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Cleaning Tubing Systems

There are a number of ways to clean tubing systems to avoid microbial contamination of tapholes and sap.

Collect More Sap Without Vacuum Pumps

Using 3/16″ tubing can create non-mechanical vacuum that can increase sap yield.

Comparison of 3/16″ and 5/16″ tubing sanitation

Although rapidly adopted by many maple producers, due to the relatively short time period in which it has been in widespread use, there is far less understanding of sanitation in 3/16Ó tubing systems. To address this knowledge deficit, we conducted a multi-year study at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center to examine sanitation related losses in 3/16Ó tubing systems to determine which approach(es) might best mitigate sap losses due to sanitation.

Comparison of Alternative Sap Ladders Applied Research in Ontario

Sap ladders have been developed by maple producers in response to the challenge of transferring sap over gradients in sugar bushes. The main objectives of the present study are to learn more about sap ladders so that recommendations can be made regarding their comparative effectiveness.

Controlling Microbial Population in Sap Systems

Over the course of one maple sap season in Western New York that started approximately March 8, 2005 and ended April 9, 2005, four maple sap locations were sampled to determine the levels and diversity of microbial populations contained in the different sap samples.

Cost of Maple Sap Production for Various Size Tubing Operations

Reports sap production costs for small (500 to 1,000 taps), medium (1,000 to 5,000), and large (5,000 to 15,000) maple syrup operations that use plastic tubing with vacuum pumping. The average annual operating cost per tap ranged from $4.64 for a 500-tap sugarbush operation to $1.84 for a sugarbush with 10,000 taps. The weighted average was $2.87 per tap or $11.48 per gallon (assumes four taps required to produce a gallon of syrup). The average annual investment cost for a plastic tubing system ranged from $7.90 for a 500-tap operation to $6.03 for a 10,000-tap system. The average labor time per tap was 4.74 minutes in 1998 compared to 9.60 minutes in 1975. The break-even (zero profit) size for a sugarbush operation was 900, 1,500, and 3,800 taps for a 3.0, 2.5, and 2.0o Brix sap, respectively.

Designing & Installing a Maple Tubing System 

Adam Wild, the director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Maple Research Forest located in Lake Placid, NY, shares information about basic tubing design and installation for both gravity and vacuum systems.

Do Not Use Isopropyl Alcohol as a Maple Sanitizer in the U.S.

Regardless of the availability and guidance provided, maple producers should clearly understand that the use of isopropyl alcohol in maple tubing systems anywhere in the United States is a violation of federal law.