Sap Insanity!

by Don 3/18/2021 12:52:00 PM

Two days ago, on March 16th, the sun began thawing the sap after our cold spell and 5" of snow.  The flow increased throughout the day and by dinnertime we had 2,000 gallons! With a few calculations, we determined we were collecting over one pint of sap/tap/hour for most of the day! We don't recall a run this robust in our 27 years of syruping.  We're grateful we've had a Reverse Osmosis machine to concentrate all the sap. After a very long day in the sugarhouse on the 17th, we finished with 60 gallons of very flavorful maple syrup. 

We have had some bumps in the road this season. We have a special propane tank heater to make sure the LP vaporizers fast enough to keep up with our 1.2 million BTU burner.  The heater has malfunctioned and more than once we've noticed the boiling process slowing, as the gas is insufficient to keep with the the demand.  We hope to have this corrected this week with the installation of a new gas valve.

Another problem has been ice formation in our vacuum line.  This was the product of a faulty float in the mechanical releaser, which allowed sap to be suctioned into the vacuum line. It took three attempts, but the issue was corrected, and all systems are "go".

We have made over 280 gallons of maple syrup in the first 11 days of the season!In the days before vacuum, this would have been an average yield for a whole season.  We now shoot for double this amount with our high vacuum system.

 The weather forecast appears quite favorable for the next 3 days, before a warming spell appears.  Stay tuned!