Into the woods by 9:00 AM. Back to the house by 5:00 PM. Filled the collecting tank with water to use for cleaning. Got the big pan off the evaporator and rinsed. Then back on the evaporator and filled with water and cleaning solution. The cleaning solution needs heat to work. The evaporator is not too coated with nitre. When we make less syrup there is less boiling so the pan does not get as coated. The big pan is heavy and awkward. We place a ramp on the side of evaporator to slide the pan off.
All the buckets and covers are picked up and back in storage. The storage tanks are cleaned. Getting the valves off was a challenge. The wrench was not turning them loose. Had to get the WD-40. The sugar in the sap must have dried and caused the threads to stick.
Heard from our equipment supplier. He is farther North and still making syrup. He is also on vacuum tubing which helps keep the tap holes fresh. Syrup makers the north of the state may have some season left. It can even get cold and snow here yet but the sap has already moved in the trees.
All the sap from the evaporator is now in the front pan. It will be a dark batch of syrup. But some people like dark syrup. It will simmer over night and should be ready to go to the finishing pan by tomorrow.