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#399969 - 02/05/15 08:47 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: basslover]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5556
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: basslover
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
Tony,

Is there a book or some other resource you would recommend on making your own syrup? Looking for recommendations on equipment, boiling, pretty much the whole process. Sounds like a cool thing to do.


This is an easy $10 investment:

Backyard Sugarin' A Complete How-To Guide
http://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Sugarin-C...ackyard+sugarin


It is not targeted to commercial processing, but the home do it yourselfer with shallow pockets but a desire to make syrup. I don't think you can go wrong reading and referencing this book.


Thanks! Think I will get a copy.

.....does it cover recommendations on rain gear and/or sugar shacks? grin
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

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#399977 - 02/05/15 09:20 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
I have that same book. It's a little dated, but most of the info is still applicable and relevant. One of the biggest changes is removal of lead, such as used in galvanized collecting buckets, and in the solder used to fabricate the pans.

If it were just me wanting to try my hand at making syrup, I probably wouldn't worry as much about the lead. But if you intend to sell or give the finished product away, then that's another story.

If you want the "bible" of syrup production, this is what you're looking for: http://www.massmaple.org/manual.php
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#400300 - 02/09/15 08:44 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
I've given this maple syrup thing quite a lot of thought over the past couple weeks, and figured I might share a little of what it means to me to be a small, part time sugarmaker.

It means getting up earlier on the weekends than I would during a weekday, and heading over to the cabin, in the dark, to build a fire in the woodstove. My parents drive 50 miles one way just because they want to be a part of the process, but they cannot endure the cold like they once could. So I get the fire started early, so the cabin is warm when they arrive. They'll typically stay over a couple nights, helping in the sugarhouse during the day.

It means getting an early start on the fire in the evaporator, so the sugarhouse will be warm enough for their comfort also.

It means getting several cases of glass syrup bottles for Christmas, and being honestly thrilled with that gift. It means watching my 73 year old mother skim foam off the boiling sap, (and finding out she has ordered a custom, stainless skimmer just for that purpose), while watching my 75 year old father swing open the firebox door and pitch in some wood.

It means celebrating my youngest son's 12th birthday in the sugarhouse, complete with cake and candles, surrounded by family members singing "happy birthday"....and wondering if he is OK with that. It means watching my 14 year old son back the Mule around the trees, collection tank full of sap, and hook up the discharge hoses and begin offloading sap into the storage tanks, all without any input from me. And observing my father, who watched the whole thing through the window, smile and nod.

It means watching my wife bottling 200 degree syrup one moment, filling the preheater the next, running and emptying buckets, and bringing home a new journal today, just so we can record such details as gallons made, sap collected, and who was there that day to help celebrate a birthday.

It means knowing you're committed to either reaching your production goal, or running until the season ends, whichever comes first. It also carries the unfortunate realization that neither scenario is under your control.

It means being cold and wet, and tucking your pants legs down into your boots....when the trees thaw enough to run, the ground thaws also, and it's mud everywhere.

It means hanging a note on the office door, apologizing for being in the woods instead of the shop, and asking that if you drop something off to please include a note with your name and number. Then returning only to find that every note includes something along the lines of "How's the sap running?", or "would you mind if I came over and just watched?", or even "I remember doing that as a boy...good for you!"

Bottled another 2.5 gallons this weekend, getting there, one drip at a time.

_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#400303 - 02/09/15 08:48 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5556
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Now that sir is called Livin the Good Life and having your priorities set right! Congrats!
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

Top
#400305 - 02/09/15 09:09 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
Dave Davidson1 Online   content
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13318
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
Tony, enjoy it. Things always change.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#400318 - 02/10/15 12:24 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: Dave Davidson1]
airborne3118 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 186
Loc: Indiana, Decatur County
How does a guy go about buying some of this from you? Or is it even for sale?

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#400321 - 02/10/15 12:41 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: airborne3118]
esshup Offline
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Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Tony:

The Amish family that I get mine from writes their daily production on the sliding door of the sugar shack, and now it has migrated to the wall with a black magic marker. It's grouped by year, then a column by month/date and gallons of sap processed and gallons of syrup produced. It's a record that is going back into the early 1970's, and is always at their fingertips. Last year was only the 2nd or 3rd year that they were collecting sap in April. They had to close the sliding door all the way to see all the records. wink

The records can't be lost or destroyed unless the shack burns down. Not saying that the leger is not the way to go, but having that many years of history right behind them as they are tending the evaporator is kinda neat.

I believe you are starting a legacy that your kids will continue to keep going, although there may be some interrupted years once they discover girls.
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#400326 - 02/10/15 05:54 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
Dave Davidson1 Online   content
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13318
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
You're right Scott; things change. Parents don't live forever and the children grow up to get busy with their own lives.

