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Thread: Backyard Syrup Enthusiasts 2019

  1. #121
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Carrabassett Valley, Me
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    110

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    Some yes and some no Karen!!! Depends on where you are!!! The 2 guy's i know who are cooking say it's getting very dark, the count is down, and they worked some hard for it!!!!

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mount Vernon Maine
    Posts
    65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchman View Post
    You sound like a blueberry raker myhomesteader!!! Look to the left and see a sea of blue, might as well pick em!!!!!!! And your out there till dark!!!!
    I just can't give up the free resource! I DID remove 34 of 38 taps today, but kept four sweet ones for bottling/freezing and saved 20 gallons to add to the garden this spring as a nutritive experiment. Lots of good minerals you know!
    2x4 concrete block arch with three steam trays
    Separate warming stove/steam tray
    2016 12 taps, 3 gallons
    2018 15 taps, 7 gallons
    2019 38 taps, 13.6 gallons
    Mostly sugar maples, a few reds on 200 year old homestead

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    West Rockport/South Hope Maine
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    64

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    Once again, I'm proven out to be a liar. It happened three years ago, and it happened this year. I call it taps, we got 3 crappy snow days, and the buckets overflowed. I lugged in 62 gallons and we're on the proverbial encore boil this evening & tomorrow - after I cleaned the finishing pan. In an attempt to lighten the finished product of the late flow, I also cleaned the evaporator pan as well. We'll see how it turns out. Then... with the forecast as it's sitting, can I PLEASE call it taps?... I need to get the house back in order and relax a little.
    Last edited by Peeper; 04-13-2019 at 04:02 PM.
    Maine Moonshine
    117 Sugar maples & 60 red maples on 9 acres, buckets, Leader 1/2 pint arch w/36x24 pan
    No shack (...yet??)
    When you start to hear the spring peepers, you know your taps have overstayed their welcome.

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    West Rockport/South Hope Maine
    Posts
    64

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    Encore boil finished and bottled! 1.75 gallons of dark out of 67 gallons encore run = 2.6% sap. Cleaning the pans probably kept it from being very dark?? All in all, that brings the total product for 2019 up to 12 gallons (a new record for me - esp. with 25 -30 fewer taps.) out of 402 gallons of sap as follows:
    5.75 gallons Golden
    2.75 gallons Amber
    3.5 gallons Dark

    Tapps.jpg TAPS!FA2DC26C-CD2F-4646-A407-CC558602C7FF.jpg
    Last edited by Peeper; 04-17-2019 at 05:52 PM.
    Maine Moonshine
    117 Sugar maples & 60 red maples on 9 acres, buckets, Leader 1/2 pint arch w/36x24 pan
    No shack (...yet??)
    When you start to hear the spring peepers, you know your taps have overstayed their welcome.

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Carrabassett Valley, Me
    Posts
    110

    Default

    Good for you Peeper!!!! We still have a lot of snow here, and ice still on the pond, be a few weeks before we hear them singing?? Can't wait!!!

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mount Vernon Maine
    Posts
    65

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    Final boil today resulting in a gallon, quart, and 3/4 pint from 55 gallons of sap, 2.44% sugar content. Interestingly it was lighter than the last batch we did with less solids. I have a suspicion that the previous batch might have been a little old.

    So, in total: 498 gallons of sap boiled, 13.6 gallons of syrup, average 2.7% sugar (ranged from 2.24 to over 3); collected 600 gallons of sap for a variety of purposes, so each tree produced on average 15.7 gallons over 38 taps. The last tap I pulled, from a large sugar maple along the road, was still producing 3% ssc.

    Lessons learned:

    1. Tapping early is OK. I tapped around the 14th to 18th of February thinking the season would be like 2018.

    2. Don't panic if things don't seem right. I fretted early on that my taps weren't placed right, and in some cases I added a tap in a tree when the one I had placed wasn't performing well. In the end it wasn't placement at all, just the slow start that everyone was seeing.

    3. Even though tapping early was OK, waiting till the weather looks more favorable to sap flow will be something I will do next year.

    Improvements for 2020:

    1. Mortar the concrete block arch and brick liner. The bricks work great. Two seasons now with no cracked block.

    2. Reconfigure the arrangement to add one more pan. I think I need to lengthen the blocks by a half block to make it work. A extra pan could put the boil rate near 10 gph.

    3. Get more 5 gallon buckets for storage.

    Well I guess that does it. Bees on the way in a month so I best get those hives finished; raspberry beds to re-frame; tractor shed to build; garden to plant; pine logs to get milled; barn to re-side, etc. Everyone enjoy summer and see you all next season!
    Last edited by Mvhomesteader; 04-14-2019 at 08:19 PM.
    2x4 concrete block arch with three steam trays
    Separate warming stove/steam tray
    2016 12 taps, 3 gallons
    2018 15 taps, 7 gallons
    2019 38 taps, 13.6 gallons
    Mostly sugar maples, a few reds on 200 year old homestead

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Carrabassett Valley, Me
    Posts
    110

    Default

    Looks like you had a great year Karen!!!!!!

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