View Full Version : 2015 tapping

01-24-2015, 11:59 AM
Hows everyone doing? Ready for the season? Talked to a friend the other night. He tapped some last weekend and was wondering about tapping more. I have thought about tapping this weekend. Anyone else considering it? This January thaw has lasted longer than I thought it would, wish the weather predictions were a little more accurate for the 10 day forecasts! Might have tapped some last weekend.

I built two new lines and added 58 taps on those. I want to build one more line using 3/16 line to see how that does. That won't happen for two more weeks when I make the run to Roth's sugar bush for their open house to pick up supplies.

Hope everyone has a great season and look forward to hearing how things are going across the state!

01-24-2015, 04:02 PM
I'm north of you but I too have been looking at the weather.It's probably a good thing I'm going good to be gone for a couple of weeks or I would be feeling the need to start.This will be my second year.I have added about 40 taps of 3/16 tubing on gravity.I also spread out any purchases of materials to keep chief financial officer unaware of this expensive hobby.😈

01-28-2015, 12:41 PM
Over here in Missouri most all of us have tapped and many have already cooked up batches. I have 35 trees tapped and am looking for enough sap to cook up this weekend. I live just north of St Louis.

01-31-2015, 05:23 PM
Dogpatch - I understand the CFO but mine is all in now. It will take a little time but she'll come around!! Decided not to tap last weekend. Thinking next weekend now. keep us posted how your 3/16ths tubing works out.

Riversap - hope things continued well this week. I know you had good weather.

01-31-2015, 07:02 PM
Will do flatlander. I would love to see your Sugarbush someday

02-03-2015, 10:32 PM
Tapped 35 trees two weeks ago. Made about 3 gal. Waiting for a warmup to tap any more

02-08-2015, 08:54 PM
Tapped about 100 today. It ran OK. Plan to get the rest in this week. Looks like it will cool down this week so not expecting much.

How did you do this week Loudonoutlaw? I bet it ran well for you this weekend.

02-26-2015, 11:21 PM
I'm located down here in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois and put 10 taps in that last week of January. First year tapper here. I got a little bit of sap by January 28th with a big sap run the next day. So far we've had 5 good runs and we've put up about 5 quarts of finished syrup. Of course this polar vortex has shut everything down for now but I'm hoping we'll get a couple more days out of the season before the frogs pop out.

02-27-2015, 10:26 AM
Hey TractorRider.

Glad to here from another mapler from our state. Good luck with your season, looks like things are going to change here sometime next week. The sap ran a little bit the first day I tapped but nothing since. Hoping we don't have another 2011 season this year. Hopefully we will all get a good long run during March and maybe into April. Doubt it but we will see. I yell at the weatherman/woman every night when they complain that we aren't at 60 F now!!

03-01-2015, 08:48 PM
49 taps in today. A few of them started dripping at 26 degrees. Lots of sun to influencing that. Looks like things will start flowing this coming week end.
Need to get my revamped block arch done and a test boil in by Saturday. Busy, busy, busy.

03-04-2015, 06:58 PM
checked a couple of my line tanks this evening. I didn't get a chance yesterday. Not much in them. Waiting on Saturday now! Looks good for most of next week but I'm afraid it is going to get really warm and shut down the sap flow.

03-09-2015, 10:16 AM
Finally season is here. 90 gals of sap on Saturday. 200 on Sunday. Only 1.8% though. Hoping my 3/16 tubing run kicks in, so far no different than 5/16 tubing. May be due to "laterals" feeding some of the trees into the run. Bubbles are moving about 1 foot every three seconds. Most of the lines are full but don't seem to generate vacuum. Put gauge at the end of the line which is about four feet uphill of the first taps and get no reading on the gauge.

Fired up the evaporator this morning. Had a boil within 7 minutes of striking the match. I thought that was fast compared to years past.

Hows everyone else doing?

03-09-2015, 05:37 PM
Slow, slow, slow. 7.5 gallons Sunday and 19 gallons today. Sugar content 1.2% ( that needs to improve)
49 taps.
But sap is still comes so will probably gets some through the night.
Temps are iffy this week for night time freeze. Trees are in a lower area
so hoping temps drop enough............ Patients is a virtue!!!!!.......Now where do I get some?

03-10-2015, 04:33 PM
My 3/16 tubing has been averaging about 1 gal a day and my buckets hardly dripping. Still not much happening in my lower shaded areas. Now my problem will be trying to cross a stream that's turning into a river with all the snow melt.

03-10-2015, 06:18 PM
Slow, slow, slow and then it stopped! I wish it would stay slow.

Bottled 5 gals today and I'm now boiling down all the sweet from the evaporator in my old LP fryer. Might have it done by midnight. It will never survive the 70's that are predicted for the coming week. Looks like my season may be over before it ever got started.

I need to move north. I keep telling the boss we are going to retire and move to northern Wis. She ignores me. Warm weather sucks! Hope you guys up in northern part of the state find some cold nights.

03-10-2015, 06:43 PM
Tapped Saturday & Sunday. Collected a little yesterday and today. Fired up the evaporator about an hour ago and have a nice boil going but not enough sap for more than a few hours. At least I can get the pan good and sweet.

Nice to finally get going but up North here the weatherman is telling me might be a short season. Packed snow around the bulk tank in an attempt to keep things cool.
Good luck everybody!

03-10-2015, 09:24 PM
24 more gallons today. That puts me at 50 in storage. I'll cook it down tomorrow evening and get the pan sweetened. Glad my trees are in a valley, lets the cold settle in but tonight might be a challenge to get below freezing. Hopefully there hasn't been enough chill hours to break bud during the next 7 days. Extended forecast shows perfect days and nights coming the end of next week.

03-11-2015, 09:08 PM
Sweetening the pan tonight on its maiden voyage.


Run Forest Run!
03-11-2015, 09:13 PM
That's so exciting! Love the pic.

03-12-2015, 12:57 PM
Nice picture Treetapper, you have snow! I cooked outside for many years. Then a friend came down and we built a temporary shed, which got rebuilt into another temporary shed which has morphed into the one I have now. Had it at 110 F the other day while cooking inside. If you ever get the chance, move indoors. best thing ever!

Finished off the sweet from my pans yesterday. Bottled another 5 gals. It did freeze enough last night to make the mud hard early this morning and freeze the sap in the tank valves. Collected 90 gals this morning from yesterdays run. Wasn't expecting that much so maybe my dire predictions of doom and gloom won't hold up. Hope it runs again today. I didn't take vacation to not do syrup this week.

Maple Mounder - nice set up as well.

Dog Patch: my 3/16th line now is running better than my 5/16th, but not by whole lot. I keep checking for leaks but none. still can't get a the vacuum gauge to read anything. Hope your creek has settled down. I know the situation you are in. I built two bridges to cross the two creeks that cut across me. Good luck all!

03-12-2015, 04:20 PM
Much of our snow is gone and the creek has dropped enough to cross .Still not getting much of a run. I see the tops of the silvers are starting to bud.

03-13-2015, 10:32 AM
No buds, no buds, no buds. Maybe if we say it enough times they will go away!
Come on next week!. Snow is gone in the woods now. If we can make it to next week I would expect some big runs. No buds, no buds, no buds!!

03-14-2015, 09:04 AM
Put in 33 taps in Will Co. on 3/8 and only have about 25 gal so far. It seems that the ground hasn't fully thawed out from the late cold snap last month. Hopefully warm weather will break through this weekend and unlock the sap.

03-14-2015, 03:02 PM
Very little sap the last few days, just got a text from the Park District down the road a few miles saying they aren't getting much either. We haven't been freezing at night so I am sure that is part of it. No buds here yet so at least that is a plus.

Good luck to all!

03-14-2015, 08:59 PM
This weather is not good for my hobby. Still got 11 gals of sap today. Dont ask me how.
Got the binoculars out to look at the tree tops. The buds are swelling. Just a couple more days of these temps. If we can get past them I think the flood gates will open.

03-15-2015, 09:02 AM
I collected about 60 gals the other day, nothing yesterday at all. It got done to 29 this morning, surprise , surprise! It'll probably run today since I emptied out the sweet again yesterday to cook it down. Have to finish it out this morning. Maybe thats the key this year. never keep the sweet in the pans!!

Suposed to hit the freezing mark Tues, Weds and Fri this week. Maybe we will all luck out and still get a decent season yet.

03-16-2015, 10:20 PM
Collected today and boiled it down tonight. And... I think we've gone buddy here in Batavia.


03-17-2015, 09:43 PM
Checked the silvers this afternoon and the buds are starting to pop.
I'll take the sap one more day but that will be the end for those trees this year.
Only 117 gallons from 49 taps sad year. The extremely warm weekend was of no help.
Never got a good run on the taps. Maybe next year.

Did finish off and ended up with two gallons of syrup with a hint of butterscotch in it. Yum!

03-20-2015, 07:48 AM
Collected today and boiled it down tonight. And... I think we've gone buddy here in Batavia.


Hey Jamieson, where in Batavia are you? We're over on the East side off Prairie Street. I haven't collected more than 2 gallons of sap from our monster silver maple. Luckily, we have some friends in St. Charles who let me tap theirs, and I've gotten about 60 gallons from three trees there.

Our buds have popped, but if we can make it through the weekend, we might get some flow next week.

*fingers crossed*


03-22-2015, 08:36 AM
Cooked up 90 gals yesterday and 120 gals From a run on Thursday. Will check tanks again this morning to see what, if any, ran overnight. The full sun yesterday helped but I only registered 35 F overnight at the house. Maybe the woods and north slopes got cooler. Buds still closed up tight no the Sugar Maples right now but the spring rains coming this week may open them up. I was up north on Wednesday. Saw a lot of buds popping around La Salle along the river there. Are you done TreeTapper2? How about MapleMounder?

03-22-2015, 12:33 PM
My buds are slowly opening on the silvers. I have been cooking the sap from them and not having a problem with taste. I'm guessing because they are not fully popped, is the reason the sap is still ok.

My biggest run so far is only 54 gallons on 49 taps. Haven't reached 200 gallons sap yet for the season.
I may keep cooking. One tree is giving me really woody smelling sap so we dump that one.
I have a couple sugars I can continue with.

03-22-2015, 03:51 PM
M y last boil of the year was today. Double what I made last year. I still had a few trees still running but I am satisfied with my year. As I pulled my taps on 3/16 tubing they made a whoosh sound so I guess I had some good vac. I didn't have a gauge on them. Ended up with about 400 gal of sap.

03-22-2015, 05:16 PM
How many taps, Dogpatch?

03-22-2015, 06:43 PM
Started with 50. Weeded out the non producers and ended up with around 30.I had 6 Walnut trees tapped also but didn't get 2 gal total. Probably a good thing as I had all the sap I could handle. I also gave 60 gal to a friend just getting started. I think know he is hooked now!

03-22-2015, 08:30 PM
Well trees ran the best they have all season the last 24 hours. Probably has something to do with the front moving in. Did notice a few silvers starting to bud at the tops on the south sides. Kept the sap separate and did a test boil on the stove. Tasted good, no after taste, sugar content was a little over 2%.

Did stop Friday night at the park district's Sugarhouse down the road. They said they had just pulled all the taps and we're finishing what little sap they had. They said they made less than 25% of what they usually do. We have several nights forecasted in the mid 20's this week. We'll see if we can squeak another week or 10 days out of the season.

Hope everyone else is at least having a decent season!

03-24-2015, 07:13 PM
Hi DK,

I'm also on the east side of Batavia, near Kirk and Pine, in woodland hills. I have one sugar maple with one tap in the backyard. Typically enough syrup for a few pancake breakfasts for the kids. Fun learning experience for them (and me).

But there are tons of huge sugar maples in this neighborhood... next season I'll see if neighbors will let me tap their trees and turn this into a larger operation...


Hey Jamieson, where in Batavia are you? We're over on the East side off Prairie Street. I haven't collected more than 2 gallons of sap from our monster silver maple. Luckily, we have some friends in St. Charles who let me tap theirs, and I've gotten about 60 gallons from three trees there.

Our buds have popped, but if we can make it through the weekend, we might get some flow next week.

*fingers crossed*


03-24-2015, 09:12 PM
Well trees are running like crazy today, collected a couple hundred gallons tonight about 5 and just checked some big sugars along the roadside and the bags are already half full. Nice to finally get a big run!

03-24-2015, 09:29 PM
I pulled a 100 gals of sap tonight. Sugar content is finally above 2. Finished off about 6 more gals of syrup from a batch the other day. Thunderstorms moving thru now. Hope we have a good run this weekend. Temps look good for a change!!!

Good luck up north...

03-25-2015, 11:25 PM
Hi DK,

I'm also on the east side of Batavia, near Kirk and Pine, in woodland hills. I have one sugar maple with one tap in the backyard. Typically enough syrup for a few pancake breakfasts for the kids. Fun learning experience for them (and me).

But there are tons of huge sugar maples in this neighborhood... next season I'll see if neighbors will let me tap their trees and turn this into a larger operation...


