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Thread: Tapped in Chester

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    319

    Default Tapped in Chester

    Got all 15 of my taps in today. 12 are buckets hanging on trees, 3 are taps with drops to buckets at the base of the tree. Most started to drip immediately, with the exception of one huge old tree. Never tapped that tree before. If I don't see some good sap flow on it tomorrow, I may just move those buckets.

    Even with snowshoes, trying to get around on 16 inches of wet snow on steep slope was... interesting. More than once the snow under me just slid out on wet leaves and I just aimed for the nearest tree to stop my slide.

    Probably got around a half gallon of sap per tree by dusk.

    Made a few more little improvements to the evaporator after getting the taps in. Will start my first boil tomorrow.
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    319

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    Well this weekend will make six weeks for me, and since I'm out of split wood, and the wood that's left is not fully seasoned, I think I'll call it quits after splitting what I need for the weekend boil, and boiling off whatever is collected by Sunday. Not looking forward to splitting in the rain on Saturday. And the wood will get soaked in the rain as I'm splitting it. Oh well.

    My trees are still making good sap, and still running well into buckets, even after six weeks. So it's kinda bittersweet to be wrapping up when I bet there would still be a good few runs in the next week or two. But I'll wind up with a over a quart per tap, despite low sugar sap, and a pretty tough March.

    Besides, it's two hours each way for me to get to where I boil, and I'm getting **** tired of that drive.

    Gabe
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Chesterfield MA
    Posts
    486

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by berkshires View Post
    Well this weekend will make six weeks for me, and since I'm out of split wood, and the wood that's left is not fully seasoned, I think I'll call it quits after splitting what I need for the weekend boil, and boiling off whatever is collected by Sunday. Not looking forward to splitting in the rain on Saturday. And the wood will get soaked in the rain as I'm splitting it. Oh well.

    My trees are still making good sap, and still running well into buckets, even after six weeks. So it's kinda bittersweet to be wrapping up when I bet there would still be a good few runs in the next week or two. But I'll wind up with a over a quart per tap, despite low sugar sap, and a pretty tough March.

    Besides, it's two hours each way for me to get to where I boil, and I'm getting **** tired of that drive.

    Gabe
    Any means of freezing the sap? Collect the good stuff and freeze it in pails, or find a local guy and sell your good sap
    1st Year Turkey Fryer Guru-10 taps and No Clue
    2nd Year Warming Pans on a Barrel Unit-25 taps Still No Clue
    3rd Year 2 X 3 Divided Pan on a NEW Homemade Barrel Unit-45 taps Starting To Learn
    4th year (2017) Mason 2 X 3 Inside Small Shack-85 Taps I Think I'm Addicted!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnpma View Post
    Any means of freezing the sap? Collect the good stuff and freeze it in pails, or find a local guy and sell your good sap
    Sugarbush, evaporator, everything. It's a two hour drive, at my family's cabin in the woods. I sure do wish it was closer.
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Pulled taps on Sunday after boiling off another roughly 30 gallon. Looks like perfect timing, since the next couple weeks look they'll be too warm for sap to run, and then the trees will start budding.

    Overall it was a good season. I haven't boiled down the last of it, but it looks like it'll wind up being around 4.5 gallons. For 15 taps that comes to about .3 gals per tap. I think that's pretty darn good considering how cold March was, and the fact that I was averaging only 1.5 percent sap.

    I think the main thing I learned this year was to be more aware of which trees to tap. Of course I tapped the few I have that are on the edge of the woods, and avoided the ones that looked diseased. But all the rest were forest trees, and there I just picked the ones closest to the sugar shack. Instead I wish I had looked up at the size of the crown and how crowded they are by other trees. Some of the trees I tapped this year in the middle of the forest were on a northeast facing slope, crowded by other trees, with very little crown. Those put out 1.1% sap. While other trees in the middle of the forest are facing southeast, have enough space around them, and put out 1.6% or better. That's 50% more syrup for the same boil! Definitely will hit more of these and fewer of the crowded ones next time (and maybe open up space around the crowded ones where I have time).

    I'll be cooking down and bottling the last of it this week. Then cleaning. Oh my god, so much cleaning to do.

    Hope everyone else has a good end to their season. Too bad about this warm spell now. But maybe it's good for folks up in northern Maine!

    Cheers
    Last edited by berkshires; 04-03-2017 at 02:03 PM.
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Chesterfield MA
    Posts
    486

    Default

    Next week looks really warm. This is out last week. You did well for 15 taps!! Great job
    1st Year Turkey Fryer Guru-10 taps and No Clue
    2nd Year Warming Pans on a Barrel Unit-25 taps Still No Clue
    3rd Year 2 X 3 Divided Pan on a NEW Homemade Barrel Unit-45 taps Starting To Learn
    4th year (2017) Mason 2 X 3 Inside Small Shack-85 Taps I Think I'm Addicted!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Thanks, man! How's the end of your season going?

    Gabe
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Chesterfield MA
    Posts
    486

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by berkshires View Post
    Thanks, man! How's the end of your season going?

    Gabe
    Pretty good run yesterday and today too........these warm days make me nervous!! Still have snow so I have been packing snow in the woods around out storage containers Next year I plan on switching a few things up and switching some of my runs to 3/16" tubing Every year I learn a little more LOL
    1st Year Turkey Fryer Guru-10 taps and No Clue
    2nd Year Warming Pans on a Barrel Unit-25 taps Still No Clue
    3rd Year 2 X 3 Divided Pan on a NEW Homemade Barrel Unit-45 taps Starting To Learn
    4th year (2017) Mason 2 X 3 Inside Small Shack-85 Taps I Think I'm Addicted!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Nice work and congrats on a fruitful season!

    I'm boiling off the remains of the sap i collected last week tonight and am hoping to crack 3 gallons, 4.5 is pretty outstanding for 15 taps. :-)
    2016 - 5 taps - soda bottles and water jugs - boiled over a firepit - 3 quarts
    2017 - 15 taps - 5g buckets - barrel evaporator - "Bessie" - 2.85 gallons

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sappytapper View Post
    Nice work and congrats on a fruitful season!

    I'm boiling off the remains of the sap i collected last week tonight and am hoping to crack 3 gallons, 4.5 is pretty outstanding for 15 taps. :-)
    Thanks very much! Good luck to you on the end of your season as well!

    Gabe
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

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