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Thread: Spring Harvest 2019

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Posts
    2,562

    Default Spring Harvest 2019

    Hi everyone, hope you enjoyed the off-season. As always, you have to wait till the last minute to get stuff ready for maple season even though you've been thinking about it since the end of last season.

    ē Added a 4th tank to the setup. This will be the permeate tank, and itíll allow me to single pass sap to a concentrate tank during the day, and then single pass it again to the head tank. Still need to finish the RO piping to use the other tank.
    ē Doing long-needed maintenance work in the woods checking slope on near flat mainlines and swapping out PVC valves thatíve broken over the years (still a work in progress). Woods made out fairly well over the past year. Lost an end tree I need to fix though.
    ē Last weekend, I had to redo the PVC piping that fed the RO machine because it was all crackedÖnot sure what happened, so that was an unplanned repair and took up most of a day and half.
    ē Tanks are all cleaned and sugarhouse is ready to make syrup. Still needs a final cleaning, but at least I can make syrup.
    ē Still need to finish wiring the new water jacketed canner I had Bill Mason make. Been sitting half done for weeksÖ
    ē SHMF to remain about 900 taps. Everything in reach has been getting drilled for a few years now, so Iím as big as Iím gonna get.
    ē Greg and Sean (guys I buy sap off of) are both adding taps. Tap total coming to the SH this year UNK, but pretty sure Iíll need my swimmies at times. Plan this year is to get the RO going mid-day most every day to get a big charge of concentrate before I even get home.

    Last weekend, I was hoping to get the RO going to make sure there are no issues, but that didnít happen. Ran out of time with the plumbing work I hadn't planned on. Crossing fingers because Iíll be getting it going while Iím tapping. XX

    Tapping the end of this week/weekend. Unfortunately, Iím going to miss the upcoming warm-up. My goal is to get enough trees tapped that I can start collecting sap on Saturday and make sure the woods/pump/releaser are all working fine. Even though next week looks cold, Iím sure itíll change. Besides, itíll give me time to make any needed repairs.

    Good luck everyone and hereís to a good season!
    Josh

    2009 - 370 on vacuum and 16 buckets
    2010 - 377 on high vac.
    2011 - 590 on high vac.
    2012 - 620 on high vac., 170 buckets, 110 on gravity tubing
    2013 - 830 mine + 800-1000 from others
    2014 - 870 mine + 800-1000 from others
    2017 - 920 mine + 500-700 from others.
    2018 - 902 mine + 500-700 from others.
    2019 - 902 mine + ???? from others.
    Atlas Copco Pump
    2.5'x8' 802maple Special with Dallaire pans
    H2O Innovation 600gph RO
    Spring Harvest Website

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,404

    Default

    Hey Josh, You're going to like coming home and having the first pass already done. I start my first pass in the morning before I go to work and Richard comes up at lunch time and runs the second and third passes. I come home to 14% that's ready to boil which makes for an early night.

    Procrastination is the name of the game. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow. It sounds like you are almost ready which is a good thing.

    Good luck and happy sugaring.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NE PA (Pocono's)
    Posts
    1,359

    Default

    Good luck Josh...doesn't matter how ready you are, there will always be a leak here or there!! Its part of the fun

    Mike
    Algier 2x6
    Around 2500 taps
    Polaris ATVs, Ski Doo snowmobiles to get around
    Sp-22 power and lots of tanks
    Lapierre 600 RO




    http://s272.photobucket.com/albums/j...Sugar%20shack/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Posts
    2,562

    Default

    Hey Mike and Russ. Good to hear from you.

    Russ, how does the membrane not foul with concentrate sitting in it after it shuts off when it runs out of sap?

    Leaks...not allowed! They either cause vacuum leaks or sap to run on the ground...either way, it's lost syrup!!

    Mike, how on earth are you handling 2500 taps on a 600 RO and a 2x6?? At this point, I'm guesstimating I'll be over 2000 this season and trying to figure out how to manage it all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    east kingston, nh
    Posts
    3,976

    Default

    Hey there he is... its always a rush to get things going.... last minute BS... I think about how to get my flat tubing be better ever year yet I wait until NOW to make the changes...

