I tapped the first three this year Feb 2, 2020. About two week earlier than last year. It’s running too! The next day I went out and collect 32 gallons of sap from my 50 buckets.
I honestly forgot how much work it always is. Had to get out all my gear and despite cleaning it before putting it away, some looked as if they needed to be cleaned again. So I did.
Had to order all the new filters that I needed for both the filtration and also my reverse osmosis setup. Then I had to run water through the reverse osmosis to make sure the filters were cleaned out. They come pre-packaged with a chemical in them to keep them new, but an odd flavor can get into your first batch of syrup if you do not clean and really rinse out these filters.
Not sure how this season will go. So far the weather forecast looks good for the run (sap coming out of the trees). Below freezing nights and above freezing days. The issue is, this is now the lowest sap sugar content I have seen so far. I’m only seeing 1% sugar right now. If it wasn’t for the reverse osmosis I would probably be boiling forever with my current setup.
Thankfully the RO system is performing beyond expectations and I’m taking my 1% to 5.5%
Off to collect more tonight and run through the RO and will probably set up my ghetto sap house version 3.0 this year. Maybe I can start putting that together tonight and setting up the equipment needed for boiling.