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Thread: maple syrup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    china,maine
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    411

    Default maple syrup

    In my year and a half of caching I have met many people and can even call some of them good friends! In conversation with those friends and even others I am always amazed that most people are unaware of the homemade maple syrup "industry". I have been tapping trees and making syrup for 20 years now and until I discovered caching was never a problem. I spend 2 weeks in Feb. preparing for the season, 4-5 weeks in March collecting and boiling the sap and a week afterwards cleaning up. Because of the need to have a job I only boil on weekends if possible which does not help my caching efforts. This year I have 200 taps out and hope to make 25 gallons of syrup which is what it seems to take to keep my WHOLE family and caching buddies happy! The average gallon of syrup consists of 40 gallons of sap. I can boil 200 gallons of sap in 18 hours to produce 5 gallons of syrup. The perfect conditions are when the temps fall below freezing by around 8pm and the day is sunny and temps in the 40's.Because you need to have certain conditions the sap does not flow every day. I find the syrup hobby to be almost as fun as caching and thought that I would share some knowledege and keep updating with my daily collection totals. Today was not the perfect day but was quite nice. Because this was the first "run" I will be able to cache this weekend!
    Todays sap collection total..... 100 gallons!
    You can't have everything. Where would you put it?-Steven Wright

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

    Default

    Do you have a commercial boiler? We have a home-made boiler (old oil tank) which works pretty good - but probably could be lot more efficient. We probably make a total of 10 gallons of syrup per year - all for "family" use. LOL!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    china,maine
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    411

    Default

    No commercial boiler! I built a 9 foot long 4 foot high and wide stove out of high fire kiln brick. How many taps do you put out Bruce?
    You can't have everything. Where would you put it?-Steven Wright

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    ME
    Posts
    3,517

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    Ah Maple Syrup - the sweet nectar of Maine (and other states of course) Maples. I remember when Maine Family first started putting out caches they placed little bottles of Maple Syrup in their caches. A very nice touch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

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    Quote Originally Posted by shuman road searchers View Post
    How many taps do you put out Bruce?
    We usually put out 30-40. Real big operation! LOL!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    So. China Maine
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Fun!

    I've never been involved in the hard part of making syrup but I'm real good at standing by the fire and drinking beer, an intergral part of the process based on my limited experience. And Jim's brother makes some of the best homebrews I've ever had! Might have to swing by later and pay a visit.
    Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    abbot me
    Posts
    754

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    When we were kids my uncle got us involved in making syrup. We use tin cans my aunt got from here job as cook a the school, and a fifty five gallon drum for a stove. Each year the operation got a little bigger, better equipment, a real evaporator, even a sap house. Today my cousin Douglas Morin still runs the business my uncle started fifty years ago in Limerick. He has the most modern equipment, puts out three thousand taps, makes 5-6 hundred gallons of syrup a year, but I bet it's no where near as much fun as it was for us kids.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    china,maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubord207 View Post
    I've never been involved in the hard part of making syrup but I'm real good at standing by the fire and drinking beer, an intergral part of the process based on my limited experience. And Jim's brother makes some of the best homebrews I've ever had! Might have to swing by later and pay a visit.
    I am hoping to drink (boil sap) when you get back from your trip so I will let you know.
    You can't have everything. Where would you put it?-Steven Wright

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
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    We always tapped 20 or so trees on our property when I was a kid. I didn't have much part in the process other than lugging 5 gallon jugs of sap to the house where my parents would boil it down on the gas stove. I am not a huge fan of pancakes or waffles or any of the traditional uses for syrup, so I can use imitation syrup on those. But I like the real stuff on ice cream. We also used to make the maple syrup crystal candy by dropping boiling syrup into the (non-yellow!) snow.
    DNFTT! DNFTT! DNFTT!

    "The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it..."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    china,maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by brdad View Post
    We always tapped 20 or so trees on our property when I was a kid. I didn't have much part in the process other than lugging 5 gallon jugs of sap to the house where my parents would boil it down on the gas stove. I am not a huge fan of pancakes or waffles or any of the traditional uses for syrup, so I can use imitation syrup on those. But I like the real stuff on ice cream. We also used to make the maple syrup crystal candy by dropping boiling syrup into the (non-yellow!) snow.
    We eat it on ice cream but also in Homemade bake beans and also in squash!
    You can't have everything. Where would you put it?-Steven Wright

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