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

Category: 2013: Season 96 Page 1 of 4

Bumper Crop Of 102 Gallons For Season 96

Out of the woods at 5:40 PM.  Done.  All the big things are cleaned.  Into the woods by 9:15 AM.  Today’s plan was to clean the evaporator.  It started raining around 9:30 AM.  About 38 with a North wind.  That makes it feel very cold.  The evaporator had to be cleaned so we pushed on.  After lunch it started raining hard.  Still had the bottom of the evaporator to clean.  So out into the rain to scrub the bottom of the evaporator.  Wrapped a tarp around to try to keep dry and warm.    Warmed water on the stove so our hands did not get cold.  Must have been quite a sight.  And we also had some lighting and thunder.  At least we did not get sleet or snow.

Final syrup total is 102 gallons.   Amazing.  Picked up 3400 gallons of sap.   We think it was about 1983 when we last made over 100 gallons of syrup.  Quite unexpected.

Song of the season:  I Love It, Icona Pop

You can read about the rest of the 2013 season here.  Season 96: 2013

Clean Up

Started late today.  Into the woods by 9:30 AM back by 6:00 PM.  It rained today.  Got rained on while getting a tank of water.  Emptied the evaporator.  Filled it with water.  Lit a fire and put in the cleaning solution.  The cleaning solution needs to react with heat.  It won’t clean with cold water.    It sits overnight now.  Tomorrow it will be ready to clean.

Storage tanks, finishing and bottling pan are all clean.   We could not get the buckets in because they were wet from the rain.  Its forecast to rain the next few days so picking up the buckets may be delayed.

Buckets Down With Snow Still On The Ground

All the buckets are down and spouts out.  We do not ever remember taking down the buckets with snow still on the ground.    The snow is melting but there is still plenty around. 

Into the woods just after 7:00 AM.  Back to the house by 10:30 PM.  Boiled until 6:00 PM then finished and bottled two milk cans.   That gave us 69 more quarts and put us over 100 gallons for the season.  We bottled most of this in plastic jugs as we are out of glass jars.

Tomorrow we start cleaning the evaporator.

Snow This Morning

We got about an inch of snow overnight.  But it warmed quickly and melted.  Cloudy with a few drizzles all day. 

Into the woods by 7:30 AM.  Back to the house by 8:30 PM.  Spent the day boiling.  Only one tank of 225 gallons of sap remains.

We did bottle this afternoon.  8 gallons.  We now have 85 gallons total.  With a full milk can waiting and another milk can in the process of filling.

Two More Days Of Cooking

28 overnight.  Sunny and up to 38 today.  A little dripping, but not much.  The trees are coming to the end of their run.  We plan to pull the taps tomorrow.  And not keep the sap.  The syrup is getting dark now and we don’t really have time to boil it.   We will finish what we have.  It will still be a bumper season.

Into the woods by 7:15 AM.  Back to house by 8:30 PM.  Pushed through 225 gallons today.  Around 400 gallons remain.  Two days of cooking yet. 

Snow is forecast for tonight.  An inch of wet, slushy snow.  But 51 tomorrow so it all melts.

Mother Nature’s Apology

This seasons seems like Mother Natures apology for last season.   Last season: short, warm weather, small crop.  This season will bring a bumper crop.   We collected 385 gallons of sap today.  When finished and bottled this should put us over 100 gallons of syrup.  In so many of the past seasons warm weather has been our foil.  This season just keeps going and going.  Sugar content did drop.  Yesterday we had 3 brix.  Today was 2.4 brix.  That’s a big change.

Cooked last night until 2:30 AM.  Actually that was this morning.  Four hours of sleep then back into the woods by 7:15 AM.  Overnight down to 27 or 28.  Today was mostly sunny and 52.    A few sprinkles this afternoon, then the sun appeared again. 

We started collecting a little after 4:00 PM.  On the west side of the woods the pails we full.  But as we worked to the east side, the quantity decreased.   We always start collecting on the west side of the woods so those trees run after the pickup.  And the next day they have sap again.

About three days of cooking ahead.  Realistically we can not collect more sap as we now have to get into clean up mode.

Déjà Vu

21 overnight.  Sunny and 42 today.  We had sap.  Collected 600 gallons, just like last week.  Tonight is also cold again.  There will be more sap.  Maybe we can wait until Friday to collect. 

We bottled this morning.  We now have 77 gallons bottled.  The sap today will put us over 90 gallons when its boiled down.

Only Bottling Today

22 overnight.  Sunny and 38 today.  The trees ran some.  We plan to collect tomorrow.  By the end of the week we have to pull the taps and begin cleanup.   We have to move on to other things.  We will have an above average season.

Into the woods by 9:45 AM to get syrup out of the milk can and into the finishing pan.   By 11:30 AM it was ready.  Bottled 33 quarts.  We are now at 69 gallons total for the season.  There is still 6 to 7 gallons in the milk can to finish and bottle.    80 gallons or over is possible depending on what we collect the next days.

It was nice to have a little break today from cooking and only do bottling.

Six Days

All the tanks are empty.  Its been six days of boiling.  Pushed through 1275 gallons for an average of 212 gallons/day.  Into the woods by 7:30 AM.  Back to the house by 8:00 PM.

Overnight was 22.  Today up to 33.  Sunny to partly cloudy.  Tonight into the teens with 36 -38 tomorrow.  We may get a run.  Wednesday is warmer.    If we don’t get sap it means the season is over.  During those cold days in March the sap was moving in the trees we just could not harvest it because it froze as it hit the open air by the spout.

Easter

Did not freeze last night.  Only 33.    Started cloudy.  Up to 42.  Then the sun appeared.  Then a cold front and temperature dropped.  And we had snow flurries.

Into the woods by 7:00 AM to boil.  Also bottled this afternoon.  We are now up to 61 gallons bottled and we still have a full milk can of syrup to finish.   225 gallons remain  in the storage tank to boil down tomorrow.  

Monday and Tuesday are forecast to be cold again.  By Wednesday we warm up.  If we don’t get a run on Wednesday or Thursday the season is pretty much over.

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