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Thread: Western Mass 2019

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    61

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    Yesterday was my best collection day yet... 80 gallons! I collect with 10, 5-gallon buckets in the truck bed and had to make two trips. Back at 125 gallons in the tank and get out of work at 2pm so should be boiling by 3:30 if I collect again today.

    Sap was a bit cloudy, not as bad as two weeks ago so it should be good as I can still see the bottom of the tote. Plus we did get under freezing tonight. I know I'm flirting with spoiled sap but the out of the tank temp is well below the 50 degree minimum on my thermometer (yes, adding a different one for next year).

    I had 50 taps this year and 16 were low to no sap so really about 35. The 12 reds at Dad's finally hit the 5 gallon total collection mark yesterday, two are still giving sap. Starting the what I need for next year list, 50 producing taps or 50 producers plus 50 more - the sickness has set in... hard!
    2020 - 2 taps, 1/2 pint on a turkey fryer, About 3/4 pint syrup in two weeks - Proof of concept!
    2021 - 20 x 30 divided pan, custom Mason arch, 34 producing taps out of 50. 8 gallons for family and friends to judge and Dad hooked as well.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    500

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    I took a day off last Thursday to boil. I've not been up to the Berkshires since then. Too busy packing to move the family from CT to MA this week. But this week, I'm sure, is the best run of the season. So tonight after work I'm going to drive up and boil all night if need be. Otherwise by the time I get back there this Sunday I'm sure all the sap will be spoiled.

    I just *had* to schedule my move for the week when Mother Nature finally gives us the goods.

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    61

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    Final boil of the season last night and cooked up a gallon. A nice and light buttery flavor to it. I'll drain the sweet from the pan tonight to boil in the turkey fryer this weekend for a final tally, but I should be in the 8 gallon range. Over 50 gallons in the tank that will be dumped as there is a definite aroma - the compost pile will be happy at least.

    The chimney continues to mock me. Blew out the new 45 degree elbow at the arch almost immediately Sunday and by last night flames were shooting out of it - though my temps still maintained 650. Maybe I need double or triple wall for that piece to handle the heat? No worries, this summer's project is building the 8x14 sugarhouse though it might be expanded, toying with that as there is room to make it bigger.. and I'll go with a 90 out the back assuming I don't upgrade the arch ("assuming" - hah!)

    Wondering if Sugaring is like owning a boat - after the season everything goes up for sale so next year it can be bigger?
    2020 - 2 taps, 1/2 pint on a turkey fryer, About 3/4 pint syrup in two weeks - Proof of concept!
    2021 - 20 x 30 divided pan, custom Mason arch, 34 producing taps out of 50. 8 gallons for family and friends to judge and Dad hooked as well.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Haverhill, Ma
    Posts
    818

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    How wide is the space between the bottom of your pan and the top of your firebox?
    2019 - New 12X12 boiling pavilion
    2018 - New Mason 2X3 Hobby XL and homemade RO
    2017 - 49 taps on gravity, 6 on buckets.
    2016 - 19 taps on new 3/16 tubing, 24 on buckets
    2015 - 51 taps, 26 buckets
    2014 - 50 taps, 14 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, new 2X3 continuous flow Phaneuf from Homestead Maple
    2013 - 33 taps, 12 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans
    2012 - 26 taps, 10 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    61

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    Quote Originally Posted by eustis22 View Post
    How wide is the space between the bottom of your pan and the top of your firebox?
    It's 2 inches to the top of the wall, then I cut the bricks along the sides and back with an angle grinder so they taper to that height from the outer edge. I've been stocking it fairly full and wondered if I should cut back on the amount of wood. 10 pieces 12x2x2 every 6 minutes, and up to 15 every few rounds.
    2020 - 2 taps, 1/2 pint on a turkey fryer, About 3/4 pint syrup in two weeks - Proof of concept!
    2021 - 20 x 30 divided pan, custom Mason arch, 34 producing taps out of 50. 8 gallons for family and friends to judge and Dad hooked as well.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    500

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    Well that was a long night. I cooked down 72 gallons of sap, or 4 1/4 gallons per tap. Took me all night, ran out of wood and was splitting not fully seasoned wood just to keep it going. That was by far the biggest boil I've ever done. Glad my niece got most of the collecting done before I got there, or I would have been late for work in the morning! I brought home about a half gallon of syrup, plus the sweet from the pan that I'll use to set up a gradient next time I boil.

    Looks like next week should be pretty cool again, so I'm going to see if my niece can go out on Sunday, after this warm spell, to dump any rotten sap in the buckets so I can start fresh on Monday. I'll plan to go out late next week, do one final boil, and pull taps.

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Haverhill, Ma
    Posts
    818

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    Ok, I was wondering if you just had too much heat going up the stack vs staying under the pan but that sounds right to me
    2019 - New 12X12 boiling pavilion
    2018 - New Mason 2X3 Hobby XL and homemade RO
    2017 - 49 taps on gravity, 6 on buckets.
    2016 - 19 taps on new 3/16 tubing, 24 on buckets
    2015 - 51 taps, 26 buckets
    2014 - 50 taps, 14 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, new 2X3 continuous flow Phaneuf from Homestead Maple
    2013 - 33 taps, 12 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans
    2012 - 26 taps, 10 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Stockbridge,Ma
    Posts
    202

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    Well we are done! last boil was yesterday and today we will package it. We should be about 415 gallons on 1275 taps. This season we have set all kinds of new records, Record sales, record number of visitors, record amount of syrup made in one day and record total syrup production. It was a fantastic year!
    First introduced to making maple syrup in 1969
    Making syrup every year since 1979
    3 x 10 oil fired
    Revolution syrup and max flue pan
    About 1300 taps on gravity, vacuum someday
    Bought first Marcland drawoff in 1997, still going strong.

  9. #59
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    376

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    Quote Originally Posted by bill m View Post
    Well we are done! last boil was yesterday and today we will package it. We should be about 415 gallons on 1275 taps. This season we have set all kinds of new records, Record sales, record number of visitors, record amount of syrup made in one day and record total syrup production. It was a fantastic year!
    Great to hear Bill. Out here in the Berkshires at 2,000' we had a deep freeze mid-season that shut everything down for quite a while. We had a below average season. Also had low sugar content this year.
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    500

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    Congrats, Bill!

    And sorry to hear that bigschuss.

    When all was said and done, I had about an average year on the eastern foothills of the Berkshires. Sugar level was about average. Sap runs in Feb were next to none, which is rare. It was just too cold. Sap runs in March were slightly above average. What really saved me was adding a few new trees that were really high producers, in both in sap and in sugar percent. I average about 9 gallons per tap in March, and this year I was over 11. I just about hit a quart of syrup per tap, which on buckets, makes me pretty happy.

    Gabe
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

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