Running Maple Syrup Log

This is a running log of my sugaring activity. It’s more for my own reference, but I figure some of you sugarers out there may be interested…

Completed my first boil on my barrel evaporator yesterday. The temp reached about 40 degrees, so the sap was gently running. I added another 8 gallons of sap for a total of 25 gallons to boil down. I started boiling at 10:45a and ran straight through to 3:45. I took a 5 hour break to attend a friend’s BBQ and put the kids to bed, then got the fire going again at 8:45. I ran straight through to 12:30p. That’s a total burn time of 8 hours and 45 minutes. So my gallon-per-hour boil rate was about 2.75. Of course I have nothing to which I can compare this rate, so for now I’ll call that a solid rate for Sweetie (Sweetie is the name of my boiling rig). I added another 4 taps today as well on 4 different trees. I decided to tap on the north side of these 4 trees for experimentation purposes (all my 17 other taps are on the south sides of their host trees).  Looks like we have another cold front in and the sap-runnin’ weather won’t return until the end of the week. Till then…

Jackpot. The sap has been running strongly the last few days. The temps reached the upper 40s today. I was away on business overnight last night so by the time I got home this evening, several of my gallon jugs were overflowing. No way of knowing how many gallons spilled over. But I gathered 11 gallons all told this evening. I’m sitting on 17 gallons right now. Also I purchased some fire bricks and an iron log holder at Tractor Supply Co today to pimp out my evaporator.

Despite temps in the 40s yesterday, the sap barely ran. My guess is that the trees were frozen solid from the recent frigid temps and spent the day simply unthawing. Today the temps only reached the upper 30s, but the sap ran steadily. Got about 3 gallons of sap.

Set about a dozen more taps today for a total of 17. It’s been seriously cold the last few weeks so no sap has run. Most of my milk jugs have frozen blocks of sap. Weather looks promising today and tomorrow for some flow.

Ended up with 9 gallon of sap over the course of the 3 days. Boiled it down in three different boil sessions on the kitchen stove. First patch was overboiled a bit. Yielded just over 2 pints of syrup in all.

My first taps. Set one tap in the south side and one on the west side of the large maple closest to the house in the sugarbush. Sap immediately started dripping. Set another tap in on the west side of a maple next to the driveway. The tap on the south side of the first tree ended up performing the best.


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