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Starlink 8 Months Later! And a Vermont Maple Syrup Farm Tour!


hey everybody it’s lanzibe and we’re back in vermont at my brother josh’s maple syrup farm and i wanted to first of all check in with him on starlink but we’re also going to take a look at his process about how he makes his maple syrup that i know a lot of you enjoyed from the last video uh now the video we’re making today is quite raw because i wasn’t planning on doing anything but i have my phone with me and i said you know what let’s give it a shot and see if it comes out okay and so far from our walk around the facility here it’s been pretty good so we’re going to give it a shot so how you doing josh quite well are you good how’s the starlink working i’ve been very pleased with it so far so we’ve had winter yeah we’ve made it through the four seasons and josh you get a lot of snow up here like white out snow all the time did it did it cut out when you had a big snowstorm no the starlink had no problem transmitting data through snow that you know i wouldn’t be comfortable driving in and i’ll drive in just about anything and no matter how quickly it was dumping down it had no problem melting

snow off of it nor would snow accumulate on it yeah we still have to come up here and do like a makeover because he’s got a lot of property to cover with his internet so we’re probably gonna do a outdoor unified thing on our next trip up but what i put inside in the meantime is a google wifi mesh kit that i had that i reviewed a couple of years ago and that seems to be working okay um we’re still struggling in some areas of the property and i think it’s just due to the geography that we’re dealing with here and all the different obstructions we’ve got wood and maple syrup and all this other stuff that i think is making some issues there so we’re going to kind of fix that up a bit one thing i have noticed josh is that the service is good like it doesn’t cut out that often does it yeah it’s actually been a barely measurable problem i think i can count on one hand in that however many months it’s been how many times i’ve actually experienced a measurable downage and then sometimes i’ll open up the app and take a peek at it and it’ll say you know you were down for four seconds in the last 12 or 24 hours or whatever it was so uh to be honest it has not been an area of concern for me and i’ve been extremely pleased with what’s been provided so far much better than what you had before yeah before it would either be so slow you didn’t know if it was working or it was just you know a tenth of a megabit per second uh upstream so we’re trying to do something for marketing or trying to do a youtube channel or anything like that um impossible and so it’s really cool so you got the youtube video up so we put up a video the other day of the amish horse auction this is something you wouldn’t have

done before because you didn’t have the bandwidth right so talk about it yeah i’ve always been inspired by my brother you know he’s my smarter early adopting older brother and so uh his success on youtube as well as the support that you all his community on youtube have shown me through purchasing syrup it just impressed me to the point where i said you know what i should invest a little bit of my own time and effort into this so i made a handful of videos one of them was like how to horse logging that got like 2500 views uh another one i’m putting up a prefabricated steel building we were building it and i said i’ll just practice making a video that got you know 28 views and then i did an amish horse auction video which is you know it’s interesting stuff if you’ve never seen one before and uh that thing’s like over fifty thousand yeah as of this morning so he’s on his he’s on his way so we’re it’s kind of exciting it’s good to have the bandwidth because if you didn’t have the bandwidth it couldn’t get working i would have had to leave the farm and spend a day or you know an afternoon at a library or someplace and so it’s really it’s it’s excellent so i’ve been long i’ve been no problem so i’ve been measuring things yeah i’ve been measuring some things here at the at the house i’ve been up here for about 24 hours or so so i’ve had a good day of experience and it feels good it feels a lot faster than it was when we were here last time uh we did do a to the router test on that uh google wi-fi thing so it’s it’s coming in close to where we saw it in connecticut when we installed it at my house briefly um so it’s been working pretty well here and the reliability’s gotten much better so when i arrived i was first thing i did when i got here was looked at the 12-hour

