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August 2020
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Optimizing the Vacuum
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 7:58 am

We are able to keep increasing the vacuum pressure.   I found 3 trees not tapped in the far east side of the Harmons woods - a bee was sucked into one of the spiles.  After tapping these then I heard a another vacuum leak - a line close by was almost cut in two so completed cutting the line and put in a connector.  As we keep fixing leaks the pressure goes up and exposes other leaks.   We are now close to the 24lbs of vacuum at the Harmon vacuum wagon.   Now we had to solve a few issues with the new booster - the sap wasn’t draining as fast as it should and air bubbles were coming up through the 1/2 filled with sap cylinder.  First I walked the entire new blue drain line to make there were no sags and that the line was on a downward angle for the entire 2000 feet so there would not be any air locks. .  There were some areas that needed attention so that was a good thing to do.  After walking back up the hill to check the booster there was still air bubbles in the cylinder - probably  there was a small leak where I had hooked up the blue drain hose to the cylinder.  To solve this we need to put a flexible milk hose from the cylinder to the blue drain line.   Brad and I put in a 4 foot milk hose section to the cylinder connector yesterday by cutting out a section of the blue drain line.   This should seal the connection plus there should be better drainage from the cylinder since there is now a downward angle instead of it looping down and then up.  Vinny and I inspected the homewoods yesterday and found a few minor leaks -  once you seal the leak the sap that is upline gets pulled down.  The vacuum pressure was up to 15 in the home woods. 

Yesterday was cold and breezy - the high was about 35 and the sap ran from 1:30 to 6:30 so we got about 1300 gallons before everything started to freeze up.  Dave and Brad put in the seven tap “Brad” line in the Harmon woods so he could sap he tapped trees this year. . Vinny, Vince and Brad turned on the homewoods vacuum about 10:30 and the  Harmon vacuum for the first time.  Jim was out of town this weekend so Dave and Vinny picked up 2 tankers from the homewoods in the afternoon and Dave drove the loaded sap truck down to pittmans at seven - 482 gallons at 2.7% sugar. .  I turned off the harmon vacuum at 7:15 since nothing was coming in since it had already froze up in the woods. The weather forecast is for freezing temps for the next 5 nights so should be a good sap week.  The temps will stay below average so the trees will remain dormant.  We currently have collected about 23,000 gallons of sap which has made 740 gallons of syrup.  Well on our way to the goal of 2000 gallons of syrup. 

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