The Beatles said it best in Puff the Magic Dragon. Dragons live forever but not so little boys. All of these things make way for other toys.

Treasure these times Tony.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

Top
#400337 - 02/10/15 09:26 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: Dave Davidson1]
Bing Offline
Ambassador
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 1598
Loc: Fayette County Illinois
Dave, I'm kinda thinking that Peter, Paul & Mary talked about Puff.
_________________________
And now for a lil mechanical engineering....I'm going to put a rear end in my recliner!

Sushi is fish for men who do not know how to build a fire.

Top
#400356 - 02/10/15 02:25 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7785
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
I've given this maple syrup thing quite a lot of thought over the past couple weeks, and figured I might share a little of what it means to me to be a small, part time sugarmaker.

It means getting up earlier on the weekends than I would during a weekday, and heading over to the cabin, in the dark, to build a fire in the woodstove. My parents drive 50 miles one way just because they want to be a part of the process, but they cannot endure the cold like they once could. So I get the fire started early, so the cabin is warm when they arrive. They'll typically stay over a couple nights, helping in the sugarhouse during the day.

It means getting an early start on the fire in the evaporator, so the sugarhouse will be warm enough for their comfort also.

It means getting several cases of glass syrup bottles for Christmas, and being honestly thrilled with that gift. It means watching my 73 year old mother skim foam off the boiling sap, (and finding out she has ordered a custom, stainless skimmer just for that purpose), while watching my 75 year old father swing open the firebox door and pitch in some wood.

It means celebrating my youngest son's 12th birthday in the sugarhouse, complete with cake and candles, surrounded by family members singing "happy birthday"....and wondering if he is OK with that. It means watching my 14 year old son back the Mule around the trees, collection tank full of sap, and hook up the discharge hoses and begin offloading sap into the storage tanks, all without any input from me. And observing my father, who watched the whole thing through the window, smile and nod.

It means watching my wife bottling 200 degree syrup one moment, filling the preheater the next, running and emptying buckets, and bringing home a new journal today, just so we can record such details as gallons made, sap collected, and who was there that day to help celebrate a birthday.

It means knowing you're committed to either reaching your production goal, or running until the season ends, whichever comes first. It also carries the unfortunate realization that neither scenario is under your control.

It means being cold and wet, and tucking your pants legs down into your boots....when the trees thaw enough to run, the ground thaws also, and it's mud everywhere.

It means hanging a note on the office door, apologizing for being in the woods instead of the shop, and asking that if you drop something off to please include a note with your name and number. Then returning only to find that every note includes something along the lines of "How's the sap running?", or "would you mind if I came over and just watched?", or even "I remember doing that as a boy...good for you!"

Bottled another 2.5 gallons this weekend, getting there, one drip at a time.














Good good good, clarifies some things for me. Keep it up, Spark.
_________________________
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





Top
#400359 - 02/10/15 03:10 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
Chris Steelman Offline

Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 1815
Loc: Red River County,Tx
Spark,

You should donate a bottle of that to the Auction at the Conference. I can see that going for a pretty penny. Money goes to a good cause as well.

Top
#400374 - 02/10/15 05:41 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: Chris Steelman]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5556
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Originally Posted By: Chris Steelman
Spark,

You should donate a bottle of that to the Auction at the Conference. I can see that going for a pretty penny. Money goes to a good cause as well.


I'd bid on it if they'll take bids oveer the phone!
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

Top
#400379 - 02/10/15 07:00 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: Bill D.]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Tony:

If you do consider having a bottle bid on, and are wondering how you will get it to Dallas, I will be in Jasonville, IN on Monday afternoon doing a pond consult.

Scott
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#400391 - 02/10/15 08:13 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: esshup]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Originally Posted By: esshup
Tony:

If you do consider having a bottle bid on, and are wondering how you will get it to Dallas, I will be in Jasonville, IN on Monday afternoon doing a pond consult.

Scott


Jasonville?? Be careful out there....Yolk thinks my fish are mutants, but he's never fished out in the wilds of strip mine country, Jasonville! grin

Anyone know the policy on food-type items up for auction? Is it permissible?

Production is slow thanks to the weather, so chances are I won't make the conference. We're too far behind on where we should be, but the forecast is improving so I foresee some long nights boiling in my near future.

However, this entire venture is meant to be enjoyable and pleasing to the soul. And we can think of no better way to accomplish that, than to make a donation to a worthy endeavor. So if it is not objectionable, we would be honored to offer up some syrup for the cause.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#400403 - 02/10/15 09:22 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Originally Posted By: sprkplug

Production is slow thanks to the weather, so chances are I won't make the conference. We're too far behind on where we should be, but the forecast is improving so I foresee some long nights boiling in my near future.


