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Thread: Anyone give up on sap bags?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chepachet, Rhode Island
    Posts
    37

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    Iím partially giving up my bags this season after a couple of bad seasons with the bags. Iím going to try my hand at some tubing this season. I have had bag failures caused by multiple factors. I am up to about 170 taps now. Two seasons ago, I was unable to collect before a severe freeze that caused almost all of the completely full bags to expand and split the seam at the bottom. As soon as it started to melt, the sap just dripped out. Ugh, lost several hundred gallons. Last season it was many pin holes that caused massive sap loss. Could be critters, could be bags bumping the trees in the wind. The bags Iíve been getting seem thinner too and more prone to failure. Enough for me. Too much work to have all of that sap loss. Some areas are just impractical for tubing, so I will stick with the bags for those. In the areas that I can, Iím trying some 3/16 lines. It will be a learning curve, but it has to be better. Guess i will find out.
    2011 15 taps.
    2012 40 taps.
    2013 100 taps, all sap sacks. Custom built 2x6 wood fired evaporator and sugar shack.
    2014 125 taps.
    2015 145 taps
    2020 175 taps
    2021 70 on 3/16 gravity lines 70 on saks

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Arcade ny
    Posts
    281

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    Quote Originally Posted by thecabinguy View Post
    Iím partially giving up my bags this season after a couple of bad seasons with the bags. Iím going to try my hand at some tubing this season. I have had bag failures caused by multiple factors. I am up to about 170 taps now. Two seasons ago, I was unable to collect before a severe freeze that caused almost all of the completely full bags to expand and split the seam at the bottom. As soon as it started to melt, the sap just dripped out. Ugh, lost several hundred gallons. Last season it was many pin holes that caused massive sap loss. Could be critters, could be bags bumping the trees in the wind. The bags Iíve been getting seem thinner too and more prone to failure. Enough for me. Too much work to have all of that sap loss. Some areas are just impractical for tubing, so I will stick with the bags for those. In the areas that I can, Iím trying some 3/16 lines. It will be a learning curve, but it has to be better. Guess i will find out.
    Iíve gave up on bags myself. But this year I am looking at smoky lake maple sap bags. They are supposed to be thicker.
    2019:250 gallons
    2020:324 gallons
    2021:?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    469

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    I have used them two years in a row now and had no problems, except for the goat got one when we let him loose last spring. Guess he liked sap too.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,140

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    I gave up on them 4 years ago. Some because of damage, but mostly went to tubing. Old age drove the change as much as anything, got tired of packing sap.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chepachet, Rhode Island
    Posts
    37

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    Just an update. My first attempt at 3/16 tubing has worked out better than I expected. I have been amazed at how much more sap I am getting from my lines vs the bags. Sap has run for several days longer on the lines than the bags. I have one line running still after 3 very warm days with no freeze. The bags were done 3 days ago. I have all red maples and they are very stingy at times. I’m already trying to see where else I can run a lines for next season. I should be down to only a few bags on lone trees that are good producers. I’ve learned a lot for next season. Used sap sak holders for sale. Lol.
    2011 15 taps.
    2012 40 taps.
    2013 100 taps, all sap sacks. Custom built 2x6 wood fired evaporator and sugar shack.
    2014 125 taps.
    2015 145 taps
    2020 175 taps
    2021 70 on 3/16 gravity lines 70 on saks

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Chetek, WI
    Posts
    70

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    We still hang over 400 bags, the squirrels have always been an issue, we tape all the bags with duct tape seems to really cut down on chewed bags.7F9B9CE6-EB3D-4163-A904-58FD05491148.jpg
    3x8 Evaporator (24)
    2000 taps in 2020
    Deer Run R.O.
    Some 3/16Ē tubing Runs

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Mantorville, MN
    Posts
    58

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    Over the last coupleof years we have moved to more taps on 3/16 tubing. We are about 3:1 taps on tubing to bags. All of our bags are placed so we can drive our Ranger right to them. Funny thing is this year we did not lose any bags to crytters chewing on them for for a few years. We did nothing to stop the critters, no trapping, hunting or taping bags. Go figure! Next year we plan to run 1-2 more lines and decrease the bags again. We will always have a few bags to show the youngsters the process.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Speyside, Ontario
    Posts
    187

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    We only do 20 bags and didn't have any chews this year. We only put a piece of folded over duct tape on the bottom corners.
    2015 - 8 buckets, 332L sap, 8.5L syrup - Barrel evaporator, 2 steam pans
    2016 - 8 buckets, 432L sap
    2017 - 10 bags, 470L sap, 9L syrup
    2018 - 20 bags, 1050L sap, 17.6L syrup
    2019 - 20 bags, 970L sap, 22.2L syrup
    2020 - 17 bags, 813L sap, 17L syrup

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    223

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    Quote Originally Posted by heus View Post
    I gave up on them a long time ago when one season, red squirrels destroyed almost 200 bags in a day. I put out new ones, and they did the same thing.
    I havenít had any sap lines or bags up yet, but around here the trouble maker squirrels are the red squirrels. The black and grey squirrels seem to keep to themselves. Are black and grey squirrels also troublesome when it comes to chewing on bags and lines?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,140

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    I havenít had any sap lines or bags up yet, but around here the trouble maker squirrels are the red squirrels. The black and grey squirrels seem to keep to themselves. Are black and grey squirrels also troublesome when it comes to chewing on bags and lines?
    YES YES AND YES. They are all vial creatures and instruments of the devil.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

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