There are two factors that may determine the end of a maple season
and cause the maple producer to stop operations for the season.
First, no more freezing weather; and second, the sugar
content of maple sap slowly diminishes and drops to a point where
it is not economical to process the maple sap - this happens when
the trees start to bud, and the sap flow changes in composition
and becomes unusable.
Now that the season has ended, the clean up task begins. All buckets and tanks are washed and stored. Evaporators, vapor compression distillers and reverse osmosis are drained, washed, and/or flushed as per manufacturer's directions. All units are drained, flushed and stored, and tubing is cleaned. Whether tubing is left up in the sugar bush or taken down is an option of the individual maple producer. When the tubing is left up in the sugar bush, a flushing solution is pumped through the entire tubing system, then drained and capped. When the tubing is taken down and brought to the sugar house, the tubing is flushed with a solution, drained and stored in a cool, dry place. Equipment and building are left in waiting for another maple season.
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