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Thread: Tapped in Chester... sorta

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    739

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigschuss View Post
    Glad you had a good year Gabe. I am done too. Not the worst year I ever had, but not the best. The lack of snow shut me down early, which may sound weird. But without frozen ground and decent snow pack, the trails to my sugarbush to gather sap become muddy messes that I don't want to tear up.
    That is too bad. Yeah, it got really warm for a while. I don't have heavy equipment or snowmobiles or anything to move sap around (just my arms), but once or twice I did worry about my car going into the mud and not coming back out again!

    Just finished making a ton of maple nuts and maple popcorn to share with family at the holiday this weekend. That just about used up the last of the 2021 syrup.

    Also did my last "bottling" of syrup. I put "bottling" in quotes because this is the batch I get from harvesting all the dregs from the season, plus what I get from running hot water through the filter on my last real bottling. I don't filter it or hot-pack it. I just leave it in the fridge and let it settle on its own for a few weeks. It got me another two quarts of syrup, which I save for personal consumption. So that brings my final tally for the season to 752 oz, or just under 5.9 gallons. I am very happy with that.

    Hope you all have a great off-season, and hope to see you in ten months!

    Gabe
    2016: Homemade arch from old wood stove; 2 steam tray pans; 6 taps; 1.1 gal
    2017: Same setup. 15 taps; 4.5 gal
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season; 2.2 gal
    2019: Very limited time. 7 taps and a short season; 1.8 gal
    2020: New Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season; 9 taps 2 gal
    2021: Same 2x3, 18 taps, 4.5 gal
    2022: 23 taps, 5.9 gal
    2023: 23 taps. Added AUF
    All taps on buckets

  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    431

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    Quote Originally Posted by berkshires View Post
    That is too bad. Yeah, it got really warm for a while. I don't have heavy equipment or snowmobiles or anything to move sap around (just my arms), but once or twice I did worry about my car going into the mud and not coming back out again!

    Just finished making a ton of maple nuts and maple popcorn to share with family at the holiday this weekend. That just about used up the last of the 2021 syrup.

    Also did my last "bottling" of syrup. I put "bottling" in quotes because this is the batch I get from harvesting all the dregs from the season, plus what I get from running hot water through the filter on my last real bottling. I don't filter it or hot-pack it. I just leave it in the fridge and let it settle on its own for a few weeks. It got me another two quarts of syrup, which I save for personal consumption. So that brings my final tally for the season to 752 oz, or just under 5.9 gallons. I am very happy with that.

    Hope you all have a great off-season, and hope to see you in ten months!

    Gabe
    Sounds good Gabe. See you in 10 months or so.

    Blair
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    739

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    A couple of postmortems for this thread.

    1 - I mentioned that I did an experiment. My first "tubing run". It's actually just one big tree, but it would have been a royal pain to try to collect buckets from it on that slope. Two taps on it to a 3/16" line. Must be close to a fifteen foot vertical drop, so I hope a little vacuum may happen too. Here's a photo: https://photos.app.goo.gl/5vbBkrgaSfi8XDDbA

    It didn't work out. The sugar percent in the sap was good, but I saw very little sap. Only about 5.5 gallons per tap, where most of my trees on buckets did around 13 gallons per tap. I'm not sure what went wrong, and I was never able to get a good look at it while a run was happening (I live a two hour drive away). Whenever I checked it, though, I saw no sap in the line (as far as I could tell). So I'm guessing there was either a vacuum leak, or a blocked line, or both. I'll try again with the same setup on the tree this year.

    2 - Timing. In retrospect, my tapping date (2/16) was a week too late. Optimal tapping for me last year based on the season would have been 2/9. There was a really good stretch of weather the week before I tapped. Overall, I lost about 3 to four good days of sap running. Not too far off, but worth remembering next time I think about whether or not to pull the trigger when it feels "too early".

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old wood stove; 2 steam tray pans; 6 taps; 1.1 gal
    2017: Same setup. 15 taps; 4.5 gal
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season; 2.2 gal
    2019: Very limited time. 7 taps and a short season; 1.8 gal
    2020: New Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season; 9 taps 2 gal
    2021: Same 2x3, 18 taps, 4.5 gal
    2022: 23 taps, 5.9 gal
    2023: 23 taps. Added AUF
    All taps on buckets

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Westfield, MA
    Posts
    116

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    Quote Originally Posted by berkshires View Post
    A couple of postmortems for this thread.

    2 - Timing. In retrospect, my tapping date (2/16) was a week too late. Optimal tapping for me last year based on the season would have been 2/9. There was a really good stretch of weather the week before I tapped. Overall, I lost about 3 to four good days of sap running. Not too far off, but worth remembering next time I think about whether or not to pull the trigger when it feels "too early".

    GO
    Hiya Gabe. I'm aiming for that early run also this year. Finished up the pans and arch today. Just need to clean the buckets and tank the next couple weekends and I'll be ready for the 1st. Long term weather has a nice couple days mid-week and weekend Feb 1st - 5th if it holds true.
    2020 - 2 taps, 1/2 pint on a turkey fryer, About 3/4 pint syrup in two weeks - Proof of concept!
    2021 - 20 x 30 divided pan on a Mason arch, 34 taps and 8 gallons for family and friends to judge. Dad hooked as well.
    2022 - 8 x 14 sugarhouse and a steam bottler. 50 buckets! 9 Gallons syrup and 4 pounds of sugar
    2023 - Excited

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