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Thread: Need help - tubing system for my sugarbush

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    1320 Lebanon Rd. Bagdad, Ky
    Posts
    17

    Default Need help - tubing system for my sugarbush

    Need some suggestions on what tubing to use for my small sugarbush. Last year I had 14 taps on 3/16" line all merging to a ditchline collection point (7 along a 200' long x 30' drop, 4 from a 40' long x 12' drop and 4 from a 30' long x 8' drop). This worked out pretty good last year, but had to pump sap up a 200 ft hill to get it out of the woods. This year, I want to extend this ditch line collection point to a road about 300 ft away on about a 3 degree downward slope (300' x 15' elevation drop). I am also wanting to tap another 15 trees along the way.

    Any recommendations on what tubing to use for the extension: continue with all 3/16" tubing? switch to 5/16" for the 300 ft mainline extension, with 3/16" for the 15 new trees along the 300 ft extension? Any other way? I don't have electric for vacuum so need to rely on elevation drop. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance. Gwebb
    1st year tapped 5 trees, boiled in pans on rock fire - really smokey taste
    2021 - 20 taps - 4 Gal on barrel stove and pans
    2022 - 9.1 Gal - 41 taps this year. 14 + 7 on 3/16" gravity vacuum. 20 in buckets/bags. DIY RO system - 2/3 water gone - amazing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    627

    Default

    How many total taps are you looking at putting on the one line?
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Warren, MA
    Posts
    175

    Default

    I used a lunchbox pump to pump from my low points to the road. I used 5/16 to go from the pump to the collection tanks. I have 3/16 lines feeding the pumps; around 100 taps per pump.
    2016 - 2 x 4 Randy Worthen built arch and pans 11 taps; 2.625 gallons of syrup!
    2017 - 29 taps; 11.625 gallons of syrup!
    2018 - 30 taps; 98 pints bottled! New sugar house being built, new equipment coming!
    2019 - 125 taps; 50 gallons made! New 2x6 Smoky Lake Corsair arch, drop flue pan, auto draw. Smoky Lake filter press and Steam Bottler
    2020 - 173 taps; only 35 gallons made.
    2021 - 242 taps; New record! 50.5 gallons made!
    2022 - 321 taps; New record! 80 gallons made!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,317

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    If it's all downhill, there are at least 3 maybe more options.
    To remain pumpless, you could extend each of the 3/16 lines to the destination, likely fewest issues. Choice 2, run all of the 3/16 into a 1/2" mainline, avoid dips, gravity will carry it to the destination, no pump. Or run all into a manifold and run a battery powered (12V) diaphragm pump. I suggest you price all 3 choices and then decide. You may need to extend the 3/16 to the manifold and pump location because of the limited choices for fittings into a 1/2" mainline if going that route, or likely a diaphragm pump on a battery can handle it all.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    129

    Default

    I have about 45 taps on laterals, from one to 10 taps per lateral, leading to a 3/4 inch mainline. All this leads right to my sugar shack. I would recommend going with whichever option makes collections easier. A little more expense is worth not having as much hassle in the middle of maple season.
    2017 - 20ish taps on buckets, boiling outside in two baking pans
    2018 - 70+ taps, 14-buckets, 50+ on tubing, homemade arch from oil tank in my barn, 17 gal syrup
    2019 - same set up, 20 gal syrup
    2020 - less taps, short season, but RO kit was fantastic! 6 gal syrup and a maple cat!
    2021 - expanded into the neighbors yards! 50 taps on buckets and 40 taps on tubing - total= 11 gal of syrup

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    299

    Default

    3/16 shines when you have some drop after the last tap. 25-30' is optimal. Any flat run after the last tap, friction resistance is goin to cancel out vacuum very quickly. Shurflo is the way to go. $79 pump, $100 battery, you can pull sap uphill, then push it uphill even further. Use at least 5/16 for the output line, sap will ride the air bubble and not build head pressure that cancels out the vacuum. You will get more sap per tap. Add 200-300 watts of solar and you don't have to charge your battery every two days, it'll pay for itself quick. Good to see another sugar maker in KY. We're in OH, just across the river from Ashland, we have some good friends in the Kentucky Maple Syrup Association.
    2012 15 jugs
    2017 125 3/16 - 18" x 72" drop flue
    2018 240 3/16 - Deer Run 125
    2019 450 3/16 - Converted RO to electric, PC 330 pump & added a membrane
    2020 600 3/16 - Maple Pro 2x6 Raised Flue, added AOF/AUF
    2021 570 3/16 - Built SS steam hood, Smoky Lake SS filter press
    2022 800 3/16 - Upgraded RO to 4 4x40, PC 660
    2023 800 3/16 - Re-upgrading RO, building preheater

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,317

    Default

    I would not suggest any 3/16 laterals for less than 10-15 taps, 20-25 is best. 3/16 laterals are rated for up to 37 taps according to an article I read by Tim Wilmot but that was back when 3/16 was recently introduced. I actually had one line, with about 50-60' of drop that had 44 taps and it appeared to do very well, but I was told I'd get more sap if I split it into 2 laterals.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    6,087

    Default

    Try the resources at: https://mapleresearch.org/search/?_sf_s=3%2F16 and also the section "Sap Collection" chapter (the part on 3/16" Tubing) of the Third Edition of the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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