Well, we are done with making Maple (Boxelder) Syrup for the year. It was a bit of a disappointing year due to the lack of good sugaring weather. It needs to get above freezing (40+ degrees is nice) in the day, and below freezing (25 degrees is nice) but not to cold overnight in order to get the sap to run real good. There were only a couple days like that this year, the rest were either above freezing temps during the day and night, or below freezing day and night, so the run was very weak.
That said, we still did process close to 700 gallons of sap on our new (used) equipment. It was a lot quicker this year than two years ago when we processed 700 gallons. That time it took three weeks running the evaporator day and night. This time we only started the evaporator when we had saved up at least 120 gallons to process. So we only ran it five times, and only kept it going for around an eight hour stretch before the sap would be all gone. Sunday we drained the remaining "almost syrup" out of the pan and finished it on the stove in the house.
Currently all the syrup is in buckets in the garage "settling" -- letting all the sugar sand settle to the bottom. We will can it in a week or two, as time permits. All total we made about 13 gallons of syrup, which is about a 1 to 50 ratio. The nice thing about our new setup is that I was able to be more precise about when it was syrup using the built in temp gauge and our hydrometer.
So when you come out to the market this year, make sure you look for our jars of pure Boxelder Syrup! Yum!
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