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Thread: Anyone out there... anyone getting ready?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Berks County PA
    Posts
    100

    Default Anyone out there... anyone getting ready?

    I have the itch to get started this year. I know... I will be waiting a while yet.

    We moved over the summer to where my maple trees are so I am excited for the sap run. Instead of carrying buckets of sap around I will haul them in my ranger. Instead of hauling buckets of sap to my old house to cook/finish I will take them right to my pole barn. I also had time to ID trees better this year so I plan to tap 3 more trees this season.

    Over the weekend I...
    brought my barrel stove closer to my house and pole barn, leveled it off, and got it ready
    ordered some new spouts, another roll of drop line, and some cone pre-filters
    ordered a drill stop so none of my holes will be too deep
    ordered a real pan to replace my 2 kitchen warming pans
    ordered a thermometer for the pan

    So at this rate the supplies I purchased for this little hobby will pay for themselves in the maple syrup I don't have to buy in 2025...LOL But I enjoy it and each year I have become much more efficient. I am using wood from the property now instead of propane. My boiling time has dropped by about 70% since I started and the new larger pan with a warmer may drop it some more.
    Steve

    SE Pennsylvania

    2021 - 18 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, 21”x24” SS pan with pre-warmer pan, backyard made wood fired 55gal drum stove
    2020 - 13 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, backyard made wood fired 55gal drum stove with 2 lg 6” deep pans - 6.75 pints (very warm winter)
    2019 Rookie Season - 14 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, turkey fryer with 6” deep pan - 16.5 pints

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Stirling ontario
    Posts
    146

    Default

    there is a lot of prep that is better done in the fall.What pan did you order?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Berks County PA
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ir3333 View Post
    there is a lot of prep that is better done in the fall.What pan did you order?
    It is a 21x24 pan with 2 dividers. It has a preheat pan on the top back with a valve. then the side has another valve and a spot for the thermometer I also bought.
    pan.jpg
    Steve

    SE Pennsylvania

    2021 - 18 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, 21”x24” SS pan with pre-warmer pan, backyard made wood fired 55gal drum stove
    2020 - 13 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, backyard made wood fired 55gal drum stove with 2 lg 6” deep pans - 6.75 pints (very warm winter)
    2019 Rookie Season - 14 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, turkey fryer with 6” deep pan - 16.5 pints

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,948

    Default

    Is the drum stove designed so the heat is directly on the bottom of the pan? If not, try to redesign it.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Berks County PA
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    Is the drum stove designed so the heat is directly on the bottom of the pan? If not, try to redesign it.
    well last years model is... but... I just got home from picking up a new barrel to make a few changes from last years design.
    Steve

    SE Pennsylvania

    2021 - 18 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, 21”x24” SS pan with pre-warmer pan, backyard made wood fired 55gal drum stove
    2020 - 13 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, backyard made wood fired 55gal drum stove with 2 lg 6” deep pans - 6.75 pints (very warm winter)
    2019 Rookie Season - 14 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, turkey fryer with 6” deep pan - 16.5 pints

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Good morning.
    I'm a newbie to the forum and the hobby from Central PA.
    Last year was my first "trial" year. I tapped a few black walnuts (10 trees) late in the season due to quarantine boredom and boiled in a pan on propane turkey fryer. I was surprised how easy it was to make some pretty tasty black walnut syrup, although only about 4 pints. Now I'm addicted.
    I did a little walk-about around our property and found a stand of red maples in a low swampy area of about 2 acres which will need some cleaning out and bushwacking to get access to for next year. At this time, I've ID'ed a mix of 30 other black walnut and red maples on the property to tap with some plastic taps I got, drop lines and buckets. Can't even remember what size the taps are, and still need to get a drill bit for them. Over the fall, I build a free file-cabinet evaporator from watching youtube videos. Also planning in building a vacuum filter out of some old pots.
    If you have any advice, tips, tricks, let me know.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Berks County PA
    Posts
    100

    Default

    Openwater, I dont have any advice for you but I am jealous! My property is mostly open so I really only have about 15 maples to tap. I am curious what your black walnut syrup tastes like! I have a few of them but not enough to tap on their own.
    Steve

    SE Pennsylvania

    2021 - 18 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, 21”x24” SS pan with pre-warmer pan, backyard made wood fired 55gal drum stove
    2020 - 13 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, backyard made wood fired 55gal drum stove with 2 lg 6” deep pans - 6.75 pints (very warm winter)
    2019 Rookie Season - 14 taps with drop lines and buckets, RO5, turkey fryer with 6” deep pan - 16.5 pints

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    67

    Default

    It's been a while since I've had any real maple syrup to compare to, but my black walnut syrup is definitely sweet with a little nuttiness to it. It's pretty dark, can't see thru it, but I may have overboiled, scorched or something else; I'm really not sure what color or clarity it should be. I didn't have a hydrometer at the time, so I just went by temp before stopping the boil.

    2020 Black Walnut syrup.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    west virginia
    Posts
    775

    Default

    Openwater,
    Latest rumor on Black Walnut Syrup. 320 dollars a gallon Bulk!
    Mark 220 Maple
    1100 taps on low vaccum, 900 on gravity.
    900 plus taps leased and on high vacuum
    35 cfm Indiana Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump
    80% Sugar, 20% Red MAPLES
    http://s247.photobucket.com/albums/g...Maple%20Syrup/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Old Lyme, CT
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Sounds like you're on your way to a new hobby.

    I have about 80 red maples on 5 acres of low lying, flat, wet land. Problem I had was getting any of them to produce sap with just buckets. None of them would really run unless I used vacuum. Bought a small diaphragm pump and ran 5/16 tubing to the taps. That produced about 5 gallons of sap per tree per season.

    Also, red maples have a lower sugar content than sugar maples. Mine generally ran about 1.5% to 2.0% brix. But they made a great tasting syrup.
    Mason 2x4 w/raised flue pan, 240 gal. sap tank, 80 Reds on 5/16 tubing and Lunchbox releaser/pump, 20 sugars on buckets

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