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Thread: Tapping in SW Mn.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Southwest Minnesota
    Posts
    39

    Default Tapping in SW Mn.

    Its my first year putting in tubing. Its my fifth year sapping. Put in 50 taps Saturday on my home place. Put in about 1000 feet of 5/16 with two lines, hooked up to a Sureflo 4008. I've been learning about adjusting the flows to get max suction. At first when it didn't seem to work, It was only pulling out of the recirculation line. I got discouraged and wondered what to do. Then I used a C-clamp to close off that line and the other two started pulling like crazy.

    It has been a nice soft start because I'm really not ready. I put in forty taps in another grove hooked to a one inch mainline but will have to wait to Thursday to put in another 40, before I hook up the pump. That will be the one inch line going right into the pump. I do have a screen to keep ice out. Its supposed to get over fifty degrees on Saturday and Sunday so I think things will pick up quickly.
    I have two other groves I need to get tapped, the mainline is up but no laterals yet. I learned a lesson this year. Get the line work done in the Fall before the cold and snow arrive. It just makes it so much more difficult to get around.
    When I'm done tapping I plan to have about 5-600 taps out.
    I'm also a professional knifemaker and I have a show to display and sell on the 13,14 so having the syrup season come early has made getting everything done more difficult.
    So in order to get production going, I have to get my two RO systems completed, my evaporator set up, wash buckets and tanks, move tanks to locations and pumps set up.
    Is a lot for one guy. Yes I have a full time day job. Once I RO to about 12% I plan to freeze concentrate until I get a little more help to evaporate.

    My evaporator is a Smoky Lake 2x4 Hybrid, and my filter is flat approximately 18 x18 inches. I know these two parts of my process will be maxed out. The ROs will help but I expect to have a lot of sap.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Chaska, MN
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Wow you do have a full plate. I'm just kicking off my 1st year with 29 taps and it's been good for me to get an understanding how a big program works. My backyard is almost 3 acres of dense woods, some day I may just get to the next level. For now its only buckets and bags....
    2020 1st season- 8 gallons of syrup

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Southwest Minnesota
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I started with 9 taps and. Hot plate Made a gallon. But the addiction just seems to grow


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    429

    Default

    Glad to see someone close with the same disease!!

    SDdave
    It's not the size of the tree...it's what inside that counts!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Marshall, MN
    Posts
    316

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ddociam View Post
    I started with 9 taps and. Hot plate Made a gallon. But the addiction just seems to grow
    Sounds familiar! Same here :-)

    The burning question I have is, where the heck in SW MN do you have enough slope to put in tubing?????
    Dan
    -14 years sugaring and counting - hoping to create a tradition my kids will always remember
    -350 taps on buckets (Silver Maples + a few Boxelders just for the heck of it)
    -Custom-built 2x6 evap with Smoky Lake Maple raised flue, boiling in dad's old farm granary, now converted to sugar shack
    -Cobbled-together RO with XLE4040 membrane

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Southwest Minnesota
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I’m in Worthington. And no not much slope. But with tapping high at one end and low at the other. On a couple groves I can get 1-2 % grade. The putting on a pump makes it a sap machine. These little Sureflo are the ticket for our woods. My acreage has no slope but with a pump it’s much easier.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Southwest Minnesota
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I’m gathering from the third run this year. I’m still putting in taps in the last grove. I have found the Sureflo pump works real well on 5/16, for some reason not as well with my 1 inch mainlines. I checked for leaks yesterday and found some. Hopefully that will help.
    I never seem to get as much syrup as I expected. I’m not sure if that is because of high hopes or my hygrometer reads a little high.
    I totally torched my first batch. It was beautiful amber colored but I left it when I should have finished it. A lesson learned I hope.


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Southwest Minnesota
    Posts
    39

    Default

    I am so pleased. This week has been the biggest run of the year. We have collected over a 1000 gallons of sap and it is all syrup. Even the 370 we collected today. Finished the boil about. 7:15. We even emptied the pan and have it ready to clean. I think we have about 35 gallons for the week so far.
    My RO Is the game changer. I have a two post ro that I recirculate to about 8 percent. Then I have single post I ro the concentrate into my head tank. This has cut my boiling time by half or more. It is so gratifying to not having sap or concentrate sitting in my tank overnight. My evaporator is a Smokylake 2x4 Hybrid and it evaporated 30 to 40 gallons an hour. That’s it my only add on is the float box. I will never evaporate without one. I plan to install a blower soon. That should do even better.
    I remember Dr Perkins talk at Superior Sweetness where he talked about efficiency and batching. Using high brix ro and saving concentrate to later batch boil at a planned time. None of this all night vigil with the evaporator business. This sort of got me thinking about how to put things together. I appreciate your thoughts Dr. Perkins.


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Southwest Minnesota
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Started pulling taps today. Going to clean and remove a line tomorrow. Do my last collection. Which won’t be much. Almost completely stopped here.
    I ran out of glassware and I have every bit of refrigeration filled With syrup.
    I expect a shipment on Wednesday. Then back to finishing and filtering.
    This has been a wonderful season. With all the craziness I have been able for the most part to leave it behind.
    It’s been exhausting though.
    Jerry


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