Late Summer Update

by Don 9/1/2019 2:24:00 PM


Time has slipped away this summer and once again, it is Labor Day weekend. We've done a lot of work in the sugarbush this summer and it's time to get a post on our website.

 Following the end of season cleanup, our new evaporator is back in pristine condition.

The Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers Meeting was held in Aitkin, MN mid-May and attended by over 100 sugar makers. Presentations included proper cleaning and sanitation methods as well as latest regulatory updates. The annual "crop report" given by individual sugamakers identified consistently high sap production, deep snow for putting in taps/assessing for leaks and exhausted members who trekked through the deep snow.

 The annual syrup contest had 6 judges, blind tasting of syrup samples and eager sugar makers, hoping their syrup won and would give bragging rights for another year! Somerskogen Sugarbush did quite well with a first place finish in the Amber Rich and a second place award in the Dark Robust division. We were quite pleased!

 We will see how our maple syrup compares at the International Maple Syrup meeting in October. This year the international meeting will be held in Duluth, MN.

 Our plans for the off-season include replacing and upgrading the tubing system in the remaining portion of our sugarbush. This will allow us to maximize the vacuum system and incorporate the latest in tubing technology. All of the tubing enhancements will be done by Roth Sugarbush from Cadott, WI.

Late, but final update from the sugarbush

by Mary 5/15/2019 1:48:00 PM

I'm not sure where the time has gone, but the days flew by with the final syruping, cleaning, bottling, more cleaning and we didn't add any posts to spring production after early April. 

We ended up with a grand total of 531 gallons for 2019 from our 1050 taps, and truly feel the syrup made this year is the best it has ever tasted. Whether that is due to the more constant heat of the propane evaporator, vs our wood -fired evaporator, we don't know. The end result is the maple syrup tastes terrific! We hope others agree with us this weekend at the MN Maple Syrup Producer's Association meeting in Aitkin, MN. You be the judge when you taste our syrup!

On another related note, we just bottled a delicious Bourbon Barrel Maple Syrup in cooperation with Tom and Jean Slattery of JJ's Wine, Spirits and Cigars in Sioux Falls, SD.  They provided Somerskogen Sugarbush with an 11 year old  Knob Creek Single Barrel . We aged some of our 2018 maple syrup in the barrel for 6 months and the flavor is amazing! We have a very limited supply of these bottles, so if you are interested, order soon.

We'll have another Bourbon Barrel Maple Syrup ready around September, this barrel from Buffalo Trace.  It will be interesting to taste the difference from the Knob Creek.

Thank you for reading our posts and ordering our maple syrup. We appreciate it!




Season Update

by Peter 4/8/2019 11:37:00 AM

This spring has been a nice, gradual transition from deep snow to soft muddy soil.  Our first boil was Friday, March 22nd.  Since then, we have boiled seven times, never more than three days apart.  So it has been a nice consistent sap run this entire time.  We have made 429 gallons of finished syrup so far, all of it classified as Amber Rich or Dark Robust.  We haven't made any Golden Delicate or Very Dark syrup yet.  So far everything with the new evaporator has been going well.  We set two single day production records, first 92 gallons then 97 gallons on Saturday, April 6th.  We learned from the first big boil that we need to switch out the syrup pans more frequently than 92 gallons--we had some baked on sugar sand that took some elbow grease to remove!  But with the new propane evaporator, switching pans is very easy.  We can shut off the gas and the arch is cool enough to remove the near syrup concentrate within 15 minutes--perhaps even sooner than that.  This is a big change from the wood evaporator that took a very long time to cool down because of all of the fire brick that held onto heat even after the coals were gone.


April 6, 2019

Looking ahead we still expect to make quite a bit more syrup.  With today as a warm exception (it is currently 61 degrees as I type this), we still have several hard freezes in the forecast through the weekend so we can anticipate sap flows at least through next week.  The buds on the trees haven't even started to change, the sap is still clear, the frost is in the ground, the ice is just leaving the lake and apparently a blizzard is going to hit on Wednesday into Thursday.  The calendar might look like it is getting close to the end of the season, but our local environment feels like we still have some mapling time ahead!