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Country Discussion Topics
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Syrup collecting
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bob ny    Posted 01-11-2004 at 10:40:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
does the extreme cold winter affect the maple syrup industry at all? taste, amount, collecting in the spring

G.W.W.    Posted 01-12-2004 at 01:17:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
A cold winter is good for the sugar bush. It is the spring weather that you should worry about.

Good luck...Good tapping!

Sid    Posted 01-11-2004 at 12:03:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
I really enjoyed the discussion and pictures about gathering and cooking sap last year looking foward to more.

G.W.W.    Posted 01-12-2004 at 01:15:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
A cold winter is good for the sugar bush. It is the spring weather you need to worry about.

Good luck...good tapping.

Salmoneye    Posted 01-11-2004 at 13:40:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
It's coming...

I have to get working this week in earnest...Still have a pan that needs fixing...Have a couple numbers right here on Post-Its for metal working guys...

dave    Posted 01-11-2004 at 11:40:24       [Reply]  [No Email]

G.W.W.    Posted 01-12-2004 at 01:23:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Can't speak for Cornell, but in these parts warm days and frigid nights in spring will bring on the sap flow. That has been the wisdom on this farm for 200 some years.

Good luck!

Ron/PA    Posted 01-11-2004 at 12:30:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yer right Dave, you can't predict the flow this early, although some years I'd be ready to tap in a week.
However once it's time to tap, and I see the water in the streams, and the snow cover on the ground, as well as the temps. I can sure predict which trees and which taps I best be covering twice a day or hanging bigger jugs.
When you only put out a hundred or so taps, it's a little easier to predict the good from the bad.

Les    Posted 01-11-2004 at 11:29:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
There are no doubt lots of factors that go into how good or bad a year is going to be. But the most important one is the weather during sugaring season. If that isn't right, it isn't going to be a good year, no matter what else has happened in the months leading up to it.

Ron/PA    Posted 01-11-2004 at 10:49:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here's what I can tell you about our operation here in PA. We prefer a good cold snap before the warm up. Then I like a wet year, lots of ground water, and a little snow on the ground helps as well.
Our best years are years like this one, freezing up real good before the flow starts. Snow on the ground, and tapping the south side of the trees as much as we can.
That's my experience, now if you're lucky Salmoneye, alias Prof. syrup, will come along and tell you the truth about it all. If he does pop in listen, cause after a life time of bottle gathering and kettle cooking, he's taught me more in a couple of years than I stumbled across in the last 50. Including sugar weiners(GRIN)
Ron. Who's waiting for him to go away for a week so's I can steal his hat!!!

No need to transgress...    Posted 01-11-2004 at 11:20:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
One of the 'Big Ten' and start stealing at this point in your life...Just ask and you can have the danged hat...My head is getting too big for it anyway ;-)

As for sap...I'll be darned if I have ever been able to predict a good or a bad year...

To hear lots of the people around here last year cry, you would think that it was one of the worst years of all time for sap...After all was said and done, I ended up with 90%+ of what I expected to make, so the year was not a loss by any stretch...It would be under average for me, but not worth crying over...I know of one outfit on the other side of town that had (according to them) one run and they made 5 gallons on 500 taps for the year???...Still scratching my head on that one...500 taps and I would have had over 100 gallons finished off...

As to the original question, I like it to get cold like this for a couple weeks...After that I kind of need it to mellow...Not above freezing (or much above 20 really), but it is a bear to work and set lines in cold like this...Once the trees are frozen through, they are just waiting for the air temp at the bud tips to get above freezing and the sun to warm the trunks...

2 years ago I was out in 20 degree weather with blinding sun...Nowhere near 32 air temp...I cut a couple of 6 inch maples during a release cut...You should have seen the stumps pour...I cut them about an inch above the ground, and they just ran like a river...I had never seen anything like it in early February...

If I was a betting man...I would still never bet on what the weather or the trees will do...I just put out taps, 'expect' a quart of finished syrup from each one, and hope for the best...

All that said...I have seen years start like this...Colder than a witches you-know, with all this water in the ground, and healthy trees...And come out with almost double what I normally expect...Also seen it go the other way...

When someone gets it right, please let me know...I have lots of people that are interested...


Salmoneye, The Wannabe Master Sugarer

Dave Smith    Posted 01-11-2004 at 11:52:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Something you did not mention. If you cut maple for fire wood when the sap is running, it makes for a little longer seasoning (drying) time but has a great aroma when you burn it.
Where's the maple nut ice cream, maple syrup, whipped cream, choped walnuts and cherry.
Maple nut sunday time.
That is good.
Dave <*)))><
PS, Do you make stick jaw?

Salmoneye    Posted 01-11-2004 at 13:37:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ya know...

That came up a few years back...I don't, and I never paid attention to the exact temp...Too hot and it will crystalize out and be more like 'crack', too cool and you will get the consistancy for Sugar On Snow...

I still have some left from last season...Maybe I need to experiment some...

G.W.W.    Posted 01-12-2004 at 01:29:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
If it is too hot!!!!you have waited too long!

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