This week we started boiling in the new sugar shack. There is no instruction manual for building all this stuff from scratch so its always a work in progress.
From the video you will here a couple of things I will change for next year :
re-build the manifold out of copper
raise the two 55 gallon tanks and put a fill location higher.
Add a filter on the input
double the number of trees tapped to 40
possible have a custom pan made
Add redundancy on important tools
that last one bit us. I have (or should I say had) only one hydrometer which is used for testing the syrup. I dropped it 1/4 inch in the test beaker and it cracked. Without we were out of luck.
We checked around but did not find anywhere local that stocked them so called a friend around the corner who has a much larger operation and he had one we could borrow.
He taps almost 5000 tress and processes 2000 gallons of sap. Next year he is looking to double the size of his operation. I took a couple of photos of his evaporator. It was an impressive setup but like ours you could tell it was a work in progress.
Back at our place we worked late into the night.
Our setup requires we pay attention. We got busy for a little bit and had a boil over on our last pan and lost about a gallon of syrup. In the end we are up to about two gallons and we have only one week left that we can work. So we may end up a little short.
Thats why I would like to add another 20 buckets next year. I want to make sure we can hit our 5 gallon target. We might hit it this year but I kind of doubt it. Probably will be between 3 and 4.
Its always a learning process and eventually we will figure it all out… then we will change it and have to learn it all again 🙂
In the video I mentioned I would not be posting a finishing video this year as I had done one last year and the year before. Here is last years video
After digging out last week we got to work getting ready for maple syrup season. We dug our way in with a little help and inspected the buildings.
We still had to remove additional snow from my father-in-laws place. This week we tackled the roof. Over the next couple of weeks snow removal will be a big part of our chores.
It seems like this winter goes on and on. In order to tap the trees this year (video will be uploaded later this week) we had to snowshoe around. There’s about 3 feet of hard pack snow currently on the ground. We attempted to pack the trails with the snowshoes and go in without them but that provided challenging at best.
This week they are calling for daytime highs to be in the 40’s and night lows in the 20’s. Perfect weather for sugaring. This will also hopefully put a dent in the snow pack.
Next week we should get started on boiling so stay tuned.
What a great fall weekend. The leaves are at their peak and there was a nice layer of frost on the ground. We could not ask for a nicer weekend.
One the sugar shack project we progressed nicely. We build a knee wall over the front opening to support the roof and add a little height to the project. We picked up some Amish 2×6’s during the week and used them to frame up the roof rafters. The project is coming along and should be completed in a couple of weeks.
On a side note I mentioned on the the video that after being asked many times I have decided to start selling my photography. I never really wanted to spend the time to take orders, print, matt, frame and ship things so I found someplace that will do that all for me. If your so inclined I have a site setup where prints can be ordered here, Chris Bordeleau Photography. These are not cabin related directly but many of the photos come from our property or the ride to and from the cabin.