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Bottling the Last Batch

March 23, 2019

Splitting up the boiling and bottling processes have made everything more manageable, as they can both take a long time, especially at higher volumes. Water boils at 212 degrees, and syrup boils at 219. I got my near-syrup up to a boil and it was already at 215. You have to keep an eye on the pot a... (Read More)

Time to Pull the Taps

March 22, 2019

Only a few trees have been producing sap, and I have never done a boil past March 17th, in fear that the syrup would be too dark and bitter - which is what happens late in the season. So with the help of a few more dogs, I took my little red wagon, pulled out the taps and gathered buckets and lids. ... (Read More)

Third Boil of 2019

March 17, 2019

Conditions have been perfect for sap production, and a few days resulted in 25 gallons of sap each. In no time I had over 150 gallons of sap. I used the days ahead of the scheduled boil date to put the reverse osmosis system to good use, reducing the sap to around half the volume and 5% sugar. My n... (Read More)

Second Boil of 2019

February 24, 2019

A good week of sap harvesting, along with good weather and an open schedule, allowed for another boil on Saturday, February 23, 2019. The Reverse Osmosis (RO) system processed the sap on Friday, which removed half of the water prior to boiling. I am really appreciating the time and effort saved in u... (Read More)

First Boil of 2019

February 9, 2019

The reverse osmosis system worked as expected, and Friday morning, I had around 25 gallons of sap with a sugar content of nearly 4%. Unfortunately, it was also a rainy morning, but a freeze was expected for Saturday and Sunday, so I decided to boil what I had on my own. The rain cleared up, the sun... (Read More)

Reverse Osmosis

February 7, 2019

Maple sap is basically water. The clear liquid drips out of the tree drop-by-drop and has only a tiny bit of sugar in it. It can be measured with a refractometer and the sugar content is generally only about 2%. It gets to be syrup by removing most of the water, traditionally by boiling (see How Syr... (Read More)

Tree Tapping 2019

February 3, 2019

In keeping up with the traditional pre-Super Bowl tree tapping, 20 taps are now in! I am ramping up this year to make up for a less-than-average 2018. The boys have the flu, so I didn't have any extra hands to assist, so I loaded up my Mobile Tapping Station (MTS) and got to it. Mobile Tapping Sy... (Read More)

Solo Boils

February 24, 2018

Maple season is a hectic time. Despite the usual challenges of scheduling conflicts, weather, and sap availability, this year was even more complicated with home improvement projects. Last weekend was spent painting the first floor in a rush before the floors were to be refinished and loosing access... (Read More)

Tree Tapping 2018

February 4, 2018

The tradition of "Tap-off before Kickoff" has occurred once again, and having teenage boys is starting to pay off. Despite the bickering about whose turn it was to drill or tap at each tree, Scott and Jonathan made quick work of setting up 15 taps and buckets. The season has begun! The tem... (Read More)

Second Boil - 2017

February 26, 2017

Another successful boil today! It's been an unseasonably strange week, without a lot of sap production, but I had a lot in storage. Saturday temperatures were in the sixties, but threatened rain, so I planned for Sunday, which barely reached 40 degrees. The boys had restacked the wood pile and cover... (Read More)

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