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Thread: When should I tap?

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    North Shore Lake Lemon, Monroe County
    Posts
    67

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    Dsaw, I learn a lot from your posts because we have had parallel growth and both have to travel to collect and boil. How are you preheating before evaporating? I use a bucket heater to warm some of the sap to boost the ro, but need to preheat before boiling...I'm only getting 2/3 to 3/4 of the pan boiling. You had double my volume of sap this weekend!...I was at 150 gallons or so (it comes into 3 containers and I am terrible about tracking it to the gallon). Granted, three of my 3/16 lines don't have 30' of fall from the last tap, and they crawl compared to the two that do. I want to try a vacuum on them next year. Boiling on Saturday I was in shorts and hot, 74 degrees...flies around the sap and peepers at night... not good sign. but I like next week's forecast. My stats: Help - none, Miles walked - 26, pounds lost - 5, hours of sleep Friday night - 2, gallons of sap - +/_ 150, homemade ro rate (with warmed sap) 5 gallons of water removal every 38 minutes, exactly 3 gallons of syrup bottled.
    2013 - one tap to appease my 5th grade daughter who learned about it in school...covered her pancakes for one meal.
    2014 - 8 taps, turkey fryer, 130 gallons sap, just under 2.5 gallons syrup.
    2015 - 50 taps and counting, no help from either of the kids, I'm over my head.
    2016 - 60 taps on 3/16 and a Bill Mason evaporator on order - 30 ready to put in if I can get it bricked and set up in time.
    2017 - 115 taps on 3/16, can't wait to try my home built r/o - I may sleep some on weekends!

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Crawford County Indiana
    Posts
    52

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    Thanks for comments Andrew. My preheater is pretty simple right now; I managed to pick up a Leader finishing pan on e-bay cheap a few years ago that's about 18" x 28"? (one of my best syrup purchases it turns out, it came with a duel burner stand and I can bring it home to finish boiling there if I need to, a portable evaporator). Before finishing, I put that pan above my 2x3, but angle it with a 2x4 on one end and two thin pieces of plywood on each corner up front and it barely overhangs the main pan. So with the angle, condensate runs along the bottom of the pan and drips off in front. I'll try to get a pic up later. I had a portion of my slave labor force out there; but they didn't prove much help. They washed buckets; but a) I didn't have time to tap any more trees and b) don't think we have any season left now; but I had to have them do something. They did occasionally feed the fire, but they're not real reliable at it. The kids are off this coming Monday, so I'll have everyone out for a 3 day weekend. I just hope we have some sap.
    2014 - 30 taps
    2015 - 50 taps
    2016 - 140 taps
    2017 - 115 taps - 85 taps on 3/16, 30 buckets - so far

    Smokey Lake 2x3
    About to test homebuilt 2x XLE-4040 RO Unit
    Kubota L3940 - big sap hauler
    Polaris Sportsman 570 SP - little sap hauler
    I'm 1:20 remote from sugarbush, so I let run awhile between boils, and time is at a premium, so I try to oversize things

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Crawford County Indiana
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Looks like we're done here in S. IN. I checked 3 of my 5 barrels and I have less then 10 gal. Vs >100 last weekend. I froze about 10 gal of 6% sap, but doubt I'll have enough fresh sap to fire up the RO.
    2014 - 30 taps
    2015 - 50 taps
    2016 - 140 taps
    2017 - 115 taps - 85 taps on 3/16, 30 buckets - so far

    Smokey Lake 2x3
    About to test homebuilt 2x XLE-4040 RO Unit
    Kubota L3940 - big sap hauler
    Polaris Sportsman 570 SP - little sap hauler
    I'm 1:20 remote from sugarbush, so I let run awhile between boils, and time is at a premium, so I try to oversize things

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Crawford County Indiana
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Maybe not quite as bad as I thought, I found one full barrel and some fuller buckets; so should have enough to fire up the RO.
    2014 - 30 taps
    2015 - 50 taps
    2016 - 140 taps
    2017 - 115 taps - 85 taps on 3/16, 30 buckets - so far

    Smokey Lake 2x3
    About to test homebuilt 2x XLE-4040 RO Unit
    Kubota L3940 - big sap hauler
    Polaris Sportsman 570 SP - little sap hauler
    I'm 1:20 remote from sugarbush, so I let run awhile between boils, and time is at a premium, so I try to oversize things

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    North Shore Lake Lemon, Monroe County
    Posts
    67

