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March 14th (Pi Day) Update

by Don 3/14/2021 11:13:00 AM

Since our last update, the weather has been very favorable for the last few days - lows in the 20's, and highs in the 40's.  The warming sun has made it pleasant to be in the woods, and encouraged the trees to begin giving up sap by mid-mornings.  We have been obtaining over 1 gallon of sap per tap per day (we have 1200 taps).

All of our syrup has been a rich and delicious dark robust flavor.  Under the older classification, this would be "dark amber". Our sap remains consistent at 1.8% sugar concentration, which means it takes approximately 43 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

We are able to concentrate the sap further than 1.8% through our reverse osmosis (RO) machine to 8%. While this may seems a modest improvement, it actually means 75% of the water is removed.  The savings in time and energy equals 75% as well. Instead of being able to make about 3 gallons of syrup per hour, we can bump it up to 11 gallons!

We are keeping pace with our production of last year, and hope for continued good flows for several more weeks. 

Thanks for reading our post, and we'll update later in the week. 

Update from Day 5!

by Mary 3/10/2021 10:22:00 AM

With unseasonably warm weather the last few days (a new high of 62° on 3/9), the maple trees are "waking up" and releasing the sap. We have 500 gallons of super concentrated sap (10 Brix - or % sugar) after the sap has gone through the Reverse Osmosis machine. Coming out of the tree, the sugar content in the sap is 1.8 - 2.2 % sugar. 

With the new Jones Rule of 88.2 for 66.9° Brix Syrup, this means it will only take 8.5 gallons to make 1 gallons of syrup. 

  

 

The Season Has Begun - The Race to Maple Syrup is On!

by Don 3/7/2021 2:40:00 PM

Temperatures have been warmer than average for early March and we began collecting sap on March 2nd. The initial best flows come from the southern exposed trees, which bask in spring sun early in the season. 

One of our first tasks is to walk the entire sugarbush looking for any leaks in the tubing, or loose spiles in the trees. The vacuum pump can generate a potential vacuum of 28-29 inches of mercury. When I first turned on the pump we were at a disappointing 10 inches!!!!! This meant a major leak, or multiple minor leaks throughout the sugarbush. We walked the woods, listening for the high-pitched whistle, signaling a leak. They are most often due to squirrels chewing on the tubing, maybe sensing delicious sweet sap. The damaged tubing  is replaced, or if it's minimal, we can wrap cold weather electrical tape to seal it!!!Fortunately, we don't seem to have any damage to the tubing from deer roaming the property. 

The next 10-12 days look very favorable for sap flows.  We have begun processing the first 1300 gallons of sap we've collected. Today we will see how our evaporator runs for the 2021 season. Check back to see the results!