- 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.