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

Category: 2007: Season 90 Page 1 of 3

More Sap!! and Snow!!

Remember thunder over an open woods? Several weeks ago on March 22nd we had a thunderstorm. And as predicted, now we get snow. About 4″. And its windy so the snow is blowing and drifting. Just like January should be. Its not completely unusual to get snow in April in Wisconsin. We always seem to get some, but 4″ is a little more than normal.

 

And with the recent freezing nights — its back down to the 20s at night — the sap flow has returned. If we had kept the taps up, there would be more syrup to make. Except it was about 10 days of warm weather so the season looked pretty much over. Sometimes mother nature throws you a curve.

Finished Bottling

We made 178 quarts, 44 1/2 gallons, of maple syrup for the season. Most of the buckets are off now.  The remainder will come down tomorrow. We still have clean up to do.

Cleaning Up

It was about 30 degrees cooler today than yesterday, but still about 45 and no freezing nights. We are working on cleaning the evaporator, boiling the last of the sap and generally cleaning up.

76 Degrees Today

This was more like a June day than a March day. 76 degrees this afternoon. Its way to warm for March 26th. We don’t ever remember it being this warm. The previous record high for the day was 70 and that was from 1925. You can’t help but wonder what the future of maple syrup production will be like under global warming. Maple trees could die off. Seasons could vary wildly.

Emptied the evaporator today. Started cleaning it. And started pulling taps. Its always sad. Three weeks ago the season was just starting. Snow covered the woods. The promise of a new season upon us. Now its done. Snow is all gone. Too warm. We still have the last sap from the evaporator to finish. We will do that on the gas burner. We won’t have final production totals until that is done, but it will be a below average season.

The End is Near

We picked up 120 gallons of sap today. But we doubt there will be more. Its too warm. Was in the high 60s today. Our tanks are empty and all sap is in the evaporator. Just as we thought we were finishing up for the day, a batch of syrup was ready. So no time like the present. We took it off the evaporator, finished it and bottled it. We now have 162 quarts (40 gallons, 2 quarts.) We should end up with around 44 or 45 gallons. Last year we had 72 gallons, but each season is different.

151 Quarts of Syrup

So far 151 quarts (37 gallons, 3 quarts) for the season. No new sap for the day, just boiled what we had. The weather does not look promising. Thunderstorm tonight. 60s on Monday and Tuesday. This may be the end. We did get our filtering problem solved. We were not using enough filter aid in the pressure filter. Started using more filter aid and got crystal clear syrup. But we had to reheat and re-bottle several gallons.

The Big Run

Picked up 320 gallons of sap today. This does seem to be big run we were waiting for. Every year there is big run when most of the sap is collected. So far for the week we have collected over 1200 gallons. But the sap is not too sweet, About 2.0 or 2.1 brix. That means it takes more sap to make a gallon of syrup. The forecast is for warming weather. 60s and even 70s. That will bring a quick end to the season.

Thunder Over an Open Woods

Last night we had a thunderstorm. Thunder, lightening, hail, rain. March is a month of a lot of different weather. There is a saying that thunder over an open woods means it will snow again. An “open woods” is a woods without the leaves on the trees. There is more sap to collect, likely tomorrow, Friday. And we hope its not going to get too warm now. We all wonder how global warming will impact maple syrup production.

440 More Gallons of Sap

We may be into the large run for the season. Collected 440 more gallons of sap today. Since sap is used by the trees to bring out leaves on the trees, at some point the trees are going to push the sap no matter what the weather. While we typically want freezing nights and sunny days, when the trees are ready with the sap, it will run. Bottled 38 quarts and 1 pint today for season total of 99 quarts so far.

450 Gallons of Sap

The weather warmed a bit yesterday and we picked up 450 gallons of sap. Its not very sweet however, 2.2 to 2.3 brix. But today its cold again, down to 20, high of 30. But that gives us a chance to catch up and boil down the sap we have. We did bottle 25 quarts (6 gallons and 1 quart) today. Later this week it should warm again so we are expecting another run.

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