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

Category: 2014: Season 97 Page 2 of 4

Sap Today

Mid 20’s last night.  Upper 30’s and sunny today.  That’s what we need.  There was a sap run.  Set out about 3:00 PM to collect.  Picked up 385 gallons.  2.8 Brix.   Every so slowly we inch up in production.


Tonight again is mid-20’s.  Tomorrow upper 30’s again.  But a wintery mix moves in sometime tomorrow.


A local dealer dropped off a Polaris Ranger for us to use.  Quite expected.  The Polaris Ranger is a 4 wheel drive ATV.  It has a cab and dump box.  The dealer was out yesterday to visit our sugarbush.  And he offered demo unit for us to use.  He dropped it off this morning.  Used it today to bring the syrup back we bottled last night.

Tanks Empty

Into the woods by 8:00 AM.  Back by 9:30 PM.  The tanks were empty by 5:30 PM.  Then did a water run to prepare for bottling.  Put a milk can full of syrup into the finishing pan.  It was ready by 7:30.  Then we bottled.  After cleanup it was 9:30 PM.

The nitre problem was much better today.  Did not impact boiling at all.

Did not freeze overnight, but got colder during the day.  We had light snow flurries most of the day.  Did not accumulate.   Cloudy and windy too.  Tonight down to the mid 20s.  The next few days seem like they will make or break the season.  The weather pattern looks favorable.    If that does not generate a few sap runs we may be done.

Cooked All Day

Did not freeze overnight.  Well, maybe 32 for a short time, but not a hard freeze.  Up to mid 40’s but cloudy and windy.  Later in the week its forecast for freezing nights again.


Into the woods by 7:15 AM.   Back to the house by 5:30 PM.   Only 150 gallons of sap remain from the weekend collections.   One milk can is full of syrup and working on the second.


Nitre is again building up on the syrup pan, but we were able to keep the boil going.  Something is different with the sap this season.  Different proportions of minerals must be in the sap this season causing a different reaction to heat.

Trouble With Nitre

Down to 16 overnight.  We expected 25 overnight.  Warmed to 42 with the sun.  But not a big run today.  Collected 150 gallons.


Cooked all day starting at 7:15 AM and finished by 7:15 PM.  Five batches into the milk can.  But something changed with the sap.  After the third batch the pan starting getting a nitre build up.  This causes trouble with boiling because the nitre coats the pan and amplifies the heat causing the sap to boil over, even with a small fire under the pan.   You can not boil hard.    We clean the pan at the start of the day to prevent the nitre build up.  This has always worked.  We could boil 12-15 hours.    But after six hours today we got a nitre build up.  We stopped to clean the pan but that did not solve the nitre problem as it came right back.    It has to be something different in the sap, but what?  This could add a lot of time to boiling because we can not fire and boil hard.


Still over 300 gallons to cook tomorrow.

Finally, A Sap Run

Collected 350 gallons of sap today.  It was about 25 last night.  Sunny and up to 38 during the day.  By 11:00 AM the trees were dripping.   Brought water to the woods.  Washed collecting and storage tanks.  The plan was to start collecting at 3:00 PM.  Help came.   After emptying the first buckets it was clear this was a nice run.   Even found several full pails.  And nice clear sap.


Tonight is 25 and tomorrow up to maybe 50 and sunny.  Should be another run.


Tomorrow we cook.  And hopefully collect again.

Same Story

This story is getting repetitive.  Some rain overnight.   Day started cloudy and windy.  Temperature about 32 or 33.    Around 1:00 PM sun appeared.  Temperature up to 37.  We had melting.  Taps were wet, but not dripping.


Spoke with producers in central WI.   No syrup made yet.  We at least have 10 gallons.  And producers in CT also have cold weather but made a little syrup.    How late will this season go?

Same Story As Past Days

Nothing happening with the trees.  Getting tired of waiting. Up to 33/34 today but cloudy all day.  Drizzle stated late this afternoon.  A wintery mix for this evening.

Still Waiting For Weather To Change

Down to 1 overnight.  Up to 33 during the day.  Sunny until 3:00 PM.  It takes so long to warm when its so cold.  Nothing happening with the trees.  Tonight and tomorrow is a wintery mix and rain.   Tomorrow, rain and 40.   So we are still waiting for the weather to change.

Fresh Snow Over Night

We got about 2” of snow over night.  Enough to make everything white again.  15 over night.  25 during the day.  Sunny, but a cold wind.  Trees are still frozen.

Frozen Taps

10 overnight.  32 during the day.  And sunny.  There was melting.  And sap was moving in the trees.  The spouts have big sap cycles on them.  That only happens when the sap in the tree is flowing but freezes when it hits the below freezing temperatures of the tap hole.  Operations on vacuum tubing would be able to harvest sap today. But with the older bucket technology we get nothing.  If this happens frequently during the season it negatively effects overall production.


Its snowing now.  1”-2” possible.  Tomorrow only upper 20’s.  But later in the week looks promising.

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