How's the sap coming in?

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treerooted
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How's the sap coming in?

Post by treerooted » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:11 pm

Great year! I only have a few trees but the temps are steady and so much better then the crazy up and downs of last year.

My last two batches were cloudy though, not sure if I want to do a final filter or not as it's just for home consumption.

Anyone out there tap tap tapping away? How's it going?

I love maple syrup season as it's the first thing to get excited about after winter and before things start growing again. Plus the sweet stuff. I hope to make enough to last the year and use syrup as my main sugar source.
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Killerbunny
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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by Killerbunny » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:20 am

I have a recipe that requires maple sugar. What the heck is that? Sounds like it might be difficult to make.
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TomK
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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by TomK » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:35 am

Treerooted, i pulled my taps on Monday..not so much because the sap stopped, or that moths had shown up but more because my regular work got in the way and i didn't have any more time...you are right, its always something to look forward to in late winter and I get all excited in anticipation...i make about 3-4 gallons on a very basic boiling setup but its great fun...and it helps me clean up the bush of a lot of the deadfall as the fuel for the fire..i don't think people have an appreciation for how much time it takes nor the amount of wood needed for the fire..I would like to get a more efficient evaproator but that another 'fun' project for my spare time, whatever that is..lol....as for the cloudy syrup, I am not to sure you can filter it out but if you have small batches try a coffee filter...its what I use and theres always lots of fire debris in the sap from the open fire that i can't skim out which the filter catches and my syrup is crystal clear...have fun... :running-chicken:
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WLLady
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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by WLLady » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:36 am

bumper crop down here.....4 weeks this year! most places here are thinking they'll be pulling taps next week, the buds are swelling like mad on the trees now, so won't be long before it's buddy. we aren't boiling but i have 3 friends that are. maybe next year for us!
i never had luck with coffee filters, they always gummed up fast-i would stack 2 or 3, and as the first clogged i would pull it out, and then the next would clog and i'd pull it out and eventually get it through....i just ended up just eating cloudy syrup because of lack of patience LOL. there are microfiber filters you can get specifically for sap filtering that are actually worth the money for getting the cloudiness out if you need crystal clear (like you are selling it, or gifts etc)-for my small scale few liters at a time i would just cut them into a piece that fit in my funnel, and one filter mat well, i haven't used it all yet in 10 years of using it. just wash out with hot hot water from the kettle and reuse the next year. ah, next year maybe i'll be out making our own again...i miss it....
the folks down the street from us have a wood fired evaporator-a BIG one (1000 taps) they're going on 100 facecord of wood....and they have a reverse osmosis system running. the have PILES of wood stacked around their sugar shack....that are almost as tall and wide as the shack itself!!!
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treerooted
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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by treerooted » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:20 pm

Oh I hear you about the time @TomK , our buckets get overflowing because I can't always get out everyday.

It's ok when there's snow on the ground (like now), but I've got a bit of a hike to the woods with a toddler in tow, so I just do what I can. We built a DYI "evaporator" this year and I am loving it! We use free pallets as our fuel, and small branches from our felled trees. Any other wood is too precious as we need it for our woodstove.

I was very lucky in that my parents donated their maple syrup supplies (8 buckets) which included two filters, so I do filter when I bring from outside to finish on the stove inside. The one batch is still cloudy but the other one the nitter settled to the bottom and it has a lovely colour.

Last year was our first time making syrup and most of our batches were very dark.
So far this year it's been really lovely. And there will be no need to pull our taps yet as we've still got cool temperatures up ahead. Still seems like perfect weather for a couple more weeks!

@Killerbunny I haven't tried making anything past the syrup stage yet, but I'd like to. Not sure how difficult it would be to get to the sugar stage; it's all about temperature and then I assume trying to making sure the sugar doesn't clump up together. Maybe I'll give it a try!
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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by Brebis » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:37 pm

I have a wee nano “shack” with 2 large 16-20L stock pots, one on the bbq single burner and the other on a small electric hot plate on the covered side porch. It’s slow going, I only use the electric at off peak times or if it’s snowing like yesterday.

We only have 3 trees tapped, and don’t have enough spare wood or a good spot to do it with wood at the moment.

The first batch I did was beautifully clear and amber but the next batch was lighter and a bit cloudy. I filter going into the pot then again when reduced enough so I can bring it into the house and finish it on the stove. If I leave it overnight before I do the final boiling it seems to settle and I decant it off leaving the sludge behind. I have good cheese muslin for filtering but use coffe filters too but have the problem of them clogging.

So, quite a bit of work but it’s been so nice this year and it’s nice to have our own homemade syrup even though I could buy local syrup for $20/L.
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JimW
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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by JimW » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:33 pm

Between my Outdoor Studies class and the few taps at home I usually put up 30 to 40 buckets, too many other things going on this year, so we did not tap at all this year. Definitely miss it. We have a small outside evaporator at school with a 3 foot by 4 foot pan.

If you have not done it I highly recommend making maple butter (cream), really easy, just google instructions. Great on toast.

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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by windwalkingwolf » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:05 pm

Killerbunny wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:20 am
I have a recipe that requires maple sugar. What the heck is that? Sounds like it might be difficult to make.
Not at all, easy-peasy!
https://leitesculinaria.com/102175/reci ... sugar.html
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Killerbunny
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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by Killerbunny » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:51 pm

Almost like the granulation for English Fudge!
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:iheartpto:
Beltsville Small White turkeys.
Mutt chickens for eggs
RIP Stephen the BSW Tom and my coffee companion.
RIP Lucky the Very Brave Splash Wyandotte rooster.
RIP little Muppet the rescue cat.
:turkey:

:bat:

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treerooted
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Re: How's the sap coming in?

Post by treerooted » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:43 am

Yes, it is so much work! But I love having a homemade sugar source! I'm always trying to substitute granulated sugar for maple syrup. I hope overtime we'll be able to make the process more efficient. And in 10-15 years I should have some more trees to tap as well once they're big enough.

Here's our set-up
IMG_20180316_103848.jpg
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