The Maple Sugar Book

"A complete syrup and sugar maker comprises in himself a woodcutter, a forester, a botanist, an ecologist, a meteorologist, an agronomist, a chemist, a cook, an economist, and a merchant.  Sugaring is an art, an education, and a maintenance."

 

Helen and Scott Nearing
The Maple Sugar Book, 1950

The 6th Batch PDF Print
Saturday, 06 April 2019 15:40

Into the woods by 6:30 AM.  Soaking the syrup pan worked well. Quick cleanup this morning.  Struggled to get the fire going.  Used a big piece of wood which elevated the kindling too high causing too much draft.  Still managed with one match, but took longer then usual to catch.

 

R/O going by 7:15 AM.  Done by 10:45 AM: 81 gallons/hour.  Will shop around for membranes before next season.

 

5 batches into the milk can.  By 12:30 PM we were done cooking, but continued carefully cooking to reduce the amount of sap in the evaporator to making emptying, finishing and cleaning it easier.  This requires careful attention to firing and monitoring sap level in the evaporator:  no more sap to add if the fire gets too hot.  Have to carefully simmer it down.  A 6th batch became ready so we took it off.  The fire was very low by that point.  We had R/O water nearby if needed.  We spread out the fire under the evaporator and closed the damper causing the heat to rapidly disperse.  We achieved our goal:  the sap level is very low and the fire and residual heat will not burn the pans.  This will make the remaining evaporator work easier.    Some seasons we end up with 30+ gallons to finish off.  Takes time to finish.

 

Batches into the milk can

1  8:00 AM

2  9:15 AM

3 10:05 AM

4 11:05 AM

5 12:00 PM

6   1:35 PM

 

Back to the farmhouse by 2:30 PM.

 

2018 Season @ A Glance

Taps
Feb 22     200
Feb 23     100
Feb 24     209
Total        511

 

Sap        Gal   Brix
Feb 26   435   2.25
Mar 03   400   2.00
Mar 05   255   2.50
Mar 12   400   3.00
Mar 15   440   2.25
Mar 18   505   2.00
Mar 23   325   2.50
Mar 25   400   2.00
Mar 27   415   2.00
Mar 29   200   2.00
Mar 31   165   2.00
Apr   6     25   3.00
Total :    3965

 

Bottled  Qt  Pt  500  250
Mar 10    25   3
Mar 10    15  16
Mar 10    19                2
Mar 11    20   1    2     1
Mar 17    24   14  2     2
Mar 21    37    2
Mar 22    38
Mar 27    28
Mar 27      2   1
Mar 27   25    12
Mar 29   24    10
Mar 31   24    14
Apr   7   27      2   6
Apr   7   17    12  10   1
Apr  10  23     1

Total:  101 gal