Sunday, March 25, 2012

Maple Syrup

By Uncle Hans

A buddy of mine has developed a lucrative hobby: Maple Syrup.  He has a 40 acre woods about 3 miles from town where he lives with his wife and 4 teenagers.   He taps 2600 trees and processes raw sap for several other people who don't have a "cooker".  This is a modern day "tap"...........

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.....It connects through tubing to the holding tank.  Miles of tubing..........

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.....These three pictures show some tubing, if you look closely.  It stays in place all year, but the taps need to be taken out and replaced each spring......

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  ....These are the holding tanks.  A peak night during the season will find 3,000 gallons of sap collected in one day.  The enlarged picture is the gizmo which is a modern miracle.  It is reverse osmosis, which filters the sap through a membrane so fine that only the water molecules can fit, not the other ingredients,  That saves a ton of "cooking" to get the water out. He used to burn 40 cords of wood per year and now only 10, for cooking...............

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......this is the cooker.  It uses a wood fire to remove the rest of the water and make the final syrup, which boils at 118 degrees at sea level with normal barometric pressure.  More than 118, and it contains too much sugar and it forms crystals on the shelf.  Lots of science here.........

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  ..... he sells most of it in barrels but some in bottles to local merchants.  His woodhouse contains a years worth of wood, as cooking will start tonight........

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......Lots of science out here, too.  The sap collects under the influence of a vacuum pump into a central place where it dumps into a normal pressure tub, kicking on a sump pump which moves it to the collecting tank......

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....It all starts here with a little piece of plastic and a Black and Decker battery powered drill.  the tap has a check valve in it.

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      He will collect over 40,000 gallons of sap and make over 1,000 gallons of syrup in the next 4-6 weeks.  His hobby turns a tidy profit, I'm not sure what a gallon goes for but I am thinking 10-15$, maybe more.....

By Uncle Hans

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Time for some pancakes now! As kids we would boil our wieners in the sap/maple syrup. Loved the candie shack! Bill

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

It may make money but it sure looks like a bunch of work.. Like you say, it is a hobby, but then nothing can beat pure maple syrup on your cakes in the morning.........

Thanks for the interesting blog Uncle Hans...