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Month: March 2009

Reader Question: Untapping Trees

Reader Question: This was our first year making maple syrup with our 3 children, 3 and younger. We started late in the season but successfully made 2 gallons from two 100 ft sugar maple trees on our property. I tapped the trees with plastic spiles, 7 in total. Now that the season is finishing, do […]

You Know Your Maple Syrup’s Thick When…

We’ve made some pretty thick batches of maple syrup. This is probably the largest sugar crystal-to-maple-syrup-volume ratio I’ve seen in one of our bottles. This is a 500 ml bottle, with a rock sugar crystal at the bottom that might be more than 5 percent of the original volume of the maple syrup. It was […]

Reader Question: Off Flavor in Maple Syrup

Another reader question: I am looking for some help in my own attempt at maple sugaring. This is the first time we have ever attempted this, and the syrup we produced has a very off flavor. Almost like rotten fruit? Any tips? -Tara There are a few things that can cause these off flavors in […]

Sugarhouse Visited by Balloon

This morning we had an acquaintance of ours from across town attempt to drop in via hot air balloon. The wind didn’t quite cooperate, but we were able to exchange hellos. He runs a balloon ride business over in the village of Post Mills. Got me to thinking what sort of air current effects he’d […]

Our Maple Syrup = Strong

We packed some of our Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup into our square bottles a few nights ago. We pack it strong. They were left overnight on the cold concrete floor, as temperatures dipped pretty low. The maple syrup at that temperature can keep only so much sugar in solution, so some of it […]

How Many Maple Syrup Makers Does it Take…

How many maple syrup makers does it take to measure the maple syrup density in the front pan? Answer: five. One to use the refractometer, another to tell you it’s not temperature-corrected, a third to mention how he does it with a hydrometer instead, and that *everyone* knows that hydrometers are more accurate, a fourth […]

Bats Coming Out Too Early

One of the pleasures of maple sugar season is watching the wildlife come back in the spring. My favorite part of a sugaring evening is taking a break standing on the high drive and watching woodcock and bats flit about over the field. But, unfortunately, the bats are coming out too early. There is a […]

Simple Solution to Dumb Mistake

There are a lot of details to sugaring, and we miss many of them. Usually we can quickly correct things. Sometimes, it’s difficult. This is a good example. In switching off different lines to help diagnose where a vacuum leak might be, we sometimes forget to turn the line back on. That’s bad enough. But […]

Completed First 55 Gallon Drum of Maple Syrup

We made about 25 gallons today, on a day that really should have produced more sap. My own data collected over some years shows what everyone else already knows: that temps in the low 20s at night and high 40s during the day produce the great runs. Despite getting temperatures at least that good and […]

Maple Syrup Not Breaking Loose with Abandon Yet

This was the third day in a row that we boiled just about the same amount – about 30 gallons of maple syrup. We started our first 55 gallon drum with tonight’s maple syrup, hopefully the first of many. We’re learning how to better fire the arch, using less wood and keeping the front pan […]


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