The Season is Over

by Peter 4/15/2008 7:29:00 AM

The maple syrup season is sort of like Christmas Break to a child.  Great anticipation precedes it, it only lasts for a little while, and then suddenly it is over.  The maple syrup season came to a close a little more than three weeks after it began.  We had our last boil of sap on Saturday, April 5th.  In total, we made 193 gallons of syrup from over 8000 gallons of sap.  This was our greatest production volume we have ever had, due partly to good weather, but also to the installation of a new pipeline tubing system that is connected to a high powered vacuum pump.  

Of the 843 taps that we put out, 643 were connected to pipeline and 200 required manual emptying of 4 gallon plastic bags.  While the bags are much more work, there is something very satisfying about seeing the product of each individual tree.  You'll notice how the sap dripping from the spile below looks just like water.  The sap starts out at 2% sugar, so it is 98% water.  The removal of all that water through evaporation is what takes so much time and energy. 

 The sap stops flowing when the weather stays above 32 degrees for several days.  As the buds emerge, there is a chemical change in the sap that causes the syrup to have an "off flavor".