The “small” spout, 19/64″ or 5/16″ in diameter, has been widely available to maple producers since the mid to late 1990’s as a “healthy” alternative to the traditional 7/16″ spout. While now in general use by producers in some regions, particularly those collecting sap by vacuum, the utility of these smaller spouts is still questioned by many sugarmakers, particularly those collecting sap by gravity. This article will review several studies conducted at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center comparing 7/16″ spouts with small spouts (for the purposes of this article, 5/16″, and 19/64″ will be considered equally as “small” spouts).
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The goal of this project was to find alternative ways to reduce microbial contamination of tapholes. One approach we investigated was to use a check-valve to prevent microbial contamination of tapholes by preventing backward movement of sap from the tubing system into the taphole.
In general, it is presumed that any effect of Òspout colorÓ on sap yield arises due to thermal warming of darker-colored spouts during sunny periods. Darker-colored spouts warm faster and the spout temperature can rise considerably above air temperature when hit by the sun compared to lighter-colored spouts. To assess the effect of Òspout colorÓ on sap yield, we conducted a multi-year study at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill, Vermont. Twelve treatment plots were randomly assigned a different spout type, with one mainline and releaser for each plot.
Feedback received from early users of Leader check-valve adapters, developed by the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center.
For several years, we conducted research on the collection of sap from small-diameter maple trees. This document outlines the basic concepts, techniques, and applications of this type of sap collection.