report and over that course of that last 12 hours he had only two seconds of downtime and then he had a little bit of an outage last night but it was like at three o’clock in the morning so i think it was maintenance that they were doing um last night so um very minimal outages at least from josh’s experience of what i saw here over the course of a day but everything’s been been good um and the other thing we checked was the obstructions that his dish has because that’s a big component of starlink if you have things in the way of the dish receiving its signals that of course has an impact and you need a very big area of the sky visible to the dish and we were finding that um josh is really not dealing with any obstructions where he put it up on his roof so i think we’re in pretty good shape here so overall i think starlink for for you is a winner and this is kind of like the perfect place for starlink because you have nothing out here right it’s uh we had dsl and uh now our town is going to spend half a million dollars trying to bring fiber or cable out here or something but i live past the center of town so the odds are that they’re probably going to stop in town or at least at the main roads that veer off so uh i probably won’t be a beneficiary of it at least not right off and so now i’m kicking myself the town should have just bought a whole bunch of satellites yes it made life a lot easier and cheaper so so what i wanted to do now though was take a little tour of the facility on how you make the syrup because one thing that we did not expect was that so many people who watched the first video bought syrup so i’m sure people want to see the process um so the first thing we’re going to cut to is a trip that we took out to the forest uh josh and i actually went hiking in my sweater um and we went out to the forest where they where he pulls the uh the sap out of the trees so why don’t we cut to the forest trip and we’ll see where the sap originates from and then when we come back over here we’ll

see how he processes it into maple syrup so here we are in the forest where we are collecting maple sap to make maple syrup we use a system of pipelines to collect that sap it’s much more efficient than buckets here we have the two pipes of the conductor so these are two parallel inch and a half lines one’s run above the other one the lower line we call the wet line and that handles the majority of the sac that’s flowing downhill to the sugar shack the upper line we call the dry line and that allows us to convey vacuum to the furthest reaches of our sugar bush without being impeded by any sags in the line that might create an air lock so we have our wet line and our dry line on the conductor from there we have our little y formation here where the wet line comes in from a main line and then the dry line comes into the top of the main line over there we also have a ball valve there so we can isolate it during the season if there are leaks on that line we’ll close that ball valve and then open it up slowly and if we can hear uh gas or air or co 2 rushing past the ball valve then we know there’s a leak on that line and that line needs attention so we have conductors to our you know y we sometimes call this to the main line and then over here we have our saddle and our lateral line and from here it’s just got a little bit of ductless on the outside of it the inside of the pipe is rather clean but we’ll actually hold the line down and as the sap collects in it if the sap sits and puddles up nicely we know that that line is tight and that our vacuum leak is not on that line

but if we see gas rushing past the sap that sits in this line then we’ll know that there’s a leak out there and we always look uphill if we find an issue we know that it’s uphill of us uh we can’t really uh detect well we have to be downhill in order to detect the issues uphill so mainline saddle on our lateral line from the lateral line we get to our first maple tree and this is a drop and so the drop is just a t fitting a little bit stubborn in the offseason but uh we’ll tap the tree and then we’ll place this line into the spout and then from there we’ll collect the sap via combination of gravity and vacuum so just these small lines just get inserted into trees and how many trees do you have tap do you think oh several thousand you know i don’t like to uh a lot too specific but um yeah thousands there’s a lot to troubleshoot then if something is not properly yeah it’s a it’s an interesting way to wire your mind to understand how the vacuum’s affecting the system and be able to find the issues and it’s you know it can be learned quite quickly but it’s also you know a bunch of aha moments when you you know sniff out your first few leaks and then realize how a thousand tiny cuts can really uh significantly scales up it scales up and it’s a lot like computer networking it’s kind of the same process you have bandwidth i think you could do well in computer networking that way so probably not if the air doesn’t smell like this so josh as we were talking i i didn’t realize that you have to untap all of these thousands of trees and then re-tap them at the beginning of the season yeah i like to start the first week in january uh getting out here with as big a crew as i can have just so it goes quickly that way we’re ready for

early season uh rushes and uh yeah we go out and tap each of the trees and then uh come the end of the season we come back out and untap all the trees and then we jack the tubing up manually as high as we can so that deer bare moose and people can all screw you down underneath and it’s snowing when you’re doing this typically right uh there’s you know one to three to five feet of snow on the ground when we tack and then when you’re untapping uh the little pry bar that we use to pop the spouts out it benefits it to be about three or four feet long so that you can pop them out yeah because they’re way up there so and you can’t leave it in over the over the winter because it hurts the tree the tree won’t be able to heal uh one of the interesting things about maple is its ability to compartmentalize its wounds so when we put a hole in it the tree will over the course of a year seal off that hole and it’ll heal over that hole so we both want it to compartmentalize the wounded sub bark tissue the cambium in the wood and then we also want it to close that hole so that more bacteria and detritus doesn’t get inside all right josh so we saw where the sap comes from and you burn wood to boil it explain the process a little bit where this wood comes from so uh wood-fired maple syrup is not only sustainable carbon neutral and the traditional way but it also makes a superior product i worked in the industry for you know seven or eight years before i started on my own and a tendency in the industry was to move initially from wood to oil and then from oil to oil fired steam and when you’re cooking on steam you’re cooking at about 260 degrees the benefits are it’s very efficient when you’re burning oil and you can control that temperature so you’ll never burn a pan the downside is is that you’re cooking at a very low

