View Full Version : Ready for 2018

02-02-2018, 08:26 AM
Hello Iowans! I'm starting to get the maple crazies. To quote Mel Gibson, " Hold! Hold! Hold!". Ted

02-05-2018, 09:36 AM
All taps on tubing this year so i tapped early and have made 9 gallons of syrup so far. It's shaping up to be a great season.

02-05-2018, 10:34 AM
Hey 150! Good to hear from you. My trees are all scattered around so tubing isn't an option for me. I'm super jealous. I've ordered some tubing and cv spouts to run into buckets on the ground here in my yard. I'm wondering/hoping that the cv's might keep the holes open longer. If they do I'll start phasing out the "traditional" spiles and buckets. Time will tell. I'd to see your set-up. If you'd be open to that please pm me. If not that's cool too. Ted

02-05-2018, 01:31 PM
Glad to see we finally got an Iowa forum. I'm in the far NE corner of the state. The way the weather forecast looks we probably won't be tapping up here until the 20th of February or possibly even later. Just doing it as a hobby but as long as I can still get around it's nice to get out into the woods in the spring. My father used to put out about 2000 taps but we're only doing about 200 these days. Good tapping to everyone this year. Jim

02-14-2018, 07:52 PM
Put out 22 taps today, Leader 5/16" CV Spouts, with tubing into 5 gallon buckets on the ground hoping for a bit longer season. I'll put out the 7/16" spiles with aluminum buckets when the temps warm a bit more. Ted

02-18-2018, 06:32 AM
Hey all! Just Checking in. Nice to see we finally got our own page! Think im going to scale back this year. My chief bucket hauler and wood splitter graduated! Good luck all.

02-19-2018, 09:35 AM
Hi Iowa Sugarers! We're working hard to get up and running, seems like we've missed some sap! We are switching over to 5/16 spouts this year and possibly going to tap with a battery powered drill instead of our old hand brace. We've also repaired the flange on our bulk tank and we're considering trying to dig out an old 200 gallon SS dairy tank from the syrup hill to use as a backup when we clean our poly tank. Anyway, gotta get moving, we'll update later.

02-20-2018, 07:18 PM
Great to see the dedicated Iowa forum. Been hobbying for a few years now and always enjoy the reports. Boil down for us is a great family spring break activity. Boys and I put a dozen taps in on Sunday. Let er flow!

02-24-2018, 11:15 AM
I see everyone is getting ready. It looks like next week will be perfect. I don't think I will be able to do much if any this year because of some health problems. I guess I will just have to watch from the sidelines this year. I hope everyone has a great year. We went to Michigan this year on vacation and I bought some maple cream. It was very tasty. Has anyone tried making that? I might have to try with some of last years I still have. upmep

02-24-2018, 03:10 PM
Hey upmep, sorry to hear about health concerns. Sending positive waves from SouthEast Iowa for a speedy recovery and good outcome. Ted

02-25-2018, 03:13 PM
If my tanks are to be trusted to hold what they claim I just boiled off 90 gallons in 5 hours! Lit the fire at 10:00 AM and put the lid on at 3:00 PM! The new rig is a looong way from my rickety old widow maker block arc. Relaxing? Not so much. Exciting? Oh HECK yeah! What a rush! Ted

02-25-2018, 07:57 PM
Sheesh tbear! 18 gal an hour?!!!? What kind of hot rod rig do you get into?!!!!!?!!

02-27-2018, 04:41 PM
Threw in a quick 50 today. All running pretty hard.

02-27-2018, 06:28 PM
Hey IowaSap! Purchased a Smoky Lake 2x5 flat (batch) pan and Corsair arch with a blower for AUF. Also put up a shack so no more wind to deal with. That thing roars, firing every 5 minutes with small diameter (split last year for my old setup) pine and spruce that's bone dry. Can't wait for my grandson to test ride it! Neither can he! Finished off a bit over 4 gallons of Golden today, then rested up. Boil on! Ted

03-02-2018, 07:28 AM
Put out 200 taps last Saturday and Sunday (Feb 24th & 25th). Must have not been cold enough at nights this week as we didn't get much sap yet. We had 22 last night so hopefully will run well today. Still have time to have a good season. Headed for the Tri-State Forestry Conference in Sinsinawa, WI next Saturday (March 10th). Is anyone else gong?


03-02-2018, 08:18 AM
Good Morning All. Great to see Iowa on here! Not much happening for me but hoping the next coupe days get things rolling.

