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  #1  
Old December 26th, 2015, 06:18 PM
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Default Is it time to tap?

The weather guessers are saying that I should have tapping weather by the end of the year. I'm planning to get ready & tap. I'm just hoping that a) the holes don't dry before the end of the season & b) we don't have a 4 week freeze during Feb like last year.

The season here in SW Indiana typically runs from late Jan to early Mar -- at least the last 3 years which is the time I've been tapping. There's a large bush to the east (near Louisville, KY) that runs 1000-1500 taps and they often tap over the New Years holiday so they can get the extra labor to help. I'm much smaller & don't run vacuum for all my taps.

Anyways, I'm starting to get ready by putting the sugar shack together on my 20' trailer and getting ready to tap. I still have to build a steam hood but I've been playing with the brake & think I have that mostly figured out.

Thought I'd see if any fellow southern maple guys are looking at the forecast & getting ready to tap.
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2013 - 19 taps, 20"x60" steam pan evaporator on concrete blocks, 2.75 gal syrup, first year
2014 - 64 taps, Smoky Lake 2x6 drop flue pans, blue tarp shack 20x7, 12.25 gal syrup
2015 - 75 taps, same pans & shack, 13.5 gal syrup
2016 - 75 taps?, same pans, same shack with metal siding
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  #2  
Old December 26th, 2015, 11:26 PM
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I won't be tapping until the 22 of Jan this year.
I have anew 2x6 hybrid pan and arch. Going to do a test boil tomorrow morning to check out the new shack and cupola.
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  #3  
Old December 27th, 2015, 08:21 AM
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I am in southern Ohio, but I am familiar with Evansville as a niece and nephew live there. I would hold off going all in until mid January if your 75 taps are all you have. If you have more available trees then tap early and move them when they start to dry.
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  #4  
Old December 27th, 2015, 08:30 AM
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Here in northern NY, we're still waiting for winter. Can you have a Spring season if you dont get a Winter season
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  #5  
Old December 27th, 2015, 09:57 AM
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I have a visual record of all my seasons from 1991 and about every 7 years or so I get skunked and don't tap or make the trip because of weather. I have some empty bottles hanging on the rafters and it reminds me that mother mature has her ways and we are just along for the ride. Go find a Cheery farmer about "CERTAINTY" And he will ramble of a long list of things that are certain and one of them is that it He is certain that it might not be a good year.

Now there are reasons a lot of us don't tap in Uncertain years because of the size of our operations. Kiteflyer your one of the lucky ones, you get to go out and tap your trees in about 4 hrs. Now I know that getting all set up and having your entire operation might take days BUT if you hem and haw about your season and then the weather guy says a cold front is moving in for a week with sunny days your up and tapped by noon.

I takes me 4 days just to get the equipment to the woods and the trees tapped before I can have anything worth running into the collection tank. So now you are in the same boat as the weather guesser but your all alone in that boat WELCOME to the sport of sugar making

"TAP TO EARLY MISS THE SEASON..........TAP TO LATE MISS THE SEASON"
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Old December 27th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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Chuck,
You must be getting pretty old, I hang 1000 bags(+\-) in 1 long day
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Old December 27th, 2015, 11:57 AM
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Jmayerl Your right I am old (65) as you will agree the is a world of difference between tubing and bags. Yea bags go up fast but collecting is labor intensive. Tubing takes longer to tap every year and longer as the system ages but once tapped is labor saving.

Now do you put all the bags in the holders in that 1000 tap day??
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Old December 27th, 2015, 05:59 PM
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Slave labor assembles bags in January and I just drill and hang

Last edited by jmayerl; March 15th, 2017 at 11:10 AM.
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