Tony, just be glad that you aren't up here. Friday they are calling for a high of 4F.
_________________________
www.hoosierpondpros.com


http://www.pondboss.com/subscribe.asp?c=4
3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#400448 - 02/11/15 02:44 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: esshup]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Originally Posted By: esshup
Originally Posted By: sprkplug

Production is slow thanks to the weather, so chances are I won't make the conference. We're too far behind on where we should be, but the forecast is improving so I foresee some long nights boiling in my near future.


Tony, just be glad that you aren't up here. Friday they are calling for a high of 4F.


Little better down here. High of 16 tomorrow, with single digits for lows a few nights.

No sap for me.
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#400468 - 02/11/15 08:17 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
Anyone know the policy on food-type items up for auction? Is it permissible?


I would say that if you are legal in "all respects" to sell to the general public, then go for it.

Auctions are strange animals, and a "buyer beware" scenario, but this would be one for a fund raiser, and not a real auction.

If it's a donation to a fund raiser, liability could reflect back.

Top
#400858 - 02/14/15 10:37 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Last Saturday was my youngest son's B-day, spent it in the sugarhouse...today was Valentines day, spent it in the sugarhouse also. No worries, both events were celebrated while the sap sizzled.

Lit the fire in the evaporator at 7 am this morning, got back to the house about 45 minutes ago. Almost 15 straight hours of boiling.

Got the OK from Mr. Lusk regarding maple syrup for the auction at the upcoming conference, so step up for a great cause!

Where could you find a hand crafted masterpiece tied by a PondBoss legend like George, right next to a sticky, fingerprint coated bottle of pancake dressing donated by some nut job who's eyebrows have been singed off?

PondBoss Conference and Expo, where else??
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#400863 - 02/14/15 10:47 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5556
Loc: Boone County Illinois
Gosh Dangit! Any progess on allowing on-line bids!!
_________________________

You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!

Top
#400872 - 02/15/15 07:29 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
FireIsHot Online   content
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3735
Loc: Emory TX
Tony, once again, your annual maple syrup thread is one of my favorites.

I know you've streamlined the process, and plan to continue doing so, but 15 hours of tending boiling sap really puts the commitment in perspective.
_________________________
AL

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#400879 - 02/15/15 08:33 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
What a kind way to put that, Al. At this stage, I might have substituted "obsession" in place of "commitment".
_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#400880 - 02/15/15 08:43 AM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
FireIsHot Online   content
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3735
Loc: Emory TX
Originally Posted By: sprkplug
What a kind way to put that, Al. At this stage, I might have substituted "obsession" in place of "commitment".

laugh

Nah, obsession never crossed my mind. We spent a lot of hours over a hot stove canning stuff out of the garden last year, and it all tastes better to us. It may just be our perspective, but it's something we taught ourselves to do, and we can't wait to get started again early this summer.
_________________________
AL

Top
#400929 - 02/15/15 09:25 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
sprkplug Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6945
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
This shot illustrates how syrup can appear very different from batch to batch. Big producers may blend their product to assure uniformity in taste and appearance, but the small scale operation can choose to showcase each batch, and celebrate its distinctiveness.

The bottle on the left is from our first run, and is light amber. The bottle on the far right is dark amber, bottled today. There's a couple bottles of medium in between.

Light coloration usually gives you a very sweet taste, with a subtle maple flavor. The darker the syrup, the more pronounced the maple flavoring becomes, but it's not quite as sweet. Usually, anyway.

Nature holds most of the cards where color and sweetness are concerned, but there are subtle tweaks a sugarmaker can do to try and tip the balance one way or the other. Aging the sap, to allow the yeast to consume more of the sugars will usually yield darker syrup, as will an extended cooking process.

The syrup market out east prefers a light amber product, and darker syrup is frowned upon for that reason. But many who try maple syrup, REAL maple syrup, enjoy the taste of the darker stuff. Me included.

A quality medium grade, offers a fair compromise.

_________________________
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

Top
#400931 - 02/15/15 10:27 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: sprkplug]
Bing Offline
Ambassador
Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 1598
Loc: Fayette County Illinois
I am guessing that if you donate a dark bottle to the Conference auction it will bring more than a light syrup.
_________________________
And now for a lil mechanical engineering....I'm going to put a rear end in my recliner!

Sushi is fish for men who do not know how to build a fire.

Top
#400932 - 02/15/15 10:43 PM Re: Making Maple Syrup [Re: Bing]
JKB Offline
Hall of Fame 2015
Lunker

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 6692
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Bing
I am guessing that if you donate a dark bottle to the Conference auction it will bring more than a light syrup.


That would be my guess. No comparison. The full bodied dark stuff is a whole lot better, at least from my perspective. I'm not a big fan of Mary Poppins.

Good going on the thumbs up!

Top
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