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Thread: Is it too early to tap?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Sidney Ohio
    Posts
    2

    Default Is it too early to tap?

    My weather forecast shows lows of 20s and high of upper 40's to low 50's the next few days. Is it too early to be tapping? Just wondering.
    Freedom Farms
    Sidney Ohio

    SMALL SET-UP
    2020 Three channel, flat pan, evaporator w/ warmer box. Gravity feed lines for bush across the creek.
    39 taps so far with 40 + more to add. Two collection points and feed to the sugarhouse.

    2019 49 taps - Homemade RO - added evaporator -

    2018 20 taps ~ 1.5 Gallons of syrup

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake County Ohio
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    Looking at where you re - north of I 70 in Ohio - it may pay to wait until we have our big freeze....Tapping too early may compromise your tap hole come spring.
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    CDL Hobby RO & Air Tech L25 Hi Vac Pump 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Born in Canada - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World..<grin>.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    739

    Default

    Go back to bed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    OH
    Posts
    155

    Default

    I'm in Ohio as well and was tempted to tap early as well. The consensus is that if you tap too early, you could get a long period of freezing with no sap flow, then when it starts flowing again, your holes have already closed up a little and you won't get a full length season. Also people think that early sap has a lower sugar content.
    I have waited, but I'm getting antsy. I had a really good year last season that ran Feb 2 - March 10. The prior year wasn't as good and I tapped roughly Jan 15 - Feb 22.
    2020: 31 taps. 3 full size steam table pans on a custom 6x water heater natural gas burner setup.
    2019: 31 taps on silvers. Back porch gas cook top with 2 full size steam table pans. An amazing 14.9 gallons in my backyard!
    2018: 22 taps on 9 silvers. Propane turkey fryer and full size steam table pan on electric stove. I made 4.25 gallons in my backyard!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    952

    Default

    If your limited on taps then wait. I am ready to tap some next week, but I have two 3/16th lines with a total of 40 taps that I always do early. I don't depend on them for spring regular production. I am in Ross county so I'm south of you. I have done this for several years and some years it pays off and others it doesn't. I would not risk my regular taps this early. I will most likely start my regular spring season around January 20-31st depending on weather trends. I have more trees than I tap so I can gamble. It's nice to make some early season syrup. Sugar is always lower, not it might be. Runs are typically smaller too.
    100 -110 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Grenville
    Posts
    1,241

    Default

    Ahhh noobs....unless you have trees to spare and don't mind possibly doing permanent damage to your trees all for a teeny lil bit of low-sugar sap, go for it. *EYEROLL*
    Been tapping since 2008, but mostly unexceptional til recent years.
    2015 - 18 taps/6 trees, 424l sap and 20.75l syrup
    2016 - 18 taps/6 trees..701l sap, 24l syrup
    2017 - 17 taps/6 trees...474l sap, 15.75l syrup
    2018 - 17 taps/7 trees...819l sap, approx 28l syrup
    2019 - 18 taps/8 trees...585l sap, 28l syrup...21:1 ratio
    2020 - 18 taps/8 trees...531l sap (minor snafu and some given away) far, approx 12l syrup so far

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Temperance Mi
    Posts
    352

    Default

    Right now its to warm to tap. It looks like cold weather for mid January. When that breaks towards the end of the month I might start thinking about tapping.

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