    Good to hear from you. Good luck tapping its a mess out there now!!!

    this weekend should be even swampier.
    may your sap be at 3%
    Brad

    www.willowcreeksugarhouse.com
    585 or so on Vacuum, about 60 on bucket and tubing
    Welsh 1397 vein pump and a Lap mech vert releaser
    2x6 ss phaneuf Drop flue, Leader woodsaver blower, homemade hood
    300gph H2O RO
    husquvarna 562 XP
    less than its here 2018 gonna be the best yet... fingers crossed always...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,404

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Gold View Post
    Russ, how does the membrane not foul with concentrate sitting in it after it shuts off when it runs out of sap?
    I never thought about that. It never sits for more than a couple of hours and the flow rates always come back when I start concentrating again. If it's getting fouled it cleaning itself out.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NE PA (Pocono's)
    Posts
    1,359

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Gold View Post

    Mike, how on earth are you handling 2500 taps on a 600 RO and a 2x6?? At this point, I'm guesstimating I'll be over 2000 this season and trying to figure out how to manage it all.
    Josh- I am lucky my wife or son will start the RO before I get home from work. Most nights I have a couple hundred gallons of 12-15% to boil and Then it washes overnight

    Mike
    Algier 2x6
    Around 2500 taps
    Polaris ATVs, Ski Doo snowmobiles to get around
    Sp-22 power and lots of tanks
    Lapierre 600 RO




    http://s272.photobucket.com/albums/j...Sugar%20shack/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Posts
    2,562

    Default

    200 gal of concentrate though is still say 5 hrs of boiling never mind prep/cleanup...and that's an average day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Posts
    2,562

    Default

    Crazy busy few days. Goal was to get enough taps online for Saturdayís warmup/run to get the vac goingÖmission success!
    ē Thursday. Got about 350 taps in. Got the back mainline done and half of my sugar line before it got too dark out. Made minor repairs along the way. All tap holes were dry.
    ē Friday. Got almost another 350 taps in. Got the backyard line tapped and almost completed the sugar line before it got too dark out. Tap holes didnít start getting wet until late afternoon. Fortunately, it didnít rain much, so it wasnít too bad.
    ē Saturday. Got the field line tapped and finished the sugar line by noon. Got the vac pump and releaser going after lunch. Started walking woods by 3. Not much sap to collect, but woods are up to 25Ē. After dinner, I got the RO going. No issues there. I took my old membrane to generate about 250 gal of permeate, put my new membrane in, and rinsed it with permeate water. What I donít understand is if my old membrane was tested at 64% of its rated flow rate, why was I getting 2 conc./9.5 perm at 300 psi when I was creating permeate?? Isnít that 11.5gpm total (or 690 gph)??
    ē Sunday. Tapped the swamp line, made more minor repairs, and turned the vac. on. Trees/lines in the sun were running a bit. Found a problem with the releaser. The pump was short cycling and not pumping down all the way. After much observation (Iím a slow thinker), Jim and determined there was too much tension on the spring on the switch. Took some tension off the spring (adjustment screw), and back to working fine. I will say, the float setup on these releasers really stinks. Every year, thereís always something with it. Iíve replaced the float string a number of times because they break. The weights and float switch have been replaced once each. Someday, Iíll follow through getting an alternative to the float setup. Jim knows someone, who may know somethingÖ

    Even though the weather seemed favorable over the weekend, the sap really didnít run well. With the little bit of sap I got, it flushed the lines out, so when it does start running, I can start collecting. Things are in good shape for the sap when it decides to run. Now, I just need to get the sugarhouse picked up. I could make syrup, but itís a messÖreally just cluttered.

    As of Sunday morning, Iím all tapped in which should be ~900 taps. Problem is I still have 15-20 taps in my last bag. Somewhere in the woods, there are trees hiding from meÖthey must be found!

    Over the years, Iíve found that it takes 4 days total to get everything tapped (provided there isnít deep snow), vac running, woods tight, and dealing with any early season hiccups that always occur. 350 taps per day seems to be about the max I can get in. Good info for planning purposes. I donít know about you guys, but sometimes Iíll go back and read through my season threads to see what happened.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    136

    Default

    I used this last year and so far this year. The string float would freeze at the hole in the releaser top and not allow it to move. This happened when sap was running in marginal temps. The releaser is in a heated room and still had all sorts of problems, My moisture trap, which I did not think would get used is 4 feet above the releaser and when it let's go sap goes everywhere...

    It may be worth looking at for a solution. I cannot speak to longevity, so far so good. I had to do something at the time. It is easier to clean without the settling tube and floats too.

    https://www.amazon.com/HC6000-Hi-Lo-.../dp/B006AU4L4U
    2.5X10 HE
    600 RO
    Vac

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