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Thread: Collection & boiling schedule

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    20

    Default Collection & boiling schedule

    Hi all -

    This will be my first year - cannot wait. I will be tapping ten reds on my property to start. I was wondering what schedule other backyard hobbyists follow for collecting sap and boiling it. Are there set days of the week or do you just play it by ear?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    414

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    There are quite a few variables to consider when making the decision about when to boil. How many gallons do you have collected? How quickly can you process sap? What is the weather forecast?

    Sap is a perishable product. It can spoil and generally the longer it sits there is loss of sugar content and you will produce darker syrup due to bacterial action. My first year on a 2x3 pan outdoors I would save sap and have marathon 12 hour boils on weekends. Now that I have RO and bigger pan indoors I try to boil more frequently during weekday evenings. This is true especially later in the season when the weather warms.
    60ish taps on buckets
    D&G Sportsman 18x63
    Turbo RB15 RO Bucket
    Stihl 044 and 026

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Hudson NH
    Posts
    68

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    I would recommend collecting everyday or certainly checking the buckets? daily. The short answer is to process as fast as you can. As others have said time is your enemy. When the season is in full swing, I boil about every night. I dream of the weekend boil but like clockwork it never happens. The trees will not respect your schedule. It always runs the best on a Wednesday and for me I boil as soon as I have enough which is anything above 5 gallons. My rig will do about 10-13 gallons per hour so if I collect over 5 I boil as I don't want it to sit around. I will store about 5 gallons in the fridge on the nights that it does not run well but that is as much as I will store. There are ways to get around this. You can freeze the collected sap to prolong storage. So much will depend on how you will process, what kind of storage you have available etc. I would suggest that you talk to or stop in to see a smaller producer if covid allows. You will gain some knowledge and I will guarantee you will gain friends in the process. You will see what works for them and what has not. I have yet to meet a sugar maker that did not love to talk maple be it February, March or July.
    My experience with Reds on buckets has not been all that positive however I have talked to many people that have had good luck with Reds. Mine tended to be very finicky. Have fun and be careful this hobby has a way of snowballing out of control in a hurry. In three years your thread will say moved to Vermont 1000 taps high vacuum living the dream!

    19x48 mini pro oil fired, Nano R/O, CDL Vacuum Press
    6x12 sugar house off back of shed
    2019- 50 taps all buckets- 6 Gallons syrup made
    2020 -50 taps, more Sugar Maples, with some Reds- 6 gallons made
    2021- 46 taps- 26 on 3/16 tubing, 19 buckets - All Sugar Maples this year - 12.2 Gallons made
    Two kids one patient wife
    "The days are long, but the years are short"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Kamina
    You want to treat the sap like you would treat milk. As previously said the longer kept, the sugars become less, bacteria more. check buckets daily. On heavy run days you could potentially have over flowing buckets on all the trees, multiple days in a row. You will need to have at least twice that amount of storage capacity and plan on boiling as often as you can. Most importantly have the best time of your life, include others and have FUN!!!!!!!
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Temperance Mi
    Posts
    387

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    If there is a good freeze thaw cycle going and your buckets are big enough so you can time it, I like to gather an hour or 2 after it starts running in the morning. This thaws the ice out enough so it's easy to get the ice out so you can toss it out. With work for me I'm usually gathering when I get home from work though after the ice has thawed.
    Last edited by Ed R; 02-08-2021 at 10:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    53

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    My Dad always made a rule to never hold sap for more than 24 hours. I saw Him many times dump sap which was held for less time than that(warm temps). His point of view was that if your going to burn the wood make good syrup. He took pride in the flavor and appearance of his syrup. We also spent a lot of late weeknights boiling down. I remember being tired but also remember those nights as some of best with Dad, Family, and friends.
    3500 taps, vacuum.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Cayuga Ontario Canada
    Posts
    24

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    you can hold sap for a few days if it is kept cold, like almost frozen. That is if you can only boil on weekends. If its warm then it can sour rather quickly. We tend to get rid of it right away but for 10 trees you should be ok. You might even be able to put in the house freezer? I know some people do that to save it. If you have some snow pack the gathering buckets in the snow outside in the shade.
    THOR 20x68"
    2021 305 Buckets and 95 on 3/16 gravity 423L Syrup
    2020 350 Buckets 375L Syrup
    2019 250 Buckets 270L Syrup

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    376

    Default

    I started on a backyard rig on just 10 taps or so and collected sap during the week and boiled only on the weekends. I kept the sap in a 55 gallon drum, in the shade, packed by as much snow as I could shovel. Did that for 10 years or so and never had a problem with spoilage. And since you're batch boiling anyway, it's not like you're sacrificing the color or flavor of the sap by letting it sit. It is what it is when you batch boil...dark and flavorful syrup.

    Have fun.
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Chaska, MN
    Posts
    51

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    I collect mine in 5 gallon buckets and boil it within 72 hours. Doing a smaller mid week boil helps break the marathon weekend up a bit.
    2021 2nd season- 71 taps, wood burner and a 2X2 evaporating pan
    2020 1st season- 8 gallons of syrup. Propane

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Redbay Ontario
    Posts
    128

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    I try and check daily and boil ever other day if and when possible. Iím not a fan of letting it sit around but then it depends on your schedule. A lot of work to be dumping sap. Brings tears to my eyes lol. I also start to feel like itís work and not a hobby when I get to real far behind so thatís why I boil as often as I can. Plus who doesnít like the sugar shack time. My buddy can only boil weekends and he seems to be able to keep it with no troubles. Like others have said he uses snow and leaves the ice in his buckets whenever he collects. I think put around 60-80 out every year When in question taste it. Lol
    2017- first year 80 taps 22x36 home made arch and pan. Plus outside steamer pan setup.

    2018- ???taps same arch. New 8x12 sugar shack with additional 4 feet being added. Plan on setting up 2 gravity lines plus buckets. Prob around 100 taps

    2019- 85 taps 55l syrup 2019 can-am defender hd10 xt

    2020- 100 taps New 4x2 foot pan plus 1x2 pre heat pan. New homemade arch. 6x12 addition added to the shack.

    2021-160 taps. Same everything pretty much.

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