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Tapping maple trees

Tapped a few trees yesterday. We will have a week of 40/20 days then cold snap then thaw/freeze days again four taps were at 3°Bx and three at 4°Bx thats super. Im going to try and just collect in the 2+ range or higher. I’ll monitor daily

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We had one day above freezing… But heading back down…
The guy I help taps about 580 trees… using a vacuum pump to get the syrup to a bulk milk tank… when it gets about half full, pumps it up to the sugar shack… he’s got a big wood fired boiler… I believe he’s got it all registered and a big happy face from the Department of Health so he can legally sell his product…
Muddy Footprints is the name… I wonder if he’s got a website…

Here it is…

yeah its pretty popular around here, I’ve not seen alot of buckets out yet but i bet they will be out soon. I only make about 1gallon for fun. Up north by my camp the Paul Smith College forestry has a big operation and they make some beautiful syrup. Moonstone at Titus Ski area has a unique operation gravity feed along the trails down to their sugar shack next to the base. Cornell has a sugarbush nearby as well. Ill buy some now and again from their stands. I love living by the seasons. Also been monitoring my orchard for bud break that is my concern with these early warm sunny days

I see people around here that leave the tubing in the trees all year. I guess they clean them somehow

Same thing for this guy… When tapping season is done, the tap is pulled out if the tree and put on a “plug” that plugs the inside of the tap hole…
Once all the taps are hooked up… the vacuum pump is started… checking for leaks and repair them… He does dump the first runnings… I’m not sure what goes on that tells him when to keep the sap…

Does he pump any cleaner through? This is the first year im monitoring gravity. The first running has the most sugars wondering why he dumps that. Couldn’t he reverse the pump and run hot water through.

I’ll need to pick his mind a bit more… The main runs are set up so gravity can lead the fluid down hill to the milk tank… I don’t recall him using any cleaner through his lines…
Did I hear him say something in regards to bacteria on the first runnings… and making cloudy syrup?
I’m having De’Ja’Vu… Perhaps this syrup stuff is on a parallel to brewing? :sunglasses:

if there is bacteria in the lines not sure the sap running through kills that but the boil will

here is some reading.

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I think the reason for the first dumping is the way he cleans his lines…
He also does a reverse osmosis… Since he’s wwaayy out in the woods the water pulled out of the sap is his cleaning water… hhhmmm… I wonder what the mineral content is?.. Brewing water?

Ok so checked the gravity again 3 Bx and 4 Bx. Now I believe the formula is divide 68 by the starting number. So say i get an average of 3deg Bx when I stop collecting Ill need to collect about 23 gal to get 1 gal of syrup

last year I boiled 30 gallons and got just shy of 1 gallon so back calculating my Bx probably just above 2 dBx.

now the fellow I bought my 40 acres from up north told me he operated a sugar bush on the land. He was old when I met him and hadnt sugared in years but I saw traces of his operation. He said the trees had a very high sugar content. Ive had the land for 25yrs never tapped them maybe I will this year or at least check the gravity now im curious.

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I’ve asked about the gravity… I couldn’t get an answer… Perhaps with the RO its not as important?
He does have a finishing hydrometer… But there aren’t any numbers… just a colored area that sez good…
I get a news letter from a place in Vermont that has all stuff fer sugar bush activities…

Brix… 4x’s the Specific gravity number?

Brix = (SG-1)/0.004.

well the taps froze for a few days but running again today at 3.5-4 Bx. This is the earliest ive ever tapped and first time using the refractometer. usually just toss my hydrometer in the bucket after ive collected my 30-40 gallons.

I’ll need to see what the sugar bush readings are when they are running…
We will well below zero the next few days… AND… theres about 18" of snow pack… Kinda need to keep this in mind whilst tapping… Imagine… when Its time to remove the tap’s and we need to drag a ladder with!!

Well now add another 12" of snow to the existing snow pack… I see temps may start climbing above 32*F next week… Tapping maple trees will be a workout this year!

did the first runnings sap average was 3.5 Bx only boiled 27.25 gallons which yielded 1.25 gallons of syrup. incredible yield. ill continue the monitor the sugar content

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