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Thread: Is 34 taps on one 3/16 line too many?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Socialist republic of new york
    Posts
    58

    Default Is 34 taps on one 3/16 line too many?

    I have a great elevation drop to the sugar shack and that creates fantastic vacuum if the animals don't chew a hole in the line. I can snake a single line down one side of my property but it has allot of taps on it. Would I be better off with separating into two lines? The 34 taps are on about 1400 ft of line. Maybe 3/16 for the top half and 5\16 for the lower half but still on one line? Just don't want to be pumping sap into the bottom trees on the elevation drop instead of into the tank. What do you think?
    2012 4 taps and a bunch of propane
    2013 12 taps and a new home made 1x2 flat pan fit to an old wood stove, more propane
    2014 40 on tube flowing down hill to a 1x2 and 3 steam pans on emergency arch. (Drowning in sap)
    2015. New 2x5 flat pan and much better arch. 1x2 on new rocket stove ( this thing cranks, can't wait to use it) 60 on tubing into 250 gal tank. 6 on buckets just for comparison and a little extra!
    2016. Not a good year with the mild weather winter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    281

    Default

    I'm no expert - and when I say that I mean I have never done tubing myself but I am researching it actively as I plan to implement tubing this year - but I watched a video recently with one of the (Former) UVM maple research folks where he indicates the ideal number is about 20 however you can go much higher and they have experimented with it successfully. Check out 2 minutes in or so: https://youtu.be/nDrkU_qYb1Q?t=120
    --
    2015: 8 bucket taps (7 red, 1 sugar) on DIY barrel evaporator
    2016: 13 taps (bucket and tube) on bock arch and hotel pans
    2017: 25 taps...same setup
    2018: 25 taps on 2x3 flat pan and resurrected barrel arch
    2019: 25 taps...same setup plus DIY 3x150gpd RO filter
    2020: 50 taps, all buckets...same setup with 50
    2021: Planning for 100 taps (50/50) on 2x4 divided pan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland, Vermont
    Posts
    268

    Default

    I think you would be better off with two lines stay all 3/16. We put 15-20 on our lines of 3/16 and they are usually pretty full.
    Leader 2x6 Raised flue with preheater and hood. Patriot pans
    Leader Clear 5 bank filter press
    Memprotec 350H RO
    450ish taps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Esko,MN
    Posts
    256

    Default

    VTnewguy is correct you want 3/16" all the way down or you will lose the vacuum effect once it hits the 5/16" line. Having done 3/16" natural gravity on 50 trees, I used 3 lines and pulled 28" of vacuum at the top of each line. You are better going to two lines.
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
    2015: 15 taps on bags
    2016: 150 taps: 100 on bags, 50 on 3/16" natural vac, 2x8 AUF/AOF Homebuilt Arch, 2x8 SL Drop Flu & Auto Draw, SL Propane Canner/Bottler
    2017: 225 taps: Built Lean to, Added SL hood, preheater, concentric exhaust, SL SS 7" SB Filter Press
    2018: 180 taps: Added Shurflo to 50 - 3/16", Auto fill sensor to head tank
    2019: No tapping
    2020: 175 taps
    2021: 300 taps, homemade RO and releaser

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Two of my 3/16 laterals are 1600' long, one has 44 the other 48 taps, both have about 150'-200' of 5/16 at the bottom end of the run (ran out of 3/16 when I added these laterals) both pull 28" of vac at the top. The other ten lines in these woods are from 400-800' and have 20-30 taps, Top tree is a little over 900' ASL, bottom tree 650" and the tank is at 600'. There are a few dozen trees that are close to the mainline and didn't have enough drop for 3/16, so I put 5-7 taps on 5/16 I think there are 6 or 7 of those laterals. On nights where it don't freeze, the 3/16 will keep runnin all night once the vacuum gets started, the 5/16 won't. I averaged 1.3 gallon of sap per tap in this section last year- that was a on days it ran and a combination of 3/16 high drop and 5/16 not much drop.
    Last edited by bmbmkr; 12-09-2020 at 05:37 AM.
    2012 15 jugs
    2017 125 3/16 -18"x 6' drop flue, home made arch
    2018 240 3/16 -Deer Run 125 RO
    2019 450 3/16 -converted RO to electric, added a membrane
    2020 600 3/16 -Maple Pro 2x6 Raised Flue, added AOF/AUF
    2021 570 3/16 -built a SS steam hood, new Smoky Lake SS filter press

