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Thread: Western Mass 2019

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    westfield ma
    Posts
    438

    Default

    hey anybody tapped in around westfield / montgomery area ??? i see some guys in w.springfield and agawam tapped and boiling . my test taps have run alittle but the sugar hasn`t been great.... atleast enought to get me excited and going , i usaully wait till after v day anyway just seeing what everyone else is up too
    2x6 leader WSE with AUF, hood,preheater
    waterguy RO
    leader 16 gal custom water jacketed canner
    10 in short stack wes fab filter press
    540 taps on tubing with vac & always adding
    2- benders running 25" hg from GAST vac pumps
    few stainless bulk tanks
    1978 chevy 1 ton 4x4 dually
    IH T340 dozer with 6-way blade

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    503

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    I've been back and forth on the fence for over a week now. In particular, the forecast for this week has looked anywhere between great and terrible over the last week. I was going to do it this weekend, then the forecast changed for the colder, so I didn't. Then the forecast changed again for the warmer, soo... I wound up biting the bullet, took the day off work, and tapped today. Of course the predicted high temp for me today was 42, and it barely got to 35, so I may have blown it. Oh well, we shall see.

    Cheers,

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Chesterfield MA
    Posts
    488

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    Going to start tapping after work tonight and on thru the weekend..........anyone know where I can purchase a bundle of dried pine or hemlock slab wood?
    1st Year Turkey Fryer Guru-10 taps and No Clue
    2nd Year Warming Pans on a Barrel Unit-25 taps Still No Clue
    3rd Year 2 X 3 Divided Pan on a NEW Homemade Barrel Unit-45 taps Starting To Learn
    4th year (2017) Mason 2 X 3 Inside Small Shack-85 Taps I Think I'm Addicted!!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Northfield Ma
    Posts
    65

    Default The Next west Wind

    https://www.windfinder.com/forecast/orange_airport

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    64

    Default

    Hi Folks Quick intro from a noobie, freshly addicted.

    Im setting up to have 25 taps next year in Westfield (16 reds with the remaining 9 sugars borrowed from a friend) so wanted to say hello. Its my first real year doing this after a test run of 2 taps this year in Springfield. Hoping to have fun more than anything, but there has been a dream of retiring to the woods for years. I joined the MA Maple Producers Assoc. hoping to get more info all around but would really like to get together with other small-scale producers to discuss operations and how-tos, typical noobie issues, etc.

    Hope everyone has a great year.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    503

    Default

    Hi Aaron!

    I'm happy to help out here on the trader all I can, but I'm afraid I'm not much use to you in person. My sugar shack is near you, but my house is two hours away, so I'm not really a local.

    Good luck!

    Gabe
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    64

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    Just about 95% ready to go and the weather outlook looks like I won't be tapping next weekend as planned. Thursday the 18th looks like a definite maybe, but it also says 8-10" of snow so probably the 20-21st....

    Cleaned the tote yesterday and yeah it's a pain - even with the bucket cover I installed. I couldn't fit the 48" watering pole/brush into the tank with the carport height so ended up copiously rinsing for a good two hours with hot water from the tankless propane dolly setup. It's a new tank, and the temp reading on the unit was maintaining 45-48 Celsius so just shy of boiling and I am cautiously optimistic it is clean. A few leaks on the first run of the tankless that will be fixed today but overall a good result. Going to throw the wand on a pipe bender and trim the ends of the brush to make it fit.

    IMG_0629.jpg

    Came across this rotary spray ball that will fit on the end of the hose. Figure I'll put a hole in a bucket cover to suspend it into the tank and let it run for a good 30 plus minutes for rinsing during the season.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Snow today so I'll be sanitizing the covers inside - buckets were done last weekend. Boiled the CV spouts and bits already this morning. After that just the drums on the trailer need round two of sanitizing and copious rinsing then dare I say I'll be ready.
    2020 - 2 taps, 1/2 pint on a turkey fryer, About 3/4 pint syrup in two weeks - Proof of concept!
    2021 - 20 x 30 divided pan, custom Mason arch, 34 producing taps out of 50. 8 gallons for family and friends to judge and Dad hooked as well.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Good luck Aaron. I'm about an hour west of you in the Berkshires. My forecast must be very different from yours as I don't see anything in the next 2 weeks that looks remotely like tapping time. High's in the 20's and lows in the single digits and teens for the next 2 weeks.

    I brew beer as well, and I sterilize everything of course. I've never gone through the trouble with my lids and buckets. I don't even really sterilize my gathering tank....just a quick scrub down and rinse with hot soapy water. I assume the boil sterilizes everything that comes into contact with the sap. Is that common practice for the pros? Or are you just being extra-cautious?
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    64

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigschuss View Post
    Good luck Aaron. I'm about an hour west of you in the Berkshires. My forecast must be very different from yours as I don't see anything in the next 2 weeks that looks remotely like tapping time. High's in the 20's and lows in the single digits and teens for the next 2 weeks.

    I brew beer as well, and I sterilize everything of course. I've never gone through the trouble with my lids and buckets. I don't even really sterilize my gathering tank....just a quick scrub down and rinse with hot soapy water. I assume the boil sterilizes everything that comes into contact with the sap. Is that common practice for the pros? Or are you just being extra-cautious?
    Im fairly sure Im being overly cautious, but I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist in most things and looking to build good habits from the start. Its a hobby for the next couple years but Id be very happy if it grows into something.

    Weather wise your right, I think Im being overly hopeful through the 20th based on what Im seeing. Last year my taps (both of them!) ran dry around March 20th and Id hate to think Im looking at 4 weeks for the season. If nothing else it will be good practice!
    2020 - 2 taps, 1/2 pint on a turkey fryer, About 3/4 pint syrup in two weeks - Proof of concept!
    2021 - 20 x 30 divided pan, custom Mason arch, 34 producing taps out of 50. 8 gallons for family and friends to judge and Dad hooked as well.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Stack View Post
    Im fairly sure Im being overly cautious, but I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist in most things and looking to build good habits from the start. Its a hobby for the next couple years but Id be very happy if it grows into something.

    Weather wise your right, I think Im being overly hopeful through the 20th based on what Im seeing. Last year my taps (both of them!) ran dry around March 20th and Id hate to think Im looking at 4 weeks for the season. If nothing else it will be good practice!
    That's great Aaron. It will be nice to hear how it turns out for you this year.

    Good luck with everything.
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

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