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Thread: Hello! Newbie from SW Michigan.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Caledonia, MI
    Posts
    2

    Default Hello! Newbie from SW Michigan.

    Hello folks. My name is Erik and I'm just introducing myself. This year is my first attempt at syrup making. I tapped 9 trees (Though 2 have produced no sap) just over a week ago because it was a nice sunny day, and I had 3 and 5 year old little girls (nieces) making enough noise to chase me out of the house. I did my first boil on Sunday, and finished it up last night. Turned about 11-12 gallons of sap into about 40oz of syrup.

    Everything has been sort of cobbled together so far, and I wasn't very efficient at boiling for the first couple of hours, but I had gotten the hang of it by the time it was dark and time to stop.

    Pictures:

    My cobbled together arch:

    First fruits:

    Better view for color:

    I've still got 15 gallons to boil, plus whatever sap flows this week. Since this weekend is supposed to hit 50 and stay above freezing at night, I expect this will be it. Plus, buds have been out for a couple days, even though the sap is still clear and tastes good.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Congrats on your first boil!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Cornwall, CT
    Posts
    264

    Default

    Nothin' wrong with that! Welcome!
    1980 - 6 taps, stone fire pit, drain pan evaporator, 1 pint of syrup
    2016 - 55 taps on 3/16 and gravity, new sugar shack, 2x3 Mason XL, 16 gallons of syrup
    Inception of Young Love Maple
    2017 - 170 taps on 3/16, 30 on buckets, 2x4 Mason XL, NextGen RO. 50 gallons of syrup
    2018 - 19 more acres, 250+ taps on gravity and buckets, 2x5 Smokey Lake arch and Beaverland pan.

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

    Default

    Elitts,
    Welcome to Maple trader. Congrats on your first boil, just a friendly fair warning, its additive. In all seriousness enjoy and have fun.
    New for 2016 Mason 2x4 XL with AUF blower. No more boiling in stainless steam table trays or pots for me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    1,867

    Default

    Your syrup looks fantastic Erik. Welcome to sugaring and MapleTrader.

    P.S. I think I heard your nieces all the way up here.
    ~ Karen ~

    2012 - 10 taps, 1 turkey fryer - 169.5L sap 4.2 L syrup
    2013 - 23 taps, 2 turkey fryers - 748.5 L sap 17.56 L syrup

    2014 - 22 taps, 509 L sap 12.5 L syrup
    2015 - 28 taps, 1093.75 L sap 25.1 L syrup
    2016 - 25 taps, 1223.5 L sap 28.25 L syrup
    2017 - 21 taps, 518.5 L sap 12.7 L syrup
    2018 - 28 taps, 2 turkey fryers & Denali 3 burner propane stove - 798L sap 16.9 L syrup

    Sugar, Norway, Manitoba, Silver and Freeman Maples



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    8,580

    Default

    Nice looking syrup. As to the buds, the sap will be ok until the buds start to show a little green. As the season progresses, if you are not sure, do a test boil. Buddy sap will smell like old gym socks as it boils. Until a test boil smells like that, you can continue making syrup. Don't test it with some good concentrate in the pan, start a fresh batch to test.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 850 for 2018?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Caledonia, MI
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the warning about the buds. That makes me happy, I was getting nervous seeing bud clusters everywhere wondering if I was going to get a batch through 3-4 hours of boiling only to have the taste be my first warning that the sap was bad.

    I broke down and borrowed my scout troop's 3 burner propane stove to finish up the last 12 gallons of 5 older sap (6-8 days, but mostly <32). It boiled up fine and tastes good, but I didn't get quite as much syrup out of it as I'd hoped. I'll go back to wood this weekend when I have more time, cause I used 2/3rds of a tank (at $18.00) to get that much done and that gets pricey.

    I also decided to reboil my first batch a little more. My thermometer ended up reading more like 8-8.5 degrees over the water boiling temp, but the consistency seems much more in line with what I can see in youtube videos. It's also MUCH sweeter tasting, and having added in the propane boiled stuff tamed the smokey flavor a bunch.

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