All dressed up and no place to go!!

Well we expected to collect sap this morning and the temperature changed our plans.  21 degrees in the St. Croix Valley and the sap is frozen solid.  Looks like it will stay cold and cloudy the rest of the day, so hopefully tomorrow.  This brings us to the topic of ice in the buckets.  Do we save it or toss it.   If there is ice floating in a chunk on top of the liquid sap, toss the ice block and save the sap.  The sugar will “fractionate” to the liquid phase and the ice is basically sugar free.   I did not believe this at first years ago until I actually saved all the ice, melted it in my shop and then measured the liquid with a lab grade refractometer.  There was little to no sugar in that melted ice so give the ice a toss.

Weather still looks promising for this Sunday with a warm up to the high thirties and and low forties so keep watching the buckets for sap.  We have had late starting runs this past couple of days because of the colder mornings so its possible we will get a sap run today starting late. With a high of 33 and clouds, its not too likely, but mother nature likes to mess with experienced syrup makers.

Have a great weekend,

Don

Finished boiling second sap run of the Season

If the first two runs are any indication of the season, Its going to be a great one.  we collected 2800 gallons from each of the first two sap runs.  Sugar has been averaging 3.5 percent with the range of 2.8 to 4.2.  Temperatures look great with highs in the 40s and lows in the mid twenties through March.  There is no frost in the ground now especially after the rain today, so almost all trees, even the big old growth maples are running strong.   Cold again tonight and clear so its possible to get our third run tomorrow into Saturday.  I will be exhausted by the end of the season but this is my annual weight loss program.

Again thank-you for your patience when coming for supplies, I most likely will be cooking when you come so it gets a little hectic.. I do have free maple aromas in the sugar shack and “court yard”.   Enjoy and and the season has just begun.

Don

 

First Boil-Sunday, March 8

We collected 2770 gallons of 3.8 percent sap on Sunday and cooked it to a very light amber syrup.  This will be our “candy” barrel because of the light color and low invert sugar.

We had a day to recoup on Monday and today we are putting in the last 500 of our 2500 total buckets.   The next 10 day forecast looks promising for more sap, so for those of you on vacation to the south, when you get back you will not have missed the season as it could extend into April.  I will be buying sap this year at $ 0.10 per p0int. So if you have 100 gallons of 4 percent sugar,  you would get $40 for that 100 gallons.  Sap must be in clean, food grade containers.  It got down to low twenties last night and going up to 40 today, so we may be cooking again tonight.   If you need supplies or something breaks, I am usually around the sugar shack until till at least 10 pm so feel free to call if you need something.

Don