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Thread: Southern Ohio 2021/2022 Tis the season

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Southern Ohio 2021/2022 Tis the season

    It's almost December and these frosty morning turn my mind to Syrup season. Started moving wood to the sugarshack over the weekend. The other day I took out my old steam vent and put in a new section of roof, now I need to decide how I'm evacuating steam again.

    Today I pulled the pan and cleaned up the firbox of the arch. I replaced any bad and broken firebrick an removed loose mortor. Mixed up a batch of refractory and put a new skim coat over all the brick. While the pan was off I decided to wash and bleach it as well and put new rail gasket on the arch. So the evaporator is ready to go. Put it all back together and sealed it up to keep clean. Next I need to clean and rearrange the shack.

    I ordered all my tubing supplies last week and they came over the weekend. So now I need to hit the woods and do line maintenance and repairs( all 3/16th) . I'll cut out old tees and spiles and replace with new. Then retension lines and get ready to set up the collection tank. I figure I'll start with my usual 40-50 early taps around Christmas time, depending on weather. Then go full bore by mid to late January with 100 more taps.

    So what's everyone else doing to get ready?
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Hidy Neighbor, good to hear from you. My daughter & I have spent the last few nights sittin by the fire cuttin drop lines. I've had my RO tore apart for about a month now, but she's slowly goin back together. Added two more 4x40's and doubled the pump and HP, keeping the original pump for recirculation. I'm really excited to be able to add more taps and STILL reduce boiling time. My wife went to see her folks in NC for the holiday weekend and came home with a new tig Welder, I'm goin to have her tig my preheater that I have had cut & drilled for some time now. We are goin to tap some silver maples this year, crossin my fingers I'll get a few good runs before they bud out. It's supposed to be in the low 60's tomorrow & Thursday. I have to haul some beef tomorrow morning, hope I get home in time to wash to some tanks and pump some water through my pump lines & mainlines. We're bumping up from 550 to 800 taps this year, and if I have time, I have enough taps & tubing for 900. Gettin close- I plan on tappin around 6-10 January.
    '12 15 jugs - Steam pans
    '17 125 3/16 - 18" x 72" drop flue on homemade arch
    '18 240 3/16 - Deer Run 125
    '19 450 3/16 - Converted RO to electric/added a membrane
    '20 600 3/16 - Maple Pro 2x6 Raised Flue, added AOF/AUF
    '21 570 3/16 - Built steam hood, Smoky Lake filter press
    '22 800 3/16 - Upgraded RO to 4 4x40
    '23 500 3/16 - Re-plumbed RO, new "Guzzler"
    '24 500 3/16 - Steam Away, DIY 8x40 RO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Maineville, OH
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I'm trying to decide if and when I will tap trees this year. Forecast for where I am (Clermont County) has only 1 night below freezing in the 10 day. I know it will probably get colder, just a matter of when the runs will start and how good they will be.

    Sold my big evaporator last year since I didn't have a place to tap and now that I can do about 50 taps, trying to decide if I want to make a new barrel evaporator again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,349

    Default

    Started cutting off all my old drops and disinfecting them and then installing new tees and spiles. Started repairing lines and reinstalling the drops with new tees and spiles. Iam about to go off on my annual ,"how much I hate squirrels" rant. Dang I spent two hrs on one short lateral today and finally said pi$$ on it a made a run of new tubing. I hope I don't have to do much of that as tubing has been scarce this fall. Arrrrggggg, I have I ever told you "I HATE SQUIRRELS
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Rock Creek, OH
    Posts
    430

    Default

    It sounds like we are tapping after Christmas this year. I know the guys want to get a jump on it.
    Make sure you check out our YouTube Channel.
    https://www.youtube.com/bissellmaplefarm

    www.bissellmaplefarm.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,349

    Default

    Still working on tubing and the squirrrel damage is the worse I have ever seen. My wife and I walked one lateral to cut off drops the other day and every drop was ruined and every tree had chews. Some tubing was on the ground and chewed. I only have about 200 feet of tubing left and tight now can't find any to buy. In past years I would never splice line with couplers preseason. I would always just put in new line from drop to drop on bad chews. This year I am putting in couplers to save tubing and out of 150 taps have around 20 splices, not happy.

    I plan on tapping right around Christmas. I have two laterals left to fix and then clean up shack and wash head tank and collection tank and I am ready.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Glad to hear you've been in the woods Buckeye. I walked a few laterals yesterday. I too have a general disdain squirrels. For the last two weeks I've been ready to hit the woods. Firewood for the house, haulin beef, haulin sheep, my mother had outpatient surgery, repairing fence in the pig pen, sorting sheep, hauling hay have all kept me out of the woods. I have been able to spend some time in the sugar house, and weld shop. My wife has my RO frame 95% complete, and is about to start on the sap preheater. I feel like the only thing I'm on schedule with is the RO rebuild. I spend most of the day outside, and am fortunate to be able to cut drops, work on the RO and a few others inside when it's dark/raining. ..farm life sure is busy..I love it, I'm not complaining. very thankful the Good Lord has blessed us with health, ability, lots of critters, and happy healthy maple trees!!
    '12 15 jugs - Steam pans
    '17 125 3/16 - 18" x 72" drop flue on homemade arch
    '18 240 3/16 - Deer Run 125
    '19 450 3/16 - Converted RO to electric/added a membrane
    '20 600 3/16 - Maple Pro 2x6 Raised Flue, added AOF/AUF
    '21 570 3/16 - Built steam hood, Smoky Lake filter press
    '22 800 3/16 - Upgraded RO to 4 4x40
    '23 500 3/16 - Re-plumbed RO, new "Guzzler"
    '24 500 3/16 - Steam Away, DIY 8x40 RO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    944

    Default

    You sir are truly blessed. May you have a bountiful season.
    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 ga.l syrup
    2021 - Didn't work out
    2022 - 25 taps on bags / 8 taps on 3/16's line - late start

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    You sir are truly blessed. May you have a bountiful season.
    I am, we are. I'd like to believe anyone who partakes in the maple trade would find him or herself blessed. Same with the other ventures I've partook of in my life. I tell people all the time, if you don't believe in God, let me show you 15 minutes in a honeybee hive. Startin to feel the same way about maple trees. (been beekeepin a lot longer than sugarin). If we don't stop & taste the sap ever now & then, we are missing out on the best part of it all, the beauty and intricacies of the Good Lord's Creation. Thank you and may you have a great season as well!!
    '12 15 jugs - Steam pans
    '17 125 3/16 - 18" x 72" drop flue on homemade arch
    '18 240 3/16 - Deer Run 125
    '19 450 3/16 - Converted RO to electric/added a membrane
    '20 600 3/16 - Maple Pro 2x6 Raised Flue, added AOF/AUF
    '21 570 3/16 - Built steam hood, Smoky Lake filter press
    '22 800 3/16 - Upgraded RO to 4 4x40
    '23 500 3/16 - Re-plumbed RO, new "Guzzler"
    '24 500 3/16 - Steam Away, DIY 8x40 RO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,349

    Default

    I have one more lateral to repair and the woods is prepped. I'm waiting on a roll of 3/16th Max flo from Bascoms and then I'll tackle it. It was a brand new run last year and it's 80% damage now. So it will be mostly all new tubing. I need to clean up the sugar shack, move tools and gear down there and disinfect transport and holding tanks and I am ready to tap. I plan on tapping rhe 50 early taps next week.... it's almost go time. Yippeee or maybe I mean, "oh MY".

    Good to see you so busy bmbmkr, that means life is being good to you
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

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