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Thread: Downsizing for 2019 (well, sort of)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ashtabula County, Ohio
    Posts
    1,631

    Default Downsizing for 2019 (well, sort of)

    After much consideration I will be making some major changes to my operation. I currently have about 1000 taps on 21" of vac. I boil with a newer Smoky Lake 2x8 on a newer Leader oil fired arch. I have a D&G 600 gph RO and Wes Fab full bank filter press. I have averaged about 300 gallons of syrup the past few years and sold most of it in bulk (I hate selling retail). Due to a variety of reasons, I will be mostly selling sap in the future. I will actually expand my taps to about 1150-1200 (about the max for my woods). However, the evaporator, RO, and press will be sold. I plan on buying an A&A 2x8 or 2x10 (my last rig was an A&A 2.5x10 and it did great) and making only enough syrup for my extended family. It will be a major step back going from oil and boiling concentrated sap to wood and raw sap. I dont care because I will only boil when I feel like it, the rest of the time the sap will go from my electric releaser to my holding tanks to be picked up by truck. My arch will not have forced air. I will boil and only be able to hear the crackling of the wood and the boiling sap. No RO running, no oil burner running. I actually miss this. My sugarhouse will become a sweet cabin for family and friends to hang out. My boiling room will be under an overhang where my current sap tanks are located. It's gonna be great. Dont get me wrong, boiling concentrated sap with an oil fired rig is awesome. I never boil more than 2-3 hours at a time. However, like I said there are a variety of reasons for this change. One is that I want to have a cabin. Two, looming FDA inspections are a factor. I just dont want the federal government on my property. Three, I want to return to a time when I wasn't worried about the commercial aspects of all this. Most people will not understand this "downgrade," especially in a time when most people upgrade from year to year.
    1000 taps on vacuum back down to 100 buckets
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    CDL vacuum filter
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Colton, NY
    Posts
    578

    Default

    I understand, we milk one cow by hand --- on purpose.
    3,100 taps
    60 cfm flood
    HC2
    5 by 14 oil

    Brian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,707

    Default

    Jason,
    Heard rumors of this. The syrup world is small and news travels fast. Sounds like a great plan to me! Some nights when I shut off all the noise it is nice to just hear the fire. Boiling raw sap still has its place too! Your family will like it! Good luck. You will still be busy in the woods too. Have fun!
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU, AOF and AUF
    12" SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chatham NH
    Posts
    1,160

    Default

    Somebody is going to end up with one honey of a used evaporator, good luck with your new direction, I tell people all the time that I think I had more fun when I ran 300 taps and boiled slow and filled a trash barrel with beer cans every spring.
    Nate Hutchins
    Nate & Kate's Maple
    2018 1000 taps?
    20x36 sugarhouse
    CDL 600gph RO
    Franken evaporator, lapierre arch, smokylake pans and a leader hood with pre-heater.
    A wife and 2 kids.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    colrain,ma
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Totally understand.Been sugaring since the early '70's...back then; sugarhouse 1/2 mile out in the woods,running water was from a spring up on the hill,light @ night was from coleman lanterns and when you started to nod off you threw some hemlock into the firebox so the crackling would keep you awake! Enjoy!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Danbury, Connecticut
    Posts
    337

    Default

    I'm convinced no one is ever happy with where they are in the maple world. you either want to do more or you want to do less.

    my favorite time of the night is listening to the final boil as we let the fire die-down, and then just the HUMMM of the blower motor. actually fell asleep twice this year out in the shack waiting on cool down.

    When you want to sell your gear let me know, i'm looking to upgrade to an oil fired arch. i have an older 30x10' wood fired if you want to swap partially.
    2016 - 36 Taps - File Cabinet Arch + Food Pans
    2017 - 2.5'x10' drop flues - 3/16 Natural Vacuum - 122 Taps
    2018 - 16x20 Sugar Shack - 3/16 Natural Vacuum - 235 Taps

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ashtabula County, Ohio
    Posts
    1,631

    Default

    BSD the equipment is in the classifieds here.
    1000 taps on vacuum back down to 100 buckets
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    CDL vacuum filter
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,450

    Default

    You've got to do what makes you happy with this sugaring stuff. I watch guys keep growing every year until they are so big that it isn't fun for them anymore. They end up getting burned out, selling their stuff and getting out of maple. I applaud you for doing what it takes to make it fun for you again.

    I purposely have kept my tap count around 700 taps because with a full time job doing more would be too much. I have enough trees in my woods to more than double my tap count but choose not to because I want to keep it fun.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ashtabula County, Ohio
    Posts
    1,631

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugarmaker View Post
    Jason,
    Heard rumors of this. The syrup world is small and news travels fast. Sounds like a great plan to me! Some nights when I shut off all the noise it is nice to just hear the fire. Boiling raw sap still has its place too! Your family will like it! Good luck. You will still be busy in the woods too. Have fun!
    Regards,
    Chris
    Thanks Chris. I'll have time to come see you boil next year.
    1000 taps on vacuum back down to 100 buckets
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    CDL vacuum filter
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ashtabula County, Ohio
    Posts
    1,631

    Default

    Thanks for all the support guys.
    1000 taps on vacuum back down to 100 buckets
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    CDL vacuum filter
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

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