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,381

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DocsMapleSyrup View Post
    VTnewguy is correct you want 3/16" all the way down or you will lose the vacuum effect once it hits the 5/16" line. Having done 3/16" natural gravity on 50 trees, I used 3 lines and pulled 28" of vacuum at the top of each line. You are better going to two lines.
    This is correct. You'll do fine with 34 taps, but the lines are overloaded at this point so will not perform optimally. You'll do better in terms of yield by splitting it into two lines, and if a squirrel chews into one line and stops the vacuum, the other will still be good.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    353

    Default

    Shaggy acres, what is the difference in elevation from your lowest tap to the collection tank? You want 35' of elevation drop from the lowest tap before you change to 5/16" tubing or enter a mainline so that the lateral creates the maximum natural vacuum possible, below that elevation there is not really a benefit to the 3/16" tubing vacuum wise but I would hesitate to put any unnecessary fittings (that tent to plug) and 3/16" is less expensive than 5/16" so why change? Like bmbmkr, I have several laterals over 1500' and around 40 taps on those laterals without trouble. Is 40+ taps per 3/16" lateral recommend? No, but 35 taps is reported to be acceptable and I can not warrant an additional lateral for 5 or 6 taps.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    King Ferry, New York
    Posts
    5

    Default

    We have no more than 15 taps on 3/16", spanning less than 100' per run to our 1" mainline. We tried to maximize taps while minimizing the lateral run lengths.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Socialist republic of new york
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Thank you for your input. Sounds like I could run another line but not necessary. Stick with 3/16 all the way. Going to pick up a couple cheap vacuum gages this year and see what I get out of each line. Been working on a new Arch this year so really need to get that done!
    2012 4 taps and a bunch of propane
    2013 12 taps and a new home made 1x2 flat pan fit to an old wood stove, more propane
    2014 40 on tube flowing down hill to a 1x2 and 3 steam pans on emergency arch. (Drowning in sap)
    2015. New 2x5 flat pan and much better arch. 1x2 on new rocket stove ( this thing cranks, can't wait to use it) 60 on tubing into 250 gal tank. 6 on buckets just for comparison and a little extra!
    2016. Not a good year with the mild weather winter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    I'll add a little opinion for contemplation. First, I have all 3/16" lines and anywhere from 15-30 taps each. None of my laterals have optimum set ups as to fall and length. I only have two that have more than 10-15 feet of fall after the last tap. Most have 30 or more at the top, but as I get down slope I enter a more level area. I have never checked vacuum levels on these lines, but know I have some on all the taps. I run 5 of these laterals into a 1/2" main line once I'm out of the woods to my collection tank. I believe it still benefits me to run these 3/16th lines. I used to do buckets/bags on all these and going to tubing was an effort to reduce my labor after being diagnosed with heart disease and asthma. Here are my rationals for 3/16th tubing:

    1.) Cheaper and easy to handle, set up

    2.) Any vacuum is better than no vacuum

    3.) Labor saving

    I can go back over my records and show that even without optimum parameters I have gained sap, saved money and saved physical work with 3/16th. I think we get too hung up on perfection and max production set ups. We should evaluate what we want and if there is significant benefit in what we can do. Also, ask yourself, "do I need maximized sap production?". I am a hobby producer and if I pay my expenses and make a little extra money from sales, I'm good with that. If I can do it easier, I'm really good with that. Now if you have bigger operations and a high financial investment then I understand why you look to optimize every drop of sap, but from what I see there are a lot of producers on this forum that just don't meet that criteria. For them, if they can get some gain from a less than perfect set up then I say do it.
    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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