Category: Arches for Maple Syrup

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 [...]

First Maple Syrup

We made our first maple syrup of the year today, a beautiful and very light Dark Amber. After we filter it, it might actually be a medium amber. Because we’re being extra careful with the new evaporator, we didn’t pre-concentrate the sap very high (from two percent sugar to four percent sugar), so it took [...]

Maple Syrup on the Way

We boiled on the new “monster” arch today for the first time, and it was fantastic. First, though, we tricked a bunch of friends that it would be fun to “take a walk” in the woods. We have very gullible friends, and they found themselves looking for and fixing vacuum leaks. Here is one hapless [...]

New Tech in the Maple Syrup Operation for 2009

Last year we drove ourselves a little crazy by introducing a lot of new elements into the maple syrup operation. We introduced ourselves to filter presses (which take more sediment out of raw maple syrup), reverse osmosis (pre-concentrates sap before boiling), line vacuum (extracts more sap from trees), blowers (makes fire hotter) and pre-heaters (uses [...]

How to Not Burn Down Your Sugar Shack

It was getting to be a bit late in the night on one of those looooong boils last year. Several of us started sniffing the air. Was that something burning? Sometimes a car goes by burning a break pad, skidding around our nasty curve on Tucker Hill Road. It was easy to dismiss the first [...]

The Little House in the Sugar Shack

Yesterday I wrote about the construction Robert and Mike did with the tearing out of the wood that’ll be sitting near the newly enlarged stack hole at the top of the sugar house. This morning I happened to be out there while we were plowing the adjacent farm yard area, so I took this shot [...]

Bricking Up the Arch with Friends

We bricked up the “new” old arch in the sugarhouse. The maple syrup crew reconvened in the sugarhouse during exceptionally cold weather (otherwise we’d have been out in the bush putting up maple lines) and worked inside. We patched up the big holes in the windows – with quaint and scenic duct tape – and [...]

Saying Goodbye to the Old Evaporator

It was my first evaporator, bought after I failed to find a used 2 x 6. That’s an arch with pans totaling two feet wide by six feet long. The salesperson down in Alstead told me he wasn’t surprised I couldn’t find a pre-owned one. He said there were a lot more beginner sugarers out [...]

How Maple Syrup Gets Made – The Quick and Dirty Version

This overview shows how people take the fluid in the veins of trees and concentrate it to make maple syrup. You can search this site for more specific articles on each aspect, but here it is briefly all in one place. For some unknown reason, sugar maple trees produce much, much more sap and much [...]