the end is getting closer. How are you guy's doing?
    12x14 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Viroqua, WI
    Posts
    46

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    I had a great run last weekend 3/27. Arrived Friday night with most 5 gallon buckets full and frozen, reds are the only ones running slow. On Saturday we boiled down about 40 gallons of somewhat concentrated sap with removal of ice. That was enough to start using my new 24" x 33" Smoky Lake pan. Friends were out for the weekend and it was such a beautiful day for an outdoor boil. Its always fun to have newbies join me, maybe the only time I really feel like the "expert" :-). I was surprised by how much sugar sand/nitre collected in the filters. Endless globs of it. Regardless, came out with a little over a gallon of beautiful clear syrup, much lighter than the batch from prior weekend. We are headed over 4/2 for a few days. Am hoping the buckets are full and bacteria not too high given temps today and tomorrow. We'll boil on 4/3 and then I think thats it. Two nieces and a couple friends joining us so I get to be the "expert" again. Made labels for the first time this year so am enjoying putting my signature on the bottles and sharing with friends.

    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.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Prairie du Chien, WI
    Posts
    118

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    April 1.....so busy over here outside of Prarie that I couldn't write. A great sap run a few days back. Boiled every day except Sunday. Overal I averaged three gallons per tree a day. Latest night was last night coming in at eleven. P.m. It is the sun burn on the shoulders that hurt last night. This morning got a boil going and turned it over to the wife. My trip to the woods revealed nothing. I mean nothing. Many buckets all but empty. Five gallons for twenty trees that I pulled. The rest come out tomorrow. Not quite as clear as earlier sap. My afternoon is boiling and beginning clean up. Loving the weather. Saw a bluebird checking out a house I have only had sparrows call home. I understand the mud situation. Terrible by me as well. I also had visitors this past Saturday. Shared sugar candy I had handy and syrup on clean snow for the kids. Can't ask for a better transition to spring......
    Last edited by Irish Ridge; 04-03-2015 at 10:52 AM.
    2013 thought about it and wished I had jumped in
    2014 jumped in, 49 trees tapped and 17 gallons of syrup
    2015 52 taps and 12 gallons of syrup
    2016 54 taps and 13 gallons of syrup
    2017 45 taps and 11 gallons of syrup
    2018 45 taps and 8.5 gallons of syrup
    2019 47 taps

    56 acres above the Mississippi River in SW Wisconsin
    43.01N

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin -Vernon County
    Posts
    36

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    Well,...27 taps, lost count of sap gallons, finally made 2.5 gallons of syrup. Not great, but fun! Made huge gain by buying a case of insulating fire brick and placing them inside my cinder block fire box. 2 x 4 ss pan on top - wow. Boil in 5 minutes of lighting the wood. More taps next year, more adult kids coming to help. Life is good. Loved watching Spring come in. Check in with y'all next Christmas. Have a great year!
    Tom

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Prairie du Chien, WI
    Posts
    118

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    Tom....I also added fire brick and could not believe the difference. What a low cost - high return investment. First morning of relaxing for me. This afternoon begins a whole lot of time washing things. What a difference a day makes with the weather. Glad I am finished.
    2013 thought about it and wished I had jumped in
    2014 jumped in, 49 trees tapped and 17 gallons of syrup
    2015 52 taps and 12 gallons of syrup
    2016 54 taps and 13 gallons of syrup
    2017 45 taps and 11 gallons of syrup
    2018 45 taps and 8.5 gallons of syrup
    2019 47 taps

    56 acres above the Mississippi River in SW Wisconsin
    43.01N

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Viroqua, WI
    Posts
    46

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    Hi guys... Best stretch of the season was March 22nd - April 2nd. I had about 80 gals off of 16 trees over that period of time (maybe more as some buckets were running over when I arrived). I was able to test out the new 24" x 33" pan on a reconfigured cinder block fire box and it worked fabulously. Syrup was beautifully clear after using more prefilters. Even doubled up cotton dishtowel worked well in a pinch. I learned a lot this year from a new sugaring buddy and from my obsessive reference to this website! More friends stopped by and learned a bit from me, the "expert". Thanks for tips that you all shared. I'm going to line the fire box with fire brick next year. Great low-cost idea. I've otherwise accumulated pretty much all that I need and am having a blast doing this small batch sugaring. Have a little more to give away this year. Friends treat it like gold (as they should!). Clean up was a beast! As seems to be the norm. On to putting in my garden and watching spring come to life. Will enjoy all the extra time on my hands!

    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.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Hi all, I have been so busy guess I fell behind in my posts. Friday April3rd two of my grand kids and I went to spend the weekend at our sugar bush. We dumped out all the bad sap in the pails, for Saturdays run. Saturday April 4th my son and I cooked 275 gallons of sap and made nine gallons of syrup, then went up top to gather .Only got sixty gallons of sap. put that with some saved sap on top in tanks, we had 260 gallons for Sundays cooking. We made eight gallons of dark amber syrup. My energy level has gone by by glad the season is over. Got home Sunday eve 9:00 pm.Tuesday April 7th I went back to clean up. Took all four tanks, flushed and cleaned them. Rolled up the 800 ft main line cleaned on the evaporator some.Quit 6:30 pm hit my bunk at 7:30.We had thunder storms some hail and about one inch of rain by today Wednesday April 8th . 7:30 I went up top to pull all my taps and pails, I wash the mold out as I take them down it makes washing them at home so much faster. Did notice the maples dropping bud petals. also took my old snowmobile home with me.still have more things to bring home but that gives me an excuse to go back, My grand son and I plan to turkey hunt April 28th thru 30th. his first time, what a thrill to call old tom in.The first week in May My son and I plan to go to our gold claims in the black hills, as always we hope to bring back some gold.Take care and God bless.
    12x14 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Prairie du Chien, WI
    Posts
    118

    Default

    As always, I have enjoyed reading the Vernon County posts. Yesterday and today we "finished" our boils and ended up a pint short of 12 gallons. We aren't complaining. Last year it was 17 gallons. Quite an interesting season but we'll take it. Good luck with the gold.
    2013 thought about it and wished I had jumped in
    2014 jumped in, 49 trees tapped and 17 gallons of syrup
    2015 52 taps and 12 gallons of syrup
    2016 54 taps and 13 gallons of syrup
    2017 45 taps and 11 gallons of syrup
    2018 45 taps and 8.5 gallons of syrup
    2019 47 taps

    56 acres above the Mississippi River in SW Wisconsin
    43.01N

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