+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: When to pull taps?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Chaska, MN
    Posts
    51

    Default When to pull taps?

    This is my 1st year and I put taps in 2 weeks ago. They were flowing well until the cold snap now with the warmer weather they're kicking in quite nicely. So I feel pretty good on my timing to put them in, but unsure on how long to leave them going. I read somewhere the later you go in the season the syrup taste can become "woody". Just trying to determine what people do. Do they try to get every drop out or is there rule of thumb on when to walk away?
    2021 2nd season- 71 taps, wood burner and a 2X2 evaporating pan
    2020 1st season- 8 gallons of syrup. Propane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Wind Lake, WI
    Posts
    375

    Default

    When either the temps climb too much for sap to run or it starts to get buddy is when I hang it up. Near the end of the season I start testing small amounts of sap in a pot on the stove to check smell and taste. If you've got sugars, then you could potentially go until April. My silvers are usually done near the end of March but the sugars will keep going for a week or two longer. (and I'm a good ways south and east of you)

    If you've got all the syrup you need and don't feel like working any more then that's also a fine reason to call it good.
    42.82N
    2015 - Small operation. 25 buckets. One excited 5 year old and one 35 year old that feels 5 again.
    2016 - One year older. New Homemade 2x4 Arch, Smoky Lake Pan and looking at 52 maples, 17 box elders and 2 walnut trees.
    2017 - Shurflo 4008 hooked to 42 stingy silver maples and a few Norways. A couple buckets on sugars and Norways. 10 box elders.
    2018 - ...a few more taps.
    2019 - ...more taps on 3/16 gravity. This spiral is heading downward in a hurry.
    2020 - 4x400 RO - RB20 (uh-oh!)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,696

    Default

    Season end is determined in many different ways:

    1. You've made as much syrup as you want.
    2. You don't have time to continue boiling
    3. Tapholes dry out
    4. Sap turns buddy.

    The latter 2 won't happen for a while longer. On buckets you can expect them to run for 4-6+ weeks, weather dependent of course. When it turns buddy (probably mid-April in your neck of the woods, but depends upon weather), you'll know when you're making syrup by the smell and taste as it gets about half way to syrup (sweaty sock odor, off-flavor...tootsie roll, chocolate, bad). Keep the sap from near the end when you suspect buddy separate to not contaminate anything you made earlier. When you no longer like the taste, stop making syrup.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Chaska, MN
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Appreciate it Gents!

    I'm committed to boil and tap as long as it makes sense. I'll take your advice and do smell and taste testing when April rolls around.
    2021 2nd season- 71 taps, wood burner and a 2X2 evaporating pan
    2020 1st season- 8 gallons of syrup. Propane

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,696

    Default

    ...and there is always (at least for some of us) ...

    5. The wife says you're done!
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    544

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    ...and there is always (at least for some of us) ...

    5. The wife says you're done!
    Ha! That's usually a big part of it for me!

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    67

    Default

    I like number 5 as well! To be honest I have never tapped until it went buddy. I always stopped before that because of having enough syrup. Usually two or three good weekend boils 5-8 gallons of syrup. Now this year with the RO who knows!

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts