|Backyard Cinder Block Maple Syrup Evaporator|
Year two of maple sugaring, finally the weather cooperates, today I boiled down 30 gallons of sap and bottled three quarts of grade A Long Island maple syrup. I was much better prepared this year than I was for my inaugural attempt last year. This time around I had a good supply of dried, seasoned, fire wood and some proper pans with plenty of surface area. It was also a beautiful sunny day with temps in the 60s so I was working in jeans and a tee shirt. A good day to boil sap. One more day of boiling and we'll be good 'til next year. How sweet it is!
March 15, 2014 Day 2:
It was a lot colder today than Tuesday, more of a traditional sugaring day. I managed to collect 20-25 gallons of sap between Tuesday and today (Sunday.) This was enough to keep me busy for about eight hours of boiling and yielded two plus quarts of tasty maple syrup. The finished syrup seems to be a little darker than last year, maybe because of the hotter fire and increased volume?, but tastes just as good.
March 21, 2014 Day 3:
Day 3 once again yielded a little more than two quarts of syrup, but it took a lot longer than day 2. I think my sap may have gotten contaminated with rain water. I was also getting down to bottom of my wood pile and the wood was a little damp which made it much harder to keep the fire hot and the boil steady. This brings my total for the season up to a little less than two gallons. Unless I come across a pile of nice dry wood this weekend, I will probably pull my taps this week and move on to the next project.
|Snow in Rocky Point March 31, 2014|
Nearly a month later than I pulled my taps last year I still had three trees producing sap, so I covered my buckets with plastic bags and waited for the rain to end. After three days of rain, and a surprise snow storm that left four inches of snow on the ground, I had collected about 10 or 12 gallons of sap. Today was a beautiful day with bright sun and temps in the 50s, so I pulled my taps and boiled down a quart, plus a half cup, of syrup. This brings my total for the season up to two gallons and one pint.
photos by Rick Jackofsky
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