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Thread: Sap Ladder vs. Sap Lifter

  1. #1
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    Aug 2009
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    Wardensville, Wv
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    Default Sap Ladder vs. Sap Lifter

    I want to eliminate about 130 buckets by putting the trees on vacuum, however the Lot doesn't have much slope and I need to raise the sap about 5 feet to cross a river and tie into the system on the other side of the river. I have a surge alamo vacuum pump and I can pull 22-24" depending on how much oil i put through it. The question is for the money, is it better to just put in a sap ladder, or is it better practice to use a sap lifter. I don't have big potential for more taps above the lift point, maybe 200 max. Interested in any thoughts or experience with either ladders or lifters.

    Jacob
    2023 - Add more taps on vacuum, build new sugar house
    2022 - 52 Gallons - DIY RO, 50% less fuel, no late nights in the shack!
    2021 - 48 Gallons - new pans, new arch, lots of new taps and tubing
    2020 - 32 Gallons
    2019 - 27 Gallons

  2. #2
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    Verona, NY
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    they both work well. oversize the ladder, or use a lift. i like the lift a little better as the vacuum seems to be more consistent behind it, because you have a separation point for air and sap. going to replace 24 more ladders this year with 2 lifts if i can.
    5000 taps on vacuum, just trying to get a little better every year.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    Canaan NH
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    There is some recent research out of Cornell I believe, about doing reverse slope without sap ladders or lifters. Results were decent for small changes in elevation such as what you mention. May be worth a read if you can find it.
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    150 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrgagne99 View Post
    There is some recent research out of Cornell I believe, about doing reverse slope without sap ladders or lifters. Results were decent for small changes in elevation such as what you mention. May be worth a read if you can find it.
    It (and several other thins) can be found at: https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/blogs....2020-final.pdf Bottom of Page 6 under "Flatland System." An interesting concept...should be considerably easier to install than a traditional ladder or lifter. Only one year or results so far, so more research will be needed to ensure it works well under a variety of conditions, but looks promising so far.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
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    Thanks, i'll take a look at it. Im at the point where i need to either buy new buckets or install tubing, and if i don't need to buy a lifter the tubing will be cheaper than buckets. And of course since my labor is free, lol.
    2023 - Add more taps on vacuum, build new sugar house
    2022 - 52 Gallons - DIY RO, 50% less fuel, no late nights in the shack!
    2021 - 48 Gallons - new pans, new arch, lots of new taps and tubing
    2020 - 32 Gallons
    2019 - 27 Gallons

  6. #6
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    Aug 2009
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    Wardensville, Wv
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    I think i can replicate the setup from the picture that is included in the paper, I guess it wouldn't be hard to convert the uncut mainline setup to a traditional sap ladder if i find it's not yielding good results, i'm kinda excited to try it now! thanks again DrTimPerkins!
    2023 - Add more taps on vacuum, build new sugar house
    2022 - 52 Gallons - DIY RO, 50% less fuel, no late nights in the shack!
    2021 - 48 Gallons - new pans, new arch, lots of new taps and tubing
    2020 - 32 Gallons
    2019 - 27 Gallons

  7. #7
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    Mar 2014
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    Landaff,NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkmachine View Post
    I think i can replicate the setup from the picture that is included in the paper, I guess it wouldn't be hard to convert the uncut mainline setup to a traditional sap ladder if i find it's not yielding good results, i'm kinda excited to try it now! thanks again DrTimPerkins!
    I have a section of woods i am going to try this setup on as well. I wonder how different lifts and number of taps would affect this. Said they were lifting 4ft every 60-100 ft. Not sure if this was due to terrain or what they found to work best. Also from the picture used one star fitting top and bottom with 5/16 lines.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2009
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    Wardensville, Wv
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    I was thinking about that too, because i don't have a hight tap density, how many taps need to be above each lift in order for enough fluid for the lift to function well. I guess i'll see? lol.
    2023 - Add more taps on vacuum, build new sugar house
    2022 - 52 Gallons - DIY RO, 50% less fuel, no late nights in the shack!
    2021 - 48 Gallons - new pans, new arch, lots of new taps and tubing
    2020 - 32 Gallons
    2019 - 27 Gallons

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    North Grenville, Ontario
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    I’m going to try this setup next year hopefully.
    Makes sense to me after watching my sap ladder for an hour today just fill up with sap and struggle to lift it all. And then sap goes backwards in all the laterals for a bit. Then ladder kicks in and starts bouncing around and pulls a bunch of sap in.
    Lose a ton of vacuum to the lines while it’s all full of sap.
    I’m pulling 25” of vac too. Blows my mind.
    This system they used with the S in the mainline and 1 star fitting bottom of lowest and top of highest point looks like it will work. Let’s vacuum travel through the main and let’s the star fitting and 5/16 take the sap.
    Has there been any more research on this yet ? Has anybody else tried it ?
    600 taps on vacuum
    Lapierre Releaser
    2.5 x 10 wood fired Frankenstein evaporator.
    Auber auto drawoff
    Homemade RO single 4" MES 4040 membrane
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  10. #10
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    Jan 2017
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    Williston, VT
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    505

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bricklayer View Post
    Lose a ton of vacuum to the lines while it’s all full of sap.
    I can't see how the Cornell system will help with vacuum loss. The only way to lift the sap is to use up the vacuum (about 13" of water for every inch of vacuum). Sap ladders will slurp the sap which allows some vacuum to slip by during low flows which is the action you observed. When the flow is high, the flow is continuous through the sap ladder and the vacuum loss will be equal to the 1" of Hg for every 13" of sap.


    Ken
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT
    16x34 Sugarhouse
    1,500 taps on high vacuum, Electric Releaser & CDL Sap Lifter
    Wood-Fired Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan & CDL1200 RO
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

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