03-04-2018, 08:12 AM
We scorched the pan after runing 110 / 120 gallons of sap into it (batch boil). It was strange, it appears that there was a form of "gradient" being created as there were 3 different scorched areas and the sap level was good. The 2 front corners of the pan and the back right hand corner as you face the arch were the victim's. We flooded the pan, let things cool down, pulled cleaned/scraped and scotch brited the pan and wrre back up and running 2 hours later. Thank God there were 4 of us there to work on it! If I'd have been alone I'd still be scrubbing on it. A razor worked the best. Little if any warpage to the pan. Of course it happened 5 minutes before a 4H group showed up, but the show went on with a good result regardless, gotta love the forgiving nature of young people. Ted

03-05-2018, 07:08 AM
The niter is terrible now. I'm draining and cleaning after every boil and it's still bad. It also changes the temperature of the syrup, very hard to be consistent.

03-05-2018, 11:15 AM
We are confused as to why we are getting such low sap flow on our 160 taps on a north-facing hill. We've had perfect day/nights for sap flow, 20 at night and high 40s and sunny during the day but the trees on the hill are almost dry. Dan Potter in Garnavillo said it's because the trees have icy feet. Anyway, we've done a few boils just to clear out the tank and get sap on the table but we are scratching our heads about the sap flow. Thankfully, we're supposed to get 5 in of snow today so maybe it just means the season is going to be later. Jim in Castalia, I think we are in the same boat, climate wise.

03-05-2018, 02:48 PM
Collected about 150 gallons of sap Saturday. Boiled it down yesterday and will probably get about 3 to 4 gallons of syrup when we finish it with a propane pan tomorrow. Not much sap will run today, but maybe this coming weekend. Jim

03-07-2018, 09:39 PM
Tapped sunday and sap was flowing. Snowed Monday now all lines frozen no sap:(

03-08-2018, 01:50 PM
Bored sugar makers.

03-09-2018, 07:40 AM
Anxiously checking the weather and current temperature for the upcoming and possibly last 4 or 5 day run....

03-11-2018, 07:09 AM
This is what we've been waiting for! Collected 50 gallons last evening and the sap is stilll running! This mornings total TBA. ted

03-11-2018, 05:12 PM
Collected 80 gallons this morning plus the 20 gallons we had on hand and the 50 gallons from yesterday made for a 150 gallon boil we just finished! We'll collect again after a bite to eat. We plan to finish todays batch on the stove tomorrow, then collect again in the late afternoon. Fun times! Ted

03-12-2018, 06:59 AM
Buds are out here.The last boil was Friday night and there was a slight smell and about halfway through the syrup started to change and then the smell was horrible.It was a great season and I will finish up with a little over 50 gallons of syrup.

03-12-2018, 05:42 PM
It's amazing to me the difference in Iowa. You guys down south are done and I've barely pulled anything yet. In the past 15 years I bet I average 24th of march for the end of season.

03-12-2018, 07:45 PM
Sunday out of 9 trees I got 23 gallons and the sap tested at 4% suger. I'm a first timer and i'm real excited to cook it down and make some syrup:-)

03-12-2018, 08:48 PM
Hey Millville! Welcome to Maple Trader! It is pretty exciting! 4% is a great number, enjoy the boil! Tex

03-13-2018, 11:40 AM
Great to have you join Millville, Clayton Co represent! I agree with you IowaSap, the difference between southern Iowa and northeast Iowa is significant, we have also pulled off just the start of our season. But, I think it's time and sap is running! Happy boiling everyone.

03-13-2018, 09:10 PM
Collected about 225 gallons of sap on Monday (March 12th). Lots of ice was throw out before we dumped the buckets so the test seems to be pretty good. Boiled most of it down today and will finish up tomorrow (hopefully). I'm afraid this won't be a great season but will take what we can get. Jim

03-15-2018, 07:52 PM
Just finished a 170-180 gallon boil. We'll finish it off and bottle it up in the kitchen tomorrow. It was a great season but we've been rolling the dice on the last couple of boils and got away with so I think we're done. Ted

03-17-2018, 05:45 PM
Sure was nice boiling inside this year too! Ted. It was a little more difficult laying on our sides all day but nice anyway

03-18-2018, 06:29 AM
Finished the season with 17.25 gallons! A record for us. Ted

03-20-2018, 04:36 AM
Wow tbear that things a beauty! Got inside pics?

03-20-2018, 03:49 PM

03-20-2018, 08:36 PM
Wow! Very Nice! You've come along way my friend! I'm impressed!

03-20-2018, 08:51 PM
Thanks IowaSap! Lots of things to get used to this season but we sure did have fun doing it! Our season is over, taps are pulled, everything is cleaned and sanitized with the exception of the pan and shack. Talking it over with grandson we thought we might have squeezed a few more days out but decided we did the right thing. We were both pretty beat. How's it going in your neck of the woods?

03-22-2018, 06:26 PM
Only put out 50 this year, half of usual. Cooked down 350 so far. Just checked bags, looks like another 100 hanging. I'd like to be done this weekend. Could get a big run after this snow if it hits. What to do what to do!