I finally have enough syrup to bottle some. In about 2 days I’ll update my counts, first I’ll pack amber syrup, when I get that done I’ll pack more dark syrup. So, if all goes according to plan on Thursday, 3/23/23 I will update my stock numbers for Amber-Rich syrup, then in 3 or 4 days after that I’ll update my stock numbers of dark-robust syrup. Thus Amber will be ready about 3/23 and Dark will be ready about 3/26 or 27. This year syrup prices for now will remain unchanged. At this time I don’t know if the prices will go up or down later on.
Syrup season is always a very busy time, thus the syrup as it’s made it is all packed into stainless steel barrels, then as the work gets caught up, I pump a barrel of each into my finisher, heat it up , filter it (again, it was filtered once as each barrel was filled) then it goes into the bottler where it is held at 186+/- 1 degree F and the retail containers are filled. If I need to pack both Amber-rich and Dark-Robust I always do the Amber first, because Dark can follow it without breaking down the filter and thoroughly clean it out before I filter the Dark. The reverse is not possible because it takes very little Dark to turn Amber into Dark, but the little amount of Amber left in the filter as I process Dark makes no visible difference. Being the second time each barrel is filtered, I can filter 80-120 gal on one set of filters, while the first time it was filtered I may only get 25-40 gal filtered before I need to break down the filter press, clean it, and install a new set of papers before I can resume filtering.
The 2023 season is not over yet either, it has just slowed down some. This year may turn out to be the best in several years, it started slow, but slightly early, then it ran hard for about 3 weeks, before slowing down. Some years the season may only last 2-2.5 weeks, other years it can last 6-7 weeks, no telling how long this will run yet. The maple season will last as long as we get freeze thaw cycles without the buds breaking on the maple trees, once the buds open, it’s all over.