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Thread: My plan 2023 - 2024

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,348

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    I had a stroke 11 days ago, I am fine, mostly back to normal, but it does make me pause and look at the activities I do that require a lot of physical effort. I am new to strokes, never had one, I only knew one person who had one, so maybe in three months time I will have a different perspective on things.

    I am thinking of drastically downsizing my sugar operation, just tapping the trees on my own property, selling my divided pan and float box and base stack and replacing the cinder block evaporator with a barrel evaporator. Besides reducing the workload, I still cannot get out of my mind, how low key my neighbour’s operation was and what their finite goals were.

    I would just make syrup for my home use, and my kids and grandkids can enjoy it while they visit.

    I will give it a few more weeks before I decide, but I am definitely on the page of just making it a small hobby.

    My other major physical activity is all of the cutting down, hauling, splitting and stacking of firewood for home heating purposes. I am considering buying a heat pump, good to -30°C, that should reduce my home wood requirements by 80%.
    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.
    2024 - made 48 L, December to March, primarily over two fire bowls.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    951

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    Gary, I certainly pray that you are on the mend from this. Did the Dr. say you needed to cut back on your physical activities like doing the syrup. I would think being active as being a good thing. Please let me know.
    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. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,628

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    On my 3x8 evaporator the firebox was 32" front to back and 25" wide inside the bricks at the grates. I cut my wood at 21" long, piled it in one criss crossed stack starting at about 6" in from the door. It boiled very well. After adding AOF/AUF I fueled it every 9 minutes, before the AOF/AUF I fueled every 7 minutes.
    Dave Klish, I recently ordered a 2x6 wood fired evaporator from A&A Sheet Metal which I will be converting to oil fired
    Now have solar, 2x6 finish pan, 5 bank 7x7 filter press, large water jacketed bottler, and tankless water heater.
    Recently bought another Gingerich RO, this one was a 125, but a second membrane was added thus is a 250, like I had.
    After running a 2x3, a 2x6, 3x8 tapping from 79 taps up to 1320 all woodfired, now I'm going to a 2x6 oil fired and a 200-425 taps.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,348

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    Gary, I certainly pray that you are on the mend from this. Did the Dr. say you needed to cut back on your physical activities like doing the syrup. I would think being active as being a good thing. Please let me know.
    For the first month, I cannot cut my grass, for the next two months I can cut grass and do other things, but no prolonged really heavy work, after that I can do what ever I want. So from the Doctors perspective no issue doing the maple syrup.

    This year I went from the 6 weeks of maple syrup where I carried and lifted every gallon over my head, to splitting and stacking over 400 cut logs, cutting down and hauling three other trees, to help building a 1000 sq ft deck, then I had the stroke. I do not know it as a fact, but I think overdoing it, combined with some risk factors, played a role in having the stroke.

    It may be I have not fully recovered yet and I am still tired, and that up is why thinking of doing all of the work again is not appealing, or it just seems logical not to push myself too far. I will still make syrup and I will still cut down trees and haul and split them, but maybe not as much.
    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.
    2024 - made 48 L, December to March, primarily over two fire bowls.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Scotland Ontario Canada
    Posts
    37

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    Wishing a full & speedy recovery for you Gary
    Black Walnut tapping
    2021 - 3 trees 5 taps enough to boil a sample.
    ~ 2 acres, 35+ mature Black Walnut
    2022 - 30 Southern Ontario Walnuts tapped, 69 spouts.
    650 litres (143 Imp gals) on sap bags, 14 litres (3 Imp gals) walnut syrup on turkey fryer.
    2023 - 35 trees tapped, 28 mech vacuum & 7 on gravity. Propane fired custom evaporator, 2'x2' divided pan, 2'x1' preheat pan.
    882 litres (194 Imp gals) mechanical & gravity vac turned into 18.25 litres (4.8 Imp gals) syrup off my DIY evaporator

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Covington Twp. Pa.
    Posts
    580

