RicelandMeadows


Its a Wrap! 2021 Maple Season is Done
March 27, 2021, 10:48 am
Filed under: March 2021 | Tags: , , , ,

March 27, 2021

Our maple season came to an end last Monday. We gathered the last of the sap and “untapped” the trees as we went. It took a little longer to gather the sap that way, but at the end of the day we were all done with both jobs. Last Tuesday, I boiled maple sap the entire day. I was feeding the fire, changing filters and drawing off syrup for almost 14 hours. Thank goodness my dear wife was there to help me! It was an unseasonably warm day in the mid-seventies. The inside of the sugarhouse was very warm. I, dressed in my long sleeved flannel shirt, heavy jeans, leather apron, leather gloves and a hat, clothes all needed to allow me to push the fire as hard as possible, made me one very hot man! I drank water like a steel mill worker and kept the fire burning hot and the steam rolling out of the syrup.

Our season lasted three weeks this year. We boiled just over 10,000 gallons of sap that yielded 167.5 gallons of maple syrup. Our ratio was 60:1, due mostly to the soft maples in our woodland maple mix. The syrup stayed light most of the year and has our distinctive “buttery” taste. We had friends and family help us with the process and quite a few visitors. It is a wonderful time of year for me, but I have to say, I am glad that it is over…until next year!

I had an idea this year to try and collect condensate water from the boiling steam. I made a sort of plate that sat above the boiling sap. I thought water would condense on the plate and I could collect it to use for a source of hot water in the sugarhouse. My idea did work, but it didn’t collect enough water to be a stand alone system. I took water back each day and filled a stainless steel tank. The condensate water added to this amount, that helped quite a bit. I will need to improve on this idea, because there is promise in my efforts.

The plate and stainless steel eave trough that leads to the holding tank. It will all work out one day…I mean hey! the Wright Brothers started at Kitty Hawk and look where we are now.