First and foremost I kept horrible track of everything this year. Was an odd year to say the least. While the sap is still running for some, I ended up pulling my taps due to the 0.5 sugar content coming out. Even with my Reverse Osmosis, that’s not enough for me to keep going.
So I called it. Pulled the taps, cleaned the gear – even had a neighbor want to keep going so he borrowed my pan and burner. So timing was perfect for him!
Overall made ~ 7 gallons of finished product which is on par for what I normally do. I was hoping to get over 10 gallons this year and if I kept going I would have I suppose. I need to finally create a better system for my pan and burner. I have the idea in my head, just need to get it down on paper and built for next year. I would like to do something a little more scientific for it though to see exactly what my improvement is in boiling time.
Then I can look into a vacuum system and lines depending on the efficiency of my burner. Remember the whole idea is to see how much can be done with a small pan and 50 or less taps. Anyone can put in more taps for more syrup, but how does one truly make it efficient?
I had too much sap. I could have made/purchased a larger pan, but instead built a home made reverse osmosis to make the boiling manageable. Now my bottleneck in the production line is not the size of my pan, but how fast I can boil the concentrate off. If I can increase my boil rate, I can then work on increasing my returns on the number of taps.
This year I was far below average for sap % per tap. I had some bad trees, still just buckets also. I can increase my yield by adding in lines and a vacuum system, but I would never be able to keep up with my current set up.
Maybe some type of steam hood in the future also? Just trying to see how far we can push this 50 tap system.