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The Storm After the Calm

by Peter 3/7/2016 7:35:00 AM

Last week we spent a lot of time waiting for warmer weather to arrive.  There wasn't much work that we needed to do or even could do with prolonged cold weather.  Usually during the syrup making season, daily tasks include maintaining the sap collection lines and looking for leaks.  But this can only be done when the lines are thawed and sap is flowing, because we have to be able to see where air is getting into the lines.  We had only boiled a couple of times, so we didn't need to cut, split or stack any wood yet.  The sugar house was clean.  The tanks were clean.  There really wasn't much maple work to do.  We were optimistic that things were going to be good as soon as the temperatures got above freezing.  Yesterday we witnessed the fastest flows that we have ever seen in the sugarbush.  I don't think that we collected a record amount of total sap, but the rate that it was flowing into our lower tank in the middle of the afternoon was amazing.  Our vacuum releaser was emptying 4 gallons of sap every 1:30 to 1:45.  That means that we were collecting about 2.5 gallons of sap per minute!  Between 1:30 yesterday afternoon and 4:00 this morning, 1300 gallons of sap was collected.

The  10 day forecast looks a little bit too warm for great sap flows.  Our hope is that the meteorologists are just too optimistic and trying to boost ratings and readership with warm forecasts.  We need the freeze/thaw cycle to get really good sap flows.  Our forest is next to Whaletail Lake, so it does stay a little cooler than other areas until the ice melts off of the lake.  We are hoping that we can get a few more hard freezes in the next 10 days to keep the sap flowing.

  • MON 03/07partly-cloudy62°/56°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 8.1 SE
  • TUE 03/08pc-rain64°/38°ShowersPrecip chance: 60%Wind: 16.1 SW
  • WED 03/09partly-cloudy51°/35°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 5%Wind: 6.9 NW
  • THU 03/10clear50°/36°SunnyPrecip chance: 9%Wind: 4.6 NE
  • FRI 03/11clear57°/40°SunnyPrecip chance: 6%Wind: 5.8 SW
  • SAT 03/12partly-cloudy53°/42°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 8.1 SSE
  • SUN 03/13mostly-cloudy54°/38°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 8.1 WSW
  • MON 03/14partly-cloudy54°/42°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 4.6 NW
  • TUE 03/15mostly-cloudy57°/46°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 8.1 ESE
  • WED 03/16mostly-cloudy62°/30°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 35%Wind: 5.8 NW
  • THU 03/17mostly-cloudy43°/29°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 13.8 WNW
  • FRI 03/18mostly-cloudy42°/21°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 35%Wind: 3.5 S
  • SAT 03/19cloudy44°/24°CloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 9.2 NE
  • SUN 03/20partly-cloudy43°/22°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 30%Wind: 3.5 NW
  • MON 03/21partly-cloudy42°/28°Intermittent cloudsPrecip chance: 14%Wind: 6.9 WSW
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  • MON 03/07partly-cloudy62°/56°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 8.1 SE
  • TUE 03/08pc-rain64°/38°ShowersPrecip chance: 60%Wind: 16.1 SW
  • WED 03/09partly-cloudy51°/35°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 5%Wind: 6.9 NW
  • THU 03/10clear50°/36°SunnyPrecip chance: 9%Wind: 4.6 NE
  • FRI 03/11clear57°/40°SunnyPrecip chance: 6%Wind: 5.8 SW
  • SAT 03/12partly-cloudy53°/42°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 8.1 SSE
  • SUN 03/13mostly-cloudy54°/38°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 8.1 WSW
  • MON 03/14partly-cloudy54°/42°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 4.6 NW
  • TUE 03/15mostly-cloudy57°/46°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 8.1 ESE
  • WED 03/16mostly-cloudy62°/30°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 35%Wind: 5.8 NW
  • THU 03/17mostly-cloudy43°/29°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 13.8 WNW
  • FRI 03/18mostly-cloudy42°/21°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 35%Wind: 3.5 S
  • SAT 03/19cloudy44°/24°CloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 9.2 NE
  • SUN 03/20partly-cloudy43°/22°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 30%Wind: 3.5 NW
  • MON 03/21partly-cloudy42°/28°Intermittent cloudsPrecip chance: 14%Wind: 6.9 WSW
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Syrup!!

by Don 2/28/2016 11:06:00 AM

The record setting warmth of 58 degrees on Saturday allowed sap flows of over 1 gallon/tap. By Peter's and my agreed upon scale, this is a "good" sap flow.  If the flow had reached more than 1.5 gallons/tap, we would have been in Trump territory of "Great!" sap flow.

The Reverse Osmosis has allowed us to complete the boil in 4 hours instead of 12!  We produced 15 gallons of medium amber syrup ("amber rich" by the new grade designation).

It is a delight to sample the first returns from the sugarbush.

The next few days look too cold for sap flow, but warmer temps are forecasted for the end of the week. We're always optimistic in the sugarbush and hoping for   terrific flows to yield syrup.

Surge of Sap!

by Mary 2/25/2016 7:35:00 AM

With temperatures more like late March, we've had several days of impressive sap flow.  Our earliest start to the maple syrup season, we have 1800 gallons of sap to process. Today will be the first day of making syrup by concentrating the 2.5% sugar in the sap to 11%, using the reverse osmosis machine. Our wood -fired evaporator will bring this sap to 67% sugar, at which point it is maple syrup. The RO process reduces wood consumption and the time required to make syrup by 75% .

While the forecasts can change, the extended outlook looks very favorable for sap flow and, in the end, delicious maple syrup! Stay tuned!

  • THU 02/25mostly-cloudy34°/20°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 1%Wind: 13.8 NW
  • FRI 02/26partly-cloudy42°/32°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 1%Wind: 6.9 SW
  • SAT 02/27partly-cloudy56°/35°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 1%Wind: 8.1 SW
  • SUN 02/28snow42°/29°FlurriesPrecip chance: 55%Wind: 11.5 N
  • MON 02/29mostly-cloudy44°/20°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 11.5 WSW
  • TUE 03/01partly-cloudy31°/21°Intermittent cloudsPrecip chance: 14%Wind: 9.2 NE
  • WED 03/02partly-cloudy30°/15°Intermittent cloudsPrecip chance: 10%Wind: 11.5 NE
  • THU 03/03clear35°/20°Mostly sunnyPrecip chance: 12%Wind: 12.7 WSW
  • FRI 03/04mostly-cloudy34°/27°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 0%Wind: 6.9 E
  • SAT 03/05mostly-cloudy37°/26°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 11.5 W
  • SUN 03/06cloudy38°/26°CloudyPrecip chance: 16%Wind: 5.8 SSW
  • MON 03/07cloudy42°/28°CloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 6.9 ENE
  • TUE 03/08cloudy42°/30°CloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 10.4 SE
  • WED 03/09cloudy42°/35°CloudyPrecip chance: 35%Wind: 13.8 SE
  • THU 03/10clear53°/33°SunnyPrecip chance: 16%Wind: 6.9 SSE
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