+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 19 of 19

Thread: Gihring Family Farm photos - gearing up for the 2014 season!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Posts
    174

    Default

    Welcome to the site RiverSap.

    I always like hearing about other Missouri sugarmakers.


    I only tapped 17 trees this year, but because of your post, you got me thinking I should tap some more to catch this next run. Good idea!


    We've made 3+ gallons so far this year. Finally filtered it all the other day.

    This week looks good for sap, too. A bit cold, but we'll see.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florissant Missouri
    Posts
    128

    Default

    I wish I had anywhere like 100 gallons of sap to cook up a few gallons of syrup. I am beginning to think I tapped too early and that those taps are drying up. I maybe collected 10 gallons so far this week from the 25 trees I have tapped now. That gives me a total of about 50 gallons. I am planning on cooking up that this week. Some of that sap has already been in the container close to three weeks, most of that time it has been frozen solid. I did not have time after work to collect last night. I am hoping to have full buckets when I collect tonight or tomorrow morning. Yesterday and today are perfect days for sap running.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SE Missouri
    Posts
    248

    Default

    Those taps won't dry out, especially with tubing. We tapped the first week in January, and as I type this, our trees are giving us more sap than we can handle. So far, on about 460 taps, we've made 125 gallons of syrup, and I'm sure we'll have lots more to collect tonight and tomorrow, and it should really pick up in the mid and northern parts of the state. I've never made Grade A this late, but then I've never seen a winter like this one! As for the tree rats, they seem to have moved on. No chews for a couple weeks, now!
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florissant Missouri
    Posts
    128

    Default

    I cooked up 100 gallons of sap this past Monday. What a beautiful day it was. I have a 3’ X 2’ divided pan with a warmer. This is my second year of making maple syrup. Last year I cooked it over a rocket stove in an 8 gallon pot. I had 6 trees tapped last year and have 25 tapped this year. I built a concrete block stove with a 6’ chimney made with 8” stove piping. The concrete blocks are not cemented together. See attached picture.

    I poured 10 gallons of sap in the pan and 10 more gallons in the warmer. I lit the fire at 8:45 AM and had a nice boil going at 9:30. The pan did not quite work as I had expected. From what I had read I was expecting to draw off syrup ever so often when the temperature gauge rises to 119 deg. This did not happen. The temperature stayed exactly at 112 degrees the whole time. At around 8:00 PM all of the sap had cooked down and everything was in the pan and the temp was still reading just above 113. At that point I made the mistake of stoking the fire up one last time thinking I had about an hour to go to boil off the last 8 or so gallons in the pan leaving me with 2 gallons of sap. I should have left the fire as it was so that the rate of evaporation was slower.

    Yes I am saying I over cooked the batch. The pan bubbled over and by the time I got help to take the pan off the fire I pretty much had syrup that was the consistency of molasses, definitely not light grade A syrup. I am going to try to add some water back in when I do my finishing on the stove. Live and learn.
    2014blockstove.jpg2014blockstove_002.jpg
    Last edited by RiverSap; 03-11-2014 at 01:00 PM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SE Missouri
    Posts
    248

    Default

    Riversap - You won't be the first or last to overcook a batch. First year I had pans similar to yours, I turned one batch to charcoal and another to tar. Underestimated the amount of heat left in the homemade evaporator when I left for church. Now, we never leave the evaporator. Some friends had a setup similar to yours a couple years ago. Worked well for them, but the cinder blocks crumbled when they disassembled it. There are a lot of plans for homemade arches here on the trader that would work good with your pan.

    Are you still making any syrup or are you done for the year? Our trees still flowed this past week, and I hope to be able to collect this coming week. The trees are definitely slowing, and it's all grade B, but I'm itching to get to that 200 gallon mark!
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florissant Missouri
    Posts
    128

    Default

    I was out checking the buckets last night and it looks like I have quite a bit. I hope to cook up 50+ gallons for the last one of the season. I am going to snatch one of the bald eagles that occasionally fly by and have him keep an eye on my pan.

    I have looked around at some of the block arches and already have ideas on what I am going to do next year. Something similar to what I have but I am going to at least line it with firebrick.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florissant Missouri
    Posts
    128

    Default

    I ended up with about 90 gallons of sap and cooked it up on Saturday. I did not burn it this time using the divider pan. I have not put it into bottles yet. I plan on doing that on Monday after work. On Sunday I closed down everything for the season. I still need to wash out the buckets, pans and tubes. All in all it was a good season. I learned a lot and have all kinds of ideas for next year. I hope you made your 200 gallons of finished syrup. Based on the temperatures of the last few nights it looks like there could still be some sap running. I did not collect any. The two batches I cooked up are plenty for me this year. I have other fish to fry this time of year so to speak.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SE Missouri
    Posts
    248

    Default

    Did you get that sap cooked down? We finished with 197 gallons, and are in clean up mode now. We could've got to 200 with this week's temps, but I had so much yeast at the bottom of my collection barrels, the syrup has been pretty wangy. And, we were ready to be done with it. Like you, we have other fish to fry. 197 gallons on a 2.5 X 8 evap is a lot of time in the sugar shack!
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Florissant Missouri
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Yes I cooked down the last batch on the stove in the house and bottled it last week. It came out great. I would say medium grade. It tasted great on pancakes this past weekend. I was in clean up mode as well toward the end of the week. I bet I poured out 100 gallons of sap from the buckets I had on the trees and it was nice and clear. It may have been the best looking sap I had all year. It pained me to pour it out but I had already taken down the block arch and yes I have many other things to get to around the property. All in all a great year and I learned a lot. I already have ideas for next year.

    You ended up with 197 gallons. That is a log of syrup. I hope you get as good selling price. A lot of work went into making it no doubt. How do you filter the syrup. That was my biggest problem this year. I ended up with a lot of syrup in the filters that did not flow through. I use just the standard bag filters, the thicker one on the outside and the liners inside. I could have used more liners. I only bought 5 and it was too late to purchase more as the syrup slowed to a standstill in the filtering contraption I made up out of PVC piping. Live and learn.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts