I haven't posted a sugaring diary in a long time. We missed two years due to the move. In the fall of 2020 we marked 6 maples.

This March we tapped the sugar maples.
ML drilled a hole, inserted the tap and hung the bucket.
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Down state we only had 5 sugar maples. Here we hung 8 buckets on 6 trees. Two trees were big enough to support two taps. There is a sugaring supply house in a local town. We went there and were shocked to see no metal buckets nor taps. The tap, bucket and lids are all plastic.
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Here ML pours sap from a bucket into our collection carboy.
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The carboy gets stored in a snow bank until the weekend when we can boil down.
This is a nice pic. The dogs think they are helping.
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We looked for the parts we used to boil down. We had a jury rigged set up. Apparently we threw that all away in the move.
We needed to get something set up quickly. We decided to build a homemade sugaring arch.
ML bought a barrel stove kit. A chimney collar, a door and legs to turn a 55 gallon drum into a wood stove.

I got a barrel from work. It held coconut oil so it was safe for our purposes. Here I am fastening the second set of legs. Fortunately the barrel had a removable lid.
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I used a sawzall with a metal blade to cut a hole for the chimney and the stove door.
ML screws on the chimney collar.
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Here she attaches the door.

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ML drills pilot holes so I can cut holes for the sap pans.
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Me cutting the pan holes. Despite being warm my left hand is gloved. It no longer tolerates any cold temps. And while I could use it to guide the saw, ML had to do all the fine motor work like screwing most of the parts onto the barrel.
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The pans are simply 9 x 13" cake pans from the dollar store.
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I start boiling down early in the morning. I replace one pan with a cast iron griddle and cook breakfast sandwiches.
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The day is spent adding sap as needed and skimming foam. The foam contains insoluble material. It is harmless but makes the finished syrup cloudy. So you skim it off as it forms.
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We usually cook hot dogs.
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When the sap is mostly evaporated we filter it and bring it indoors. I finish it off on the kitchen stove. The almost sap can easily boil over. Not only is it a mess but you lose your syrup.
So the precise control of the stove is a better choice.
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We boiled down over 3 weekends. One day each weekend. This barrel sugaring arch is a vast improvement in efficiency compared to our old open fire set up. Plus the syrup doesn't taste like smoke. Big Grin 

We pulled the taps and buckets and cleaned every thing after the last boil down.
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When all was said and done we made 1 gallon and 3 pints of syrup. YUM.
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It is a great way to get outdoors and spend family time. We do enjoy sugaring.


CK89, Rebus Knebus, andrewjs18 and 6 others like this post

New Brunswick, Canada
And here is a most evil recipe to use maple syrup in:

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Commonly known as "Grand-Pères", being dumplings cooked in maple syrup. Pretty hardcore, right?
We used to make them in a large skillet.

zaclikestoshave, ShadowsDad, Entasis and 1 others like this post
We could be Heroes, just for one day.
- David Bowie -
Incredible job, what a great project!  Happy

zaclikestoshave likes this post

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