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It also depends on the side of the tree you tap...many of my south facing taps are (were) running and the north facing taps weren’t (they will run later)...the sun warms the south side of the trees before the north side warms up.  I boiled yesterday and despite the afternoon below zero temps, I had drips coming from some of my south facing taps (while the sun was out).

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Here’s one of the smallest operations, with a little help from our grandson. We make only about a gallon of finished. We keep a bottle or two and give the rest to the kids. Grandson helped with the br

Not as fancy, efficient, and good looking as Mowin’s setup but I got her done.  I collected a messily 160 gallons of sap and boiled it down yesterday.  I did “cheat” and use my new RO bucket (RB-10)..

Add another to the small operation army. Last year was my first year, 5 taps, also ended up with about a gallon. Didn't expect the amount of sap we got so I quickly went from the grill to building a s

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On 2/28/2021 at 3:56 PM, left field said:

So many questions.

How is the ice cut? Chainsaw?

Do you hammer that handle in? I never would have thought of that.

Will the top and sides of the ice house be covered to keep the ice from melting?

I cut the ice blocks with an ax...well I tried at first just to see what I was up against...with 8 plus inches of ice, I brought the chainsaw out. 
After I figured out how much ice I needed, I shoveled and gridded the area out and then screwed wood handles I fabricated into the ice with long screws...if I tried using nails the ice would shatter.  I worked from down stream to upstream so if I fell in pulling ice I would have a chance to get out before going under the ice...I also took other precautions like standing on a long board to spread out my weight, rope, wore wool, and had a nice fire going.  The ice was surprisingly heavy but I was able to “pop” it out by pushing the ice into the water and heaving it out when it floated up.  I have a light blue tarp that I used to cover the top of the drum storage...and built it in the shadow of a very steep bank (north side).  Somehow I managed a day two and cut more ice and built mini igloos around 20 of my 5-gallon buckets...with the buckets on the before mentioned steep hill being the most challenging (and back-breaking)!  

 

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48 minutes ago, WNYBuckHunter said:

Just checked the tap I have In the split trunk and it’s dripping. Just took longer than the main trunk taps. 
 

was the wood light or dark colored in this holes when you tapped them? I’ve read that dark indicates a spot that may not work. 

It was good white wood. Maybe it'll cut loose

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29 minutes ago, dinorocks said:

It also depends on the side of the tree you tap...many of my south facing taps are (were) running and the north facing taps weren’t (they will run later)...the sun warms the south side of the trees before the north side warms up.  I boiled yesterday and despite the afternoon below zero temps, I had drips coming from some of my south facing taps (while the sun was out).

The ones I put in I tapped them all on the south facing side. I'm only looking to grab about 100 gallons of sap so fingers crossed. 

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Not as fancy, efficient, and good looking as Mowin’s setup but I got her done.  I collected a messily 160 gallons of sap and boiled it down yesterday.  I did “cheat” and use my new RO bucket (RB-10)...the day before my boil I sent my 160 gallons of 2% sap through the RO and ended up with 80 gallons of 4+% sap...at an average rate of 10 gallons of sap per 40 minutes.  using the rule of 86, I would have needed to boil 43 gallons of sap to get 1 gallon of syrup...with the RO, I only needed about 20 gallons.  At an evaporation rate of 10 gph, I saved a ton of boiling time!  And with the new revisions to my arch, I used less than a 1/4 cord of wood (over 8 hours).  I’m very pleased !  Looking forward to next weeks warm weather!  I have just under 500 gallons of sap capacity between my two ice-insulated storage areas.  Good luck to all the sugarmakers out there!!

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