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Category: Hijinks

Draft Maple Syrup: Adding a Maple Tap to the Kitchen

Buidling on our [keg concept] from some months ago, Ellie and I installed a system the new counter top that sits on our dishwasher. For less than $50, we purchased the hardware needed to have a professional draft beer tap hooked into a 13 gallon keg of maple syrup sitting under our sink. Pressured up […]

PETA Takes on (Apparently Evil) Canadian Maple Syrup Makers

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are promoting a boycott of Canadian maple syrup. They’re not so much concerned with the abuse of maple trees as they are the annual seal harvest. PETA apparently believes that getting folks to stop using maple syrup from Canada will bludgeon our northern neighbors sufficiently that […]

Not Recommended: Drinking Rafter Sap

Things get a little punchy in the sugarhouse after a few hours of boiling. It’s not that infrequent that we wind up overfilling our concentrate tank, allowing it to foam over and start dripping down on us from the rafters. Invariably someone is square under it when that happens. But on a hot, 60-degree day […]

Slow Boiling Day in a Warming Thetford

[Bosco Take Break for a Moment] Thetford, Vermont is a strange and wonderful place, filled with interesting people and creatures. Over on the other side of town, up on Houghton Hill, there is a dog named Bosco who makes maple syrup with buckets. We visited him during a slow time last week, taking a few […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sap Day’s Eve, and All is Mayhem

Yesterday warmed, and today we should be getting a good run, provided the wind doesn’t come up and knock down the sap. We took advantage of the slow flow yesterday to do some more sugarhouse fiddling, including getting the water going (more below) and arguing about how we should move maple syrup from the evaporator […]

Governor Jim Douglas Caught with Hands on Sap Bucket

Each year here in Vermont, the governor rolls up his or her sleeves and taps tree around Town Meeting day. It’s a nice tradition put on by the various county maple syrup makers’ associations, and a good photo opportunity is had by all – except for maybe this last one. A reader emailed in this […]

How Not to Test a Sap Transfer Pump

That column of water on the left is hitting the ceiling and showering down all over the vacuum room. I had the clever idea to test to see if I’d hooked up the correct plugs by flicking the sap extractor’s electronic trigger. Well, it worked to show me the plug was in the wrong place. […]


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