Maple Syrup: Nature's Spring Tonic. -- Since 1918

Author: SugarMaster Page 2 of 71

Its All About Sugar Content

22 overnight. Started cloudy this morning. By Noon the sun appeared. Temperature up to 45, but breezing. The sap is running. Tested the sugar content in individual trees. Its back up some at 1.5 Brix others at 2.0 Brix. That’s worth getting. Plan to collect tomorrow.

Tree pressure still at 2 PSI. Seems low given that sap is running. Forecast is still promising for sap, but its all about the sugar content.

Last Boil Requires Careful Balance

36 overnight. Cloudy with snow flurries most of the day. Temperature reached 40, but with the wind it felt much colder. Forecast is 30 overnight and 50 tomorrow. But even if there is sap, with a low sugar content its not worth cooking.

Into the woods by 7:00 AM to cook. Brought a milk can of water to wash the syrup pan. Thought about skipping washing the pan because we only had 35 gallons to cook, but the pan had a buildup of nitre. Best to wash to avoid problems with boiling.

The last boil requires careful balance between getting the right amount of sap in pan so it won’t burn and not filling too much or its takes longer to empty and boil through the remaining sap Ideally we want ½” left in the pan.

Back to the farmhouse by 10:15 AM. Transitioning to clean up mode.

This Is Likely The End

34 overnight. Cloudy and 40 today with rain showers late afternoon. Into the woods by 3:45 PM to collect. Glad we dumped sap yesterday. The old sap wouldn’t have mixed will with the fresh sap. We would’ve ended up with poor quality sap.

Picked up 35 gallons. But this is likely the end. Low sugar in the sap. Barely 1.5 Brix. And we loose freezing nights.

Cook tomorrow.

Sap Moving Again

28 overnight. 40 and cloudy today with sun very late. The cold night did cause sap to start dripping but not a bit run yet. Tree pressure at 1 PSI. Not sure what to make of that. Expected higher PSI. A few more freezing nights in the forecast.

Dumped Sap

36 overnight. Cloudy, breezy and 40 today.

Into the woods by 4:15 PM to dump sap from the buckets. When its 50-60 sap doesn’t keep. Estimate we dumped 50-60 gallons but it didn’t look good. Dumping was the right choice.

Spouts are wet. If we get freezing nights the sap will run again. Tree pressure at -1 PSI.

Cloudy, Light Rain

46 overnight. Cloudy, light rain, some sun, 48 today. Still hopeful for more favorable conditions Friday, Saturday and Sunday give us a final sap run.

All Caught Up

44 overnight. 60 today with clouds and some sun around 2:00 PM.

Into the woods at 2:45 PM to start the burners of the finishing pan. Ready by 3:15 PM. Bottled 8 gallons total. We are not all caught up. Two more days of warm weather. We are hoping for one more run.

No Woods Work Today

37 overnight. Cloudy and 55 today. Rain tomorrow into Wednesday. Weather pattern becomes more favorable on Thursday with a return to freezing nights.

Next Several Days Not Promising For Sap

34 overnight. 54 and sunny today. Tree pressure at 3 PSI all day. Trees did not drip. We need another freezing night but the forecast for the next several days isn’t promising for sap with clouds, rain and 40s or 50s without freezing nights.

Into the woods by 7:00 AM. Brought over water in the milk can again. Evaporator going by 7:30 AM. Three batches into the milk can. Just over an hour between batches. Not cooking concentrate so this is really good. Cooked at 25 gallons/hour again. Done by 11:45 AM.

When its over 50 the heat when opening the evaporator doors radiates out and hits you hard. When its colder the the heat dissipates before it reaches you because of the colder temperatures.

Thinking back to tapping 400-500 and cooking on this evaporator without the R/O. That was a lot of work.

Successfully Bottled Today

24 overnight. Sunny and 44 today. Tree pressure up to 12 PSI. Trees dripping. By 5:00 PM pressure down to 3 PSI.

Collect 105 gallons. Sugar content back to normal: 2 Brix.

Successfully bottled today. Frequently the first bottling has problems: filter press hard to pump; cloudy; trouble holding temperature. But this first bottling went smoothly.

Welding repairs on evaporator. Added an angle iron on the back, right side where it rusted through causing the evaporator base to open up and threaten the structural integrity.

Cook tomorrow.

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