temperature and you don’t get any caramelization of the sugars so instead of getting a rich amber color you’re going to get a yellow kind of boring color and the the flavor on your tongue is sweet but the mapley genesecua doesn’t really evolve unless you get that high heat caramelization so both oil and wood you’re processing over a pan that’s being licked by the flames and that’s at about 1400 degrees fahrenheit and that high heat uh just imparts a much better flavor and then sometimes with the wood process you know the sugar shack smells wonderful with the sap and a little bit of wood smoke in the air hanging and those little wisps of smoke that kissed the surface of our syrup impart the generalist little hint of wood smoke it’s not a smoky flavor but it’s traditional sustainable carbon neutral why improve on perfection and we love to do it we also have to improve the health of our forest by calling disease treatment i’m going to ask you about that because all of these all this wood that you burn comes from the forest that you’re so far so far we’ve had enough work in the woods that we’ve been able to uh source all of our wood from our own bush so all this wood came from the same place you get the syrup from the sap from yeah we burn about 25 to 40 cords a year depending on production and what time of year do you burn and make the syrup uh the syrup comes in the spring when the uh trees both freeze and thaw over a period so when the cell wall of the tree freezes the water expands and it pushes on that cell wall uh the cell wall being rigid that creates ambient pressure within the tree when the syrup excuse me that the tree begins to thaw the sap then gets squeezed out by the ambient pressure of the collective tree through the wound that we create through the tap hole so when it’s when it’s in season to get the sap out of the trees the sap comes down here and you’re processing it

immediately it sounds like like it’s not something you wait until later in the year to do yeah the sap we try to process our sap you know within 12 to 24 hours of it uh leaving the tree um and we’re in october right now so this is not a time in which you’re doing anything here beyond packaging and selling yeah sales marketing developing new bush we’re getting into logging as well it’s been a little bit damp up until now but it’s starting to dry out you want a good dry forest floor when you’re harvesting to both keep the logs clean and to keep your roads in good shape all right let’s go inside and have a look at the facility excellent so we’re in the pump shed and this is where uh all the sap moves through and where we keep all of our mechanized equipment on my left here is a 10 horsepower rotary vein vacuum pump and people kind of have a misconception about vacuum pumps and they say well you know are you sucking the trees to dry are you damaging the trees with a vacuum pump and i don’t believe that that’s the case and there’s been many studies done to corroborate that uh his people have been making maple syrup for hundreds of years and they know that you can get about you know a gallon or two of sap per run from each tree that would be per freeze thaw cycle and what we found is that with a vacuum pump we’re able to use smaller spouts it used to be a 5 8 inch hole that we would then hang a bucket from and the tree would bleed that gallon or two with a vacuum pump we can use a 5 16 inch hole and get the same amount of sap so a smaller hole the name of the game is pressure differential and so the tree remember when it froze it created pressure that was pushing the sap out we’re creating an artificial pressure differential with the vacuum pump now when you have a vacuum you can’t have an open-ended vacuum and so this pipe over here goes to our releaser and

