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  #1  
Old 01/29/13, 09:24 PM
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The OFFICIAL MAPLE SYRUP thread

Ok, it's been a few years since I posted this, but here goes... HappySevenFarms post got me in the mood!

So report all your activity and returns here... and of course, as always... pictures, pictures, pictures.

We've still got a bit of time before we tap here, but I think it's going to be an early season this year. So... without further ado... here is my latest set up:

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  #2  
Old 01/29/13, 10:32 PM
 
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That looks great, I've never tapped sugar maples....so being completely new, I'm assuming the sap goes in the tray and then when boiled down out the spigot on the side? And it's heavy gage stainless? Be great to hear more about it, and the pics or really great.

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Old 01/30/13, 04:38 AM
 
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All that wood in the stove....do you get a fire that's too big?

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Old 01/30/13, 06:29 AM
 
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Last night we had vanilla ice cream with the syrup we made yesterday morning and it was YUM-O! Just little treats like this is probably why we all do this.

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  #5  
Old 01/30/13, 10:39 AM
 
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We tap a limited number of trees every second year. This is an "on" year, and I am going to try to boil down on a wood stove outside too. It's gotta beat the open fire, right?

It's still too soon for us, despite the crazy warm double digit temperatures of today and yesterday, but it won't be long!

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Old 01/30/13, 11:27 AM
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We tapped late last week.

We had a good couple days and the first round looks to be in the neighborhood of eight gallons finished product.

We've got 1500 taps out, now, and will probably add another 500 after this cold snap.

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Old 01/30/13, 03:35 PM
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we have put in about 40 taps in the last couple of days. we got about 30 gal of sap and I am boiling right now. temps look to be good here for the next month.

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  #8  
Old 01/30/13, 05:30 PM
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I should be tapping in a couple of weeks. Looking foward to it.

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Old 01/30/13, 05:43 PM
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All that wood in the stove....do you get a fire that's too big?
Nope... no such thing that I've seen in evaporating.
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Old 01/30/13, 05:46 PM
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We tapped late last week.

We had a good couple days and the first round looks to be in the neighborhood of eight gallons finished product.

We've got 1500 taps out, now, and will probably add another 500 after this cold snap.
Nice! Never seen taps that low though. We tap high... can be lots of snow at the base of the trees most years.
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Old 01/30/13, 05:49 PM
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I read somewhere that the closer to the ground you tap, the greater sap flow.

We haven't had real snow during syrupping season in years..... but I certainly appreciate the logistics in your area.

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Old 01/30/13, 09:14 PM
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Yesterday we got the first big snow of the year, 12 inches. The high temp today was 3 above. It will be awhile before I tap. I am looking forward to this as it will be my first year. And then there is Forerunner in a t-shirt while I shill have on long johns.

Anybody have taps they want to sell, I still need to order some.

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  #13  
Old 01/30/13, 09:25 PM
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http://atkinsonmaple.com/


Best quality and price heavy duty stainless taps I've ever come across.

Buck-fifty each, new.
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Old 01/30/13, 10:38 PM
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Thanks for the info. I will order those.

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  #15  
Old 01/31/13, 10:42 AM
 
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I boiled this morning and got a quart and a pint. We have a gallon and a quart of syrup so far. We had very adverse conditions this morning for Kentucky. 28 degrees, windy with blowing snow!

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Old 02/01/13, 06:43 AM
 
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I was surprised when I got home that the sap ran yesterday and I collected 6 gallons. I would have boiled it down but I need to rig up a smaller finishing pan for small batches. With my set up I like to have at least 15 gallons to start.

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Old 02/01/13, 11:42 AM
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about 15F and a foot of fresh snow... (which is our norm) Wednesday it was 60F. (not our norm).

Been a weird winter so far.

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  #18  
Old 02/01/13, 11:51 AM
 
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It was 70 here on Tues. I got my sugar pit built. Today it's only 15 degrees, this next week is too cold for sap. I'm waiting for the next warm period then I'll tap.

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Old 02/02/13, 12:53 PM
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No sugaring here but I have this hanging on my wall. I love Grandma Moses.

Sugaring Off

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Old 02/02/13, 01:37 PM
 
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Lisa, that might be the only reason I would have against moving back to the St. Maries area! But I will say I loved it while I was there.

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  #21  
Old 02/02/13, 02:24 PM
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Just said to dh that it looks like an early start if the long range holds. The next week is cold but then it looks like a go. Last year I didn't tap as early as the temps went up, thought they'd drop, instead we had that crazy spring where trees budded way to early. This year will go as early as I can. Need to do more than ever as the syrup really got down this winter. Every sap season makes me wish I could "retire" and focus on the important work full time.
I am farther north than SS so it is always interesting to see who is tapping and when

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Old 02/02/13, 02:39 PM
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Oh yeah, leaderevaporator.com has tree saver spiles which is what I have switched to. I run short lengths of tubing to 5 gal. bucket for two or three taps. That way a cover can go on and keep debris and bugs out. I used metal buckets for years. I have fewer overflows with the bigger buckets, can adjust to the flow, heavy producer, one tap per bucket, not so heavy, two or three. Some of the buckets were free, all are food grade and I can switch them out rather than carry, dump and take back to tree. Some of the trees are in pretty dense growth so it is lots of labor no matter how I do it. My metal buckets were starting to leak and they are rusting so decided to try something else and free is nice! Anyway, since this is a slowly expanding operation, went with tree savers as I hope it stresses the trees a little less. Love those maples! Really no one way to do this, lots of different ways and most of us are looking to do it on the cheap.....cause the labor to do this sure is not!

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Old 02/02/13, 02:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tab View Post
Oh yeah, leaderevaporator.com has tree saver spiles which is what I have switched to. I run short lengths of tubing to 5 gal. bucket for two or three taps. That way a cover can go on and keep debris and bugs out. I used metal buckets for years. I have fewer overflows with the bigger buckets, can adjust to the flow, heavy producer, one tap per bucket, not so heavy, two or three. Some of the buckets were free, all are food grade and I can switch them out rather than carry, dump and take back to tree. Some of the trees are in pretty dense growth so it is lots of labor no matter how I do it. My metal buckets were starting to leak and they are rusting so decided to try something else and free is nice! Anyway, since this is a slowly expanding operation, went with tree savers as I hope it stresses the trees a little less. Love those maples! Really no one way to do this, lots of different ways and most of us are looking to do it on the cheap.....cause the labor to do this sure is not!
Next to my state forest lease camp is a sugar bush tapped by the county as a demo. They use two taps per tree connected to tubing running [4] long lines back to large rubbermaid trash cans w/ lids. They hang a bunch more & do a lot of demos for school kids and scouts. They appear to work well.
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Old 02/02/13, 03:28 PM
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I'm hoping to tap this year. Last year was a bust as we didn't really every have a cold spell and I was afraid to try it. It will be our second year trying. I'd like to at least get enough to boil down to a quart or two. Not very many maple trees in our area but you gotta try!

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Old 02/02/13, 04:22 PM
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If I tapped trees could I store the syrup till end of march before doing anything with it.

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  #26  
Old 02/02/13, 04:58 PM
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Sap will spoil in warmish weather----- 40 degrees and up, say.

It will ferment and you'll lose your sugar content to alcohol-producing yeast.

If you could keep sap frozen, or refrigerated at 35 degrees or less, in the shade, it would keep for a few weeks......indefinitely if frozen.

Syrup, on the other hand, once finished, will keep, refrigerated, for some time, without canning. If not deeply refrigerated, syrup will slowly develop a mold on the surface that can be peeled off and the syrup beneath is fine to go ahead and use or can.

For canning, I raise the syrup to finishing temp--219 degrees F, out here, and then pour into hot, sterile jars and immediately cap with hot, sterile lids. I've done this with syrup as cool as 170 degrees F with no problems keeping the syrup for years, after.

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Old 02/02/13, 06:14 PM
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Guess I really gotta check the projected season for my area

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  #28  
Old 02/02/13, 07:14 PM
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Lisa, that might be the only reason I would have against moving back to the St. Maries area! But I will say I loved it while I was there.
We had a farm in Harrison, Idaho, about 10 years back. I loved that area and visiting St. Maries. There was a pizza place in St. Maries that we would go to on occasion. I asked the owner, why are you here making real Italian pizza in Idaho? He said he learned his craft in NYC. Amazing.
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Old 02/02/13, 08:00 PM
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We had a farm in Harrison, Idaho, about 10 years back. I loved that area and visiting St. Maries. There was a pizza place in St. Maries that we would go to on occasion. I asked the owner, why are you here making real Italian pizza in Idaho? He said he learned his craft in NYC. Amazing.
My town was settled by Italian immigrants and still has a huge number of their descendants here. Yet no good Italian restaurants or pizza. I haven't had good pizza in years.
I may have to make the trip to St. Maries.
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Old 02/02/13, 08:25 PM
 
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We had a farm in Harrison, Idaho, about 10 years back. I loved that area and visiting St. Maries. There was a pizza place in St. Maries that we would go to on occasion. I asked the owner, why are you here making real Italian pizza in Idaho? He said he learned his craft in NYC. Amazing.
I moved in '98 and remember a pizza place we ate at but can't think of the name of it. Do you recall? Was the owners name Roger?
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