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Thread: Collection & boiling schedule

  1. #11
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    Know a guy who for various reasons will be holding sap for 2 weeks before he can boil. Looks like it will be one week for me. Cold nights n the barrels packed in snow- Iím not worried about it.

  2. #12
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    Feb 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by goose52 View Post
    Know a guy who for various reasons will be holding sap for 2 weeks before he can boil. Looks like it will be one week for me. Cold nights n the barrels packed in snow- I’m not worried about it.
    When I boiled the close to 30 gallons I had on Monday, it had been a full week since I started collecting it. The sap was in 20 gallon containers packed in snow and was crystal clear. About halfway through the boil I was curious and checked the temperature of the sap in the container that had now been open for a few hours and the sap was 34 degrees. Based on that, I think I could have held it several more days if needed, but I don't have a lot of experience so I'm not sure.
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Backyard hobby syrup maker on about 12 trees

  3. #13
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    Pepperell, MA
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    It's always different. I work quite a way from home so it's hard to schedule for me. Once they are tapped though, you can't really control everything so I boil as soon as I get home, even if it's late. I'd rather get some done than leave it and worry about the sap going off. The flow of sap varies depending on weather, etc. as well. I run buckets and rain can cloud the sap in them quickly so I pull on rainy days as often as I can. I also started doing reverse osmosis and it has dramatically cut down on the boil times so that helped me a lot.

  4. #14
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    Jul 2021
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    This thread answered a few questions, but raised a few others.

    If you get an average of 10 gallons of sap from a maple tree in a forest, and the season lasts letís say four weeks and you have a few days where you might collect 2 to 4 gallons per tree, there must be a number of days, where you get much less.

    On those days where you get much less, letís say a 1/4 of a gallon per tree, and you have 50 taps, that would be 12.5 gallons of sap and if you boiled that into syrup, that would be 1.25 quarts of syrup. What would be a typical minimum number of gallons of sap on hand, before you fire up the evaporator?

  5. #15
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    Cabot Vermont
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    That depends on you. I will fire if I have 2000 gallons, that will last about 1 hour hardly worth messing with. I like to have 5000 gal or more.
    Blaisdell's Maple Farm

  6. #16
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    Apr 2019
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    Nashville, MI
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    You my friend are asking a very good question. It all depends on how much sap your evaporator will boil off per hour. As an example my 2 x 4 raised flue will boil off between 40 and 50 gallons per hour of sap, remember I do not RO. So for me when I collect I need a minimum of at least 110 gallons of sap before I can fire up the evaporator. Now if I go thru that and then have several days of low sap collection that will go into the head tank and i'll fire up the evaporator enough to get it hot and shut it down. Hope that helps.
    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

  7. #17
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    Jul 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMP Maple View Post
    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 am feeling more comfortable with tapping, lines and collecting, but when to start to boil is an unanswered question in my head. I plan to boil almost everyday and try and keep the sap only 24 to 48 hours old. But in the example you gave, boiling when you get 5 gallons or more of sap, you would only end up with a half quart of syrup.

    I was thinking that when the sap starts running, I would wait until I had 40 gallons of sap (80 taps, 67 on lines) before I boiled, at least you ideally would end up with a gallon (4L) of syrup. That would justify starting up the boiling, finishing, filtering and bottling process. My goal, based on from what I have read and understood on this site, is not to mix batches and to bottle the same day if you can.

    I am not sure if I am wrong thinking this way, it is one of the things I do not have nailed down in my brain.

    (Ironically the thermometer on my bottling kettle is at the 3 gallon mark on the kettle and without ever mixing batches, the syrup level will never reach it, with 1.5 to 2 gallon syrup maximum on any boiling day, unless it is a very long day.)
    Last edited by Swingpure; 10-27-2021 at 04:31 AM.

  8. #18
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    Southern Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    I was thinking that when the sap starts running, I would wait until I had 40 gallons of sap (80 taps, 67 on lines) before I boiled, at least you ideally would end up with a gallon (4L) of syrup. That would justify starting up the boiling, finishing, filtering and bottling process. My goal, based on what I have read and understood on this site, is not to mix batches and to bottle the same day if you can.
    What I do is let it cool, usually 24 hrs, because it will taste different cold. Taste every batch is my rule. If the flavor profile is good I mix batches to bottle. I bottle every 2-3 days. That mix becomes one batch as far as lot numbers go.

    I filter as I make syrup and it's hot. I do not like letting unfiltered syrup set. Once it's filtered I put it in sealed containers and hold for bottling. I usually bottle 2-4 gallons at time.

    As far as boils. Boil as often as possible. Personally I want around 40 gallons (my evaporator boils 12-15 GPH depending on firing), but if warm weather is coming I'll boil 15 just to sterilize it. A boil doesn't have to make syrup, you can hold the sweet. It's more important to me to kill that bacteria and prevent spoilage.

    Another comment: If your holding sap, clean those containers after emptying. Your sap will spoil faster and hold less time if you let those containers get loaded with bacteria. As a rule clean as often as possible. I try to clean all tanks every couple days. Sometimes that is just a hard rinse after spritzing with a deluted calcium chloride solution, but they beed a hard cleaning at least weekly.
    Last edited by buckeye gold; 10-27-2021 at 07:20 AM.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  9. #19
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    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    ... is not to mix batches and to bottle the same day if you can.
    If the syrup tastes good there is not a problem mixing batches. A continuous-flow evaporator (divided pans) does this as a matter of operation. If you wish to keep your grades separate, then not mixing until the syrup is graded makes some sense, but otherwise, as long as it tastes good and there are no off-flavors the syrup can be mixed.

    Similarly, bottle when you want and it makes sense. Doesn't have to be every day. Wait until you have enough to make it worthwhile. The issue is not getting too far behind unless you have some way to hold and reheat it. Some people can syrup directly off the evaporator. Others will put syrup in a different pot or canner and wait until some time later to reheat and can.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  10. #20
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    Jul 2021
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    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    Thank you Buckeye Gold and Dr Perkins for the last two posts, that clears up a lot of questions and gives me a good path to follow.

    I am gaining an appreciation of the roll of bacteria and how important it is to keep containers clean. I donít have great outdoor cleaning facilities. I just have one outdoor tap and no laundry tub in the house. Will likely power wash containers. That will get all of the residue sap out and hopefully the bulk of the bacteria. I will try and give them a calcium chloride swish.

    I also now understand the importance of heating sap that will not be fully boiled to remove the bacteria.

    This will all be very interesting this spring, lots to learn, I canít wait. Although that means usually the first week or two of March in these parts, I learnt yesterday that in 2020 the sap started flowing February 23. The Pike and Lake Trout might catch an early break from ice fishing.

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