anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

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buffcleb
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anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by buffcleb » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:11 am

Last year was our first season sugaring... We put up about 3 gallons of syrup... This year we decided to move the boiling from the wood stove to a cinder block evaporator we put together this weekend...

Last years batch was pretty good but we had a little sugar sand settle in some of the jars... I have a filter coming and am hoping to avoid that with the filter...

I am looking at the different maple syrup hydrometers... last year we did it based mostly on consistency... we did not get to much crystallization in the jars so we were not to far off...

Here's a video of our setup... just testing with snow... they're calling for a warmup this week so the trees should start running soon...



So anyone else doing syrup this year... would love to see what others are doing...

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KYZHunters
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by KYZHunters » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:45 am

Yep...tap, tap, tapping trees this weekend!
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procyon
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by procyon » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:35 am

Been watching the ground and trees.
So far, although we have had a couple warm days, the ground is still frozen hard with ice cover or snow most places.
And the forecast here puts us back below freezing by the weekend.
But it won't be long.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

gundogs
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by gundogs » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:04 am

Looks like we'll have to wait at least another 10 days due to weather here

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procyon
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by procyon » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:11 am

The maple in the yard has started to bud out. But it always goes early as the rest near the creek are much lower/shaded and until the creek thaws the ground stays frozen.
But the time is in sight. We got out the buckets, pots, spoons, ladels, etc and got everything washed out and ready.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

buffcleb
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by buffcleb » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:36 am

couple of new videos

we tapped trees a couple weeks back... now we just need the weather to change... I have a feeling that sugar season will be very short this year



First run of sap... weather has been interesting... after this we had another one day warm up then a blizzard... then another warm up... I'm heading down tonight to process more sap but it's going to get cold again...



Finally got our first batch finished and canned... We have a little over a gallon and a half so far. There is about a gallon of syrup that is 80% done and what ever the trees gave us this week. I am hoping to get around 4 gallons this year.


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procyon
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by procyon » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:19 pm

This year was less than amazing for our trees.
The yo-yo weather messed with the trees and my schedule at work didn't help.
Got a little over a gallon, but that was all I managed.
But we don't have a lot of hard maples left, so even a good year only nets us 2-3 gal.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

buffcleb
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by buffcleb » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:47 am

Yeah... same here... so far we have put up around 3 gallons and have another gallon's worth of syrup 80% of the way there...

beyond that we have about 30 gallons of sap still... over night we had 4 inches of fresh snow and tomorrow its going to be 50... so should be another sap run... we should get to 5 gallons total this year...

gundogs
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by gundogs » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:09 am

procyon wrote:This year was less than amazing for our trees.
The yo-yo weather messed with the trees and my schedule at work didn't help.
Got a little over a gallon, but that was all I managed.
But we don't have a lot of hard maples left, so even a good year only nets us 2-3 gal.
Have you tried tapping soft maple or Birch? They can be used for syrup---just takes more sap to make a gallon--
usually 50-70 gallon sap to syrup ratio

buffcleb
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by buffcleb » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:43 am

gundogs wrote:
procyon wrote:This year was less than amazing for our trees.
The yo-yo weather messed with the trees and my schedule at work didn't help.
Got a little over a gallon, but that was all I managed.
But we don't have a lot of hard maples left, so even a good year only nets us 2-3 gal.
Have you tried tapping soft maple or Birch? They can be used for syrup---just takes more sap to make a gallon--
usually 50-70 gallon sap to syrup ratio
I have not... all of the maples at my cabin are sugar.... we have silver maple around my home but they are on the street and the village would probably get upset if I tapped those trees :)

As for birch we only have a handful of them spread throughout our 60 acres... would be tough to gather enough sap... if they were more plentiful I'd would give it a go...

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procyon
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by procyon » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:44 pm

gundogs wrote:Have you tried tapping soft maple or Birch? They can be used for syrup---just takes more sap to make a gallon--
usually 50-70 gallon sap to syrup ratio
The only silver maples we have are fairly close to the house - and for whatever reason the sap cooks down to some of the most bitter, nasty stuff you would ever want to taste. So we just ignore them until they get to big and then turn them into firewood.

And I have never tried tapping birch. We have absolutely thousands of the things growing all over. And they are lousy with sap. When I cut one down late it looks like you left a faucet on with the sap pouring out everywhere for hours.
I may have to see what it turns out like.
Is there any difference in varieties? Most of my birch are River Birch (at least that is what I know them as). Are there varieties that are better/worse than others?
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

gundogs
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by gundogs » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:40 pm

procyon wrote:
gundogs wrote:Have you tried tapping soft maple or Birch? They can be used for syrup---just takes more sap to make a gallon--
usually 50-70 gallon sap to syrup ratio
The only silver maples we have are fairly close to the house - and for whatever reason the sap cooks down to some of the most bitter, nasty stuff you would ever want to taste. So we just ignore them until they get to big and then turn them into firewood.

And I have never tried tapping birch. We have absolutely thousands of the things growing all over. And they are lousy with sap. When I cut one down late it looks like you left a faucet on with the sap pouring out everywhere for hours.
I may have to see what it turns out like.
Is there any difference in varieties? Most of my birch are River Birch (at least that is what I know them as). Are there varieties that are better/worse than others?
I don't know about Silver Maple---we have what we call "swamp maple". And I have only tried Paper birch

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procyon
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by procyon » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:38 pm

gundogs wrote:And I have only tried Paper birch
I won't have any time off from work till the weekend, but I will have to see about pulling a gallon of sap off one of the birch trees.
We could boil that down with the leftover branches in the brushpiles easy enough.
Let you know what I come back with.

ETA
Just went snooping on google and found some stuff on River Birch and syrup. It looks promising - if somewhat fuel intensive.
They say about 100+ gallons of sap to a gallon of syrup... :shock:
But that makes sense. Sap comes pouring out of them by the bucket when cut. I could see how it is (probably) mostly water with little sugar.

But I also saw that some folks were having luck tapping Black Walnut trees also and getting a good syrup out of them. We have several large stands.
I am afraid they have already run sap for the year, but it might get added to next years list for spring.
8-)
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

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KYZHunters
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by KYZHunters » Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:44 pm

Tapped the trees in the snow on Tuesday and hauled our first batch of sap out today in t-shirts. Weird weather.
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quazi
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Re: anyone else getting ready for Maple Syrup

Post by quazi » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:41 am

A bunch of people tap birch trees for syrup around here. I know a few people who's primary source of income comes from it. It requires so much syrup that often they collect it from multiple people's property.

It takes so much sap and fuel that it's really expensive. I know a lady who wants to start using less-condensed birch sap in cosmetics and creams. Supposedly it has some sort of benefits for the skin, but I don't know anything about that.

My brother and I tapped a birch tree as a kid, but we just drank the sap as a sweet drink.

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