Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another sappy update

Good gracious, people!  When we started this sappy experiment, we had no idea it would be such a rousing success.

To date, we have finished 5 pints of syrup.  Just in case you're not up on your English unit volume measurements, that's 5/8 of a gallon.  And just in case you're not good with fractions, that's more than half a gallon of yummy pure maple (boxelder) syrup.

But we have a little bit of a problem.  I'll show you:

The season's gone on a little tiny bit longer than we thought, and we've been getting a lot more sap than we imagined we would. 

  1. The most sap I've ever cooked in a day was 3 gallons.  And that was going non-stop from about 8 a.m. to about 10 p.m.
  2. I currently have 8 gallons of sap waiting to be cooked (yes, we still have snow on the ground--there's snow in the forecast, too. Don't let that distract you). 
  3. Yesterday, I collected 5 gallons of sap at around 3 p.m., and this morning, I collected another 4.  Overnight, FOUR gallons.
  4. Based on the weather forecast, we've got at least 5 more days of sappy weather coming*.
Sap!  You are not supposed to flow at night!  And I really should not have taken a break from syrup making yesterday.

I can't keep up.  Soon, Every. Single. Container in our household that is capable of holding liquid will be holding sap.  That's our cake saver up there. 

It holds 2 gallons, just in case you were wondering.

Yes, this whole experience has exceeded our expectations tremendously.  We were hoping for a quart of syrup.  We're gonna end up with more than 4 times that.

* With a conservative estimate of 5 gallons per day for 5 more days,  If we do this again, we're gonna need a bigger evaporator.


  1. That is crazy. I wonder if we should try this on our maple-like tree next year.

  2. Isn't it a sycamore? You can tap sycamores, too. Want me to send you a couple of spiles? We definitely could use some of your brewing set-up about now so we could process more at a time and outside...

  3. I actually meant to type "maple-like" tree. I don't know what it is, but it has leaves and seeds like a maple, so I figure it is like your maple-like box elder trees in that we would be able to get something out of it.

  4. Seems like you could use a turkey fryer to boil the sap. Like we used to boil corn.

  5. Rob is right ... something like this:

    Very similar to my setup.

    If you look in places like Walmart or Home Depot right after Thanksgiving, you can get these extremely inexpensive. So I've heard, anyway.

  6. Of course, that 40% off with free shipping is a pretty good deal. Not sure how much better you would be able to find it after Thanksgiving.

  7. Yup, we thought about a turkey fryer. Hubby seems to think I can magically conjure one for free... But the key to this thing is evaporation, and the the key to evaporation is surface area, so I'm thinking we need something larger and shallower.

  8. Hubby should be able to design up something and get it for free. What about a turkey roasting pan on the grill?

  9. Hmm. Sounds good, Dawson64. Unfortunately, we don't have a big roasting pan, and I can't conjure up one of those for free, either. I wonder what the crock pot (with no lid, obviously) would do? Probably way too slow...


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