As Christmas gets closer, I would like to remind everyone that you should order early. Orders placed on or before Dec 10 should be safe, orders placed on or after Dec 15 may arrive late.
My local sales are up by about 60% over the last 2 years. I do have 1 more barrel of amber (40 gal) and 3 more barrels of dark (27 gal each) but I won’t pack them into jugs until I know which sizes I need. Once I run low in any grade and size it takes me 3 days generally to pack more of that grade and size, day 1, warm the barrel to at least 100F so it is able to be pumped from the barrel to my finisher, while the syrup heats I wash all equipment to be used, then day 2, heat the syrup in the finisher from room temperature up to 180-190F. Once at 180-190F it gets filtered and pumped into the bottler tank. Once in the bottler tank it is heated to 85+/-1 degree F, tested for density and final graded (retested to verify the % of light transmission thru a test vial.
Finally, it is corrected for density if necessary and bottling can be done. My bottler only holds 15-16 gal, once that is bottled I bring the contents of the finisher beck up to 180-190F and repeat, thus a 27.5 gal barrel of dark requires 2 days to bottle, a 40 gal barrel of amber needs 3 days. When I pack more, I process the entire barrel.
As a side note, my recovery from surgery has gone well, however I do require more time to rest.
Surgery went well, I was in the hospital 4 days, got back home on Halloween. I had 2 drain ports in. On the 12th day 1 drain was removed. Then this last Tuesday I started having minor pains and I went to see the surgeon. I was immediately scheduled for a Cat can and bloodwork. The results showed I likely had an internal infection. I was admitted that afternoon and given an IV antibiotic. They kept me overnight. By morning things felt normal again. Another blood work and things were OK, I was sent home by noon Wednesday.
I’m doing much better now.
I do get tired too fast and I’ve only been processing orders every 2nd or 3rd day. My wife helps with the orders. Things get better everyday.
I may be slow processing orders for a while. Tomorrow at 7:50 I will be having a major hernia hopefully repaired. I’ll catch up on order processing ASAP. Once I get home and I’m able to work at the computor, I’ll process all orders in the order that arrived. My wife can pack and set them out for me since I’ll be limited to lifting 5 lbs for a while. Then the weight limits will gradually go up.
Yesterday I finished packing another barrel of dark and my counts are good. I’ll reflect the current inventory in the products in my store.
Over the next few days I will be bottling more dark syrup. I have surgery scheduled for a week from tomorrow, which will likely put me out of commission for 5-8 weeks depending on how it goes. In order to attempt to have enough dark syrup I’ll be opening my last 40 gal stainless steel barrel full of dark maple syrup (I do still have 3 more 26.5 gal barrels full of dark and 1 40 gal barrel of amber), and then processing it into retail jugs. I used to bottle a full 40 gal barrel worth of syrup in about a day and a half, but I was younger then and had no health issues slowing me down. I’ll start tomorrow by washing the equipment again with hot potable water. Then I’ll pump the 40 gal into my finisher pan (a 2′ x 6′ propane heated pan). Next I’ll heat it to 180-190F, pump it through the filter press and into the electric water jacketed bottler (WJ) and verify grade (color) and density. Next I’ll turn on the WJ and the syrup will automatically be heated to 185F +/- 1 degree at which point it’s ready to start filling retail jugs. Because the WJ only holds 16 gal max, I have to refill it 3x to empty the finisher pan. These will likely take me 3 or more days. Hopefully this will be enough syrup to hold me through the Christmas season (along with what I have bottled already plus all of the amber I have ready, because if I run out, I may not be able to pack more at that time if my surgery recovery takes too long. I’ll need to follow my doctor’s orders. My wife or one of my daughters can restock my local retail outlet and they can also fill orders for my online sales, but I would not even ask them to pump another barrel and pack it into retail jugs. That will need to wait until I’m again physically able to help if not do it all by myself.
I often wonder why people buy the quantity they do, and I’ve been known to add a note for “next time”. For example, I sell lots of orders for one 1/2 gal jug of maple syrup which then ships in a medium flat rate USPS box. For the same cost to ship I can fit 2 jugs 1/2 gal each in that box. Another example, I just sent out a shipment for 1 bottle of bourbon barrel aged maple syrup (200ml), again, in a medium flat rate USPS box, I could have fit 6 such bottles in that box without increasing the shipping cost or maybe you would like to give someone special a gift, I could also pack an assortment of sizes and/or products in a larger box.
Plan things out, even if you only want one, how about ordering in a group. Maybe you can find someone who wants a half gallon too, you can split the shipping cost or maybe several friends each want a bottle of bourbon barrel aged maple syrup.
If you ever want to find out how many of a certain size or combination of sizes I can pack in any of the box choices I offer, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org and ask the question, I’ll answer within 24 hrs and then you can work up an order.
I almost always have more than I show on my inventory count in my store, for example, I may have 5 shown in my store of the particular size bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. In most cases that means I only have 5 ready to ship, but I likely have a case or a few cases all bottled, just they might not have the wax cap coating I put on. In most cases I could wax a dozen or more and ship them in 2-3 days, maybe sooner. Again, just email email@example.com and ask.
To take advantage of this way of saving on shipping cost, it just needs to be one order, shipped to one address, you just do the math and collect the cost from the ones participating in the group order, then order it all on one order and I’ll ship it to your designated address.