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Old 01-11-2008, 01:04 AM   #1
beergears
 
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Watching the Discovery channel, maple syrup making.

Boy, it sure looks lot like what we do: tubings, SS vessels, hydrometer, evaporation, etc.

They do not use buckets anymore, it's all run through poly lines for each tree into a network of pipes to the collection house..

I think we have a few VT board members, they could chime in on juicy (sweet) details.
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:17 AM   #2
Yooper
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Actually I "help" with syrup making. I don't do any of the hard work, just help with keeping the fire stoke up and splitting some wood, filling bottles, etc.

Many people still use the buckets method and you'll often see them out on snowshoes emptying their buckets. Of course, you're right- the big commercial operations have the big tubing that takes the sap into the big collection bin. Then it's pumped into the sugar shack up into the overhead collection bin. Then gravity fed down to the boiler. It's a lot of fun and very interesting. I think it's most interesting how the sugar content and the taste varies from year to year, depending on the weather. Some years they get less, too, if it warms up to fast. We are only "helpers" with the operation, so I usually make trades for syrup. Like, we harvest our own wild rice, and I trade that for syrup. Or of course, I bring wine and beer in exchange for some syrup.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:50 PM   #3
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The biggest differences: they boil off 90% of the water and no hops!

I've seen some big operations where they use a flaking ice machine to do the first stage concentration. Makes a slush where the ice is almost pure water and the fluid part is concentrated sap. Uses much less energy, but it also requires some expensive machinery.
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