Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Sappy Update

Since I'm sure you've been wondering how our boxelder (maple) syrup experiment is going, I thought I'd give y'all a little update.
This is how much sap I collected this morning (after not collecting all day yesterday because it got busy.  And then it got dark).  Yes, we still have snow on the ground.  Don't let that distract you. 

Three gallons.  From 4 (leaky) taps.  That makes a total of about 10 gallons collected so far.  Do you know what this means, my friends?  This means that, quite possibly, with a week or so to go of sap season, we will get a quart or more of syrup out of this.

How long will that last us, you ask?  Well...about 3 weeks ;)

Thought I should show you this, too.  On the right, we have sap.  On the left, we have cooked sap.  This is what it looks like after cooking about 7 gallons of sap down to about 3 cups (almost syrup).  As you can see, it's getting darker.  You didn't really believe it was possible, did you?  It's also tasting much sweeter, and is acquiring that distinctive maple syrup flavor.  Yes!  This is a very good thing because it starts off tasting like tree bark.  Which I think we can all agree is not something you'd want to put on your pancakes. 

By the way, you can click here to see all of my sappy maple/boxelder syrup posts.

Public Service Message:
A friend of mine noticed in this post that I was cooking the sap indoors.  I'm doing it inside rather than outside because we're anticipating having such a small amount.  But, she mentioned that cooking the sap inside could ruin the finish on kitchen cabinets, because of humidity, but even more because sticky particulates can be thrown up into the air and deposit on the cupboards, which are then difficult, if not impossible, to remove.  So if you're going to cook syrup inside, be sure to protect your cabinets.  She suggested using freezer paper, or I suppose you could use plastic sheeting or even garbage bags.

1 comment:

  1. You probably know this, but the darkening is known as a Maillard reaction. (see You see the same thing in beer ... longer boils mean darker colored wort (which results in darker colored beer).


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