After tapping the trees and hanging the buckets last weekend, we spent this past week prepping for the seasons first boil. Collecting over 40 gallons of sap in five gallon buckets is a daily routine of maple season. The buckets then get buried in snow on the northside of the homestead until the weekend arrives. Another part of the prepping that is needed for our maple syrup set up is lots of wood. Having a large wooded lot makes sourcing wood pretty easy but its always more fun when your chainsaws are well oiled, tuned up and sharp. After taking a look at both my saws and a quick sharpen of my hatchet and axe, it was apparent that my lil workhorse needed some TLC. After an hour of degumming the insides by scraping away a season of thick sap hardened saw dust I decided the teeth on the old chain were not worth sharpening again and replaced it with a new even more aggressive chain.
Like a hot knife through butter... the new chain made quick work out of a handful of standing deadwood. Bucking it up and hauling it to the firepit is the next step and is easier to maneuver on a cold morning when the frost hardened ground makes the wheelbarrow part a little more pleasant. Nothings more demeaning then pushing a heavy load up a muddy hill...
Timber... buck, load, push and stack.
All ready to boil... fire started and let the sap flow, simmer, boil and bubble!
Always a good day to put out the invite as a typical boil day has me lighting the fire first thing in the morning and straining the remaining couple gallons after dinner. We had a steady stream of folks pass through
Another successful maple boil that has took just over 40 gallons of sap down to 2 gallons of sweet tree nectar that I strained through cheesecloth before cold crashing in the fridge overnight. After work tomorrow Ill bring it up to a boil, strain it through a finer wool flannel material and dial in the sugar content before bottling. The sap buckets are already collecting more sap for another boil next week and the process will continue as long as the season allows!