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Thread: My plan 2022/23

  1. #631
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    1,261

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    Yesterday, Saturday, was the first day that the lines I tapped on March 1, outperformed the lines I tapped on a December 27 and Feb 15. The March 1 lines have every advantage, with new lines and fittings and being on a much steeper slope. They might get a little less sunlight, but essentially all of the slopes face east.

    I have no doubt that if I had tapped everything on March 1, from that point on, they likely would have produced more, but I know that today, the last day of flow, sap will be streaming out of the old tap lines. I think that is pretty remarkable especially since they have never been high flow trees.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI Vacuum Filter
    2023 - 170 taps, mostly on lines, 1153 gallons boiled, 130 L (34.34 gals) of delicious syrup made, on a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch that boiled at a rate of 13 gallons per hour.

  2. #632
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
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    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    I boiled the 122 gallons of sap I had planned and maybe a little more. My best ever in a single day. I had three drawoffs, which is also a first. It all when without incident.

    I collected over 90 gallons this evening for my final boil tomorrow. I likely will collect another 20 to 30 in the morning before starting the boil. At the end I will get the sap down as low as I safely can, then will draw if off and finish that.

    I have set my personal best in sap collected and syrup made. Final numbers tomorrow.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI Vacuum Filter
    2023 - 170 taps, mostly on lines, 1153 gallons boiled, 130 L (34.34 gals) of delicious syrup made, on a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch that boiled at a rate of 13 gallons per hour.

  3. #633
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    1,261

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    I am all finished collecting. Today I have 131 gallons to boil, which will be a new record for a single day boil for me.
    I collected 1153.2 gallons /4365.4 L, which is more than I collected or boiled last year. I credit early tapping for making that goal as our season is shutting down a week earlier than last year. My expected syrup from that is around 109 L based on a 40:1 ratio, but I will far exceed that because of my high sugar content in my sap. How much more I will not know until I finish it all tomorrow.

    After the boil and after it cools down, I still have to take the sweet off the pan for the final time and finish that.

    My gallons per tap were down this year from 7.9 to 6.4 gallons per tap.

    Lots of cleanup to do and after that I will take my time to review the season, what went right, what went wrong and things I will do different next year.

    Spring has truly arrived her. The ice on the lake might be out in a week’s time and the race to get all of the wood cut, split and stacked prior to the blackflies showing starts immediately after clean up. I already have three trees down to cut up and haul home plus over 40” logs already cut to split and stack.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI Vacuum Filter
    2023 - 170 taps, mostly on lines, 1153 gallons boiled, 130 L (34.34 gals) of delicious syrup made, on a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch that boiled at a rate of 13 gallons per hour.

  4. #634
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,261

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    Soon I will let the pan boil down from the 2” level for the final pull off of the sweet. Is going for the one inch level ideal?

    Do I have to pull it off as soon as it cools or can I do it tomorrow morning?

    Thanks
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI Vacuum Filter
    2023 - 170 taps, mostly on lines, 1153 gallons boiled, 130 L (34.34 gals) of delicious syrup made, on a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch that boiled at a rate of 13 gallons per hour.

  5. #635
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    1,261

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    At the end of last season I was pooped and I thought I would downsize and make it more hobby friendly. Then I got the okay to tap what I thought was a dream slope and I went all in. I am a little pooped at the end of this season, but I know this time not to make any decisions while I am tired.

    By some metrics I had a very successful season, I collected my most sap ever (1153 gallons) and made my most syrup ever (128 L). The changes I made to my cinder block evaporator and associated equipment all worked well and I was able to boil at an amazing 13 gph on the cinder block evaporator, with a 2x4 divided pan and I think that is pretty darn good. Last year I had so much smoke at times you could not see in the shelter and this year there was zero smoke. My syrup tastes fantastic if I say so myself.

    It wasn’t all roses and there are definitely a few changes I have to make next year if I am going to do a similar number of taps with the same equipment. An easy one is to fix is the door. I actually still like the concrete door, it is simple and inexpensive, I just need to find better handles that don’t burn up. Someone suggested here that I look for wood stove door handles.

    I would give myself a C- for my divided pan performance. Even though I made all of the possible syrup I could from it, I never maintained my sweet very well. A few times I had multiple draws, but most time I had one, almost like batch boiling.

    I ended up with a nitre problem, cleaned it and two boils later had a nitre problem again. I have to change my setup next year so I can reverse the flow. I also have to be confident that the gaskets will not leak when I make the change from the float box to the drawoff valve.

    I give myself an F for not trying the RO at all. I never got overwhelmed with the sap, which is one reason why I did not, the other reason is I did not want the extra hassle, but I used humongous quantities of wood this year, maybe 10 to 12 facecords, which is getting close to what I use to heat my home all year. That is unsustainable. I will have to find away next year to incorporate the RO. (Not knowing if it even works or not.)

    I was very pleased with my shelter. It cleared the steam well and kept me and the evaporator dry.

    I have touched base with the landowner on the steep hill. I will know in a weeks time, but it is looking good I will be able to tap there again next year. I will add a fourth line, but I will also drop some shorter lines and all of the pails.

    To be honest if the landowner had said no, or insisted I remove the lines, I was going to really downsize, perhaps sell my evaporator, float box and base stack and just buy a barrel evaporator and be totally happy with making 30 L of syrup. There was something alluring when I saw the low event boiling of my neighbour’s and their choice of just tapping for 7-10 days and quit when they get to about 28 L of syrup.

