+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Locating new sugarhouse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    2

    Arrow Locating new sugarhouse

    After years of make shift sugar shacks I am finally retiring and would like some advice on a permanent sugar house location. I have two choices, on the high side of my property with good road access but pumping everything or the low side with poor road access where I could collect 50+% of my 200 taps with tubing and gravity. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sugarhill NH
    Posts
    687

    Default

    Could you build where there is good access and haul sap back up. We all want the sap to come right in but there is such a thing as sales and visitors who need great access. As we get older especially me I don't want a roof I have to shovel off. But that is design problems.
    30x8 Leader revolution, wood fired blower, steamaway/hood. 903 taps all but 54 on pipeline and 3 vacuum systems. Hauling sap this year with a 99 F350 7.3 diesel dump and of course back up is the Honda 450 and trailer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    7,738

    Default

    I'd pick which ever has the best exposure and parking potential for customers. Then work out either pumping the sap up if needed or haul it. I prefer pumping when feasible.
    Making it the best for visitors trumps all else in my book.
    For the sugarhouse, decide how big you need, then make it 2-4x that size. Had I done that back 14 years ago, I wouldn't be so crowded. I kept drawing plans for an addition but other things kept interrupting them. Now as I have scaled back in my retirement an addition may never happen. But, hopefully not!
    Last edited by maple flats; 11-27-2017 at 10:25 AM.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 850 for 2018?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Middlebury Center, PA
    Posts
    1,314

    Default

    For me the question would be how many more potential taps can you have at the lower location? My sugarhouse is at the bottom of the hill within 100 yards of the lowest point (swamp) on my 400 acres. I don't haul a drop and don't pump any either. My road was nothing more than scratched out with a dozer year one. We have been working on it a little every year. For me the potential taps to my sugarhouse is worth being at the bottom of the hill.
    Last edited by unc23win; 11-26-2017 at 08:53 AM.
    Jared

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    60

    Default

    Budie , I believe that you may have a lot to think about. For example, is there electricity available where you have good access? If yes, you can pump somewhat easily and have good access for you and your customers, that’s assuming that you are having sales at your sugar shack. Or, would it be more economical to improve the access to the lower portion of your property and have electricity there? Don’t underestimate the access to electricity. I don’t have it and I can tell you that life would be a lot easier with it.
    Last edited by minehart gap; 11-26-2017 at 12:56 PM.
    Minehart Gap Maple
    2018:finally (after 27 years) got access to my sugar bush, planning 300 taps on 3/16 gravity, Used 2x6 raised flue sap pan & 2x2 syrup pan, 600 & 250 gal ss bulk tank, Homemade arch, 5" Sheets Filter Press, 14x18 timber frame sugar shack from the 1800’s
    Before 2018: played around at home with 10 to 15 taps and 5 gal. pots

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thank you all, excellent feedback. To elaborate, I will have good access to electricity at both sites but access to water only at the lower site. I have some pondering to do. Further comments welcome.

    Budie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake County Ohio
    Posts
    735

    Default

    Seems to me no water at the upper site, and the need to pump or haul all of your sap up there...makes the lower site favored with electric, water and all sap running directly into the sugar house. If you can get a roadway put in for customers later, so much the better.
    John Allin

    14x18 Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Smokey Lake Water Jacket Bottler 2013
    New Steam Hood in 2014
    Leader Clear Plate Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and Preheater 2016
    06' gator hpx to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    https://picasaweb.google.com/johnall...KO-3bzior6hVA#

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    7,738

    Default

    I still think customer accessibility trumps all, but that might just be me. Which will cost you more, making a road and parking area for customers at the low site or pumping your sap to the high site?
    Take this case, back in 2008 as I was setting up a new tubing system roadside at a lease, a reporter stopped and asked if I would mine her doing a piece about my operation. I said OK. She wrote an article and a photographer took some pictures. Then an article appeared in the biggest Syracuse, NY paper on a Thursday, along with interviews of about 4-5 other producers. The article said we were participating in the NY Maple Weekend, 2 weeks away. Then on Saturday, 9 days later there I was again, this time I filled half of the front page and it continued to another page for almost as much, several pictures were included. Then a day later, Sunday, 6 days before Maple Weekend, there I was, the whole cover of the magazine section dedicated to our county, and 2 more pages inside that section. When Maple Weekend arrived, I had lines of 15-25 people outside the sugarhouse all 4 days from about 9:45 AM until almost 5PM. I could only get 15-18 into my sugarhouse at a time. On those 4 days (Sat-Sun, 2 weeks in a row) I had between 2000 and 2500 visitors. I was in no way prepared for all of the traffic I got from that "free advertising". I only had parking for 8 cars, and the rest had to park on the narrow county road which had essentially no shoulders.
    I now have parking for only about 14 cars. I should have built where I could make a parking lot for at least 50 cars. My site has no such option.
    Just because you are small now, does not mean you will not get far more customers than you can handle, at that time I had 525 taps, no RO and I ran out of syrup about half way thru the second day. The next weekend I had filled my shelves again, but ran out by early afternoon on Saturday and I just took names to call when I had more. I think only about 8-10% came back to buy when called.
    Don't underestimate how much traffic you might get.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 850 for 2018?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    275

    Default

    I agree that access is important but that is also something that you can work at over time. Setting up a shack and determining how your operation is set up is permanent......at least for most. At 200 taps, I don't believe customer access for sales is the driving force behind this decision.
    Assuming you could eventually make a road or improve access, the lower site seems like the best choice to me. Pumping isn't a big deal but hauling sap sucks......PERIOD! If you can plan on pumping to the upper site I wouldn't rule it out. If you can have to haul sap to the upper site but not the lower site then it's a no brainer for me. On the lower site you say 50% of the taps can come in gravity.........what about the other 50%- pumping, hauling??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    205

    Default

    We have our Sugar House where my Grandfather built it in the 70's. We are going to build a new Sugar House there next year. We brought power and water from my house to the current Sugar House. We looked at moving it to another location, but the logistics for the power and water are not friendly to the wallet. Our Sugar House is located about 60-70 feet above either of the two Sap Shacks (collection points). One is about 730' away and the other is about 1200' away.

    In our case we have a gas pump at each Sap Shack. The 730' distance uses 1 1/2" line and pump. The 1200' distance will use 2" line and pump. Had I been told I could order holding tanks with 2" outlets when we did the first one we would have gone 2" there as well. So the added cost for us is the pump line, vacuum line to the releaser, wire to hang line, and two (not one) releasers. We would need equivalent tank storage so that is likely a small wash.

    I would agree, if feasible, that a Sugar House at the lowest point would be ideal, but access and reasonable location of power and water need to be taken into consideration. As mentioned parking may be an issue too.

    Mike
    Tapping since 1985 (four generations back to early to mid 1900s). 200-250 taps on buckets and then tubing in the mid 90s. 2013- 275 taps w/sap puller 25 gal. 2014-295 taps w/sap puller 55 ga. (re-tapped to vacuum theory) 2015-330 taps full vac. 65 gal, 2016-400 taps 105 gal, 2017-400 taps 95 gal. 2018-additional 800' mainline and maybe 400 new taps for a total near 800 taps. 2x6 Leader WSE (last year on it) supported by a 250 gph RO.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts