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Old February 9th, 2019, 10:20 AM
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I seem to be finding mixed information on this. I have about half of my taps out so far and did really good last week before the record warmth this past week here in southern VA. Some of the reds even starting budding out but luckily not the sugars. Anyway, I'm getting a lot of foam in my pan and I'm sure it's slowing evaporation. Is it best to skim it or should I buy a defoamer?
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Old February 9th, 2019, 10:58 AM
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Use a defoamer. Are you sure the reds budded, they stop flowing before they bud I've been told. Sugars, not so.
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Old February 9th, 2019, 11:17 AM
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Is there a defoamer that works better than others or do they all do pretty well? It sure looks like a lot of them tried to bud out this past week. Especially below the Mtn. I don't have any tapped so hard to say for sure. I have only sugars tapped up on the mtn. But I was hoping to get some reds tapped this week so I will know soon enough.
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Old February 9th, 2019, 11:50 AM
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Reds will show a bright red bud early that looks like it is opening, but it's a pre-flowering stage. True budding is when they swell and start to open for a leaf. If they are just swollen and red it's not budding out. The ones I have tapped usually really slow up on sap or stop before buds open.

Foam can be a sign your sap was fermenting/spoiling. Take a wiff of the steam if it smells musty or like old socks then your syrup will be off flavor at best. You definitely should get some defoamer.
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Old February 9th, 2019, 01:20 PM
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Yeah the buds are my favorite way to tell reds and sugars apart in winter so I'm familiar with it. But I would say about half of them swelled up pretty good the last few days but probably are still ok.
Sap should be fine. I do the smell check all the time. Pre pan and while boiling. Havent noticed anything.
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Old February 9th, 2019, 01:38 PM
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Buckeye Gold are your Reds on gravity? I was curious how they do on that. Thats what I'm considering doing. I've done Reds on buckets in the past and it seems to be 50% do ok and 50% nothing for whatever reason. But I've heard they all do good on vacuum but I don't know about gravity.
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Old February 9th, 2019, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbk07cb View Post
Buckeye Gold are your Reds on gravity? I was curious how they do on that. Thats what I'm considering doing. I've done Reds on buckets in the past and it seems to be 50% do ok and 50% nothing for whatever reason. But I've heard they all do good on vacuum but I don't know about gravity.
I am on 3/16th gravity natural vacuum. When I used bags and buckets 2/3rds wouldn't do anything and the 1/3 that did gushed sap. I learned to just tap those. On the 3/16th it is hard to tell, but I do see sap in the drops, so I'm getting some from reds. I still only tap a few reds, 80% of my trees are Sugar Maple. The reds I tap are big trees that are right along my lateral. I have had better luck on the reds over 18" DBH.
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Old February 10th, 2019, 08:57 AM
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Buckeye Gold how much natural vacuum are you able to achieve? Do you have good slope? All the sugars I have tapped are located where I work so I doubt they let me tube up the woods. But here at the bottom of the Mtn I own 82 acres with tons of reds but no sugars. Amazing what 2000 feet of elevation can do. I have very good slope here so I think I'm going to try gravity on them
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Old February 10th, 2019, 01:28 PM
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I have never measured it, so I don't know how much vacuum I have. I know I have vacuum, because I have had squirrel bites and when I found them they were hissing. when I cut the line to repair you can hear it suck in the air. I have thought about checking it, but I really don't care if I'm maxed out. I get plenty of sap as is. I have shot the elevation and it varies from 20-40 feet of drop and my runs are anywhere from 200 -600 feet long.
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Old February 11th, 2019, 03:15 PM
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Buckeye, while you may think it does not matter, a few gauges will help you find leaks better and finding leaks (and fixing them) can give you more syrup. More syrup is a good thing.
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