Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Sappy Story

This is our 3rd year of making maple syrup.  We have a pretty rudimentary system, we hope to upgrade to galvanized buckets next year, we do have spiles now instead of copper tubing as we did the first year.  We have lost some sap with these milk jugs.  The wind will sometimes blow them out of place before they get full and then the sap isn't dripping in. 

Brayden loves to help check the sap and pour it into the bucket for us.
Jeremy was out of town last weekend so we set up a little labor saving method for sap boiling.  Propane turkey fryer baby!  It was nice not to have to keep a fire going while wrangling kids.  This really boiled the sap down quickly too.
But we do love to boil it over a fire as you get a nice smoky flavor, and who doesn't love a fire.  Jeremy's friend let him borrow his copper pot and tripod.  I think it looks pretty cool, we may have to make one of these for ourselves.  Every time I would go out and look at it I would come back in the house singing "Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble!"

Here is the finished product.  You can see the jar on the right has a dark sediment.  This is called the "niter".  This is natural and harmless and can be eaten and used for cooking the same as the other syrup.  However it isn't very aesthetically pleasing.  Filtering will remove the niter, however, filtering the final syrup is a PAIN. So we took the advice of a magazine article and let the niter settle then decanted the clear liquid off the top.  This method worked out pretty well.  This is just our first batch, we hope to get at least 3 times this much before the season ends. 

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