    Default

    This was one of those weekends that makes me wonder why I do it. Drove to my property yesterday to find only 30 gallons of cloudy sap. I had a hunch it was bad, but I had a few people coming out today to check out my operation, so I started boiling this morning. As I walked them around the property showing them the lines and storage tanks I could smell the woody sap from 100 yards away. So, a waste of time and wood. As soon as they left I dumped it all, rinsed my storage tanks, and went home. I left the lines on the ground with the taps in with hope for a freeze, but with the next week in the 60's every day I'll be shocked if the trees don't bud. To get just 3 gallons of syrup off of 115 taps is awful. I guess I tap in Jan. next year? I do have a terrible short term memory...hopefully I forget my frustration by next year!
    2013 - one tap to appease my 5th grade daughter who learned about it in school...covered her pancakes for one meal.
    2014 - 8 taps, turkey fryer, 130 gallons sap, just under 2.5 gallons syrup.
    2015 - 50 taps and counting, no help from either of the kids, I'm over my head.
    2016 - 60 taps on 3/16 and a Bill Mason evaporator on order - 30 ready to put in if I can get it bricked and set up in time.
    2017 - 115 taps on 3/16, can't wait to try my home built r/o - I may sleep some on weekends!

  6. #56
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lebanon, IN
    Posts
    235

    Default

    We only got about 250 gallons yesterday, so we rinsed our tank & pulled the lines out; as well as bringing in all the bags & rinsing them out & hanging them to dry. If we're done they are already collected, if not we're hoping they won't be moldy next Saturday & we can re-hang them. If the trees don't bud we may be able to put out another 25 taps...hoping for the best.

    So far we've finished about 22 gallons from 223 taps, plus whatever we can still get out of the evaporator.
    Doug
    Maple Creations, Coatesville, IN
    +/-175 taps & plastic bags
    "Custom" Kawasaki Mule collecting system
    40+ on 3/16" tubing
    Wood-fired 30"x8' D&G raised-flue w/Steam hood
    Sunrise Metals finisher & Wes Fab 7" pressure filter
    http://www.facebook.com/maplecreations

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Freedom, IN.
    Posts
    99

    Default

    Saturday we boiled 20 gallons of sap collected this past week and kept in the fridge, and today we finished it off together with the sweet from last Sunday's boil. Made another 21 bottles (12 ounce). That brings us to almost 5.25 gallons of syrup, from 310 gallons of sap. Pretty sad, and the forecast doesn't look good. We left the buckets hanging on the trees, but cleaned all the stainless finish pans as well as the sap storage barrels. The tubing we let open to ground.... probably wishful thinking, but hopeful nonetheless. Terrible year. Spring peepers were singing around the ponds today.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Crawford County Indiana
    Posts
    52

    Default

    I dumped all my sap, it was bad.Left lines out. Boiled some concentrate I'd frozen from last week. Only good point was I fixed my RO. I'm ready for next year if we can have a season longer then 3 weeks.
    2014 - 30 taps
    2015 - 50 taps
    2016 - 140 taps
    2017 - 115 taps - 85 taps on 3/16, 30 buckets - so far

    Smokey Lake 2x3
    About to test homebuilt 2x XLE-4040 RO Unit
    Kubota L3940 - big sap hauler
    Polaris Sportsman 570 SP - little sap hauler
    I'm 1:20 remote from sugarbush, so I let run awhile between boils, and time is at a premium, so I try to oversize things

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Crawford County Indiana
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Went out to put the RO membranes in preservative, and 3 of my 5 3/16" runs were running syrup. If I'd dumped the bad syrup last week I probably could have had some.
    2014 - 30 taps
    2015 - 50 taps
    2016 - 140 taps
    2017 - 115 taps - 85 taps on 3/16, 30 buckets - so far

    Smokey Lake 2x3
    About to test homebuilt 2x XLE-4040 RO Unit
    Kubota L3940 - big sap hauler
    Polaris Sportsman 570 SP - little sap hauler
    I'm 1:20 remote from sugarbush, so I let run awhile between boils, and time is at a premium, so I try to oversize things

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    North Shore Lake Lemon, Monroe County
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Dsaw, shat do you use as a preservative for your ro membranes?
    2013 - one tap to appease my 5th grade daughter who learned about it in school...covered her pancakes for one meal.
    2014 - 8 taps, turkey fryer, 130 gallons sap, just under 2.5 gallons syrup.
    2015 - 50 taps and counting, no help from either of the kids, I'm over my head.
    2016 - 60 taps on 3/16 and a Bill Mason evaporator on order - 30 ready to put in if I can get it bricked and set up in time.
    2017 - 115 taps on 3/16, can't wait to try my home built r/o - I may sleep some on weekends!

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