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  1. #1
    Member twall's Avatar
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    Default Good syrup year this year?

    I really hate winters like this.

    I'm from WNY - about an hour from both Buffalo and Erie. Twenty more minutes either west or south, and I'd be in PA! Although "from NY" tends to make one think of strange dialects and city as far as the eye can see - I am not from that NY (I just pay for it). We're about as country as you can get.

    That being said, we know maple syrup here. As you may or may not know, when we have autum, the sap 'runs down' for the winter. In the spring, it 'runs up'. The run up is what's critical. If it warms up, and it stays that way, the sap doesn't run well, and is weak. Every time it snaps cold, it runs back down. With each 'up', the sap gets a stronger flavor, and runs in more quantity.

    Poor runs make for more expensive syrup, and what you get is yukky.

    Last year, when 'global warming' was going on - we had a light winter, and a quick spring. The sap didn't run worth spit. Now that Al Gore is in hibernation, and we are having a normal winter for the first time in a long time - the sap should run like a fire hydrant.

    I'm no expert, but that's what I've always been told about the cycle.

    Here's to hoping for a good syrup year.

  2. #2
    Super Member JB4310's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    Been a great year for my 2 tree operation

    This is the 3rd year doing it and the best so far, sap is flowing good, 10 gallons a day some days.

    It takes 40 gallons of sap at 2.5% sugar to make 1 gallon of syrup. My sugar must be higher cause it's only taking ~8 gallons of sap to make a quart when it should be 10 gallons.

    I've made almost 2 gallons of syrup so far and have 30 gallons of sap to boil now.

    JB.
    JD 4310; E hydro, 300CX, 48 BH, 60" box, 72" rake, 72" rear blade, cast pallet forks, 48", 61"HD & 73" high volume bucket.
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Lloyd_E's Avatar
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    South Shore Nova Scotia Canada
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    Will start this Sunday... and get back to ya. My children and I tap about 6 trees but we will probably increase to 12 this year.

    Lots of fun... and work.

    Best of luck!
    Work hard to get it down - play like tomorrow may end!

    Small Horse Farm: 12.5 acres: 2008 Kioti Dk 45SC with Cab, FEL, BH, 6' snow blower, 7' back blade, 7' box blade, 6' bush hog, 9"& 14" auger, 8' chain harrow, 4" chipper, sand spreader, 7' landscape rake, 3pt quick attach & coffee holder.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    My neighbors are rapidly building a sugaring operation... every year they get a little bigger.
    Last year was early; they started on Feb 23 and boiled for 25 days straight. This year they have a small part of their orchard tied into a vacuum pump; those are the only trees which have run so far.

    We have a deep snow cover, which should help keep the temperatures moderate; but with no frost in the ground a few days of warm rain will change the picture drastically.

    We still have wood to truck from frozen winter roads... plus I plan to make some syrup myself this year. As much as we'd all like spring I hope it comes in slowly instead of overnight, as it has done too often recently.

  5. #5
    Super Member JB4310's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    I boiled 20 gallons of sap today and got 2.5 qts of syrup.

    While I had the fire going, my wife got me a Salmon steak to cook. Grilled it just right and tried some maple syrup on it. It was great

    JB.
    JD 4310; E hydro, 300CX, 48 BH, 60" box, 72" rake, 72" rear blade, cast pallet forks, 48", 61"HD & 73" high volume bucket.
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  6. #6
    Member twall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    I gotta check with the syrup guy down the lane. Hope it's great! What's the quality like vs. last year? Last year, ours was terribly weak. I love a strong syrup, especially for sugar candy & maple cream.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by twall View Post
    I gotta check with the syrup guy down the lane. Hope it's great! What's the quality like vs. last year? Last year, ours was terribly weak. I love a strong syrup, especially for sugar candy & maple cream.
    Last year was an early run, and a lot of producers missed the first part. The darker syruo comes from adding cold sap; every time it stops boiling it will get a little darker. Also, toward the end of the season the sap changes with the same reusults.
    Still, the sugar content of the syrup should be a constant.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB4310 View Post
    I boiled 20 gallons of sap today and got 2.5 qts of syrup.

    While I had the fire going, my wife got me a Salmon steak to cook. Grilled it just right and tried some maple syrup on it. It was great

    JB.
    That's a good yield.
    Do you use a candy thermometer to tell when it's ready, or previous experience?

    I'm just getting a new barrel set up for my evaporator, Hoping for a good run at the end of the week.

    Enjoy.

  9. #9
    Member twall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jstpssng View Post
    Last year was an early run, and a lot of producers missed the first part. The darker syruo comes from adding cold sap; every time it stops boiling it will get a little darker. Also, toward the end of the season the sap changes with the same reusults.
    Still, the sugar content of the syrup should be a constant.
    Last year, it warmed up around here once, and never really got cold again, making for a short run. It was an odd spring.

    Like I said at the beginning, the stronger flavor comes from the up/down cycle caused by getting warmer/freezing. IMHO just darker syrup isn't necissarily stronger flavor.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member atgreene's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good syrup year this year?

    We're still tapping, fighting 2' of snow in the woods, last week it was 3' +.

    Looks like a promising year, but after 7 generations of doing this, every year we say it looks promising. lol

    We still have 500+ taps to get out, last year we boiled 3 or 4 days, year before we did 18 consecutive days boiling, so you never know.
    2009 Kubota M7040, cab
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    20 Scottish Highland Beef Cattle, 3 Herefords, 3 Goats, 2 Alpacas, 2 Llama, 140+- layers, and lots of maple trees.
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