Cool! If you're interested in checking out my operation or just chatting about syruping, just send me a PM. We got a lot of nice flow yesterday and today, and I'll be boiling all day tomorrow (Thursday).

03-27-2015, 09:56 AM
Big run again yesterday, bulk tanks full, hard freeze last night and not above freezing today. Great day to get caught up on sap. Just got a good boil going on what will be an about 16 or so hour marathon. Not sure how much of the season is left, this weekend doesn't look bad but next week looks like it is going to get warm and stay that way. How is it looking elsewhere? Down south Flatlander?

03-27-2015, 01:15 PM
Collected 110 gals yesterday and cooked it down last night. Finished out another 4.5 gals of syrup this morning and got it bottled off.

Froze last night and just starting to run now. 37 F now but full sun. Had 17" HG on 3/16 tubing yesterday too!! Weather after Monday says I'll be about done, but I think I said this two weeks ago too. I should be getting close to 30 gals syrup??

Hope you have a good long boil all weekend, Mounder. I think we deserve a little for the effort that is put into this hobby. Keep us posted on how things finish out.

03-30-2015, 03:56 PM
Hey Flat, glad to hear the season turned around and you ended up with a decent season after all. Our tree's ran hard all weekend and I saw 3 am in the Sugarhouse several days in a row. Look's like I will again as I am boiling now with no end in sight. Church did fly by yesterday morning though, wife said I never fell a sleep so I must have been dozing with my eyes open😄. I am boiling now and getting text's our bags are running over around town. Wife and kids are going to collect in a bit and call it a season. This hobby, which I love has quickly turned into a part time job. Definiatly need to look into a flu pan, this 2 x 4 divided flat pan has been great for 5 years but time to upgrade, anybody looking for a pan?😊

Hope everybody else's season ended up decent.

04-02-2015, 08:30 PM
Took the last of the sap on Monday. Finally got the sweet cooked down and finished bottling today. Ended up with 36 gals bottled this year. Not my best year, was hoping for 100.

Treetapper, glad to hear you got to keep going.

Mounder, I just found out we have a mutual friend. It is really getting to be a very small world. If you get down this way, you should drop me message. Maybe we can get together. Hope your season finished out well.

04-02-2015, 09:28 PM
Flat, glad your season turned out good. I finished off the sweet yesterday and have it settling out in stainless milk cans, we are just under 30 gallons for the season which isn't too bad for us. Washed the floor and cleaned up the evaporator tonight.

Heard you talked to my baby cousin Kyle today. Thank you very much for helping him with his Masters project, I appreciate it. If we get South we will certainly send you a PM, please do the same if you ever head up North. We're only 30 miles South of the cheddar border. Maybe all of Land of Lincoln sugarers should put an Assocition together. The comrodery would be great, also we could hopefully have some input on the laws and standards. I know the state just changed the rules this year on honey, you can make a decent amount without inspections and such.

Keep in touch, Mounder

04-03-2015, 05:28 PM
I'm all in for a Land of Lincoln association.

04-03-2015, 07:29 PM
I would second that notion (motion).

04-03-2015, 07:32 PM

I didn't know Kyle was working on a masters dealing with maple until we were talking yesterday at a track meet. If I had known, I would have had him working all this spring!

10-27-2015, 07:44 AM
I am clearly very late discovering the "tapping in IL" thread. I live around Peoria and have been tapping for two years now and am completely hooked! I would be all for a state wide group or at the very least a get-together meet and greet! I enjoyed reading the play by play of this past season, brought back memories!

12-03-2015, 10:22 PM
Hello to all, I always have a hard time finding this site. Its been so long since spring, my memory evades me.
I hope everyone is doing well and the maple bug is growing for the 2016 season. We have most of our wood split( smaller this year).
Thinking about ordering things for the up coming season. I managed to break all of my hydrometers last year, careless on my part.
My plan is to tap more trees and add an RO system.
Last spring we ordered sweet sap maple trees. Only lost one otherwise they did exceptional. We got close to 2 feet of growth on them!

So what are your plans for the coming season?

01-18-2016, 04:35 PM

Glad you found us.

All. Starting to get my head into the game for the coming season. Unfortunately, the tractor won't start today, just too darn cold I guess. Been clearing lines of fallen trees and starting to figure out my ordering for supplies. Need to rebuild a couple of lines and repair the rest the squirrels attacked. I hate squirrels!! Maybe its time to by that tubing guard a friend makes.

Anyway, hang in there all. Sap will be flowing before we are ready!