+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: First Year Maple sap collector

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4

    Default First Year Maple sap collector

    Hello,

    I am a first year tapper (or will be soon ). I have built a little arch evaporator outside that should be able to boil around 15 gallons at a time - and I have identified around 20 trees that I can tap.

    I am excited to get started,

    In my area, the weather forecast starting on 12/6 and going on for the rest of December are all low 20's and high's min the low to mid 40's. Looks like at least 3-4 good weeks of sap weather.

    I was planning on starting in January, but this December temperature looks perfect to get started. Anyone else considering tapping in December?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Hey NetSplitter,

    I'm lookin at that same forecast. I'm about 15 miles North of Ashland, KY in OH. This is our second year, and we are expanding quite a bit. I am so tempted to tap net week, but I'm really no where near ready.

    Not sure where you are in KY or if you've seen this post, I had a great time with these guys last year and learned a lot at the KY/VA Maple School.

    Here's the link: http://mapletrader.com/community/sho...ghlight=school
    2013 15 taps- almost a gallon
    2014-2016 planning and acquisition- moved back home to the family farm in Jun 16
    2017 125 on tubing -11 gallons
    18"x6' drop flue on home made arch
    2018 225 on 3/16 75 saks
    DIY Steam hood & pre heater
    2nd hand Deer Run 125


    https://www.facebook.com/Tarheelbill...335/?pnref=lhc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Hi bmbmkr,

    Thanks for the reply. I am in the Somerset, KY area, about 50 miles south of Lexington.

    I don't have a big production, just went around my property and marked 20 of the maples.

    I had read that the sugar content in always lower in the early part of the season, which makes me nervous. Given the weather last year, I had a friend whose production spoiled due to the weather we had in Feb/March this year.

    I think I may try to tap 5 trees and see how they do.

    Just out of curiosity, Do you tap every maple you can find, or just sugar maples?

    I had not seen that, and it looks really interesting - thanks for showing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    7,738

    Default

    A combination of maples is good. I tap mostly sugars, but at one woods I have about 25% reds, at the other it's all sugars. As you get towards the end of the season, watch the buds, the soft maples open bud a few weeks earlier than sugars. You want to pull the soft taps when their buds open, then keep going with the sugars until they open. Last year I got 3.5 weeks on the sugars after the reds popped, more commonly it's about 2-2.5 weeks.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Central Maine
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Up here in Belmont, Maine, the property is about 65-70% reds. The rest is Sugars with a handful of silvers between their and my other accessible trees. As long as they are healthy, I'm tapping. I was taking advantage of our "warm" spell up here to run some new lines on trees my uncle never tapped.
    2017- Started small- 90 taps and made 7 gallons. Long days and a few nights on a 1x2 and turkey fryer. Did a lot of reading. Caught the bug!

    2018- Bought a homebuilt 2x4 and building a small scale RO... # of taps- ? Well ... more then last year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by netsplitter View Post
    Hi bmbmkr,

    Thanks for the reply. I am in the Somerset, KY area, about 50 miles south of Lexington.

    I don't have a big production, just went around my property and marked 20 of the maples.

    I had read that the sugar content in always lower in the early part of the season, which makes me nervous. Given the weather last year, I had a friend whose production spoiled due to the weather we had in Feb/March this year.

    I think I may try to tap 5 trees and see how they do.

    Just out of curiosity, Do you tap every maple you can find, or just sugar maples?

    I had not seen that, and it looks really interesting - thanks for showing.
    The KY/VA Maple seminar is geared for both first timers and small to medium production. I started in 2013 with buffet steam pans, a propane burner, the kitchen stove and finally a cinder block arch- tapped 15 sugars and reds that year, took 2 years off to move back home from eastern NC. Last year I built my arch by welding 2 1/2 55 gal drums end to end. I purchased an 18x42" drop flue pan and a 18x30 front pan. I tapped a little over 100 last year, with about 20 of those being reds and Freemans- a hybrid red/silver. I had everything on 3/16 tubing, and had to pull the taps out of the reds because they budded out even earlier than usual due to the crazy warm weather we had. We also dumped almost 1000 gallons of sap that spoiled before we could get it cooked. Pretty crappy ordeal for my first "real" season- but we got 11 gallons of good syrup and priceless experience. I tapped on 6 & 7 Feb last year, looking to tap about that time in Jan this year. I bought an RO so I'm goin to go up to about 300 taps this year, 90-95% Sugars. My trees are on the north slope of a pretty steep ridge, they say that lowers sugar content also, but I averaged 2.1% last year. Good luck with your season, the guys here on the Trader are a valuable resource, I have learned a lot from them in the last 5 years- can't wait to put some more of it to practice next month!
    Last edited by bmbmkr; 12-05-2017 at 11:18 AM.
    2013 15 taps- almost a gallon
    2014-2016 planning and acquisition- moved back home to the family farm in Jun 16
    2017 125 on tubing -11 gallons
    18"x6' drop flue on home made arch
    2018 225 on 3/16 75 saks
    DIY Steam hood & pre heater
    2nd hand Deer Run 125


    https://www.facebook.com/Tarheelbill...335/?pnref=lhc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northwest Pa
    Posts
    901

    Default

    Just a FYI guys not a good idea to tap the same trees in the fall that you plan on tepping in the spring ! Really hard on the trees

    Jim
    Maple consultant for 50 years

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Thanks for the great replies.

    I look forward to this year.

    I am going to tap 5-10 trees now and save the rest for Jan/feb depending on the weather.

    Just do not want to miss the best weather.

    How are the flows when the weather does get much above mid 30's?

    Is it a myth that maple sap can get freezer burn if left frozen too long?

    Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    486

    Default

    Netsplitter - I am in southern Ohio so we're not a lot different in our weather, but you will be a tad warmer. I have fall tapped for several years and I will share my experience. I agree the forecast looks pretty good and I am tempted as well. I have only seen a year or two that you could get away with tapping this early and be very successful, but this is looking good. I usually put my fall taps out between December 20th and 25th. I'm going to assume your using buckets or bags. If you are using buckets it helps to run a piece of tubing down to a bucket on the ground. I drill a hole in the side that I can snugly push the tubing through. This method allows a little sap to stay in the tubing and it keeps air out of the hole. If your using bags and an open tap get check valve taps. One warm spell will drastically impact your sap flow in December. Fall runs are more sporadic and smaller volumes. You won't get much more than 3 weeks out of your taps. It's fun to start early but the cost is substantial if you have limited trees. You should not retap a tree that was fall tapped in the spring. Keep your gear clean, if you get a warm spell dump any old sap and wash buckets. It is far more critical to keep bacteria at bay in the fall, because flows are less frequent,slower and will spoil faster. all this is because we usually have a warmer daily high. If I only had a few trees I would wait until January, everything will go much better. If you tap 5 trees now you will struggle to get enough sap to cook. On a good day you might get a half gallon of sap per tap. In your area you should be able to start about January 20-25th and go right through February. Your season will probably be over by March 1st.

    I have a whole separate woods I tap for fall, and it only gets tapped in the fall. You can make some good early syrup, but you suffer in efficiency. I am now all on 3/16th tubing after 10 years of buckets and bags and I am interested to see how my fall taps work on the tubing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Again thank you all for the great advice.

    Buckeye - That is great information - and I actually am using it. I witheld from my urge to tap a bunch of maples, and I am glad I did (temperatures are a little higher than desired currently).

    I couldn't resist completely, so I went ahead and tapped 4 large black walnut trees (since I didn't want to risk my maples). I had read about making maple syrup from walnut trees (that the sugar content was very similar, but the flow is considerably smaller).

    The walnut trees have been flowing great. The largest walnut tree I tapped has been giving me 4 gallons a day (past two days), and the rest seem to be producing a gallon a day. The sap is not as sweet as the maple sap, it has a hint of nuttiness to it. I have just been storing the sap in large 5 gallon buckets, and putting them in my freezor.

    Walnut.jpg
    Last edited by netsplitter; Today at 09:05 AM.

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

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