Fire Is Hot! and What Determines The Grade

Click image for video

Well, after three days of boiling, we seem to have reached a weather induced hiatus. After five firings where we seemed to be able to make nothing but fancy and medium grade syrup, yesterday was a Dark Amber day.

What determines the grade? As spring dawns, the sugar maples will initially draw water from the ground, through the sugars stored in their roots, up the tree and either out your tap hole, or into the developing leaf bud. As spring progresses and the weather warms, the trees will begin to pull more and more minerals etc. from the soil when you boil this sap, its the quantity of those minerals that are partially responsible for making the sap darker in color.

The weather here had been great for sugaring and the last couple of days we have not had nights below freezing and as a result, the trees have not recharged themselves and we are out of sap to boil. Who knows if the season will come back or if it will essentially be over.  Our suspicion is that it will come back briefly for another week or two at most.

If you have ever wondered how hot things were in the sugar house, the video link above tries to define that a bit for you.  Needless to say, it is HOT! Good gloves and the oh, so fetching face shield are a must. As of today, we have made over 12 gallons of syrup and are at the moment ready for a break.  Lets hope that things pick up though because we are going to have company and they want to see things in operation!

Posted on 14 March '10 by Counselor, under Hilltop Maple.

2 Comments to “Fire Is Hot! and What Determines The Grade”

#1 Posted by school grants (19.04.10 at 02:32 )

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

#2 Posted by Counselor (19.04.10 at 09:47 )

Thanks for the kind words.

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