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Thread: Surviving a warm spell

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Speyside, Ontario
    Posts
    177

    Default Surviving a warm spell

    I wasn't sure which forum this question should be located in.
    We are going to have a warm spell here and any sap I collect would quickly spoil so I'm not going to bother collecting anything. In fact I doubt anything is going to be running for the next few days.
    Could I take my bags off the trees and rinse them out and store them and then put them out later in the week when the temperatures are going to drop?
    Or will this warm spell cause the trees to bud and the taps to close and it won't be worthwhile trying to hang the bags again.
    In other words is my season done?
    Southwestern Ontario
    2015 - 8 buckets, 332L sap, 8.5L syrup - Barrel evaporator, 2 steam pans
    2016 - 8 buckets, 432L sap
    2017 - 10 bags, 470L sap, 9L syrup
    2018 - 20 bags, 1050L sap, 17.6L syrup
    2019 - 20 bags, 970L sap, 22.2L syrup
    2020 - 17 bags, 813L sap, 17L syrup

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canaan NH
    Posts
    321

    Default

    Keep collecting daily and store it in a snowbank on the north side of the shed. Smell it when you're ready to boil. You'll know if you should toss it. :-)
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    150 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Oakville, ON
    Posts
    127

    Default

    I suspect the season is done. Weather guys keep toting with us, showing lows below zero next weekend one day and then above zero the next. Debating whether to pull spiles now or wait and see. Problem with waiting, even if more sap does come, I'd have to go empty buckets before the freeze, not to mention effort of cleaning out the bulk tank.
    2021 - 84 taps, 50L from 2100L
    2020 - 100 taps on buckets, 21L syrup from 2700L so far (FEB 26-Mar 13) and then the pandemic hit! End of our season!
    2019 - 62 taps on buckets, 95L syrop from 3215L sap
    2018 - 62 taps, collecting by hand, 90L syrop from 3200L sap
    2017 - Lapierre Waterloo Small mini pro with 40 taps
    2014 - 2016 40 taps making one or two batches on a 2x6 flat pan over an open arch as it would have been done in 1900

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Stirling ontario
    Posts
    177

    Default

    don't give up yet if there is frost in your bush.It will keep the sap too cold to start the buds.
    Take your buckets off and turn them upside down or empty them daily...you don't want an
    inch of sap laying in them during the hot spell.
    Some i know have already called it a season but there could be a couple of runs next week?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    762

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    I boiled through and finished the last of what I had yesterday. The tanks have all been flushed with water and the evaporator is full of water too. If it gets cold tonight, we may see it start up again. Today I'm dumping all the buckets so we can start (somewhat) clean again. It's a pain because I'll have to start from scratch and re-sweeten the pans which takes at least 100 gallons of sap.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Speyside, Ontario
    Posts
    177

    Default

    I looked at my previous years logs and I've generally collected into April. I've only collected sap 6 times this year.
    I decided to take the bags off the 20 trees and rise them and wait until we get another cold spell. The taps are still in. Hopefully they won't close over before the next cold spell.
    2015 - 8 buckets, 332L sap, 8.5L syrup - Barrel evaporator, 2 steam pans
    2016 - 8 buckets, 432L sap
    2017 - 10 bags, 470L sap, 9L syrup
    2018 - 20 bags, 1050L sap, 17.6L syrup
    2019 - 20 bags, 970L sap, 22.2L syrup
    2020 - 17 bags, 813L sap, 17L syrup

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,092

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Greer View Post
    I boiled through and finished the last of what I had yesterday. The tanks have all been flushed with water and the evaporator is full of water too. If it gets cold tonight, we may see it start up again. Today I'm dumping all the buckets so we can start (somewhat) clean again. It's a pain because I'll have to start from scratch and re-sweeten the pans which takes at least 100 gallons of sap.
    That's not as bad as what VVS in Verona, NY has it, their evaporator needs 3200 gal of sap before first draw.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    762

    Default

    This warm spell is looking more and more like it might last for 10 months. The big trees in the yard have budded, the peepers were heard a few nights ago, and the buds on the lilac are opening. This is going to ruin those guys with hundreds of thousands worth of equipment. I'm a little guy with 500 buckets, and all my stuff was paid for years ago. Making $1500 worth of syrup isn't as satisfying as making $6000 worth, but I don't owe anything...it just means less pocket change for the next year. What about the guys with a quarter million worth of new equipment they're making payments on?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,930

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Greer View Post
    What about the guys with a quarter million worth of new equipment they're making payments on?
    There will likely be a whole lot of off flavored syrup made this year... just like in 2012.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Speyside, Ontario
    Posts
    177

    Default

    I ended up taking my 19 bags down and rinsing them out and waiting for a freeze.

    Ended up with an extra 195L of sap over a week and boiled down to 3.75L of dark syrup.

    That was about 25% of my total production so I guess it was worth it, but it was a lot of work compared to previous years.
    2015 - 8 buckets, 332L sap, 8.5L syrup - Barrel evaporator, 2 steam pans
    2016 - 8 buckets, 432L sap
    2017 - 10 bags, 470L sap, 9L syrup
    2018 - 20 bags, 1050L sap, 17.6L syrup
    2019 - 20 bags, 970L sap, 22.2L syrup
    2020 - 17 bags, 813L sap, 17L syrup

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