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Thread: Birch syrup! Breaking rules but...

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Two Harbors, Minnesota
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    I discovered the problem with the acidity level in birch reacting with copper yesterday. I had to throw the whole batch out. Dammit.
    My understanding about the duration for tapping is much the same as Maple. When the buds come out, the season is over. I was hoping someone else would chime in to tell the both of us. This is my first time ever with birch and have only tapped maple for 3 years now.
    2016- 32 taps, 3 1/2 gallons
    2017- 150 taps, 13 gallons after building an evaporator
    2018- goal is 240+ taps. 20+ gallons.
    2018 Reality- 235 taps, 5 gallons of syrup. Average 50 birch taps and 3 gallons of syrup.
    Latitude 47.278150

    livingoffmyland.com

  2. #32
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    Mar 2018
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    Two Harbors, Minnesota
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    I have revised the way I am finishing the Birch syrup now. Because it seemed I was losing product with a flame under the stock pot, I decided to put firebrick between the stock pot and the flame. The syrup seems to be sweeter and less niter in the bottom of the pot. What while I found while finishing on an open flame, it niter forming in the same pattern as the flame from the stove. The niter was hard and crusty but not burnt as I didn't exceed 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Here's the preheater.
    IMG_20180514_181604861.jpg

    Here's the evaporator.
    IMG_20180514_181619709.jpg

    Finishing pot.
    _20180514_181658.jpg
    Last edited by billschi; 05-14-2018 at 06:44 PM.
    2016- 32 taps, 3 1/2 gallons
    2017- 150 taps, 13 gallons after building an evaporator
    2018- goal is 240+ taps. 20+ gallons.
    2018 Reality- 235 taps, 5 gallons of syrup. Average 50 birch taps and 3 gallons of syrup.
    Latitude 47.278150

    livingoffmyland.com

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Two Harbors, Minnesota
    Posts
    62

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    As careful as I was during the finishing process, it didn't matter. I will go back to an open, low flame.
    I have about 70 trees tapped and getting about 70-80 gallons of sap per day. I lose about 5-10 gallons of sap due to mice, squirrels and sometimes the bags falling off the trees because they got too full. I collect sap twice per day.
    2016- 32 taps, 3 1/2 gallons
    2017- 150 taps, 13 gallons after building an evaporator
    2018- goal is 240+ taps. 20+ gallons.
    2018 Reality- 235 taps, 5 gallons of syrup. Average 50 birch taps and 3 gallons of syrup.
    Latitude 47.278150

    livingoffmyland.com

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Da E. U.P. of Michigan. 46.16°N
    Posts
    187

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    Well im all done with our Birch syrup experiment. Made about a quart of finished (68 brix) from 3 taps. Here what I learned.

    1st, not sure when to tap, I tapped one Birch tree every day after finishing maple season. On day 10 finaly I got good sap out of the 10 th tree. The original 9 gave a total of 1 pint to just short if a quart each day. The 10th tree was giving about 1.5-2 gallons each day. This cotinued for 3 days. After this I pulled the first 9 taps as they were just not producing enough sap to make it worth while. I then tapped two additional trees, they ran like buckets when tapped. One produced 3.5 gallons and the other overflowed the 5 gallon bucket each day. They ran like this for the 4 days before the buds started to swell, at which point I pulled the taps. All taps were new 3/16 drops into 5 gallon buckets.
    2nd you can NOT freeze concentrate birch sap like maple sap. Since I only had three taps by the time the sap actualy started running, I was freeze concentrating the sap. I had done this for 4 days, throughing out the ice. While threwing out the ice one morning from the prior days sap, I was thristy so I ate some on the ice. While doing this it had a slight hint of sweetness. I tested the sap at 1.4% before putting it in the freezer, it now tested at 1.8%. I let the ice all melt then tested it, it tested at 1.1%! I had been threwing out sugar the whole time. I repeated this experiment 2 more times with similar results.
    While cooking down I cooked 5 gallons down to 1/2 gallon of concentrate, then remove and filtered the concentrate before freezing to start the next batch of raw sap. I repeated this until all the sap was concentrated. I then took the concentrate and cooked it down on propane making sure not to boil it, keeping it to a strong simmer. The end result was a deep red amber colored syrup.
    Last edited by Jolly Acres Farm; 05-15-2018 at 09:13 AM.
    New for 2016 Mason 2x4 XL with AUF blower. No more boiling in stainless steam table trays or pots for me.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Da E. U.P. of Michigan. 46.16°N
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    Picture just before final filtering. 20180513_111908.jpg
    New for 2016 Mason 2x4 XL with AUF blower. No more boiling in stainless steam table trays or pots for me.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Two Harbors, Minnesota
    Posts
    62

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    Looks like you did well.
    When I'm done tomorrow, we will have around 3 gallons if finished Birch syrup. Not bad for starting late with 25 taps and ending up with 75 taps. I have a few restaurants interested in the product and trying out new recipes for it. So far I have sold 10 8oz bottles for $15 each. I don't think I'll have any problem selling the rest of what I have.
    The buds just starting coming out today, and I am done. The sap tasted starchy.
    2016- 32 taps, 3 1/2 gallons
    2017- 150 taps, 13 gallons after building an evaporator
    2018- goal is 240+ taps. 20+ gallons.
    2018 Reality- 235 taps, 5 gallons of syrup. Average 50 birch taps and 3 gallons of syrup.
    Latitude 47.278150

    livingoffmyland.com

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