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    Prayers for a quick and speedy recovery Gary. Take it easy for a while and sort things out. I, for one have certainty missed your almost daily posts for the last 2 years or so. I was wondering where you were? You have an RO that you didn't get to try yet. Keep in mind that RO will cut your boiling time AND your wood needs in half at the least. You can keep the same setup but by tapping less trees and using the RO you can make it fun again. (In way less time than this past season.)
    2x3 Patrick Phaneuf Divided Pan
    Homemade arch
    RB20 RO Bucket
    121 taps total
    Sugar Shack in future
    Wife into it as much as me
    Also do homebrew

    http://s928.photobucket.com/albums/ad121/ZMANSYRUP/

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Corbeil, ON
    Posts
    174

    Default

    Hello Gary,
    Sorry to hear of your setback. I hope you have a full recovery.
    Form reading your posts I know you think everything through really well before making a decision so what you do in the future with your maple syrup operation will not be a knee-jerk move.
    As far as the heat pump I have one at my house and it's been great on reducing my dependence on propane. The government has grants right now where you can get money back on the upgrade.
    2021 - Year one. 15 taps using 5/16" and drop tube into buckets. Homemade barrel evaporator with 2 steam trays. 4.7L syrup.
    2022. 32 taps. Added AUF.
    2023. 51 taps. Ditched the steam pans for an 18x22 flat pan.
    2024. 56 taps. Built a proper evaporator to fit the 18x22 flat pan and 1 steam pan.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    910

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    I had a stroke 11 days ago, I am fine, mostly back to normal, but it does make me pause and look at the activities I do that require a lot of physical effort. I am new to strokes, never had one, I only knew one person who had one, so maybe in three months time I will have a different perspective on things.

    I am thinking of drastically downsizing my sugar operation, just tapping the trees on my own property, selling my divided pan and float box and base stack and replacing the cinder block evaporator with a barrel evaporator. Besides reducing the workload, I still cannot get out of my mind, how low key my neighbour’s operation was and what their finite goals were.

    I would just make syrup for my home use, and my kids and grandkids can enjoy it while they visit.

    I will give it a few more weeks before I decide, but I am definitely on the page of just making it a small hobby.

    My other major physical activity is all of the cutting down, hauling, splitting and stacking of firewood for home heating purposes. I am considering buying a heat pump, good to -30°C, that should reduce my home wood requirements by 80%.
    Very sorry to hear of your stroke. Hope you have a full and a speedy recovery.

    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 gals
    2020: New Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season; 9 taps 2 gals
    2021: Same 2x3, 18 taps, 4.5 gals
    2022: 23 taps, 5.9 gals
    2023: 23 taps. Added AUF, 13.2 gals
    2024: 17 taps, 5.3 gals
    All on buckets

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,348

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Z/MAN View Post
    Prayers for a quick and speedy recovery Gary. Take it easy for a while and sort things out. I, for one have certainty missed your almost daily posts for the last 2 years or so. I was wondering where you were? You have an RO that you didn't get to try yet. Keep in mind that RO will cut your boiling time AND your wood needs in half at the least. You can keep the same setup but by tapping less trees and using the RO you can make it fun again. (In way less time than this past season.)
    Thanks, I haven’t been posting, because I was so busy doing all of my chores, I never had a chance to get back to my evaporator and start making the changes to reduce the firebox size. I was going to start posting once I started to make the changes.
    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.
    2024 - made 48 L, December to March, primarily over two fire bowls.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Parry Sound Area, Ontario
    Posts
    1,348

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aamyotte View Post
    Hello Gary,
    Sorry to hear of your setback. I hope you have a full recovery.
    Form reading your posts I know you think everything through really well before making a decision so what you do in the future with your maple syrup operation will not be a knee-jerk move.
    As far as the heat pump I have one at my house and it's been great on reducing my dependence on propane. The government has grants right now where you can get money back on the upgrade.
    If someone who knew me saw me now, they would not know anything happened. My legs are still weak, but it does not affect my walking gait.

    I wanted to ask you how your new pan worked out and did you like it better than your old setup?
    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.
    2024 - made 48 L, December to March, primarily over two fire bowls.

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