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Thread: Graduating Five Gallon Pails

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario

    Default Graduating Five Gallon Pails

    Just being a rookie hobbyist, I can see the five gallon pail as a major tool. Buckets will get emptied into them. Likely sap before going into an evaporator will come out of a five gallon pail, and I will likely store my daily sap, in my supply of five gallon pails, before I put sap into my 55 gallon storage barrels.

    It will also be a key measurement tool, knowing how much sap you have collected, or how much you have boiled. I thought it was too important of a tool to guess how much sap is in a pail. My guess that in Canada, a lot of people would use the Canadian Tire food grade five gallon pail. I will have 18-20 of them, with lids. (A rotating third will get cleaned each night.)

    I used my 8 gallon graduated pot and I measure out 1 to 5 gallons and poured it into the pail and marked where on the pail each gallon will be. I then measured from the bottom of the pail, how high up each line was.

    The attached picture shows the gallon marks and the height of each line in inches. On a rainy day, I will mark all of my pails.

    I am not sure if this would be helpful for anyone else, or not sure if I am crazy for doing this.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Corbeil, ON


    I did the same thing last year. It was interesting to know how much sap I started each boil with and how much syrup it made. I could see the sap to syrup ratio change as the season progressed.
    I went from 40.5:1 ratio on first boil to 43.3:1 ratio on last boil. I'm on red maples.
    2021 - Year one. 15 taps using 5/16" and drop tube into buckets. Homemade barrel evaporator with 2 steam trays. 4.7L syrup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Nashville, MI


    I have several of my five gallon pails marked like this that I use in the house for my syrup. Been doing that for years. Helps me gauge how many jars I am going to need to can it all up.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Pandora, Ohio


    "not sure if I am crazy for doing this."

    You're not crazy. All of my 5 gal buckets are marked every half gallon. I gather with them and can always tell how much sap came from a tree that way. I can also see when I'm done gathering how much sap I ended up with for the day.
    RC Maple

    14X14 sugarhouse - new for 2012
    RO Bucket - RB10 - New for 2019
    2x3 barrel evaporator with continuous flow pan
    55 taps - all on buckets
    This is next year!


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