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Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #460341 12/15/16 01:08 PM
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Welcome Aighead, glad you posted! Stick around and let us know more about you.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]


Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #460345 12/15/16 02:17 PM
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Thanks TJ, I just added an Introduction post in that area, you'll all be sick of me before you know it.


Snort Coffee is a podcast about goofy stuff. Hope to add ponding to my list of hobbies.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #460492 12/17/16 03:10 PM
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Spent the morning and part of the afternoon cleaning up the sugarhouse. Also repaired the damage to the evaporator that contributed to our non-start season last year. Just need to cut brush and clear out around the maples, purchase bottles, and we're good to go.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #460497 12/17/16 04:59 PM
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Welcome Aighead. We are cutting wood for 2018 in the bush now that it is cold. We have all our 2017 wood inside now and good an dry. Boys want to tap another 40 trees this year so that would bring us up to 120ish.

We had a big ash hanger that we had to hook a come along to and puller her down. Nothing good can come of cutting a hanger like this one.

Cheers Don.



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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #460747 12/21/16 08:13 PM
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Hey Guys,

Do folks ever mix sap from say walnut and maple to make syrup? I've never seen a "blend" on the market. Just curious.



You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #460777 12/22/16 09:38 PM
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I suppose you could, and in fact we originally considered doing just that when we set out to tap Black Walnut trees. That was before we found out just how much more work walnut syrup is, when compared to maple. We're still undecided about tapping walnuts this season.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
aighead #460778 12/22/16 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: aighead
Hi All, been lurking around for the past few months but just saw this thread yesterday and it's taken me a day and a half to read it all.

I'm a huge real maple syrup fan and consumer (we go through about a half gallon every few months) and as an owner of a little chunk of land with a lot of trees it's been fascinating to read through your adventures, thinking I may have to give it a try.

I almost cried (at work nonetheless) as I read your little story about the whole family getting together to help out.

It's been a long time since I've participated in any forums but it's great to see there are still good ones with, seemingly, good people still around.


I encourage you to give it a try. There's just something very satisfying about the entire process that's hard to explain. Our family truly enjoys it, even though it can mean hard work and long hours.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #460779 12/22/16 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: sprkplug
I suppose you could, and in fact we originally considered doing just that when we set out to tap Black Walnut trees. That was before we found out just how much more work walnut syrup is, when compared to maple. We're still undecided about tapping walnuts this season.


Thanks Sparkie,

I know you said it takes way more walnut sap than maple so was curious if mixing would form a homogeneous sap mixture with a longer boil time than maple or if boiling long enough to reduce the walnut part of the solution would damage the maple part. Obviously, I have way over thought this and need to spend more time fishing! grin



You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!
Re: Making Maple Syrup
aighead #460877 12/24/16 09:29 AM
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #462841 01/28/17 09:02 PM
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After a couple false starts due to changing forecasts, we decided today was the day. Felt a little strange, as the boys weren't on hand to help like they have been in years' past. They're spending the weekend at my mother's place, for the first time since we lost dad several months ago. Before he died this was a pretty regular occurrence, and since she asked to see them, and they both wanted to go, my wife and I both felt like it was best for everyone. It's been really tough for her, and she still has bad days now and then but I think she's doing much better.

So it was just the two of us, 25 degrees and bundled up from head to toe. In spite of the cold and the absent kids, it still felt good to be back in the woods. The quietness, the simplicity, even the cold itself, it all just felt right. I've missed that. I drilled the holes and set the spiles, and she hung the buckets and fastened the lids. Guess we still make a pretty good team, even after 28 years together, as we knocked it out in 2.5 hours.

We ended up with 60 buckets, and another 15 on 3/16 tubing. Too cold for sap to run today, but it looks promising shortly. Then the boys will get their turn, as it will be all hands on deck. Hopefully.

The tubing was left up all year, and it came through beautifully. We swapped out the old spiles for new, lengthened a couple drop lines, but found the lateral still up and tight. Never had to splice one time. No walnut this year, as we have sold our old property where the majority of those trees were located. I have a suspicion we will have additional walnut syrup in upcoming seasons, however. And I tapped a Sycamore today also. Lots of those here.

Hoping for 20 gallons finished syrup this year, but will of course be grateful for whatever nature provides. To the other sugarmakers on the forum, Good luck, and good runs!





"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #462843 01/28/17 09:18 PM
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Great post! I've been meaning to ask... Last weekend we had a warm spell and day time temps I think hit 60. How do the trees not start pumping sap on those warm spells? How do they know the weather has to be warm but also the season has to be far along that we don't get another cold snap?

We used PVC spiles our first attempt last year and they worked fine but left a bigger hole than necessary in the tree. Sap sure poured out of them though! We used 5 quart ice cream pails as that was what we had and had to watch them close to empty before they got too heavy. We also need to device a lid system, even if we use some aluminum foil to save on the bugs falling in.

We only did about a dozen trees and all on our lot so it was easy to keep an eye on them.

So much yet to learn though...

Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #462844 01/28/17 09:47 PM
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They may well run on a warm day, irregardless of what the calendar says. The trick is to time the process so that you catch a run, not just a warm day. Once you drill that hole, the timer starts. Drill too early to catch a brief warm spell, and the hole may dry up before the real season begins.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #462855 01/29/17 08:33 AM
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Glad to see you back doing what you love.


AL
Re: Making Maple Syrup
canyoncreek #462859 01/29/17 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
Great post! I've been meaning to ask... Last weekend we had a warm spell and day time temps I think hit 60. How do the trees not start pumping sap on those warm spells? How do they know the weather has to be warm but also the season has to be far along that we don't get another cold snap?

We used PVC spiles our first attempt last year and they worked fine but left a bigger hole than necessary in the tree. Sap sure poured out of them though! We used 5 quart ice cream pails as that was what we had and had to watch them close to empty before they got too heavy. We also need to device a lid system, even if we use some aluminum foil to save on the bugs falling in.

We only did about a dozen trees and all on our lot so it was easy to keep an eye on them.

So much yet to learn though...



Yes like stated. If you tap then get a prolonged cold snap the hole will start to heal and dry up. It is best not to re tap a tree from last year that the hole has not healed up. It is best to tap on the south side of the tree. We find the south side of the tree runs the best when it dos run. Large trees in wet holes run the best as well. Last year we had the sap run at night twice where it ran better at night than it did during the day.

We are trying for 70 on line and 45 on buckets this year. It would have run last week but we are back into the cold again and feel for us up here its too soon. If you wait to long you can miss it as well if the season is short. Happy taping.



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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #462860 01/29/17 10:37 AM
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An acknowledged maple authority recently stated that tapholes on buckets will offer greatly diminished yields after a month. Being open to the air leads to microbial contamination, as does re-using spiles, or at least not disinfecting them properly between seasons.

Tapholes on vacuum, not being open to the air, can produce well for a couple months apparently.

I try to tap on the south side, but also recognize that there are trees which have been tapped continuously for decades....and since you need to move the tap around each season, those trees have undoubtedly been tapped on their north side many times. I purposefully tapped a few on the north face this season, just to see for myself. I'll report back with what we see.

Sap ran a little last night. It's coming.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #462911 01/30/17 11:02 AM
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I had a big run on maple staircases. We import all our hardwood from Pennsylvania USA. We had quite a few spile holes in 10,000 board feet of brown maple. Not just the hole but the spile will stain the wood in a line above and below the hole dark.

In Quebec many are taping holes now who have over 10,000 taps. They use a product that is against the law to use but they are so big it is cost effective to pay the fine than stop using the product. If they don't start drilling now they will not get them all tapped.

Fine needs to be much bigger for them to stop. This is why it is best to make your own. In the process they get tested but just cut it with clean product to lower the part per million.



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7/8th of an acre, Perch only pond, Ontario, Canada.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #462918 01/30/17 11:49 AM
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They used to use formaldehyde to delay the taphole drying up. Very illegal as well as unethical.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #463252 02/04/17 06:58 PM
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We had our first boil of the 2017 season today. Reduced 80 gallons of sap down to approx. 3 gallons, will probably finish it off to syrup tomorrow.

Hope things pick up, sap is coming slow.

Couple pics from today:





And this one...been trying to get this shot for a couple seasons, and my wife nailed it this morning. This is a shot through the eyepiece of a sugar refractometer, showing the sugar content of the sap. pretty cool.



"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #463265 02/05/17 07:13 AM
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As always, very cool.


AL
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #463691 02/10/17 09:24 PM
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Sitting in the sugarhouse tonight, just tending the evaporator. We've got 150 gallons of sap in storage from this past week, and the warm temps mean it needs to be processed right now. So, it will be a late night. Possibly an early morning, even.

Our sugarhouse is back in the woods, no neighbors, no house lights, no sound except the hiss of steam, and the sizzle of the occasional drop of condensate from the preheater.

The night sky is beautiful this evening. A full, or almost full moon, framed by a slight haze of fog. Through the trees I can see its reflection in a pond's surface. Stunning.

So I'm struck by a curious thought..my education, that my parents worked so hard to provide for me, allows me to understand the how's and the why's of these things. I know why the moon looks as it does, just like I can calculate the volume of steam that rises from the pan, or explain the process whereby sap is caused to migrate through the tree. The logical, practical side of me understands it pretty well. It's just physics, math, and principle. Easy, right?

Or it would be, if it weren't for my lifelong country boy side, who smiles at the notion that it can all be explained, classified, and categorized, with little to no regard for the substance of the thing.

Sure, the math works. The same as it always has. But these days, the math isn't enough.

Wish you guys were here, to enjoy it with me.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #463692 02/10/17 09:30 PM
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Tony, we are there in spirit. Isn't there supposed to be an eclipse and a comet also showing up tonight/tomorrow?


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #463742 02/11/17 09:23 PM
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First bottle of the season.



"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #463747 02/11/17 09:34 PM
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Now that is Nature at it's finest!

Are you doing walnut this year?



You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!
Re: Making Maple Syrup
Bill D. #464533 02/20/17 06:53 PM
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Working on our first boil right now. We had 180 gallons the first day and only 100 gallons today. Just heading back now to stoke up the cooker and top up the sap for the night. Just starting to run up here in Ontario. Hope it keeps up like this.

One picture of my youngest son chilling in the camp while we cooked.

Cheers Don.

Attached Files
firstboil.jpg (72.59 KB, 245 downloads)
chillinginthecamp.jpg (67.12 KB, 293 downloads)


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Re: Making Maple Syrup
sprkplug #464538 02/20/17 07:27 PM
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Good luck Don, hope your season plays out well. Ours may well be over, without really getting started. As of now, we've processed 310 gallons of sap and just have 5.25 gallons of syrup to show for it. A fourth of what we hoped for. The temps are just way too warm, and the sugar content in the sap, when we get a little sap, just isn't there.

Seventy degrees today, warm this evening with spring peepers chirping, and feeding the fish in a couple ponds. Everyone around the area I know who makes syrup, is greatly disappointed. Warm temps all this week, wouldn't be too surprised to see the trees bud. We brought all the buckets in, but left the taps out, in hopes for colder weather in a week or so. Not looking good.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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