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Thread: Tapped in Chester

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    384

    Default Tapped in Chester

    I've been back and forth on the fence for over a week now. In particular, the forecast for this week has looked anywhere between great and terrible over the last week. I was going to do it this weekend, then the forecast changed for the colder, so I didn't. Then the forecast changed again for the warmer, soo... I wound up biting the bullet, took the day off work, and tapped today. Of course the predicted high temp for me today was 42, and it barely got to 35, so I may have blown it. Oh well, we shall see.

    Cheers,

    Gabe O
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons syrup
    2020: 9 taps

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Had my first really good run this week. I had a number of overflowing buckets when I got there. Average of 4.5 gallons per tap over the week. That's even though one bucket was half empty on the ground, because...

    Unfortunately one of my best trees had the spile snap in half - dropping the bucket to the ground. I didn't bring a new spile with me, so I'll miss out on any run this week - I'll try to pull out the remaining chunk of spile and set a new one when I go back up next weekend.

    Another very exciting thing: I finished cutting bricks for my new Mason 2x3, and hauled all that stuff up to the sugar shack. I will take out the old evaporator, put the new one in, brick it, and boil on it next weekend. Pretty excited! The old one is so badly warped the pans don't properly fit any more, and I have to stuff wads of insulation in to keep the fire in it.

    Hope we get a freeze this week both so that my sap lasts until the weekend, and so that I get a bunch!

    GO
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons syrup
    2020: 9 taps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Pulled taps last weekend. Not the greatest season, but not the worst.

    I had one new thing happen - a bucket blew off the tree. I thought the wind had pulled the spile out, but it turned out it had snapped the spile in half. Unfortunately, it was on the best run of the year, so I lost one tap's worth of good sap on one of my best trees, for a full week. I was able to get the remaining chunk of tap out without damaging the hole, and get a new tap put in to the same hole.

    I am very excited about my new Mason 2 x 3. I was able to get a couple of boils on it at the end. I really need more sap to put it through its paces properly. I never got anywhere close to syrup in the divided pan, and treating a divided pan like a simple flat pan is a bit of a pain. Particularly at shut-down. I plan to put in more taps next season, so we'll see how that goes. I didn't buy the blower, because I don't have electricity. I saw a lot more black smoke coming out of the smokestack than I'd like, and wasn't getting as strong a boil as I'd like. I'll try splitting wood a little smaller next season, I think that should help.

    I got a batch of light, which some people like, a bunch of regular amber, and a good bit of dark, which is my favorite. So no complaints.

    Hope the rest of your seasons go/end well.

    Cheers,

    GO
    Last edited by berkshires; 04-02-2020 at 08:52 AM.
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons syrup
    2020: 9 taps

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