PDA

View Full Version : Illinois tapping



dogpatch
01-24-2019, 09:38 AM
I have been busy repairing lines and scouting for new trees to tap. I did a logging job last fall and needed to reroute some of my lines. I wouldn't let the loggers touch my maples lol. I managed to get most of my preseason work done before this artic blast. Looking to start around the 10th of February with 100 taps as my goal. Good luck this year everyone.

mol1jb
01-27-2019, 05:06 PM
I am going to be around 150 taps this year. And this will be my first year on RO. Lets get past this artic weather and see what early Feb brings

TreeTapper2
01-27-2019, 09:00 PM
Great to hear from you dogpatch and mol1jb. Almost thought it was going to be any early start this year til the blast came. Looking at 115 taps and we are going vacuum this year. last year was 27 gallons of syrup shooting for 50 plus. I have almost all my parts except temp controller. Need to assemble the tote set up with pump, finish making drops, run the 3/16 line, and clean out the storage containers. Would have been ready but had to make a trip to Arizona for a funeral for my last grandparent. Hope everyone has a great season!

mol1jb
01-28-2019, 07:31 PM
Great to hear from you dogpatch and mol1jb. Almost thought it was going to be any early start this year til the blast came. Looking at 115 taps and we are going vacuum this year. last year was 27 gallons of syrup shooting for 50 plus. I have almost all my parts except temp controller. Need to assemble the tote set up with pump, finish making drops, run the 3/16 line, and clean out the storage containers. Would have been ready but had to make a trip to Arizona for a funeral for my last grandparent. Hope everyone has a great season!

You will be very happy with shurflo on a temp controller. I did that last year and it was very efficient. Last year I tapped earlier than usual in January and regretted it with a cold snap that followed. Ill stick to February tapping from now on.

mol1jb
01-31-2019, 10:33 AM
A couple of warmer days ahead but I am still holding off tapping as next week is back into the winter temps.

mol1jb
02-03-2019, 04:39 PM
I must recant my previous post 😉. I tapped 140 on Saturday. I woke up and checked the weather and outlook was favorable for at least the middle of the week.

leppell
02-04-2019, 09:49 AM
I put in two taps in the front yard on Saturday to use as a gauge of when to do the rest. Both were dry went drilled in, but one made about a quart of sap yesterday. That particular tree, however, buds out 3 weeks before everything else (it looks like they may pop in 2-3 weeks, while the rest of the trees in the yard still look very dormant). The other one is still dry, and was my best producing tree last year. I'm in the western chicago suburbs.

PEARNES87
02-07-2019, 01:47 PM
Greetings from Southern Illinois... looking to tap 15-20 trees this Saturday. 2nd year tapping maples. Hopefully we can catch some good weather for the sap to flow down here.

mol1jb
02-18-2019, 07:31 PM
Looks like the weather is looking good later this week. How is everyone doing? My RO has been used once and Im itching to use it again 😊

dogpatch
02-18-2019, 09:33 PM
Put 39 taps in today. Plan on another 40 or so tomorrow, hope to finish Thus. Weather may be finally headed in the right direction.

TreeTapper2
02-21-2019, 12:19 PM
Finishing up tapping today. Last roll of 3/16 showed up. This will be our first year on tubing and shurflo pump. 121 Taps: 117 on tubing and 4 on buckets. No more chasing buckets around the woods...hurray. :)

Everyone keep us posted on your progress this year.

dogpatch
02-21-2019, 03:05 PM
I also finished tapping today. Ended up with 127 taps, the most I have ever had. Very few were damp let alone running. Tapper you are going to love that tubing. Looking for warmer weather to get things started.

leppell
02-21-2019, 09:38 PM
I've got 2 trees left, just need a couple more buckets from the bakery. I'll have 18 taps on 12 trees. Evaporator should be done tomorrow or Saturday. Still figuring out how I'm going to filter/bottle.

TreeTapper2
02-22-2019, 10:21 PM
Dogpatch I noticed my end taps pulling air into the lines right from the trees. The taps are snuggly set. Is it normal to pull some air from the trees? Not all taps were giving sap today. Vac ran about 12" up to 19" at the pump. How do you find leaks? From my observation the lines that had less sap hindered my vac reading so I'm assuming the shurflo pump needs a lot of sap flow to build pressure. Is this correct.

Leppell are you building your own evaporator. As far as filtering goes I batch boil and pour into a bucket when near syrup. I then let it sit a week or two to settle out the niter. Then pour of the clean syrup, reheat, and filter through orlon filter. It comes out crystal clear.

leppell
02-23-2019, 11:28 AM
Almost done with the evaporator...running out to home depot to pick up the last components I need. Building it out of random stuff I found at a scrap metal recycling place near me, and whatever I can find at home depot. No insulation this year, I've already sunk too much money into it.
First boil tomorrow if there's enough sap, and the wind isn't too bad.

[19506ATTACH=CONFIG]19506[/ATTACH]*

dogpatch
02-23-2019, 04:34 PM
TreeTapper2 all my lines are gravity, I have no power source close. When I checked my trees this morning not all my lines were flowing. When things are flowing well you should see sap and then a section of air which is gas from the tree.We need all trees to wake up but this week does not look too good.

mol1jb
02-23-2019, 07:34 PM
Dogpatch I noticed my end taps pulling air into the lines right from the trees. The taps are snuggly set. Is it normal to pull some air from the trees? Not all taps were giving sap today. Vac ran about 12" up to 19" at the pump. How do you find leaks? From my observation the lines that had less sap hindered my vac reading so I'm assuming the shurflo pump needs a lot of sap flow to build pressure. Is this correct.

Leppell are you building your own evaporator. As far as filtering goes I batch boil and pour into a bucket when near syrup. I then let it sit a week or two to settle out the niter. Then pour of the clean syrup, reheat, and filter through orlon filter. It comes out crystal clear.

You will see some gasses coming out of the trees. With leaks you are looking for sap speed more than how much air is in the tubing. When trees are just starting to wake up there will be more air in the tubing. However, under vac your lines should move at a moderate pace. Any lines that are racing along have a leak somewhere. I usually look for where the racing sap starts and that is where my leak is. On my bush I usually pull 12-15" on the main with Shurflo.

mol1jb
02-24-2019, 06:30 PM
A good weekend run for me. Had 75 gallons on Friday and another 200 on Saturday. But man this weather has got to improve. The beginning of March is just around the corner and its still super cold for this time of year...

TreeTapper2
02-25-2019, 05:47 PM
Pulled in 90 gallons over two days. Many taps not up and going yet. Looks like the next week and a half is a no go for sap running. I just hope we don't skip spring and warm up fast. Anything is possible with this goofy weather.

mol1jb
03-03-2019, 07:49 PM
Boiled yesterday from last weeks collection (which was really only the Fri-Sat). Made almost 7 gallons on 260 gallons sap. Quiet week again till Fri where the forecast is looking favorable for several days. Hopefully March will give us what February lacked.

On a more positive note, having a RO this year has been amazing. I have been taking 50-65% water out before hitting the pans and that has made my boils much more enjoyable.

dogpatch
03-03-2019, 07:56 PM
My total for this season is 85 gal which was boiled last Friday. I hope after this cold snap mother nature treats us a little better.

mol1jb
03-08-2019, 08:07 AM
Yay! Sap returns to IL today and many days to follow. Keep us in the loop as your flow picks up. I tapped a couple outlier trees yesterday. It has been a lot of waiting and doing other work in anticipation of more sap.

leppell
03-08-2019, 10:45 AM
I'm excited to really get going, but worried that I had tapped too early and my holes are going to be drying up soon. Long term weather forecast was looking good, but changed back to cold when I drilled in.

mol1jb
03-09-2019, 10:03 AM
Trees woke up early afternoon yesterday. Checked my tank this morning and I had collected 125 gallons and everything is still flowing. Shurflo is generating 18 vac on the mainline.

mol1jb
03-11-2019, 12:34 PM
It was a good weekend down here. From Fri afternoon - Sun evening collected close to 400 gallons. Vacuum is incredible because even with no freeze on Fri night or Sat night all my lines didn't slow down till Sunday

MapleMounder
03-12-2019, 11:47 AM
Finally looks like the weather is going to cooperate for us. We tapped on Sunday and most holes were at least wet. We got the sugarhouse all ready yesterday and actually had our first 4H tour last night. Hopefully we can collect enough to run tonight and officially get the season going. Good luck to all of you guys this year!

dogpatch
03-13-2019, 04:35 PM
Flow has been good the last few days. We went from frozen ground to knee deep mud in about 36 hours.Gotta love this obsession ��

mol1jb
03-13-2019, 09:04 PM
Flow has been good the last few days. We went from frozen ground to knee deep mud in about 36 hours.Gotta love this obsession ��

Ya the melting and rain has made climbing my hills interesting. 2 steps up and slide one back 😆. A little worried abiut the warmer weather coming later next week. I hope it doesnt get too warm too fast.

mol1jb
03-16-2019, 06:29 PM
Phew its been a busy week. Boiled Tues, Thurs, and today. Trees are flowing like crazy and the new RO makes it easy to keep up. Next week stills looks good weather wise. Hope everyone is doing well.

dogpatch
03-18-2019, 05:11 PM
I was comparing this year to last year and I am at 30% of the sap this year on the same date. I will not catch up, especially with the weather forecast of warm Temps coming. One positive, my sap is running about .5 more sugar.

TreeTapper2
03-19-2019, 12:17 PM
I noticed sugar levels are higher as well. This year has been eventful to say the least but we are on track to surpass last year's record year. Thanks to vac lines this year. It is truly crazy how much more sap you get. Had to up my RO to a 4040 just to have a chance at keeping up. So you know what that means....a bigger evaporator.😀

mol1jb
03-21-2019, 06:05 PM
Hurray for IL syrup! News came out to see me today.

https://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/local-news/camp-wokanda-makes-their-own-fresh-maple-syrup/1866903901

leppell
03-22-2019, 09:36 AM
Neat! I filmed the process yesterday for a segment that will air next year on Midwest Outdoors. Looks like it was the last run of the season, so really hope I remembered everything....no time for do-overs!

dogpatch
03-22-2019, 07:08 PM
Only about half of my lines running today. Still got about 130 gal. Hope to have a few more cold nights to make it through next week.

mol1jb
03-23-2019, 06:57 PM
Pulled taps yesterday and had last evaporator today. Still need to finish pan sweet on the stove but as of today we are at 63 gallons. A slow start it was this season but March rebounded nicely.

I kept detailed kitchen notes to see how the introduction of the RO effected our time and water removed. It removed over 1600 gallons water and the savings in operation time and fuel almost paid for the RO in just one season. Cant be upset at that outcome 😁

MapleMounder
03-25-2019, 12:03 PM
Well it is looking like we might be getting close to pulling the plug for this year. We'll see what the trees do the next few days though. We have already made our average gallons of syrup in about half the time so I think the trees are making up for being late.

Glad to hear you guys are getting some publicity. We were fortunately featured in an article in the Chicago Tribune last year and boy did the phone ring. :)

mol1jb
03-28-2019, 04:37 PM
Finished boiling down the pan sweet today and the season final total is 73 gallons! This season we focused on efficiency in sap collection (worked on getting better vacuum) and processing efficiency (reverse osmosis). And boy did it pay off.

Now we finish cleaning up the kitchen and getting equipment ready for storage.

On April 27 we have our annual Syrup day and pancake breakfast. We do operation tours, classes, kids activities, and of course eat pancakes with pure maple syrup and sell syrup. If anyone is around Peoria then I invite you to stop by and say hello.

Let me know your final count and how everything turned out.

dogpatch
03-29-2019, 07:12 AM
I am still collecting, took 300 gal to my sugar shack yesterday from the previous 2 days. Sugar did drop to 1.9 but sap still pretty clear. If we turn colder as predicted I may have one more run.

dogpatch
04-02-2019, 07:11 PM
Finished collecting today. Ended up with 2300 gal. First time I ran into April. Even tho my volume was down the sugar was higher than previous years.All in all a successful year.