It is that time of year again. Time for making maple syrup. It feels good to be able to make something while the gardens are still dormant. This year I have stepped up my syrup production a notch, adding about 20 more taps over what I had last year. I’m also experimenting with tapping sycamore and walnut trees. Boiling being the most time intensive aspect of making syrup I also built an evaporator out of cinder blocks that were lying around and found several broiler pans on clearance to use as pans. In theory you should be able to evaporate one gallon of water per square foot of pan area per hour. I’m not sure if it works quite that well, might need some tweaking yet. On days when I am busy and don’t have time to tend the fire I will still use the propane burner.
Last year I made a total of (8) 8 ounce jars that I sold and about 12 ounces for myself. This year I am hoping to at least double that. I’m also buying containers specifically for syrup instead of using mason jars. While not necessary they cost about the same price and I like the look of the bottles. I just ordered them along with a filter so hopefully they get here quick.
So far this year, I have collected about 20-25 gallons of sap, with most of it coming this weekend when the temps hit 50 degrees. Tomorrow I should be getting it down to about finished syrup, which I will store in the fridge or freezer until I get the filter and bottles. Hopefully we will have fresh syrup for our pancakes and waffles soon!