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Thread: Tapping for 2021

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    28

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    I remember last year mid January it was ideal tapping weather and everyone was chomping at the bit. Finally Jan 22 I went for it as the 14 day looked ideal. Lots of people in CT were holding out. It never got cold last year after that and all the hold-out's ended up being forced into tapping two weeks later. In that two weeks it never got really cold and people missed two weeks of great running. Looking back, it seems like the end of January tapping was the right call.

    The difference in winter so far between last year and this year is that last year it did get cold for a decent stretch beginning of January, where this season we have not have had hardly any prolonged cold. I do think/hope we will get one prolonged cold stretch so I plan on waiting at least two more weeks.

    Just my $0.02 but I am a small time (60 Tap, 3rd season) newbie. I don't really think there is a correct answer as each situation is different, but I am learning to just watch the weather, understand historic weather trends, understand the current winter to date, understand maple research/traditions and mostly just go with your gut. I am also a big believer in Law-of-Averages, and weather trends almost always balance out (Although we are trending slightly warmer each year). Hot summer hopefully results in a cold winter and vice versa, so I try not to get so jumpy on that first warm up in January if it was a hot summer.

    Good luck all! Can't wait for it to start. I'll be checking in here regularly to see what other CT folks are doing.
    2021 - 40 on 3/16, 20 on buckets. Added Shurflo.
    2020 - New Mason 2x3, 60 taps. 30 on 3/16 gravity (Too Flat), 30 buckets. 13 gal
    2019 - First season - Homemade barrel evap. 25 taps on buckets. 4 gal. THE ADDICTION BEGINS!!
    No Sugar Shack yet.
    Wishing I had more property/trees.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Weston, CT
    Posts
    243

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kubota View Post
    I remember last year mid January it was ideal tapping weather and everyone was chomping at the bit. Finally Jan 22 I went for it as the 14 day looked ideal. Lots of people in CT were holding out. It never got cold last year after that and all the hold-out's ended up being forced into tapping two weeks later. In that two weeks it never got really cold and people missed two weeks of great running. Looking back, it seems like the end of January tapping was the right call.

    The difference in winter so far between last year and this year is that last year it did get cold for a decent stretch beginning of January, where this season we have not have had hardly any prolonged cold. I do think/hope we will get one prolonged cold stretch so I plan on waiting at least two more weeks.

    Just my $0.02 but I am a small time (60 Tap, 3rd season) newbie. I don't really think there is a correct answer as each situation is different, but I am learning to just watch the weather, understand historic weather trends, understand the current winter to date, understand maple research/traditions and mostly just go with your gut. I am also a big believer in Law-of-Averages, and weather trends almost always balance out (Although we are trending slightly warmer each year). Hot summer hopefully results in a cold winter and vice versa, so I try not to get so jumpy on that first warm up in January if it was a hot summer.

    Good luck all! Can't wait for it to start. I'll be checking in here regularly to see what other CT folks are doing.
    This is all contingent with where you are in Connecticut and what equipment you use. If you are south of the Merritt Parkway today, yesterday and the next few days may have some decent sap flow. If your north of the Merritt and up on the bench, gravity flow is at a very slow rate. A pump may do something here not sure.

    I tapped February 15th last year about 10 miles north of the Merritt Bench. Not a thing about that date I regret. Had a record flow rate in early March. Yes my season ended by mid March but my gallons of sap and syrup produced was close to the same as other years and my total effort was near half of other years.

    Wind is a huge factor in sap flow as well and we have had a lot of wind this year. A 38 degree sunny calm day is more likely to have better sap flow then a 38 degree sunny windy day. I'll put a good guarantee on that effect in January. Even a better one February. And even a better one in March.

    I am learning but unfortunately forgetting as fast as I am learning.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    148

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    Sugar Bear. Where are you in Weston. I’m here as well.
    2021 - 77 taps on shurflo 4008. Sap Sucker 4-D. Mason 2x4 XL, 4x150 RO.
    2020 - 70ish taps on shurflo 4008, 10 taps on buckets. Mason 2x4 XL. DIY R.O. ~24 gallons of syrup.
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.
    ______________________________________________
    Trout Brook Valley
    Weston, CT

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Weston, CT
    Posts
    243

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    I am on the north side up at the top of 57. I imagine your about the same as me weather wise.

    Have you set your site on a planned tap date yet?

    How did your RO work for you? And how many and what size membranes did you use?

    I am thinking of tapping some Reds this year and will use RO if I do.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    148

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    I’ve had my hands full as my son is fighting cancer and had a major surgery this week. Just starting to think about gearing up for the season. I need to change out all my check flow taps and set up my pump and collection systems.

    The forecast looks good but it is early.

    I’ll try to get out early tomorrow and work on my lines. Assuming I have time I’ll also get out my IBC tote and run my transfer pump lines from vac up to the tote. It’s a good mornings worth of work but I’d like to get ready.

    I built an RO with 4x150s and an aquatek 8852.

    Most of my trees are Reds so the RO is huge. Last year I was averaging about 1.5% sugar. I RO up to 6-7% before boiling. It worked well last year.

    I’m on Trout Brook lane. If you ever go the the preserve I’m the house on the creek as you enter Bradley. You can see my lines from Bradley.

    When are you thinking about tapping?
    2021 - 77 taps on shurflo 4008. Sap Sucker 4-D. Mason 2x4 XL, 4x150 RO.
    2020 - 70ish taps on shurflo 4008, 10 taps on buckets. Mason 2x4 XL. DIY R.O. ~24 gallons of syrup.
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.
    ______________________________________________
    Trout Brook Valley
    Weston, CT

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Weston, CT
    Posts
    243

    Default

    I am very sorry to hear about your son. That must be very difficult for you.

    I was just thinking yesterday how even without COVID, our lives are still so full of mysterious pitfalls even without COVID. And the thing about them is there is no way to know where most of them are coming from. At least COVID comes with a message from the sender.

    I know your area fairly well. Its been a while, but I have hiked through the L Trust and eaten a blueberry or two.

    Let me know if you need any help to get your season going. I can give you one full day for a 2 ounce sample of Red Syrup.

    My operation only takes about 1 day to get ready to go. I only have about 40 sugar taps ( thinking of doing 10 reds this year )

    I clean ( with a 1:20 bleach ) and then take my lines down each year and its not so bad work wise putting them back up.

    If I scaled up in size at all, I think cleanup/setup would rapidly decline on the "enjoyable scale".

    That is a nice sounding RO.

    I have my sites still set on Feb 10 -15 but that could change to Feb 1 - 9, depending on the weather and the fact that 10 Reds may now be infiltrating my sap.

    I do not think I will ever tap later then Feb 15 unless it is in the middle of a wicked cold snap.

    It is possible I could move up to late January ( two weeks from now ) but I would need to see a good deal of HIGH quality sap flow days present themselves before I did that.

    As for now we are getting some frost in the ground and some ice on the ponds at least.

    I would definitely tap Reds before Sugars and be much more prone to spinning the bit early if it were into Reds.

    I would also be prone to spinning early if I had a pump running the show.
    Last edited by Sugar Bear; 01-09-2021 at 10:42 AM.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Thanks for the kind words.
    We fought and beat it last year, but unfortunately it returned this November.
    He's at Sloan now, recovering from one serious MF of a surgery. Its all so much. I'm working on the woods today to keep my mind off things.... Coping I guess.

    I did swap out 77 CF Spouts and tightened my lines. Even crossed the brook and kept my socks dry!

    I'll work up the 6 Vac gauges and cut those in today and call it quits.

    After that its really just bringing down the pump setup, barrels, power and tying up the 1/2" transfer line to the IBC Tote.

    I use the Mountain Maple Sap Sucker system. The thing is awesome!

    If I get into a bind I'll be sure to reach out for help, or just another person to chat with.

    I agree on the timing. All my lines are still frozen today. I'm at the bottom of the valley, and we seem to hang on to the colder air, easily 5F colder than the center of town.

    I tapped Feb 1 last year and did very well. Things look colder in the 10 day, so its still too early for me.
    2021 - 77 taps on shurflo 4008. Sap Sucker 4-D. Mason 2x4 XL, 4x150 RO.
    2020 - 70ish taps on shurflo 4008, 10 taps on buckets. Mason 2x4 XL. DIY R.O. ~24 gallons of syrup.
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.
    ______________________________________________
    Trout Brook Valley
    Weston, CT

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Weston, CT
    Posts
    243

    Default

    It makes me put things in perspective quickly. My trivial annoying issues of the past few weeks are so meaningless and easily repairable.

    Don't hesitate to send me a message if you need some help with anything.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    148

    Default

    My goal is never to try to put things in perspective for others, but yeah, I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff.
    I’ve also learned that there is still some good in humanity, and that ones friends really show their true colors when the **** hits the fan. I’m fortunate to have a great wife, two amazing kids, and solid friends.

    If not before, I always have a cold beer or soda on hand when I boil. Happy to shoot the **** at any point.
    2021 - 77 taps on shurflo 4008. Sap Sucker 4-D. Mason 2x4 XL, 4x150 RO.
    2020 - 70ish taps on shurflo 4008, 10 taps on buckets. Mason 2x4 XL. DIY R.O. ~24 gallons of syrup.
    2019 - First Season with a Late Start. 10 taps on buckets, block arch and 2.5 gallons of syrup.
    ______________________________________________
    Trout Brook Valley
    Weston, CT

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Bryankloos - just want to let you know that your son is in my prayers.
    2017 - 20ish taps on buckets, boiling outside in two baking pans
    2018 - 70+ taps, 14-buckets, 50+ on tubing, homemade arch from oil tank in my barn, 17 gal syrup
    2019 - same set up, 20 gal syrup
    2020 - less taps, short season, but RO kit was fantastic! 6 gal syrup and a maple cat!
    2021 - planning on expanding to 50 taps on buckets and 40 taps on tubing - goal = 10 gal of syrup

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