Making Maple Syrup
After Church and filleting fish I prepped my 30 buckets, taps and storage containers. Propane finisher is in place.
Now decision time looms. Do I pop a few trees and end my icefishing season or do I wait until next weekend. My pattern has always been to go early, but this is still really early.
I was getting the bug and was going to make a post the other day. I just bought a small yard cart that I can pull with a UTV. Also bought a 65 gallon storage tank to put on the cart. Last year I was getting pretty tired hauling buckets back and forth, this should be pretty awesome now. I should be able to park it above my cooker and then run a hose down to it so that its gravity fed in.
This year I have a firebox made from solid firebrick, 4.5" thick. A work friend had a pile of it from an old kiln on his property. Did a little work for him and got it in exchange. Made it larger so I could get a bigger pan and a new feeder pan as well that I can just let trickle in. Good upgrade from my old steel barrel cooker I had. Excited to see how well it holds in the heat.
This summer I'm going to wrap it in clay brick to make it look nicer and also build a little shelter for myself for rainy days.
Many of us started with a turkey fryer and a few trees. I only finish in the house as well.
Once it gets in your blood you are always looking for more trees and a more efficient way to boil.
I like everything about it. Even splitting my firewood with an axe has its moments.
I also recommend mapletrader.com as a resource.
You dont have to build anything special. My first batch I cooked over a fire pit. Then I built a temp stove behind the garage. I 'll do something different thos year, just haven't had time to plan it out yet.
Don't think of it as work.... it's fun , thay you sometimes sweat whole doing!
We have sugar shack we built with 3 other neighborhood families , We usually do 100+ pints a year , much more on a good year . It's work but , with our little community all together , we have a lot of fun ! Specially when we sample for sweetness using a little "Jack" as a mixer with the boiling sap , then the fun really begins . Many cookouts as well . It becomes a several week party !!