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Author Topic: Maple Sugar Time!  (Read 4899 times)

Offline jdesq

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Maple Sugar Time!
« on: February 19, 2007, 02:43:18 PM »
I'm going to tap some trees and try to make some maple syrup for the first time. I'm starting out this year with 6 taps and hope to make about a gallon of syrup. If all goes well, next year I'll add some more trees and taps on. Does anyone in the forum do this, and if so any advice for a tree tappin sap boilin newbie.

Offline thomashton

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2007, 04:03:11 PM »
Have you ever read anything about sappin?
If you want a gallon of syrup, you'll need about 43 gallons of sap. Do you have somewhere to store that much sap? Do you have a place to evaporate that much water? Think of it this way, do you want to have 42 gallons of vaporized water in the air in your home? Your doors will swell shut as will your windows. Your wallpaper will peel and you'll have generally loads of problems. So, you'll need to do it outside. Then you need to conisder heat source, wood fire or oil/gas burning and all the fuel it will take to evaporate it. If you have the trees nearby, you probably have wood for free. That is your best choice.

Now, do you have large, wide pans with lots of surface area to evaporate off the water? A stock pot ain't gonna do it. You'll also need an entire day so plan on spending from first  thing in the morning to night boiling. Then the fun of clean up comes around.

So, there is A LOT of work to it, but is also very rewarding work. Make sure you get the first flows of sap from the roots up to the branches. Those have the highest sugar content. Also, if you have suitable trees on the south and southwest side of an opening, then they will get the sun first and begin the sap movement earlier. Start there. Shouldn't be too hard to find just 6 of them.

Also, what are you using for buckets? I would recommend milk jugs. They are free, covered with a lid already and when you cut a hole in the top side of them, they will hand right on the tap. Make sure you check your buckets often, oh, and have a great time!
After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!

Offline Kev

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 09:48:20 PM »
It's not hard but you will need to boil outside.

Storey publishing, which is right around the corner from me here in New England/Upstate NY has a great pamphlet on it for $4. Their books are very useful and practical. It's worth the $4.

Making Maple Syrup: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-51 (Paperback)
by Noel Perrin (Author)
List Price: $3.95 
 
good luck, nothing beats grade B syrup on pancakes.

kev
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Offline jdesq

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2007, 10:04:32 AM »
I do have that book and one other one called Back Yard Sugaring- both very helpful. I will be evaporating outside and realize that a lot of time goes in it for a little syrup. I think it's important to  continue country traditions and hope that this is the beginning of many years of making maple syrup.

Offline thomashton

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2007, 05:44:14 PM »
Back yard sugaring is a good book. that will give you a lot of insight even though there seems to be very little text (haven't read it in about 2 years so don't remember too well). The pics are good and representative although a bit hard to make out as they are in b and w. All in all a good book though.

I feel like you do. I think it is important to keep up country traditions. If I didn't I would just buy my eggs for cheaper (although more inferior) at the store, and honey there too instead of getting stung and dealing with a huge mess at extraction time. Glad to find other people of the same frame of mind who are willing to put up with some minor inconvieniences for a whole lot of experience and superior products.
After 18 months of reading and preparation, my girls finally arrived on April 11th (2006)!

Offline Kev

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2007, 07:49:50 PM »
I do have that book and one other one called Back Yard Sugaring- both very helpful. I will be evaporating outside and realize that a lot of time goes in it for a little syrup. I think it's important to  continue country traditions and hope that this is the beginning of many years of making maple syrup.

I couldn't agree more. I had hoped to tap a tree on my hill, but the wind took it last winter, so I put it in the fireplace.

kev
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Offline jdesq

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2007, 03:16:14 PM »
With my 6 taps, I'm averaging 4 gallons of sap a day. I'm boiling when I have about 35 gallons which should be Wednesday.

Offline Kev

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2007, 05:19:37 PM »
With my 6 taps, I'm averaging 4 gallons of sap a day. I'm boiling when I have about 35 gallons which should be Wednesday.

That's great. I don't think the sap has even started to run here. We still have snow cover, and it's only gotten up to about 40... 50 would be better.

kev
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Offline jdesq

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2007, 03:47:59 PM »
My first boil ever on Saturday was pretty cool. After 9 hours outside I ended up with 1 gallon of the best tasting maple syrup I ever had! --Pat self on back--- Next Saturday should be about the same with a few improvements on my arch that I think will speed up the process a little.

Offline buzzbee

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2007, 04:00:20 PM »
Good luck,I admire the effort you are putting in and hope you get plenty of Sweet Rewards for your effort! :)

Offline Understudy

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2007, 05:49:16 PM »
My first boil ever on Saturday was pretty cool. After 9 hours outside I ended up with 1 gallon of the best tasting maple syrup I ever had! --Pat self on back--- Next Saturday should be about the same with a few improvements on my arch that I think will speed up the process a little.
Trade you some honey for some syrup. 

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Offline Kev

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2007, 07:49:45 PM »
My first boil ever on Saturday was pretty cool. After 9 hours outside I ended up with 1 gallon of the best tasting maple syrup I ever had! --Pat self on back--- Next Saturday should be about the same with a few improvements on my arch that I think will speed up the process a little.

That's great. You know, I prefer the darker stuff, grade B. Most folks don't realize that the syrup grading system comes from back when maple sugar was used as table sugar. So the grade A fancy has less maple flavor because that was desirable.

Kev
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Offline bluegrass

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2007, 09:47:18 PM »
You will not beable to store the sap....it sours after a few days. You can boil it in a pot on the stove, when you stick a spatula in it and it sheets off of its when lifted out...it is done. Before we moved to Kentucky we where from Vermont, ran 5000 taps mix of line and buckets. We still have the sugar bush, but family only sinks about 200 taps now. 

"good luck, nothing beats grade B syrup on pancakes." Spoken like a true Northeasterner; keep the dark stuff for our selves and trick the flatlanders into buying the light stuff by giving it a name like Fancy.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2007, 07:22:10 AM by bluegrass »
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Offline Kev

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2007, 07:50:32 PM »
"good luck, nothing beats grade B syrup on pancakes." Spoken like a true Northeasterner; keep the dark stuff for our selves and trick the flatlanders into buying the light stuff by giving it a name like Fancy.

funny thing is, I grew up in Memphis. BUt I married a Mainer, so she let me in on the secret. One of my yankee friends prefers corn syrup. UGH.

kev
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Offline latebee

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2007, 09:47:18 PM »
Hi jdesq----I have been making maple syrup for over forty years,I usually tap about a thousand sugar maple trees and produce somewhere between 220 to 300 gallons per year here in western NY.If you have any specific questions,pm me and I will be glad to offer some free advice.Once you start mapling it's like beekeeping-----you are hooked for life!!
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Offline bluegrass

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2007, 08:51:29 AM »
Latebee
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Offline jdesq

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2007, 11:49:18 AM »
Hi Latebee, I may take you up on the offer! I need some ideas on how to improve my backyard evaporator. I grew up in the fingerlake region of NY and always was interested in syrup making- but it took me 52 years before I got the chance to make my own. It was a great experience and am looking forward to next season already.

Offline Mici

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2007, 11:55:42 AM »
just a question, how much does a liter of maple syrup cost, there across the ocean?
the price is like..sky high! 1 liter costs...25€ that's...what 35$, as if it was liquid gold or something.

Offline bluegrass

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2007, 01:29:52 PM »
Gallon runs about $35.00
Quart about$18.00
pint $12.00 ish.
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Offline Mici

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Re: Maple Sugar Time!
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2007, 01:33:59 PM »
ok so...4 liters for the price of 1, darn...though the syrup is in the "health" food department.

 

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