Sunday, March 10, 2013

Maple Sugaring, Take 4

Is anyone getting sick of hearing about maple sugaring yet? This whole sugaring thing is starting to feel like an epic saga. Collecting sap is not the problem. We are rolling in it. We have more than we know what to do with. The line of maple trees on the south facing side of our woods give us dozens of gallons a day, and we have only tapped a portion of them. Boiling it down is the tricky part. We've tried the following:
  • boiling on a wood burning stove in the barn (the stove doesn't get hot enough to produce a roiling boil)
  • boiling on the electric stove on the house (it boils, but sap gets on the walls and ceiling)
  • boiling on the gas grill in the barn (still not hot enough)
  • boiling on an open fire in the woods (now we're talking)
We get a very strong boil on the fire pit Josh built in a clearing in our back woods today, so tomorrow we will play catch up with all the sap we've gathered and try to boil it down. The fire needs constant monitoring and stoking, but luckily we have tons of dead tree branches in the woods that can easily keep the fire going all day, preventing us from having to dip into our precious cord wood. The foot of snow on the ground keeps the fire contained, providing a nice safety check. Josh built a fire pit with rocks and set a grill plate on top to support the sap pot. He also drilled a small hole in a smaller pot that he places on yet another grill plate on top of the large pot. The raw sap is poured into the small pot and drips slowly into the larger pot, so as not to ruin the boil.

In other news, tomorrow is the big cement floor polishing day. The crew is set to arrive at 8 am and will be in the basement most of the day grinding, staining, and sealing the cement floors. We are unsure exactly how they will turn out, or if the color we chose will work in the space, so I have my fingers crossed for nice results. Wish us luck!


  1. Want to go in on one of these with us? Paul's been wanting a giant cauldron for years!

  2. Holy cow, that thing is huge! Is Paul planning to cook massive amounts of jumbalaya? ;-)

  3. That looks great boiling away outside. Mind you I suppose it does become a bind having to keep the fire going. Good luck with the floor. Have a marvelous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly