Sugaring - Part 2. Boiling

March 10, 2013  •  2 Comments

Boiling 0171DfRSCE

Happy Acres Farm - Sugaring Under the Stars

Last week I posted some pictures of Jim Peplau tapping his maple trees in preparation for the sugar season. Yesterday the sap began to flow and I returned to the Happy Acres Farm to document the boiling process. As previously mentioned, today sap from the sugar bush flows from the tap into tubing and all of that 10 miles plus of tubing on Happy Acres meets at one spot - the pump house. On occasion, Jim can apply a vacuum at the pump house to assist the sap to flow. From the pump house the sap is pumped up to the sugar house to a giant vat and the sugar content is monitored by the use of a hydrometer. Yesterday's sap was running 2.1% which was high enough to start boiling assuming enough could be collected. After walking all the lines and making any necessary repairs, Jim and Sandy were waiting for the sap to let loose. By late in the day enough sap had run and the vat level was at 30 inches. Jim and Sandy began to stoke the sugaring pans with wood from the 20 cords Jim had prepared. The sap flows through a series of baffles in the sugar pans as water is boiled off and the sugar concentrated. The temperature of the boil is carefully monitored as well as the sugar content. In the big pans Jim and Sandy stop just short of fully developed syrup, preferring to do the final boiling and filtering in a separate operation. In this manner they can deliver a consistent, high quality product. For the outside picture- Nikkor 17-55mm @18mm, f 5.6, 30 sec, ISO 1600; for the inside pictures - Tamron [email protected] various focal lengths, apertures, and speeds, ISO 800.



Comments

ladynthemountain(non-registered)
Cheers.... to one of the most hard working sap suckers and their Dog " Miss mocha " <3.
Ann Littlefield Coleman(non-registered)
David, I find this so interesting. After seeing it yesterday afternoon, I rushed off to the grocery store for some much needed items for the week. While going down one isle I noticed the maple syrup selection and I stood there thinking, "I'll bet they did not make it the way David's friend makes his with such love and dedication." This is all new to an old southerner. I only knew of the bucket and the syrup coming out of the tree, not the complicated plan of long lines to let the syrup roll through. I assume the weather is carefully watched to wait for something in between very cold and a slightly warmer time so the syrup will flow the long line before reaching the boiling house. At first I thought you were going to tell us of a house on fire from that first picture. But what a place you shared with us. The dog never seemed to leave either. It is a true family dedication story to a trade most of us know nothing about.
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