    There were times this year with the early smaller runs that I thought steam pans would have been better to deal with the amount of sap I had. I also learned that turkey fryers work well, and have respect for them.

    Not next year, but one year I will settle down and have a lot fewer taps and will be happy just to make 25 to 30 L of syrup.

    Just a question, I made 15.5 L (4 gallons) of syrup from the sweet from the pan at the end. Is this a normal amount?

    Edit: I forgot to mention that the heat of the fire virtually consumed my entire brand new heavy duty grate. I will be making a new one with the V’s as suggested.

    I also forgot to add the 2 L I made on New Year’s day, so all totaled I made 130 L of syrup.
    Last edited by Swingpure; 04-13-2023 at 08:29 AM.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI Vacuum Filter
    2023 - 170 taps, mostly on lines, 1153 gallons boiled, 130 L (34.34 gals) of delicious syrup made, on a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch that boiled at a rate of 13 gallons per hour.

  6. #636
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Essex Junction, VT
    Posts
    207

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    Overall sounds like a pretty successful 2023!

  7. #637
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    North Bay Ontario
    Posts
    69

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    wow thats a lot of syrup, but thats also a lot of wood. People have asked me if I would sell them some syrup and I always say (no, but you can have some). If I wanted to make extra money I would just sell my firewood. At the crazy price of $150 a facecord its going for here in North Bay. Last year I stopped making maple syrup at 32L simple because I didnt want to burn anymore wood.(burned around 3face cord) That seemed plenty to give a bunch away and keep lots for myself. I intended on doing the same this year, but I went to florida in the heart of the season and then came back and got sick. I managed to make 4L before I left, so at least I have something.

  8. #638
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
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    1,261

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brien View Post
    wow thats a lot of syrup, but thats also a lot of wood. People have asked me if I would sell them some syrup and I always say (no, but you can have some). If I wanted to make extra money I would just sell my firewood. At the crazy price of $150 a facecord its going for here in North Bay. Last year I stopped making maple syrup at 32L simple because I didnt want to burn anymore wood.(burned around 3face cord) That seemed plenty to give a bunch away and keep lots for myself. I intended on doing the same this year, but I went to florida in the heart of the season and then came back and got sick. I managed to make 4L before I left, so at least I have something.
    Hopefully the smaller firebox I will have next year will have a significant change to the amount of wood I used.

    I also likely will not sell any. My kids will get 10 L each and extended family another 10L. Royalties for using neighbour’s trees will be another 21 L and rewarding people who helped me, such as doing welding and putting the roof and stack on, another 10 L. So that is 51 L right there. Then we give a bunch to friends and I also give my fellow volunteer board members syrup.

    So in the end, I still have enough syrup to meet my needs.

    I can see a day in 3 or 4 years, where I do a major downsize, have less than 50 taps, just on my property and maybe have a barrel evaporator.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI Vacuum Filter
    2023 - 170 taps, mostly on lines, 1153 gallons boiled, 130 L (34.34 gals) of delicious syrup made, on a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch that boiled at a rate of 13 gallons per hour.

  9. #639
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,261

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    Finally finished cleaning all of my barrels and tanks, pans and some lines.

    I am not sure if the pan is supposed to look like new when you’re done cleaning or not. Mine looked a lot better, but it did not look like new. I just used white vinegar and elbow grease to clean it.

    The lines on the hill, I just let them hang like Proctor does and soon I will connect them up to the holder on the fittings. The ones that were on my property and my adjacent neighbour’s, I connected my garden hose to the lines using a barbed fitting and pumped water through the lines and drops. They are now hanging again and I will connect them up later as well. I figure pumping water through them is one step better than simply letting them hang.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI Vacuum Filter
    2023 - 170 taps, mostly on lines, 1153 gallons boiled, 130 L (34.34 gals) of delicious syrup made, on a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch that boiled at a rate of 13 gallons per hour.

  10. #640
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,261

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    One thing I missed with my wrap up is I give myself a C in sap transfer, mainly because every gallon of sap ended up in a five gallon pail and I lifted every pail head high, while standing one step up on a ladder, to dump the sap into the head tank. That was a lot of lifting and hauling.

    Without getting into the food grade issue what so ever, I had two new pumps to use this year. One was a sump pump with stainless steel components. It was a little awkward and did not pump near as fast as I expected. I then tried a bilge pump that had a 1 1/8 hose attached. Both pumps were powered by a quick connect cord that was powered from my ATV, but could also have been powered by my truck.

    The bilge pump was light and very handy and pumped really quickly. I liked it, but it only had a nine foot hose with it so at one collection area I could pump into pails on my ATV trailer, but the other two locations I pumped directly into pails that I had to either carry up or down steep hills to get to the ATV trailer.

    Next year no pails. I will have a longer hose and will pump directly into a 35 gallon tank on my ATV or possibly the bed of my truck, and then will transfer it to a 55 gallon barrel by my 35 gallon feed tank or at times directly into the feed tank. No more pails.
    2022 - 5 pan block arch - 109 taps, 73 on 3/16 lines, 36 on drops into 5 gallon pails.
    930 gallons boiled, 109 L (28.8 gals) of delicious syrup made.
    DYI Vacuum Filter
    2023 - 170 taps, mostly on lines, 1153 gallons boiled, 130 L (34.34 gals) of delicious syrup made, on a 2x4 divided pan and base stack, 8” pipe, on a block arch that boiled at a rate of 13 gallons per hour.

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