Yesterday I went up to remove the 850 gal tank out and place a newer 1000 gal tank the new lease owner will use. My 850 was there, in a very low area of the woods, a bog. I hauled my 4 ton excavator up to do the move, but then the new lease owner took his very large 4×4 tractor to do it. As a result, all I did with my excavator is move several rocks, some large (likely about a ton on the biggest one), the rest much smaller. Then I drove the excavator into the very wet low ground where the tank sat. I lifted each end to free it from the mud after pushing over 2 very dead ash trees. Since I had built a sled out of pressure treated 4×4’s with 2 4×6’s as skiis, to support the tank in the bog, it came out much easier than I had envisioned. Besides, after I loosened the skid’s grip in the mud, the new lease owner used a heavy nylon strap to lift one end and pull it up out of the bog. He then dragged it out of the way while I and my little excavator removed 3 or 4 large boulders from one side of where the new larger tank was going and I somewhat leveled the site. Then he lifted the new tank on the forks on the front of his tractor and placed it on some pressure treated 2×12’s that he had set in place to support the tank. First 2 of the 12′ planks went down crosswise under where the legs were going to be and then another 2 12′ planks sat on those, facing lengthwise to the tank and the 4 tank legs were directly on top of where the planks crossed each other.
Then the new lease owner hooked a chain onto the front of the skid on my tank that was removed and pulled it out of the woods. Once out, he unhooked the tow chain and lifted that tank and carried it out thru the open fields and set it on my brother in law’s trailer behind his truck to haul back. I had my heavy trailer on my truck to load my excavator on to haul back and we proceeded back to the sugarhouse (about 9 miles).
With all that help from the new lease owner and his large tractor (Case 85 something) with front tires almost as wide as the rear tires on my 36 HP tractor, what I had thought would be a very long day, ended up 2 or 3 hours shorter than expected, and that was alright by me.
We have changed our name to make it shorter and likely easier to remember (from Dave’s Sugarhouse or Dave And Joan’s Sugarhouse to CNY Maple). You will find that while the old sites had no shopping cart, the new one does. In the shopping cart you can see how many of each size and grade syrup we have in retail containers, we usually have more most of the year packed in stainless steel barrels (this year, however, on 11/17/17 we packed our last barrel of our last grade, Dark Color, Robust Taste) .
When this is gone we will have no more until production starts for the 2018 season. I the recent past our season has started anywhere from the 3rd or 4th week in Jan for the earliest to as late as the 28th of March. It all depends on the weather. To make syrup we need cold nights and warm days. When we go below freezing the maple tree draws water thru the roots. As the temperature then rises above freezing and the tree thaws, the tree produces a pressure to push that water, which has now dissolved some stored sugar to become maple sap and the pressure pushes the sap up to the highest buds on the tree. We drill a 5/16″ hole about 1.5″ deep to intercept a very small percentage of the available sap. We then collect it with a tubing system, which, aided by vacuum on the tubing pulls the sap to a large collection tank. We then pump the sap into tanks on a large trailer and haul it back to our sugarhouse. One tubing system is right at the sugarhouse, thus that one brings the sap right to one of our large sap tanks just outside the sugarhouse without having to truck it.
We then filter it and run the sap thru a reverse osmosis machine (RO) which removes a lot of the water before we send the sap (now concentrate) to the evaporator, where all of the magic happens, changing concentrate ( sap with 75% to 85% of the water removed) into the maple syrup we have all come to love. The RO neither adds nor subtracts any flavor, it simply removes some excess water. The flavor all comes as the sap caramelizes on the bottom of the evaporator pans. This gives maple it’s color and most importantly it’s taste.
Each region has it’s own taste profile because the soils are different, the growing condition vary and the sugarmakers vary. We have been truly blessed to have some of the best soils for making great tasting maple syrup. For this we enjoy an ever growing list of repeat customers who buy our syrup every time they start to run low.
For any customers in the Oneida area or all of central NY can find all of our products at the Eclectic Chic, mailing address 101 Genesee St (NY rt 5), Canastota, NY13032. It is actually in Wampsville across from the Knotty Pine Diner on Rt 5
All products are sold there for the same price as this web site, but you save the shipping charges by picking it up.
Today I opened my last barrel of Dark Color, Robust Taste syrup, and packed some into jugs. I’ll finish the rest this week. For years Dark has been my fastest seller by far. Right now I had more orders (to ship as we get closer to Christmas) than what I had already packed, thus it was time to open the last barrel. I have 4 sizes of SS barrels, but will soon be down to 2. I have 16 gal, 26.5 gal, 30 gal and 40 gallon SS barrels. I find it much easier to process the 2 smaller sizes, thus I’m selling the 2 -30’s I have and the 1 -40. Then I’m down to 4 -16’s and 10 at 26.5. Soon I’ll buy more 26.5’s. I’m thinking about 18-20 of the 26.5’s will be enough if the season is good, if the season is short I may already have more than I need. Hope to be at 850-900 taps for the 2018 season.
I just took delivery last week on a 14 x 28 shed and I have grand plans for it, the best being an addition on one side that will be a walk in cooler to store my barrels of syrup until they need to be packed in retail sizes.
As I make syrup I only pack enough in retail sizes to fill my shelves and my 2 coolers (chest freezers held at 30-35 degrees F) then the rest is put into SS barrels until needed. My coolers in the sugarhouse can hold enough to meet sales demand for about 6-8 weeks, then I need to pack more.
Looks like we’ll be getting our first snow of the season tonight and tomorrow. So far we’ve only had a 1″ snowfall and a few dustings. If the forecast is right, it will start in the middle of the night and snow until about noon tomorrow then taper off and quit about 2-3 pm. Time will tell, forecasts are generally off, some a little, others a lot.
However, after getting my maple truck stuck in the mud a few days ago, I ordered new snow tires, they are supposed to be in tomorrow morning. Just in time to test them with snow. Then Tuesday, I’ve got to go haul a 850 gal SS tank out of an old lease. I sold that lease and the new owner is putting a larger tank there and adding more taps.
On my one remaining lease we are also adding more taps for next season. That will be about 50-75 more taps at that lease and about 50-75 more at the woods surrounding the sugarhouse.
After a few years making maple syrup for home use, then 15 season making syrup as a business, we have moved into the modern arena. Yesterday we opened our last barrel of bourbon barrel aged syrup from the 2017 crop, then heated and filtered it. Tomorrow we bottle it so hopefully we won’t run out before a new batch from the 2018 season is ready. To make our bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, we buy a recently emptied oak bourbon barrel. We then drain any remaining bourbon if there is any, and then we heat a batch of our syrup to about 190F and fill the oak barrel, then seat the bung. Next we spray the barrel’s exterior with water twice every day for 2 weeks, turning the barrel each time. After 2 weeks, we go to once a day for another 2 weeks. After that we do it every 2 days until we open the barrel. The syrup slowly takes up much of the bourbon flavor with little or almost no alcohol. The time needed depends on the barrel size. To date we’ve only used 5 gal and 10 gal bourbon barrels, a 5 gal takes about 3-3 1/2 months to be ready, a 10 gal takes about twice that. The larger the barrel, the longer it takes.
The bourbon barrel aged maple has proven to be our best seller.
Next we have just 1 barrel of syrup from the 2017 season, that will be packed in retail containers to hopefully last us until we start boiling in the 2018 season.
We are now checking lines and repairing as needed, we’ve had lots of high wind events since the end of 2017 production.
We plan to start tapping about Jan. 8-10, weather permitting and hope to be completely ready by late Jan.
Check back for updates, and have a great Thanksgiving.