Good News from the sugarbush!

by Don 3/28/2020 10:20:00 AM

We can all use some good news these days, so we'll do our part from the sugarbush at Somerskogen. The pandemic isn't affecting the flow of sap, the birds and frogs are making their return and spring sounds, and the ice is retreating off of Whaletail Lake.

We have had a gorgeous week of warm sunny days in the 40' and 50's, which not only delivered superior sap flow, but a bright warm environment to work in.  The snow has melted completely in the woods, replaced with small streams winding a course, down to the lake.

The syrup remains all amber rich with an intense maple flavor and superior taste. We have noticed an increase in the sugar sand deposited on the pans.  Sugar sand, or niter, is a mineral deposit (mostly calcium malate), along with trapped sugar that forms on the bottom and sides of the pans.  We try to keep this under control as this can build up and cause "hot spots", scorching the pan. We have an extra pan so we can place a new one, while we clean the sugar sand off the used pan. Hot water and a little elbow grease goes a long way!

Yesterday we reached a new record of syrup production at Somerskogen! Our previous record of making 545 gallons of delicious maple syrup was in 2018. We are now at 570 gallons of syrup and the season hasn't ended yet!!! We have 1200 taps and our target is 1/2 gallon/tap with our high-vacuum system.

 Weather wise, it looks fairly good for sap flow for much of this next week, and then likely will end.  If we get a night  below freezing that some models predict, we could go a bit longer. The sap still tastes good as it enters the receiving tank low in the woods, and the sugar content has stayed consistent at 2%. 

Soon we'll be bottling this year's maple syrup, so keep us in mind. We're confident you'll be very pleased with the taste of the 2020 maple syrup.

Swimming in Sap!

by Don 3/23/2020 8:27:00 AM

We at Somerskogen wish all of you good health.  We are all in uncharted waters, but trying to maintain one's routine is an effective way to cope with stress and the unknown.

 We have, at times, been so busy in the sugarbush that our minds clear and our hearts lighten from the current events.  In the last 24 hours, we have collected over 2500 gallons of sap from our 1200 taps. This is an Incredible amount! We are turning all the sap into delicious syrup as I write this. Our last 4 barrels have been a very light Golden Delicate grade which we haven't seen in 3 seasons. The crisp nights and only moderate temperatures of 35-40° during the day has preserved the crystal clarity of the sap.

 At the end of a busy day, I sometimes reward myself with a delicious cocktail that I learned from our friends at Spoon and Stable restaurant, called the "Maple Leaf":

       2 oz. Bourbon

      0.5 oz. Somerskogen maple syrup

      0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, short shake hard, strain onto ice, garnish with 1 dash Angostura bitters and a lemon peel expressed.

 Enjoy this delicious cocktail and stay healthy!       

Keeping a Social Distance at Somerskogen

by Don 3/17/2020 7:10:00 PM

The entire world has been focused on the pandemic of Coronavirus . Everyone's routine has been altered in response to pubic health issues.

The maple trees appear to have not gotten the news! They have been very active with ideal warming warming days in the 40's, triggering sap flows of more than a gallon per tap. The snow is melting rapidly and small streams are scattered on the hillsides.

We are nearing 300 gallons of finished syrup, which is usually 60% of an excellent harvest.  The sap remains crystal clear, suggesting more good flows ahead before warming periods take hold. All the syrup made thus far is a clear Amber Rich grade, with a delicious, outstanding taste.

It appears the next 3 days will bring robust flow before another cold spell with snow arrives in two days.

Stay safe and stay tuned!