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TreeTapper2
01-23-2018, 01:45 PM
Here's to another year starting in Illinois.
With the warm up we have had and its continueing for another week or so I am strongly considering tapping. Possibly start tonight and finish tomorrow night. Looks like a weeks worth of possible flow and then a short lull before things really take off. Long term weather shows things lining up around February 20th for northern Illinois.

Anyone else going to take the plunge or waiting for a bit?

Happy tapping to all. Looks to be a long season ahead, let's just hope that it is.

dogpatch
01-23-2018, 04:03 PM
I have been fixing tree rat damage and moving some of my lines. Hope to tap around 100 this year. Wife and I are heading south during the first week of Feb. I plan on waiting until around the 11th to get going. Hope I don't miss too much. Good sugaring everyone.

mol1jb
01-23-2018, 04:58 PM
I did start tapping today because last year by the end of February the season was close to over. Nothing was flowing in my trees today but over the next few days conditions look good for some flow.

TreeTapper2
01-28-2018, 08:05 PM
100 taps in. Pulled in 90 gals if sap. Boiled some last night after doing last minute work on the arch. Had an issue with the stack plugging up at the base.....flames bursting out the front door. When I built the top part of the block arch I used mesh to hold the flue collar. Well that plugged up in an hour .....seems pine is a big soot maker. Had let the fire go down, pull the chimney, and smash the mesh out. All is well now. Should finish cooking tonight.
Anyone else making syrup yet?

mol1jb
01-29-2018, 09:08 AM
I'm collecting but not boiling yet. Will finish up the arch and new plumbing into the kitchen this week. Haven't collected much due to the squirrel damage. Still working on those leaks.

dogpatch
01-29-2018, 10:28 AM
No taps for me yet. Going to wait until Feb. I have put the hurt on the squirrel population and will continue to for another week or so.

mol1jb
02-11-2018, 09:58 PM
Hope everyone is getting ready. This week looks like some good runs.

dogpatch
02-14-2018, 08:01 PM
Started today. It is a challenge with knee deep snow on frozen slopes. Some of the trees were starting to run but most were not. Hope to get done by Friday. I spent as much time sliding down the hill as I did tapping. Looks like I need some kind of clamp on ice cleats.

dogpatch
02-15-2018, 05:54 PM
Finished tapping today. Ended up with 82. The most I have done. I am letting the lines flush. Will start collecting tomorrow.

prairietapper
02-15-2018, 07:14 PM
I have 80 tapped. I spent today sanitizing in the shack. down here it has been a slow drool for a run. It lasted longer than I expected but not much quantity. I did not even collect tonight. although I had expected to boil. I am going to check barrels and buckets in the morning and if I still do not have to boil I think I am going to run some more 3/16
and the big bonus only 15 buckets!! Several in town tree owners have started letting me run lines. 65 of the tapped trees are in back yards. that was a lot of 5 gal buckets carried to the street from the back yards in the past!

TreeTapper2
02-16-2018, 04:06 PM
Dogpatch if you were near I'd give you a pair of those cleats you needed. Got them on a job but never used them. Let us know how your doing.

Mol1jb is that a sureflo pump your using? How's it working out? What kind of pressure? Using it on flat runs or slopes? I think this is what next year's addition will be for me.

Prairietrapper first post congrats... welcome to the forum. Seems you have been tapping for a while. Chasing sap through the neighborhood would be a pain. What kind of sugar content are you getting on those neighborhood trees? Whatever are you located?

prairietapper
02-16-2018, 04:57 PM
Sugar on the reds was just a frickle under 2 % when I collected today. The Sugar maples were lower, I have buckets on those, so it is easy to check separately.
Yes I have been tapping a while! I started helping dad on this hobby back in the 90's just when he really needed it. then as he got older and less able I started helping him more. about 2010 ish he hung up is stirring spoon for good, other than watching the evaporator while I ate dinner etc. I am in Mclean county.
IS anything running up north? ( I did not check weather for up there lately)

prairietapper
02-16-2018, 05:04 PM
Dogpatch, what size evap are you running?

prairietapper
02-16-2018, 05:21 PM
on your hybrid set up/ are you feeding a mainline to the sureflo with smaller 3/16 laterals or is it one line of 3/16 from the pump with tees for taps?

dogpatch
02-16-2018, 06:36 PM
Hello Tapper. Last year I had a friend do all my boiling. This year he wanted more sap so I put in a few more taps. It has worked well for both of us. We split the syrup based on sugar content. My sister helps out at Funks Grove during sirip season. Hoping for a sap psunami next week.

prairietapper
02-18-2018, 06:12 PM
Well I thought today was going to be a good run. but it never did get as warm as they said it would. SO there is that. LOL plenty early in the year though.

mol1jb
02-19-2018, 08:57 PM
So for those who asked my shurflo pump is the 4048 model and my lines come down the IL river bluff so lots of slope. At the bottom I have a little shack I built to hold a tank and the pump. Each line goes into a 1/2in pvc manifold, 6 lines total, then a strainer and the shurflo and a vac gauge. Each of thr 6 lines have shutoffs so I can open one line at a time to read the vac and see where I have leaks. This is my first year on vac and I really like it. It makes finding leaks quite easy on 3/16 not to mention lots more sap. From thaw yesterday over 24 hours I collected 240 gallons on my 120 taps. Ill try to get a picture up tomorrow and if anyone wants to come to Peoria and stop by let me know.

