+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Whatís the best piece of advice you were given when you started?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West Falls, NY
    Posts
    147

    Default Whatís the best piece of advice you were given when you started?

    So to help kick off this area of the forum, what piece of advice were you given when you started that turned out to be really valuable? Iíve learned so much from this forum and from experts around my area itís hard to narrow it down, but a couple that stand out:

    Base all your decisions on the assumption you will have more taps next year.

    Buy a hydrometer

    Keep a bucket of sap next to the evaporator just in case the pan goes too low. (This one saved me more than once)

    A little Homemade syrup makes bourbon taste even better!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,109

    Default

    Keep it fun was the best advice I was given and that still is the best I can give others. You need to realize, brand new is not necessary, learn on an older unit. Just make sure is is not made with lead bearing solder.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    French River Ontario
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Some advice given from my father many years ago was, you better have a lot of free time on your hands to cut wood and keep a hot fire burning, his best advice was to have a pan with as much square footage you can get over that hot fire.
    Man was he right, I'm still working on all these and enjoying every minute of it.
    Last edited by Someclown; 12-23-2020 at 10:39 PM.
    2019 - Barrel evaporator 2 steam pans 44 taps 13 Liters syrup
    2020 - Barrel evaporator 2 steam pans 51 taps 21 Liters syrup
    2021- New homemade 2x3 evaporator and flat pan 61 drop tubes to buckets

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    414

    Default

    It is an addiction that will grow over time. It seems you will always want more taps, a better evaporator, etc... In the end enjoy the product that you produced, it tastes the best and you made it.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Take your time and don't save a dollar today just to spend double tomorrow.

    Cheaper isn't always better.

    Pumping is better than trucking.

    Sap flows even if it doesn't look fancy.

    Biggest one was to enjoy what you do no matter how big or small.
    2016- 50 buckets. Made 4 gallons
    2017- 100 buckets, 50 taps on 3/4 mainline and 3/16th tubing + shurflo vacuum. Made 30 gallons.
    2018- 1000 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, 60 buckets - made 378 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 1713 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, NO buckets. Made 500 gallons.
    2020- 2793 taps made 1118 gallons.
    2021- adding 500?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,119

    Default

    After one year of tapping more than I could boil on a propane burner a seasoned producer told me to decide right now if I was going to continue doing this. if the answer is yes, then do it right and spend some money now on a real evaporator and the right tools. He said three years from now you will have spent more money and suffered twice the aggravation and three times the effort. He then let me use his old evaporator which I bought after that season and realized his wisdom. The second thing I learned from another producer is, sap is not sacred. If it's bad there's no saving it, toss it on the ground. One batch of bad syrup will cost you more than you can ever recover in customers, never sell off-flavor syrup.

    To this day my wife and I taste test every batch (cold) and if it doesn't pass our taste test ( we are very particular) if never sells.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    cropseyville,NY
    Posts
    85

    Default

    Build your sugarhouse twice as big as you think you will need.(you'll end up using every square inch of it) and buy an evaporator 1/2 the size you think you need.(this will push you to buy the RO that you didn't think you would ever need).
    always on the grow

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    113

    Default

    I've seen on this forum and others how people pick days or holidays when they are going to start tapping. I was wondering myself when to start.
    The best advice I got was from an old timer. I asked him when should I start tapping trees? He said ... When the sap starts to run.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Stirling ontario
    Posts
    177

    Default

    thin pans will boil much more efficiently.It is hard to out boil those steam pans ...all things being equal.Some
    of them are 24 or 26 gauge.The better manufacturers seem to have settled on 22 gauge.I would try and
    go with 22 gauge if possible.
    Last edited by ir3333; 12-24-2020 at 08:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    N.E.Ohio
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Take your time and plan out your operation for where you want to be and not where you are.
    Over exhausting yourself takes the fun out of it.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts