Spring!! Sun, Sap and Singing Birds

by Mary 3/12/2016 7:33:00 AM

With over 2200 gallons of sap to process and still flowing, we'll have more delicious syrup made this weekend. The temperatures have been in the 60's (delightful, but definitely not normal) the last two days and when the sun is out, the sap surges. One night below freezing, rapidly melting snow deep in the woods and cold air off of the lake provided the necessary stimulus to keep our season going.

It's a wonderful time to be in the woods, particularly in the morning, as the nuthatches and cardinals call, geese and whistling swans migrate back, pileated woodpeckers pound the trees and even a barred owl made an appearance last night.  The ice will probably be off the lake within a week and syrup season will soon come to a close.

We'll have a reminder we are still in March with a cold snap later this week, along with rain and possibly snow showers. How long will the sap continue to flow? It's always a guess, but most likely, we're nearing the end with the unusually warm temperatures and eventually budding trees.

  • SAT 03/12clear67°/48°Mostly sunnyPrecip chance: 6%Wind: 5.8 S
  • SUN 03/13pc-rain55°/48°ShowersPrecip chance: 67%Wind: 8.1 SE
  • MON 03/14partly-cloudy59°/50°Intermittent cloudsPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 4.6 S
  • TUE 03/15rain55°/38°RainPrecip chance: 78%Wind: 8.1 W
  • WED 03/16freezing-mix43°/33°Rain and snowPrecip chance: 56%Wind: 17.3 WNW
  • THU 03/17cloudy42°/30°CloudyPrecip chance: 56%Wind: 9.2 N
  • FRI 03/18mostly-cloudy43°/27°DrearyPrecip chance: 30%Wind: 8.1 NNE
  • SAT 03/19cloudy44°/31°CloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 15 WSW
  • SUN 03/20mostly-cloudy44°/31°Mostly cloudyPrecip chance: 4%Wind: 16.1 NW
  • MON 03/21cloudy38°/22°CloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 11.5 ENE
  • TUE 03/22clear41°/21°Mostly sunnyPrecip chance: 4%Wind: 11.5 NW
  • WED 03/23cloudy41°/28°CloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 9.2 ENE
  • THU 03/24cloudy42°/32°CloudyPrecip chance: 25%Wind: 16.1 N
  • FRI 03/25partly-cloudy49°/36°Partly sunnyPrecip chance: 1%Wind: 9.2 NW
  • SAT 03/26cloudy36°/19°CloudyPrecip chance: 55%Wind: 5.8 WNW


by Mary 3/10/2016 8:05:00 AM

 Yesterday was an amazing day/evening in the sugarhouse as we produced 75 gallons of delicious maple syrup. We had approximately 3200 gallons of 2% sap to process from the last 2 days and thankfully the Reverse Osmosis machine concentrated the sap to 8%. Between firing the evaporator with wood every 10-15 minutes, watching the syrup thermometer for the correct temperature of 219 degrees, testing the sugar content for 66.9% (Brix), filtering the syrup through the filter press to remove sugar sand, grading and tasting the maple syrup, :-) and filling another barrel of syrup kept us busy all day long. Whew!!  But, this is what we look forward to each year and know the season can be short, but sweet!


Now, the important weather information. We had a low of 31 last night and the forecast today is a high of 48, becoming sunny. Tonight the low will be somewhere near 33 (probably lower in the woods and cool breeze off the lake) with sun and 65 on Friday! Crazy warm “April”weather in March! The sap should flow well this afternoon and even faster tomorrow.  That being said, one is wise to never predict sap flow - just be amazed by the awesome flow or lack of it.






For any of you science geeks who want to know more specifics on sap:gallon of sugar, here is some interesting info from the University of Vermont Procter Maple Research Center, where they know “all things maple”. Their website is fascinating if you are interested in anything related to maple trees, sap, research . . .



   The Jones "Rule of 86" :


   The gist of the rule is that if one divides 86 by the sugar content of sap, you can           estimate the amount of sap required to produce a gallon of syrup. 

                  S=86/X andW=S-1 

 Where: S = the initial volume of sap (or concentrate) required to produce 1 gallon of syrup 

X = the starting sap (or concentrate) sugar concentration in °Brix.
W = the amount of water to be boiled off to produce 1 gallon of syrup

  Without delving too deeply into the chemistry of sugar solutions or the math, a much closer approximation of the amount of sap (or concentrate) needed to produce one gallon of syrup at a density 66.9°Brix, the formula needs to be slightly adjusted again.  (We concentrate our sap to 8%)

S = 88.2/X-0.32 and W = S-1

     °Brix     S (gal) 

       8.0     10.71   



Warm temps, Sun and Lots of Sap! Plus, news on bottling this year's syrup.

by Mary 3/8/2016 4:45:00 PM

 The last few days have been more like mid-late April and today we had a record high of 70, lots of sun and little wind.  It's nearly impossible to predict when the sap will flow and much to our surprise, it has flowed like crazy the past 3 days.  We have nearly 3200 gallons of sap to process through the Reverse Osmosis machine, and the sap continues to flow. We'll end up with about 800 gallons of concentrated sap to boil tonight and tomorrow into delicious maple syrup.

The soil is warming up, but we still have ice and some snow deep in the woods.  Temps will drop into the mid-30's tonight and get to "only" 45 tomorrow. Depending on cloud cover and wind, our sap flow might decrease. We've learned to never try and predict sap flow.

Much of our syrup from last year has been sold, but pints and half-pints are still available and should hold you until we bottle, if you need maple syrup ASAP.  Most likely, we'll bottle this year's syrup by the end of March and open up availability for all sizes.  There will be a slight price increase (we haven't done this in over 5 years), but the syrup will still be affordable.

Here is the forecast for the next 5 days:

  Extended Forecast for

2 Miles WNW Minnetrista MN

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Cloudy, with a low around 38. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 20 mph decreasing to 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy
    and Breezy
    then Cloudy

    Low: 38 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 44. West northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    High: 44 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 32 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 51. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.


    High: 51 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 34. West northwest wind around 5 mph becoming south after midnight.


    Low: 34 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: Sunny, with a high near 58. South wind 5 to 15 mph.


    High: 58 °F

  • Friday

    Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 41. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

    Mostly Clear

    Low: 41 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 58. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 58 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44. East southeast wind around 5 mph.


    Low: 44 °F