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Author Topic: Spring - Sap Rising - Making Maple Syrup
Ken Hume
Posts: 431
Post Spring - Sap Rising - Making Maple Syrup
on: March 29, 2016, 08:10

I noted with much interest the post made by Darrell on The Bodgers Forum regarding making Maple Syrup [edited transcript follows].

"On Thursday night before Easter we travelled to our woodland property up north, about halfway between Kingston and Ottawa. It was time once again to make a run of maple syrup. This was Round Two, having gone up 2 weekends before to tap the trees, and last weekend for the first batch.


I was up early on Friday morning setting up the fire pit, lighting the fire and getting the first couple of buckets of sap into the evaporation pans. Our setup is really simple, a couple stacks of fire brick, some angle iron, and two stainless steel steam table pans. In order to make the fire hotter and get things done in a couple of days instead of a week we use a forge blower to boost the output of the fire. Works like a charm! Lots of dead ash trees (sadly) for fuel, which I had chopped into convenient hunks in the dead of winter. I spent a lot of time with the splitting maul and hatchet making little pieces out of big pieces.


Most of the sap in the buckets was partially frozen, so it was a long tedious process to melt and boil it all down. We have 25 buckets attached to maple trees, not all were full, so after boiling down we ended up with 4.5 litres of #3 Dark syrup. Since the syrup pan is exposed to all the smoke and ash it has a very distinct smokey flavour. We don't like commercially produced maple syrup anymore, it's too bland compared to ours. Maybe low tech is sometimes better ?


We came home quite late last night, as the post-boiling cleanup is a drawn out affair.


I wonder if anyone in Oxfordshire has tried to make Maple or other (birch ?) syrup from trees in their woodland ?

Ken Hume

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