Early Maple Sap Run


Friday morning we will have just enough Maple Sap to start our early boil. The last 3 days or so had been pretty good weather for a sap run. Typically you need temps like 20’s at night and 40′ during the days for the flow to start. Unfortunately it looks like the next several days it will be too warm for any sap. The 120 gallons collected is just barely enough to fill the evaporator but it is still new so what the heck.

So far most of our 120 gallons has come from the east side of the farm, that area receives some the first sun of the day. The Maple trees on the west side never get much and really warm up and received only a small amount of sun late in the afternoon. It may pick up later in the season as the sun starts to stay out a little longer.

Collecting sap from one of five tanks on the farm.

Collecting sap from one of five tanks on the farm.

If it turns out that the west side is a low producer I will concentrate on the east trees for next years expansion. I guess time will tell. The picture above shows how I use a D.C. powered pump to suck the sap from the collection tanks through out the farm.

Transferring sap to the indoor holding tank.

Transferring sap to the indoor holding tank.

The above picture shows how I transfer the sap from the 65 gallon transport tank in the back of the Kubota into the 100 gallon tank in the Sugar Shack. This process so far beats carrying 5 gallon buckets and pouring them.

100 gallon storage tank in the Shack.

100 gallon storage tank in the Shack.

Here is the 100 gallon holding tank that is sitting on a 6 foot platform.  It feeds the sap into the evaporator via the float control. Notice the sight gauge on the side. it seems to work good but I still climb up on the ladder to see the level in the tank. That may get old in a year or so.


6 Responses to Early Maple Sap Run

  1. That’s a great looking set up you have. We carry a lot of 5 gallon buckets of water so I can’t blame you for working to get a better system set up.How long do you think it will take you to recoup the cost of setting it up?

    • Sonny says:

      Actually we knew from the very beginning that we would never break even. I estimate we have over $10k invested in the evaporator, building and sap line infrastructure. At $12.95 per pint it may take a long while. Good thing the labor was free. I guess that is what it takes to keep myself busy as I age.

  2. Just found you while looking for maple info in WV. Gathering from the snow I see on the ground you must be closer to the mountains. 🙂 We are near Huntington. Gonna tap for the first time this year. Not nearly the set up you have. LOL Anyway, “Hi”. from another one from WV.

    • Sonny says:

      Stephanie, yes we are north of you in Doddridge county. The sap run is over for now. Not any cold nights for a while. We will be waiting.

  3. bjcronmiller says:

    Howdy Neighbor!
    I live in Ritchie Country! You’re just a hop, a skip, & a jump away!
    Will you be selling any of your maple syrup?

    • Sonny says:

      We plan to. So far we have syrup staged and hope to complete the final filtering and bottling within the next two weeks. We are also hoping for 3-4 really good runs in Feb and a couple in March so that will be even better. If you send me your name and phone I will let you know as soon as we bottle. It will be $12.95 a pint.

      It went up a little from last year due to the $12 k it took to purchase the evaporator, build the sugar shack and all the sap collecting lines, taps and tubing.


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