the releaser is a pair of cylinders that are both connected to all the trees in the bush via these inlet pipes a vacuum pump up here and the sap will come in and it will fill up this lower cylinder once this lower cylinder fills up it triggers a float valve once that float valve is activated it’s going to pump the sap into the tanks it pumps it past the check valve so that check valve will open as the sap flows out and then once the valve excuse me the pump turns off that valve will slap shut and that’ll keep this system tight and sealed so we’re able to maintain a nearly perfect you know roughly 30 inch mercury vacuum um while we’re pumping out sap so it comes in here first and then it goes out to the tanks exactly and that’s largely just a factor of the releaser which is a delicate piece of equipment that needs to be housed in a temperature safe environment but once the sap gets down here this is our tank house if you will and this is where the sap is stored in these two uh 6 600 gallon tanks and then we also have an old milk tank off of a milk truck that we use to store permeate uh permeate is the byproduct of reverse osmosis and we use that for cleaning um but we basically will collect about 12 000 gallons of maple syrup in you know 12 24 48 hours depending on the day and then it’s our goal to process that sap as quickly as possible to make the freshest uh richest most delicious maple syrup for y’all so we have the sap outside and now we’re gonna involve a little bit of modern technology to conserve a little bit of wood and maintain our efficiency this is reverse osmosis osmosis is the diffusion of particles from high concentration to low concentration reverse osmosis is the concentration of particles in the solution from low concentration to high concentration the sap that comes out of a tree is about two percent sugar in order for it to be maple syrup it has to be 66.9 percent sugar what this

machine does is we have a series of membranes six of them in this particular unit and we pass the sap through it as we do we choke how much we’re allowing out and apply a lot of pressure so it’s forced to push through the membrane as it flows through by doing this the membrane it’s almost like a paper towel roll except that paper towel is a film that has orifices in it that are so small that a molecule of water can pass through the orifice but a molecule of sugar cannot so we’re squeezing that water out of the sap we’ll go from about two percent maple syrup to nearly twenty percent excuse me two percent sugar to nearly twenty percent sugar and uh what that does is it removes about eighty five to ninety percent of the water that we would have to evaporate uh right now we burn about 25 to 40 quarts of firewood a year making our maple crop word not for this machine we would be burning between 250 and 400 wow so in order to maintain sustainability of our forests ability to provide the energy uh to to make as much syrup as we need to be viable um this machine allows us to do so much more economically and ecologically sensitively and uh i don’t believe that it compromises the flavor in any way we’re still evaporating two three gallons of water for every gallon of maple syrup that comes off we’re still exposing

it to high heat and we’re still getting that um caramelization and that wood fire gems aqua so i don’t think this is a bad compromise in the modern maple syrup industry now this is where it all happens josh right you got a nice this is the sugar shack sugar shack here and uh the concentrated sap is pumped into that tank up there and then gravity will draw the sap down into the evaporator and we use a wood-fired evaporator and what happens is the sac is added to the back of the machine and then as it is being evaporated off you know we have a high heat firebox underneath so low concentration sap is added to the back as that sap pushes forward more and more is evaporating off and it’s becoming denser and denser and denser and denser until we get a little stream of syrup at the front end of it and we’re able to maintain a constant flow of syrup out this end while adding a low concentration sac in the back end uh we got wood to the front of the box you know the same with this outside here’s a little bit of construction debris in there and uh the old joke is a heck of a place to hide a body but uh seriously folks uh it’s sustainable carbon neutral and in parts that maple legion of sequoia in our final product how do you maintain the temperature because it is wood right it varies it feels like you’re running a freight train in 1850 because you literally have to control the amount of air that you’re applying to the different grates you have to make sure that you have enough fuel you have to make sure that that fuel is sufficiently preheated and even when you open the firebox the rush of cold air will get drawn in by the flu and so you’re going to lose temperatures you almost have to know that you’re continuing to evaporate even though the

thermometers that you’re using to measure your rates of evaporation at different points in the process all drop it’s an art and a science and over the course of years much experience we’ve really gotten it dialed in to the point where we’re we always provide product that is heavier our target is to sell maple syrup that is half a brick half a percent sweeter than the minimum standard and we are always within three tenths of a point of that mark and so we’re always a little bit over and we’re never too far over if we go too far over the worst that will happen is that you’ll find crystals in the bottom of your maple syrup however uh if you go under then we have to reprocess it to get it up to snuff for you found folks so when when when you’re in season this place is hopping i’m guessing right you’re oh yeah people come by and take hot shots they’ll take samples right off the evaporator but um you know it’s a little bit stressful for the you know the head evaporator head boiler and then he’s usually got a henchman alongside of him to help him make sure that all the the wheels are greased and uh actually we’ll draw it off into a smaller barrel here and then we’ll send it through a filter press the syrup as it comes out of the tree has nider in it which is the mineral in the sap and that’ll often settle out in the evaporator but if you were to put it into the final product you wouldn’t get a nice clear maple syrup it won’t hurt you but there will be a sandy looking substance on the bottom nobody wants that yes it’s unattractive some people actually do want it but um it’s unattractive for them for the mass markets so we send it through this filter press and then we get it into a barrel while it’s still over 185 degrees

