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Thread: Doin' Something A Bit Different With Wood...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Doin' Something A Bit Different With Wood...

    Did something a bit ... different with wood the past few days. Normally I'd be cutting it or gluing it or such like.

    Last week we tapped it!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    My son wanted to earn his "Maple Syrup" badge. And it seemed like a fun thing to try out. We love maple syrup, so we thought we'd experience a bit of the work involved in producing it. The local TSC store provided some spigots and buckets. The backyard just happened to have two sugar maples growing in it (and yes, we verified that first!). So off we went.

    It's really quite amazing how quickly the bucket can fill with sap.
    The next step is to boil it down, which we did yesterday.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here I'm filtering the sap through a coffee filter before putting it on the stove. The ants found the buckets within 2 days, which is kind of amazing, seeing as how it is still pretty darn cold out. I would have thought they'd be hibernating still.

    And here's what we got for our efforts
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    Hours of boiling -- next time we're going to run it much hotter I think. Hmm, this probably wouldn't even cover one meal of pancakes in our family of six. I knew going in about the 40-to-1 ratio, but it's still pretty amazing to see the results.

    We're still collecting. Might have another boil off next weekend, if the weather continues right. But I don't think I'll go into business..
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    good color on your syurp art, did that when i was kid but got no badge for it,, had milk cans for holding bins and got maybe a gallon that was burnt when we got done.. took alot of wood to keep it going.. the folks that do it each are gettin rich.. but it sure is good
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    so whens the pancake breakfast, lets take the syrup out for a test run

  4. #4
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    Cool stuff, Art. Real maple syrup is not cheap out here om the left coast, but there's nothing like the real thing. Did your son have as much fun as it seems you did.

    Years ago I attended a computer conference in Montreal (in February...I'd like to meet the mental giant who came up with that plan). One of the evening events featured all sorts of local food, including maple syrup on snow. Don't really remember the other foods offered, but the "Jack Wax" was good stuff.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    Now the guy that my father used to help (He would work all season every day for 1.5 gallons of syrup) has gone to vacuum taps.
    Sorry, did you say your dad would put in a few weeks of work (or whatever the season is) for just 1.5gallons of syrup as his pay? I know syrup is pricey but maybe I'm misunderstanding something. Or was it just a little bit of time each day?

    And all the places around here (that I've seen) use tubes and vacuum pumps also. Many have a reverse-osmosis gizmo to do the first bit of filtering. I've also seen one place with a very large boiler (the same size that my old boss used to have to heat multiple thousand square feet of greenhouse!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    Art the color looks almost to light for fancy syrup. Kinda looks like it might need to be on the fire for a few more hours. But that's hard to tell from one pic
    a- we ran out of time (had to leave) and b- if we'd left it on the stove much longer it'd have burned dry, it was in a big/wide pan. We considered swapping to a smaller pan but ... see "a". :-)

    Next time I want to start with more sap to begin with, that'd make that last bit easier, I think. It was a learning experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Cool stuff, Art. Real maple syrup is not cheap out here om the left coast, but there's nothing like the real thing. Did your son have as much fun as it seems you did.
    Well they are kids... they seemed to think the job was done once the sap was put on the stove in the pan.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
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    MMMMMMMmmmmmmm

    A friend of mine in New Hampshire makes maple syrup.

    One year they gave us a bottle. It was not really light, but not real dark either.

    I like it no matter what the color is. Dark is a nice maply flavor.

    Really light is really sweet.

    It's all good.

    I never tried making it - sounds like fun.

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