+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 18 of 18

Thread: Birch Tapping

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,968

    Default

    Thanks PC Farms for the detailed explanations. That's impressive that you can get to that high a brix on your evap. without burning the syrup. I assume you're using oil and the low fire setting? Any idea what the temp. under the pans and the stack temp is? And when you say you are using a batch process, are you just adding concentrate to the syrup pans until it is all the desired brix for syrup? Then you filter and pack it?

    And when you say you used a water jacketed canner, you were just batching in that while adding concentrate?

    I follow a couple birch forums and there seems to be a wide range of techniques people are using to boil birch. It seems there is a fine line between the slow boil/simmering camp and the fast boiling camp. I would like to figure out a method using my wood fired rig to boil 10-12% concentrate to syrup. Your idea of using just the syrup pans is pretty intriguing.

    This is a whole different scale and concept but I have found this video pretty interesting... They are also using ultra filtration but boil with steam.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXMXAphs6vM
    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

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    6,074

    Default

    Dr. Abby van den Berg has done a good deal of work on birch syrup production. Some of that work can be found here.

    https://nsrcforest.org/researcher/abby-van-den-berg

    https://nsrcforest.org/sites/default...4fullfinal.pdf

    https://mapleresearch.org/search/?_sf_s=birch
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 04-21-2021 at 08:52 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Uxbridge, Ontario
    Posts
    54

    Default

    On the evaporator, we put all the concentrate on at once, and boil it altogether. We mix it around a bit as we are finding some areas are boiling off faster than other areas (I suppose adding concentrate to lower the brix in the high brix areas of the pan would work as well). For the water jacketed canner, I would not recommend using it, it didnt work - we didnt add anything, we took concentrate and boiled it to about 35 brix and then it started to burn, which I find amazing - that we can burn the concentrate at 35 brix...

    The last batch we made we boiled on the highest heat - no problem, it was super quick (less than 20 mins) and there was no burning whatsoever. Need to watch it like a hawk though (2 person job - 1 person fully dedicated to watching the sugar content and level in the pan) - we put it to low once we were over 50 brix.

    I don't have a thermometer on the stack... but I would say low heat is colder than a wood evaporator, and high heat is much higher. In my very limited experience, I would say only go for steam if it is cheaper or you already have it...

    We havn't boiled in a while with all the cold temperatures, but we are going to this afternoon.
    Last edited by PCFarms; 04-26-2021 at 11:53 AM.
    PCFarms - Producer of Maple Syrup and Distributor for H2O and DSD
    2019 - 30,300 taps
    2020 - 34,000 taps
    2021 - 38,000 Maple taps, 1000 birch taps

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Two Harbors, Minnesota
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Last season we expanded our birch operation to around 700 trees. We hung clear plastic bags. We hauled about 8000 gallons to make about 65 gallons of birch syrup. Our last batch turned out close to the same as the first batch, a nice red color. I wish we could run a big RO but we are off grid in northern Minnesota. We use a 3 post 4"x40" homemade RO. We were able to get the concentrate to an average 7% sugar. We use a Murphys cup to get to 67-70 brix.
    2016- 32 taps, 3 1/2 gallons
    2017- 150 taps, 13 gallons after building an evaporator
    2018- goal is 240+ taps. 20+ gallons.
    2018 Reality- 235 taps, 5 gallons of syrup. Average 50 birch taps and 3 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 180 maple taps, 20 gallons of finished syrup.
    ~ 160 birch taps, 13 finished gallons of syrup.

    Latitude 47.278150

    www.facebook.com/livingoffmyland2015

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Wakefield,New Hampshire
    Posts
    470

    Default

    Bringing it up to 7% is still a nice improvement, What was the sugar content measuring at when you hauled the sap in?
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    320 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house
    CDL hobby 250 RO

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Wakefield,New Hampshire
    Posts
    470

    Default

    Anyone out here doing birch again or for the first time? They should be running in this area right about now.
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    320 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house
    CDL hobby 250 RO

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Bridgewater NH
    Posts
    170

    Default

    I tried tapping birch this year after failing miserably 5 years ago. Iíve had good luck so far and made about 2 quarts on 6 trees. Tapped on April 3 and still getting sap today, although itís starting to slow down. I donít know if my optical refractometer is for sucrose only but when Iíve tested the birch sap itís been at .7% everyday.
    Next year Iíll tap 24 trees around my sugar house and see how that goes. My max taps would be around 100
    Mike

    12 x 16 Sugar house
    18Ēx72Ē CDL drop flue
    Homemade 4 post RO
    125 taps on vacuum (Guzzler)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Uxbridge, Ontario
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Hello All,

    We tapped our birch trees again this year. The start of the birch season was a few days before the end of the Maple Season according to the test tree we had in the forest. Due to the fact that the birch shares the pumpline with the Maple, we have to wait for Maple to end before we can start the birch. All our birch were tapped by April 13th. Last Maple boil was on April 13th as well. We are still going with the birch, the cold nights have kept the sap quality really good and the taste is still desirable. We have not started making the "Tangy birch" yet. We call it quits at that point - I suspect we will get there in the next few days. At 100 bucks a litre, we dont feel right selling anything but the best quality. We just passed 1 lb per tap - slightly more than our total from last year. Sugar content started out low at about 0.4%, rising to 0.7%.

    Birch is a funny animal (or tree rather...), it tastes terrible until you get the sugar content above around 60 brix, when it magically becomes quite tasty. We have found that the faster you boil it the better. We put our evaporator on highest heat, after ROing it to about 18 brix. The boil is quick, about 30 mins. We have a 7x20 evaporator, so we just use the flat pans, and go with batch process.
    Last edited by PCFarms; 05-02-2022 at 09:06 PM.
    PCFarms - Producer of Maple Syrup and Distributor for H2O and DSD
    2019 - 30,300 taps
    2020 - 34,000 taps
    2021 - 38,000 Maple taps, 1000 birch taps

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts