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Thread: December Journal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,639

    Default December Journal

    December is here, starting the journal on day one for a change. I finished filling the woodshed yesterday just before the big snow storm that's in the forecast for tonight into Tuesday. If I run out of wood it will be an excellent season.

    The tire shop says that they can fix the rusted rear wheel on my tractor and it will be ready this week. It will be 2 weeks tomorrow since I dropped it off for them to fix. Bad timing because it's snow tire season. I got my wood done without the tractor but wish that I had it to plow snow with. They are calling for up to 14" of snow which will be hard to plow with my 4 wheeler.
    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,452

    Default

    I have about 3 more loader buckets full before I'm done. I was going to do them today, but my plans got changed to mounting the minute mount plow which only took 75 minutes, then I had a honey do project to do. Maybe tomorrow if the storm isn't too bad, maybe later in the week. The trees have been down for 2 years and the cherry I'm working on now is off the ground. It contains far more wood than 3 buckets full worth. It will dry in time, is fairly dry already.
    This week I restarted my battery back up portion of my solar system after connecting a 48V LiFePo4 battery bank. I re set the charge profile since the 11 yr old bank that I replaced was lead acid. These LiFePo4 batteries should last about 30+ years and I likely won't (73 now).
    Right now we are in Storm warning, it has snowed , then freezing rain then back to snow for 10 hrs already. Is forecast to last thru tomorrow afternoon, then I'll plow at the sugarhouse. I hate the first plowing when the ground was not frozen hard enough to not thaw under the new snow. Not fun!
    Sales continue strong. I restocked my 1 retail outlet on Wednesday, returned Saturday and had to go get more stock, sales had been strong in-between, everything, and the bourbon barrel aged again was the big seller.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, downsized after I lost my help, about 450-500 planned for 2021 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    963

    Default

    Started repairing and tightening 3/16 laterals Friday. Replaced one complete run. This is the year to replace drops, so that stuff arrived Friday and I'll start making drops on rainy days. Every line needs work, as I cut some timber and had to break lines to drag out logs. The good news was my logs sold really high and I have some extra cash. I'm also replacing my stack. I'll also be doing my first cleaning after summer in the shack. I don't understand how it can get so dirty when it's been basically closed up all summer. After that wash up the pan and check bricks, blower and wash collection tanks. I usually do some early season syrup around Christmas, but I still have stock so I may pass this year.
    100 -110 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Peru, Maine
    Posts
    635

    Default

    Got all the down limbs and branches off the lines last week before we get more snow. All lines are off the ground. Bottled some quarts and 250ml glass to get ready for the annual local craft fair we attend which is this coming Saturday. Holiday sales have started out strong and we have plenty on the shelf now. Once we get through the holidays, we'll invest in some more mainline and tubing to set up 180 new roadside taps. The season will be here before we know it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Oostburg, Wisconsin
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Bought a new Smokey Lake StarCat evaporator to try to speed up the boiling process. I'm sure this will be a huge improvement over the cement block arch I've used for the past four years. The new pan is a work of art! Makes my modified steam table pans look pretty shoddy. A friend wants to start tapping this year, so I'll give her a bunch of my old stuff to get her started.
    2016-First year
    17 Taps
    Block arch & steam pans
    About 1 1/2 gallons
    2017-20 taps
    About 3 gallons
    2018-13 taps
    Same Block arch & steam pans (modified arch & pans)
    2019-12 taps (keep losing trees)
    2020-Brand new Smokey Lake StarCat evaporator, about 15 taps.
    43.62N 87.78W

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chatham NH
    Posts
    1,231

    Default

    I've been packing alot of retail syrup this month . Its always kinda busy this time of year. I noticed the last time I was canning that my SmokeyLake bottler had developed a slow leak around the fitting that the valve connects to so I need to get ahold of them and see what the turnaround is on something like that. It has given me 5 years of service so I'm not complaining, just not sure that there is anyone near bye that I would want to weld it.Recently picked up A new LaPierre 1650 Gallon tank . It's a real nice tank and should be large enough to handle my needs for quite some time, I'm still waiting on my CDL Tank of Similar size , I believe it is in at the dealer but hasn't been delivered. I have made an effort to get away from storing Sap in Dairy Tanks this year, although it is nice that they are insulated they are a pain to clean and keep clean and I am not to excited about getting inside them anymore. I am going to keep 1000 gallon Dairy Tank for permeate storage and that is it. I've been working in the woods a little, hoping to get to that elusive 1000 tap number this spring. Time will Tell.
    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,922

    Default

    Folks,
    A maple event tomorrow forced me to get off the couch and make some candy. Well my goal is to keep learning. I was determined to use Jake Mosers method of candy making that he explained at LEME this year.
    So I had taken some notes and proceeded to try his method:
    Cook the syrup less than normal. place in small pans, cool to a temp, stir till thick, rewarm to liquefy and then pour syrup into the molds.

    Here it has bee separated into smaller pans for the stirring process. I used 3/4 gallon of amber for this batch: Made 70, 1.2 oz bags of candy.


    Here I am reheating the thickened syrup:



    Well I still have some things to learn as this did not turn out as good as Jakes'! But he has made many/many lbs of candy using his method.
    Mine turned out OK and its in bags for sale at the event!
    This is a good process to make some small batches of candy without getting or having a Sipple or Sunrise type candy machine!
    Thanks to Jake for sharing his secret method of making maple sugar candy!
    I will keep practicing!
    Regards,
    Chris
    Last edited by Sugarmaker; 12-11-2019 at 12:15 PM.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    963

    Default

    Been working 3/16th lines and installing new drops.......let me be the first to say for this up coming season I HATE SQUIRRELS
    100 -110 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,639

    Default

    December is almost over and it was a good month. Christmas sales were stronger than usual this year and my once overstocked shelves are looking rather bare right now. I've got to pick up a case of quart jugs so that I can restock my shelves.

    It was a beautiful weekend to be in the woods. I walked all of my lines and cut off all of the old taps. I had to cut a couple of trees that had fallen over one of my mainlines and I got that done and the mainline back up off of the ground. There weren't as many trees down as I thought I might find just the normal amount of broken limbs.

    I took the high pressure pump apart on my RO and found that the impellers were all cracked from when it had froze a couple of years ago. I called Lapierre and it looks like I've got to buy a new pump. Ouch!!!
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    963

    Default

    I am all done and ready to tap. One new line, all new taps and drops installed, re-tension lines, leaks and bad spots cut out, shack cleaned, new stack up, repoint firebrick, and washed up tanks and pan. Now just hook up blower and move utensils to shack and then tap.
    100 -110 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

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