Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tough Letting Go

Well this weekend I boiled for the last time for this short season. Saturday I boiled down the last 50-60 gallons of sap that I had accumulated earlier that week. It was monsoon like and I'm so glad I had a sugar shack (however meager it may be) to shelter myself in.

I ended up with around 3.75 gallons of finished syrup which is a big jump in my production over my 1st season

Though I've taken in all my buckets and saks and after tonight it'll surely be the end of the season, I still have some trees tapped in hopes  of a cold spell.  By chance if the trees produce a small amount of sap I'll boil it down on the propane. As far as my evaporator, I have to clean the pans and misc. equippment and start thinking about modifying the arch into a brick oven for making pizza. Stay tuned for the Brick Oven Pizza and Garden Blogs!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Made some more syrup this weekend

This weekend brought my boiling days to five. I awoke early Saturday morning and boiled down 20 gallons so I could bring some nearly finished syrup up to the nature center to demonstrate how to finish off on a propane burner.

Sunday morning I modified my arch because it seemed to be choking for more air So I increased the air flow buy removing some fire bricks from the back half of the arch. Lit the fire and before long I had all four pans boiling really well. I was so pleased that I figured out the correct mix of air to fire. Now my evaporator runs cleaner, burns hotter, and boils sap down quick.

Ansonia Nature Center's Maple Festival

This past weekend I participated in the nature centers 1st annual maple festival. It was a bright sunlit breezy day filled with many activities such as the history of maple sugaring, how to tap a tree, identifying maple trees, pancake eating contest, and live demos of a barrel boiler in action as well as a demo finishing syrup on a propane burner. Plenty of maple goodies to sample and purchase.
All in all a great day to spend outdoors learning about natures sweet annual natural resource.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Boil Continues

I've made a couple more boils to date over the past weekend which brings me up to over two gallons of syrup. Its nice to start to see the "fruits" from all the effort it takes to keep up with this crazy maple addiction we have.

Sap flow has been generally good but each week has a few slow days. But he stronger flows even it out. I'm getting at least 50 gallons of sap weekly from 25 taps. Definitely enough to keep me busy.