Anyone gearing up to Sugar?

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by the fuse, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. Mwalsh9152

    Mwalsh9152

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    I'm going to try and get my cinderblock boiler set up today. I'll get some pictures once its done. It has to go in front of the wood shed, because I didnt set it up in the fall, so I need to fill the porch bin first I guess.
     
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  2. Mwalsh9152

    Mwalsh9152

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    well, maybe not today. My daughter and I went out to check the sap buckets, and I somehow managed to hurt my back. re-aggravated where I slipped and almost fell on the ice this past Monday. I just took a bunch of ibuprofen, hopefully it gets me mobile again so I can get some work done today.
     
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  3. Mwalsh9152

    Mwalsh9152

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    I found a picture from last year's setup. Only thing I'm gonna do different this year is turn the pans sideways and add a third.

    20200308_155727.jpg
     
  4. the fuse

    the fuse

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    Nice set up there. Good to have a helper, as well! My Mom's family was from the Monadnock region of NH. I loved to visit there, when I was a kid.
     
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  5. Mwalsh9152

    Mwalsh9152

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    thanks, it worked pretty well. The third pan will definitely help speed up the process this year. The helper is a large part of why I did it last year, to show her what can be done. She loved going out every morning to check the buckets with me, then to help with the boil....at least until she got bored and I was left out there alone for a majority of the time.
     
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  6. Chazsbetterhalf

    Chazsbetterhalf

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    Do you just build a fire down the the center of the blocks?
     
  7. Mwalsh9152

    Mwalsh9152

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    I build a fire right behind those blocks in the front, you can barely see an opening at the bottom for air flow. then you build a ramp in the back so it brings the fire up close to the rear pan on its way to the single block chimney.

    You can see how this guy did it with sand / dirt

    [​IMG]
     
  8. the fuse

    the fuse

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    That is a very cool arch! Cheap, cheerful and efficient. Looks as if it could be made permanent like.
     
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  9. the fuse

    the fuse

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    Checking the weather in S. VT. Looks like a good run coming early next week! We need to get up there.
     
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  10. fishingpol

    fishingpol

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    I'm thinking of ending my season early. I took down the makeshift shack with the big winds yesterday and today.

    I spent almost both days this past weekend boiling sap. Today I found one bucket and spile out of the tree from the wind.

    20210302_160453.jpg

    The next bucket in line was almost taken out by a dead 9' cherry limb. Stuck in the ground almost a foot. Firewood at least.

    20210302_160525.jpg

    I'll just boil a few gallons inside here and there. It was fun, but I have too much pressing right now.
     
  11. the fuse

    the fuse

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    That wind was vigorous! Sorry to hear you need to pack it in but life does press on. My bro is a chimney sweep and this is his down time so he's free to devote a lot of this time of year to sugaring.
     
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  12. Warner

    Warner

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    Lost 3 buckets and 2 spiles myself! Don’t help that my buckets are white so the blend in with the snow in the woods.
     
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  13. Warner

    Warner

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    I was able to locate all but one bucket lid! I’ll call that a win.
     
  14. fishingpol

    fishingpol

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    What was strange is one night this weekend was above freezing and I had little sap in the buckets the next day. Must be a warm/cold cycle thing.
     
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  15. Warner

    Warner

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    Huh, some of mine had very little. One tree put out almost 5 gallons over the week.
     
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  16. the fuse

    the fuse

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    Sugaring is "funny". there are some things that are for sure. Cold nights below freezing and warmer days......sunny......light to no winds make a good run. But then there are always interesting deviances from them tried and true things. And then there's when to tap out or not to tap out. Too early and you risk the taps "drying" up before the real running starts and you have to drill and tap new holes. All part of the fun. :hair:
     
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  17. fishingpol

    fishingpol

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    Exactly. I mixed sap from two trees last weekend and filtered though coffee filters. Still had lots of niter in the finished jars. Two days ago in boiled sap from a different tree and no filtering and almost no niter. Go figure.

    :loco: :crazy:
     
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  18. Canadian border VT

    Canadian border VT

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    Sugar trees in ledges produce less niter than those in lots of soil IME
     
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  19. Skier76

    Skier76

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    We have friends who have that type of system installed. I wish I remembered the exact stats. They said they went through a lot less wood after they installed the system; it was a big difference.
     
  20. Canadian border VT

    Canadian border VT

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    Normal trees produce sap 3-4% sugar content range. Although I’ve seen one at 9% straight from tree. Cousin runs RO so sugar content is around 20%. That drops boiling times about 65~70%. So fuel use should be comparable.
     
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