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Thread: mechanical release for small operation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Esko,MN
    Posts
    211

    Default mechanical release for small operation

    I'm planning on tubing my woods and have 150 taps with a maximum possibility of doubling the number to 300 but no more. I have no access to electrical and have to have a mechanical releaser out in the woods at a gathering tank unless I run ladders. It sounds like I'll be able to have tghe maximum amount of vacuum if I release at a gathering tank in the woods rather than having multiple sap ladders to lift approximately 30' to get the sap back to the sugar shack. Any recommendations on mechanical releasers? Thank you.
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
    2015: 15 taps on bags
    2016: 150 taps: 100 on bags, 50 on 3/16" natural vac, 2x8 AUF/AOF Homebuilt Arch, 2x8 SL Drop Flu & Auto Draw, SL Propane Canner/Bottler
    2017: 225 taps: Built Lean to, Added SL hood, preheater, concentric exhaust, SL SS 7" SB Filter Press
    2018: 180 taps: Added Shurflo to 50 - 3/16", Auto fill sensor to head tank
    2019: No tapping
    2020: ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Essex VT
    Posts
    314

    Default

    I would suggest using a Lapierre single vertical releaser. It looks like the only size in the catalog is a 12" x 18" for 1,200 taps. I know it is too big but the release mechanism is full proof. I have 5 of them that I have used for 13 years and they work great. The releaser has to be under some sort of cover. I would forget about the sap ladders if at all possible.

    Joe
    2004- 470 taps on gravity and buckets
    2006- 590 taps on gravity and buckets 300 gph RO
    2009- 845 taps on vacuum no buckets, 600 gph RO
    2010- 925 taps on vacuum new 2 stage vacuum pump
    2014- 3045 taps on vacuum, new 1200 gph RO
    2015- 3104 taps on vacuum
    2017- 3213 taps on vacuum
    3' x 10' oil fired evaporator with steamaway

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Lanark, ON
    Posts
    2,151

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DocsMapleSyrup View Post
    I'm planning on tubing my woods and have 150 taps with a maximum possibility of doubling the number to 300 but no more. I have no access to electrical and have to have a mechanical releaser out in the woods at a gathering tank unless I run ladders. It sounds like I'll be able to have tghe maximum amount of vacuum if I release at a gathering tank in the woods rather than having multiple sap ladders to lift approximately 30' to get the sap back to the sugar shack. Any recommendations on mechanical releasers? Thank you.
    I would recommend you put a releaser at the tank and then pump back to the camp using portable gas powered pump if the distance is OK to overcome the distance and elevation. Worst case you run a generator and a high lift pump.
    4,600 Taps on vacuum
    9,400 gallons storage
    2x600 GPH CDL RO
    3.5'x14' Lapierre Force 5
    Twitter & Instagram: @ennismaple
    www.ennismaple.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Default

    Lapierre does make an 8" x 14" single-vertical releaser for 500 taps (Bernard style). Note that mechanical releasers don't always work well out in the woods where they can freeze up, so a shelter box to keep rain/snow off of them might be good. I agree that using a gas pump at the tank rather than sap ladders is probably the way to go. Ladders "might" work OK for a while once you get them dialed-in, but often take a lot of fiddling to get them to work properly and efficiently, so either way you're going to spend time in the woods (either pumping or dealing with ladder issues). Pumping is more reliable.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    CAPAC MICHIGAN
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    717

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    I installed the small releaser from lapierre in 2 different woods. built small sheds for tanks and equipment. pretty much good to go after starting them each morning. Trouble with ladders is takes longer for them to thaw out on marginal temperature days. Some days when temps hung at 35/36 degrees they never did thaw out and never got a run those days
    2x6 RAISED FLUE PANS
    by WF MASON
    350 taps on vac.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    149

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    I also have the Lapierre 500. This spring was my first season on it and I'm quite pleased. As with any releaser build a dog house. I built mine out of old barn windows I got at the dump. Even on a marginal day I'd open it up to clean and it would be 10 to 20 degrees warmer inside. Didn't freeze hard at all. 20190312_150616.jpg20190312_150616.jpg20190312_150616.jpg
    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
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    Some folks will insulate the doghouse, and put a small long-life candle inside on marginal nights to prevent freeze-ups.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Esko,MN
    Posts
    211

    Default

    Sorry for the late reply, but thank you for the ideas. I have a CDL dealer that I have bought tubing from but am going high vac in the next year. The salesman for the dealer said that he's running 5 CDL mechanical releasers that work well as long as the proper maintenance is completed. Mind you this is from a sales person. Any CDL mechanical releaser likers/dislikers?
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
    2015: 15 taps on bags
    2016: 150 taps: 100 on bags, 50 on 3/16" natural vac, 2x8 AUF/AOF Homebuilt Arch, 2x8 SL Drop Flu & Auto Draw, SL Propane Canner/Bottler
    2017: 225 taps: Built Lean to, Added SL hood, preheater, concentric exhaust, SL SS 7" SB Filter Press
    2018: 180 taps: Added Shurflo to 50 - 3/16", Auto fill sensor to head tank
    2019: No tapping
    2020: ?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    149

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    I've heard the dumping mechanismare not reliable, I was told this by my local CDL rep.
    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Campbellford, on
    Posts
    633

    Default

    I have ran one of the small mechanical releasers from Lapierre for 4 seasons now. Works flawlessly if kept clean, lubricated and unthawed. I am also running on a gas powered vacuum pump. Releaser and tank are in an insulated shed but they will still freeze on a cold night. I always put a stick to hold flapper open once I shut down for the night to ensure releaser stays drained. I can fire up on cold mornings when lines are frozen and go to work and once everything thaws it works great without having to babysit it.

    I would also avoid ladders if possible. I have 2 in my system out of necessity and they work but, as already mentioned, they are finicky and require regular tweaking to keep they working effectively and they can be slow to thaw in the morning.
    Maple Rock Farm
    www.Maplerockfarm.ca
    360 taps on Vacuum
    16x48 Lapierre propane evaporator with Smokey Lake auto draw off
    Homemade 2 post RO with MES membranes
    Ford TS110 tractor sap hauler

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