Oh and on average I am pulling 15” vac at the pump. I consider this good as I have very active squirrels

prairietapper
02-19-2018, 09:17 PM
that sounds as ideal as one could hope for in central il!

Flatlander
02-20-2018, 06:49 AM
Hi all. Little late to the party this year.

I got everything tapped last weekend in time for last Thursdays run. So far things are going well. Squirrels won't leave the tubing alone so I try to get out to check for leaks when I can. About 10 gals of syrup so far. It ran pretty well Saturday night and Sunday morning here. Things are very muddy right now. collecting is going to be difficult this week with all the rain.

Hope everyone has a great season. Welcome to the new folks on this blog.

dogpatch
02-20-2018, 07:14 PM
I had 2 good days of collecting, the small creek I need to cross is now a raging torrent. Hope the sap will be ok until the water goes down. Colder weather will help.

prairietapper
02-20-2018, 10:11 PM
this first boil of the year has been a train wreck. First my hood fan motor died just after hitting full boil. So I dug around and found a spare. Swapped that out. then once I got up and running again I found that for some reason now I am getting a ton of condensation where I never got condensation in the past and had water running out of the steam flue into the syrup pan. So I pitched a whole bunch of sweet. cleaned up, and then made gutters for it. FINALLY have a little syrup. hopefully this takes care of gremlins for at least a while LOL

prairietapper
02-20-2018, 10:13 PM
I hope it gets cold enough for you to save it!

prairietapper
02-21-2018, 10:44 PM
Hey Dogpatch. has the water gone down enough to cross?

dogpatch
02-22-2018, 06:53 AM
Yes it has. There was an ice jam downstream that let loose. Water dropped 2-3 feet, enough to let me cross with my Ranger. After all that , the sap had stopped running with the cold weather. Oh well today should be better.

prairietapper
02-22-2018, 08:43 AM
good deal!

TreeTapper2
02-25-2018, 08:37 PM
Had a great run yesterday. 129 gallons from 100taps on buckets. One tree gave 9 gallons. Put the new homemade RO to work. So now we can reduce water by 30 gallons between cooking and RO. This really changes how much time I have to cook.

dogpatch
02-25-2018, 09:53 PM
Having a great run here too. 150 gal. on 82 taps on 2 different days. 2% sugar which is better than last year's average of 1.7.

TreeTapper2
02-26-2018, 05:58 AM
That's great dogpatch. Our trees have been running higher suger as well. Silvers 2-2.2% and sugars 2-3% . That just means more golden delicious for all!

prairietapper
02-26-2018, 08:47 AM
Had a great run yesterday. 129 gallons from 100taps on buckets. One tree gave 9 gallons. Put the new homemade RO to work. So now we can reduce water by 30 gallons between cooking and RO. This really changes how much time I have to cook.

good deal! I shall have one some day! ( RO that is)
It looks like a big week coming our way!

prairietapper
02-26-2018, 11:56 AM
it is running better than I expected today! how about you guys? Also the sur-flo is kicking butt!

prairietapper
02-26-2018, 11:57 AM
That's great dogpatch. Our trees have been running higher suger as well. Silvers 2-2.2% and sugars 2-3% . That just means more golden delicious for all!
NICE! The highest I have seen this year is 2... and I am glad to have that!

dogpatch
03-01-2018, 07:50 PM
Been slow for a few days but forecast looking better. Frost has gone out of my woods which has made it easier to get around. Up to about 1000gal. sap so far. Looking for a good week ahead.

dogpatch
03-23-2018, 07:45 PM
Finished up today. All in all a very good season. A little over 2900gal from 82 taps.

prairietapper
03-23-2018, 07:47 PM
Well I found out today I get to tap the maples along a creek next to one of my other locations. 50 + maples is my guess, Although I have not walked it yet. I will do that tomorrow :)

Trapper2
03-27-2018, 03:05 PM
Finished up today. All in all a very good season. A little over 2900gal from 82 taps.

35 Gallons per tap????

dogpatch
03-27-2018, 07:04 PM
That is sap gallons. Wow ,wouldn't I love that to be syrup. Sorry I should have clarified.

prairietapper
03-27-2018, 10:40 PM
That is sap gallons. Wow ,wouldn't I love that to be syrup. Sorry I should have clarified.

roFL! people would make pilgrimage walks through your grove looking in reverence at the mothers of maple. :)

Trapper2
03-28-2018, 06:02 AM
That is sap gallons. Wow ,wouldn't I love that to be syrup. Sorry I should have clarified.

Even as Sap gallons I thought that was very very high. Close to a gallon of Syrup per tap depending on your sap %. Iíve never even came close to that. Iím usually closer to a quart per tap.
Congrats on your bush.

FarmerBob
04-12-2018, 12:27 PM
Pulled my taps yesterday learned a lot for my first year like sap goes bad and what budding syrup tastes like. Also I was little late getting started didn't start till March when I came across an Maple tree syrup supplies end cap at Farm&Fleet. Bring on 2019 ill be all set to go, I hope!

dogpatch
04-12-2018, 09:27 PM
FarmerBob there is still time to run before this addiction gets a hold of you. If not you will be in the same boat as the rest of us.Welcome.

prairietapper
04-12-2018, 09:40 PM
dogpatches advice is wise..
but not as fun! :) welcome Farmer