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More syrup almost ready

I packed more amber syrup, but it was too hot from bottling, I will get it tomorrow and bring it home, at that point I’ll add it to my inventory in my storefront, ready to pack and ship. Once I finish bottling the amber I’ll then bottle more bourbon barrel aged syrup. The last time I bottled that I had more than I wanted to dedicate to a specific size bottle, (I sell 3 sizes) so I put the extra in gallon jugs. Now I’ll pack some from those gallon jugs.

I have the next batch aging now, it should be ready about late November or early December, just in time for Christmas gifts. That is a 30 gal barrel, which is larger than any previous batch, most have been 15 gal or 20 gal, this time I bought a recently emptied 30 gal. bourbon barrel, Likely much of that will be put into gallon containers until I know which sizes need re plenishing. The sales for those seem to vary. I sell more 100ml for Christmas gifting and more of the 375ml the rest of the year.

Also, I just ordered a new evaporator which will be online for the 2025 season. In the last 21 years I have burned wood to boil the sap into maple syrup, this new evaporator will be oil fired. This makes a few things easier as I get older. Of course, no wood sawing and splitting (into wrist size pieces) and secondly the fire will be 100% steady, firing exactly the same through the entire boil. With wood fired I had to add an arm load of wood every 7 minutes for years, then I added high pressure air over fire, that then burned more of the wood gases under the pans rather than at the top of the stack (chimney) thus changing my wood firing time from 7 minutes to every 9 minutes, still adding an arm load of wood each time, efficiency was up. With oil it will get even better. One other factor, when I burn wood, I need to stop adding wood when I get down to 20 gal of sap remaining in the tank, giving the fire time to burn down as the sap was gone. With oil fired it stays at full fire until the sap is gone and then I’ll turn the switch off. At that point I’ll only need to cover the syrup pan, cover the 3 float boxes and drain the water heater and go home. With wood the shut down took an hour to an hour and a half, before I could leave. I hope this oil doesn’t spoil me.

I also ordered a new hood, a new head tank and a new draw off tank, the old ones were all sold with my wood fired evaporator. It is said that oil will boil about 5-8 gph more than wood too, just a side benefit. For three of my last 4 evaporators I made my own hoods, finally on my last evaporator I bought a factory made hood. I was planning to make one for that evaporator, but when I picked up the evaporator at the factory they asked if I had made the hood yet. It turned out they had a demo unit the right size for my evaporator that had gotten a minor dent. They took $1195 off the their original quote of $1995.00, I got it for $800.00, I could barely see the dent that saved me almost $1200 dollars, but I took advantage of it, in fact I couldn’t find the dent about a year later as I was telling a visitor at the sugarhouse, and not because I had dented it more, just because it was so minor. I had not put any dents in it,

I’m really looking forward to next season already. I’ll be just like a kid in a candy store. Now I’ll need to buy some oil, rather than spend a few weeks cutting wood and splitting it to wrist size for a real hot fire. I’ll even consider getting 2 oil tanks rather than just one, or getting a larger tank.

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