03-12-2013, 03:59 PM
#1
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I posted a thread about how we make maple syrup her in NH

http://shavenook.com/thread-making-maple-syrup

This is a continuation of that thread.
We hung the sap buckets on March 2nd. I collected every day.

On Friday we had a snowstorm and received a foot of wet snow. This is a pic of my wife heading into the woods to collect sap on Saturday.
   

Me in the woods collecting. 10 years ago when we started I scouted for trees in the summer and fall. I sprayed an "S" for sugar maple on them so I would be able to find them in the dead of winter.
   

My wife in the woods collecting.    

If we are really lucky we get a full bucket. But the output is highly variable. Typically we get 1/2 to 1 gallon of sap a day. A sap bucket holds 2 1/2 gallons.
   

On Sunday, March 10we had 12 gallons of sap to boil down. I use two lasagna pans over an open fire. I have a ladle in my hand to skim off the foam that forms as you boil.
A goofy hat is required - it makes the syrup taste sweeter.
   

My wife skimming foam. This pics shows the plow piles. A lot of snow.
   

Along with a goofy hat, cooking hotdogs is a must.
   

Hot dogs get washed down with a cold beverage (This is actually IBC rootbeer).
   

When the volume is significantly reduced I filter the almost syrup through a paper towel. It took 6 hours of boiling to get 8 quarts. This pot will go on the kitchen stove to finish off.
   

I finish the syrup on the stove because it is much easier to control the temp. Boil overs are a real threat as the syrup thickens. After it is thick enough to be called syrup I filter again into a smaller pot.
   

I reheat the contents of the small pot and transfer to canning jars.
   

From the 12 gallons(1,536 ounces) of sap we got 20 ounces of maple syrup.

The process is long but fun.

Hope you enjoyed the pics.

Phil

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 03-12-2013, 04:03 PM
#2
  • MickToley
  • Hi, I'm Mike and I'm a shave soap addict
  • Brooklyn, NY
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Really interesting thread, Phil. Thanks for posting this! Cool

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 03-12-2013, 04:35 PM
#3
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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I've enjoyed it very much, thanks for posting!

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 03-12-2013, 04:44 PM
#4
  • Blue line
  • Active Member
  • East Central Alabama
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That is cool. We have a few folks here that make sorghum syrup from sugar cane.

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 03-12-2013, 05:05 PM
#5
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Did you eat any sugar in snow with a pickle? That stuff is the bomb. Really amps up your morning Smile

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 03-12-2013, 05:23 PM
#6
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Thanks Phil. We have nothing like you do in the NE, but when I lived in Chagrin, we were always going out with taps and buckets on marked trees. There is absolutely nothing like gathering your own... and friends are always welcome.

BTW

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 03-12-2013, 06:01 PM
#7
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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My three children absolutely adore Maple Syrup.

I make Banana Coconut pancakes for them every weekend and they empty a bottle in one sitting!

Thank-you for sharing!

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 03-12-2013, 09:34 PM
#8
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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That was great, Phil. Thanks so much for sharing.

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 03-13-2013, 08:24 AM
#9
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Hi Phil

Thank you for the step by step guide and the excellent photos Thumbsup

I think my favourite photo is "My wife skimming foam. This pics shows the plow piles. A lot of snow."

Take care, Mike

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 03-13-2013, 08:38 AM
#10
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Fantastic pictures Phil. We love maple syrup in our house. Its no wonder its so expensive seeing what you go through collecting and making it.

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 03-13-2013, 09:06 AM
#11
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Hi Phil

Really interesting I was unaware than maple syrup was solely sugar maple sap reduction. I thought that an essence was made from the sap then added to a sugar syrup. 12gals sap reduced to 1 pint that is why pure maple syrup costs so much.

Thank you for the education.
Drifter

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 03-13-2013, 09:27 AM
#12
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Thanks for the update and pics, Phil!

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 03-13-2013, 09:35 AM
#13
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Hi Phil

Here's a few videos from GardenFork.TV you might be interested in (the "How to tap maple trees for maple syrup – GF Video" popped into my podcast feed today)...

Via How to tap maple trees for maple syrup – GF Video







Via How to boil maple syrup GF TV Video









Take care, Mike

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 03-17-2013, 11:41 AM
#14
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(03-13-2013, 09:35 AM)mikeperry Wrote: Hi Phil

Here's a few videos from GardenFork.TV you might be interested in
Take care, Mike

Mike,
Thanks for the links.

I bought my taps at a farm show. I paid $10 for 5 of them but got a lifetime worth of experience from the old timer manning the booth. A bargain!

In the last vid they make "sap dogs". I thought we were the only people who did that. My daughter came up with the idea when she was 12.
   

Phil

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 03-19-2013, 08:26 AM
#15
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(03-17-2013, 11:41 AM)PhilNH5 Wrote: Mike,
Thanks for the links.

I bought my taps at a farm show. I paid $10 for 5 of them but got a lifetime worth of experience from the old timer manning the booth. A bargain!

In the last vid they make "sap dogs". I thought we were the only people who did that. My daughter came up with the idea when she was 12.

Hi Phil

No worries, I hope they were somewhat interesting to you (and others)...

Sounds like your daughter at 12 was way ahead of the curve Lightbulb

Take care, Mike

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 03-19-2013, 08:48 AM
#16
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Very interesting story. Definitely a labor of love. Real maple syrup is so good.

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 03-19-2013, 12:05 PM
#17
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Enough build up. Get to the point. How does it lather?

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 03-19-2013, 12:53 PM
#18
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Interesting Phil. Especially since I just got a phone call from my brother in Mass', literally 5 minutes before seeing this. He called to tell us that he was tapping a sugar maple in the yard to collect the sap. He was going to boil it all down in the kitchen. I persuaded him to not do that so as not to have to call in the professional cleaners or build a new kitchen (he didn't know that the sugar coats everything). FWIW, he's getting a gallon of sap per day and says it tastes like a weak sugar solution.

It's an interesting pursuit, but when everything is considered the real stuff bought all done is inexpensive.

You couldn't get me to put the commercial supermarket faux maple syrup anywhere near my lips. If anyone gets an opportunity to buy grade B, it's "out of spec' " syrup (color, clarity), but it's also the best for flavor, do so. I'll pass up grade A in a heartbeat if grade B is available. Most times I need to request it since the person doing the sugaring holds it for their use. You either know about Grade B or you miss out. I consider Grade A to be the loser grade, but the industry wants light and clear. I go for flavor.

FWIW, Maple Sugar Sunday is this coming weekend in Maine. That's when the sugar houses, where the sap is boiled down (remember it coats everything), are open to the public. A sugar keeps the sticky walls and everything else in it's own place for no cleanup required.

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 03-20-2013, 07:12 AM
#19
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I absolutely LOVE maple syrup but find it to be too expensive in the local stores to buy it a lot.

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 03-20-2013, 02:17 PM
#20
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(03-20-2013, 07:12 AM)andrewjs18 Wrote: I absolutely LOVE maple syrup but find it to be too expensive in the local stores to buy it a lot.

Yup, and after seeing Phil's photos and his explanations it's not too hard to understand that cost. The artificial stuff they sell in supermarkets simply doesn't cut it, though.

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