fahrenheit that barrel is then hot sealed so the syrup is safe until we’re ready to repackage it into our glass later in the year now josh i i’m always drawn to this this wall of syrup here so what are we looking at and and why is all of this stuff a different color well these are samples from every barrel that we produce and basically this is a good indicator of the different grades of maple syrup that are produced and why the different grades are produced and so there are three things that affect the maple syrup grade there’s the quality of sap the tree gives you which includes the micro nutrient profile in that particular run of syrup then there’s also the amount of bacteria that has an opportunity to grow in that sap before you process it and then the third factor is the temperature at which you process the syrup and how long it’s exposed to that temperature so in order to make a very light and clear syrup the tree needs to be running really hard and needs to be giving really sweet really good mid-season or early mid-season syrup sap excuse me and then once you have that sap that has the potential of being golden or previously known as fancy syrup then you have to process it very quickly before any bacteria has an opportunity to grow in it and it has to move over that freight train of an evaporator very smoothly if it if you

make waves and slows down and backs up and gets exposed to too much heat then it’s going to darken and then you can’t make that golden syrup and some years you just can’t do it because the sap isn’t good to start with so the mirrors the trees just give you in fact this last year we weren’t able to make any golden or fancy syrup because the tree biology just didn’t give us that opportunity it’s also harder for us as a wood fire sugar bush to make that fancy syrup because if you’re cooking at 260 degrees over steam you make exclusively fancy syrup however when you’re doing a high heat caramelization wood-fired process you’re going to get mostly darker syrups it’s actually been a real uh struggle or not a struggle but a real goal reset for ourselves to make as much fancy syrup as we can because all of your ducks have got to be in a row and you have to be working with great sap because when you’re cooking with 260 degree surfaces you’re always going to make fancy syrup but when you’re cooking with a 1400 degree surface you’ve got to really you know thread the eye of the needle in order to make that what’s the difference in taste between fancy and darker to be perfectly honest

with you sometimes the taste is less affected by the visual color and more affected by other uh micro qualities in the syrup however you could say generally that lighter syrup uh will just be sweet and not necessarily so mapley if you will whereas um the amber syrup is kind of the classic whenever you if you’re ordering syrup and you’ve never had syrup before you really can’t go wrong with amber it pretty much always tastes like great maple syrup and then dark and robust there’s a range of dark and robusts and in my humble opinion all of them taste good however some of them are much more robust some of them taste a lot more smoke smoky and full bodied and have a lot more of a strong flavor a kind of rule of thumb that i give to people and they seem to like this as a way of thinking about it is that if you like spicy foods not necessarily hot spicy but if you have a complex palette you enjoy things that are flavored um you might really enjoy that dark and robust syrup and if you have a very simple palette and you just kind of like you know grilled cheese and french fries and those kind of basic foods that you can get a kid to eat you might be better off with golden syrup just because it’s going to be sweet while not having so many subtle modifiers in the flavor but at the end of the day anything that goes out in our top three grades which are golden and delicate amber and rich or dark and robust anything in those top three grades is going to be excellent syrup and then we do have a very dark and strong maple syrup and that’s kind of denoted by a metallic aftertaste that’s like the very late season syrup and

it’s very robust and that’s good if you’re making granola if you’re making cookies if you’re baking with it however it might be intimidating on the pancakes it might not be the best maple syrup you’ve ever put on your pancakes but i’ll often put that in my refrigerator and enjoy it because it’s not bad stuff well josh thank you for this impromptu score of your facility i was trying to take a couple days off and i was like you know what i got my phone i can make a video we can do a follow-up and why not and it’s a beautiful weekend the foliage has been just spectacular here so you live in a beautiful place and you’ve got a beautiful property and a beautiful product well thanks man and it was a pleasure having you up it was really nice to catch up with the family and uh so glad that we’re able to be within six feet of each other again yeah it’s a great little family reunion and i was really glad to have you good to have you as a brother we’ll be back up we’ve got more work to do up here hi thanks everybody for watching that this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters hot sauce and video games brian parker chris allegretta tom albrecht thomas anfang jim tannis and handheld obsession if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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