The last of my 2019 season sap was boiled today. The pans are still full. Next I need to drain the back pan into a barrel I have, then pump permeate (the pure water my RO removed from the sap) into the head tank and is then boiled in the back pan while the front pan continues to boil sap into syrup.. Then start the fire again. As the front pan needs more sap it is added from that barrel and as it boils down syrup is drawn off. When the barrel is emptied the fire is allowed to burn out. Once the fire is out the remaining contents of the front pan are drained out and pumped into the finisher (propane fired). The last of the syrup of the season is then boiled down to the proper density in the finisher, filtered and either packed into retail containers or packed into SS barrels.
Next comes the woods, the taps all get pulled and the tubing is all cleaned before putting it all to bed until next season.
We then need to make plans for next year. We plan to tap the rest of the tapping size trees around the sugarhouse and have them all on vacuum for the 2020 season.
We had a great 2019 season and would like to thank everyone who contributed to that success, from my oldest son (Rob) and his good friend Dennis, Rob’s wife Jodi, my grandsons Ryan and Logan who helped tap, fix lines and/or helped at the sugarhouse on the maple weekend open houses. Also my brother-in-law (Dave Moon) who was there every day thru preparation, cleaning the sugarhouse and all of the equipment and he helped boil, prepare firewood and haul load after load of sap from the leased sugar bush to the sugarhouse and mostly to my wife (Joan) who without her help and tolerance for my passion none of this would have happened, without all of their help the season would not have happened. The days of being able to do it by myself are long gone or the size of the operation would be lots smaller.
Now we get ready for next year. From the fixing of lines, tapping collecting the sap, hauling the sap, boiling, clean up and changes for the next season, along with packing retail containers from large stainless steel barrels as that inventory gets low is a 12 month job.