The Season is Over

by Peter 4/15/2008 7:29:00 AM

The maple syrup season is sort of like Christmas Break to a child.  Great anticipation precedes it, it only lasts for a little while, and then suddenly it is over.  The maple syrup season came to a close a little more than three weeks after it began.  We had our last boil of sap on Saturday, April 5th.  In total, we made 193 gallons of syrup from over 8000 gallons of sap.  This was our greatest production volume we have ever had, due partly to good weather, but also to the installation of a new pipeline tubing system that is connected to a high powered vacuum pump.  

Of the 843 taps that we put out, 643 were connected to pipeline and 200 required manual emptying of 4 gallon plastic bags.  While the bags are much more work, there is something very satisfying about seeing the product of each individual tree.  You'll notice how the sap dripping from the spile below looks just like water.  The sap starts out at 2% sugar, so it is 98% water.  The removal of all that water through evaporation is what takes so much time and energy. 

 The sap stops flowing when the weather stays above 32 degrees for several days.  As the buds emerge, there is a chemical change in the sap that causes the syrup to have an "off flavor". 

The Syrup Season is Underway

by Peter 3/24/2008 2:07:00 AM

The maple syrup season has gotten off to a good start, with temperatures fluctuating above and below the freezing point of water.  We have made 45 gallons of Grade A Dark Amber syrup that is very tasty.  The syrup has been a little darker this year than previous years, however the flavor is exceptional.  We are thinking that the darker color is due to longer boiling periods, which are a result of low sugar concentration in the sap.  Our most recent measurements show that the sap is 1.7% sugar.  In order to convert it to syrup, we have to boil it until it is 67% sugar.   Currently, with this sugar concentration, it takes 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.  This is both time and energy intensive, but a fun way to transition from winter to spring.

The weather forecast is promising for the next 10 days.  We will be able to continue making maple syrup as long as the weather pattern fluctuates around 32 degrees.  The recent 8" of snow should help prolong the season into early April.

Place your orders early to ensure that you get some of this year's maple syrup crop.

Vacuum Pump

by Peter 2/17/2008 6:26:00 AM
The new vacuum pump has been installed.  Now we are waiting for warm weather to turn it on and see an increase in sap flow.