Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1st Boil

Well I boiled this past Saturday (2/20/2010) starting at 3pm or so and finished around 9:30 At that point I let the evaporator finish the fuel and I drew off the almost finished syrup. Sunday I finished the batch on the propane burner. I bottled 3/4 gallon of dark amber into various sized bottles.

I was hoping for a lighter grade but my first time using the new rig presented issues. It was burning so fast and hot on the two front pans I couldn't keep up. The next time I will control my fire so it doesn't rage so intense. Overall I'm happy with this years first batch of very tasty syrup.

Friday, February 19, 2010

...70 plus gallons later

Well here it is Friday, five days later after putting out the taps and I have around 70 gallons of sap in cold storage waiting for first boil of the 2010 season which will be tomorrow.

The trees around my area had a very good run this week. Some of the bigger trees had 4 gallons each for  a couple of the days. Today its windy around 40ยบ. It seems like the flow is slower today which is fine by me so maybe I can catch up.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mother Nature's Valentine Gift

I tapped somewhere between 12-15 on Valentines day. The sap was flowing!! I already gathered 7+ gallons. I'm hoping to boil on the upcoming weekend but I might have to do a late nighter mid week.

I tapped another 5 today. I'm trying these with tubing going into 5 gal. pails. Sure looks professional. During lunchtime, I took a quick walk and all systems go.The pails have some sap.

I'm surprised just how productive this first run is. I probably gathered another 12 gallons this evening. many taps were dripping steadily into the evening so I'm sure I'll have another batch tomorrow morning.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sugar Shack Construction

We finally got around to putting up the shelter around the evaporator yesterday. My good buddy Rich lent his expertise with our design as we build technique. I'm trying to keep it portable but at the same time it needs to structurally sound. When we got to the roof I wanted to have space to allow the steam to escape so we came up with this design. Below are some photos of the progress.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Backyard Evaporator 2010

This will be my second season at the fine craft of boiling down sap the backyard way. Started last year and found out just how satisfying and addicting making maple syrup can be. Being  outside for hours on end and tending a fire- two of my favorite activities.

My current work flow consists of boiling down the sap on a wood fired homemade cement block evaporator lined with firebrick. Followed by finishing off in a pot on a turkey fryer (propane) to have more exact control of the finished product. From there, I bring it inside on the stove to keep warm and bottle. Filtering along the way throughout the process ensures a beautiful clear and tasty product.

For the 2010 season, I plan on 30 -35 taps. I'll start tapping mid February.