Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Maple Syrup Time

A visit to Kroll's Maple Syrup was a dream come true. I had heard of maple syrup making in the New England states and always wanted to see syrup made. Yesterday the day!  Kroll's are very friendly and gave me a tour and explained how the syrup is made..
Maple sap runs for 3-4 weeks depending on the weather.With this year's warm Spring the sap run is about over.  As it is no longer freezing over night. It must freeze each night and warm each day for the sap to run. It is very labor extensive. The whole extended family pitches in to help. A spout is hammered into 1500 trees. The sap is caught in pails or bags which fill in about 24 hours. The grove is split into 2 sections, so half is gathered in the morning and the other half early evening. The bags/pails are poured into 5 gallon pails, lifted up and the sap is poured through a screen into  a tank on a hay rack.  They gather 2100-2400 gallons of sap each day.The sap is pumped into the large evaporator.
The evaporator is wood heated. A chunk of wood is added every 10 minutes. The evaporator is well insulated and the outside jacket is cool to the touch. The sap travels through  has several baffles  before it finished. A batch takes 10 hours to cook. The sap is heated to 218 degrees. Evaporator is shut down, the sap cool a bit, then it is put into shiny stainless cream cans. The sediment tray is emptied. The sediment looks like molasses and sugar, it is fed to their beef cows. The evaporator is 'off' for two hours and fired up again.  Depending on the sugar content of the sap varying from 35-40%  dictates the yield. Generally it takes 35-40 gallons of sap to get one gallon of syrup. About a 1/3 of the syrup is sold at the farm. The remainder is sold at craft shows.
yesterday was a very good day, indeed

Till later



Michelle said...

Yum; I LOVE maple syrup and sugar! I think I would have tried to sneak off with some of that sediment they feed to their cows!

Gail V said...

What beautiful pictures of the sugar shack and syrup! At first I thought it was your setup, which made me worry that you might, just, be overdoing it!