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Thread: tapping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Default tapping?

    Is it to early to tap in the Lyndonville/St.Jay area? When do you tap?
    2016- 50 buckets. Made 4 gallons
    2017- 100 buckets, 50 taps on 3/4 mainline and 3/16th tubing + shurflo vacuum. Made 30 gallons.
    2018- 1000 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, 60 buckets - made 378 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 1713 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, NO buckets. Made 500 gallons.
    2020- 2793 taps made 1118 gallons.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Calais, VT


    Just noticed you haven't gotten any replies to your post. Try posting your message in thread "Checking what VT sugar makers are doing" at top of "tapping VT" page. Lots more activity there.

    I think your tapping really depends on your goals and setup. Is maximizing sap yield and production of top importance? My guess at your scale is that it is not, so maybe getting first early season runs which tend to be smaller and lower sugar content is not that important. If you have all new taps on tubing then you'll have a much cleaner system and better runs on the back end than you had with buckets. Huge difference there. But taphole closure will still occur on tubing so all else being equal, tapholes will run better when they're cleaner - which argues for waiting until last possible moment before tapping. Also guessing that at 1000 taps it wouldn't take you more than a week working alone to tap your trees, depending on length of work day. So by paying attention to long range forecast you could go with "wait and see" approach. Remember too that 40 deg, which seems really warm this time of year, won't do much for sap flow, especially at beginning of season.

    Everyone's got their approach. You'll find on the "checking what VT...." thread that a number of folks get their taps out in mid Jan. Of course, big guys have to start early because it takes them so long to tap 10s of thousands of trees. That did them real well last year when there were significant thaws in late Jan and the sap really ran. That's pretty anomalous though, and for me I tend to wait until mid-Feb or so believing that does me some good for the end of the season. Back in bucket days I would wait until after town meeting. Just my two cents. This is one of those fun topics that generates lots of different opinions and strategies! I'm sure you'll hear other ideas from other people.
    Good luck with the season!
    4x10 wood fired Lapierre Hurricane
    2600 taps on 3/16 gravity vac
    900 GPH RO

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