Today I finished packing Amber, Rich taste syrup and tomorrow I’ll start doing dark, robust taste. Any orders in by 7PM local, on Sunday will be shipped out on Monday 3/27/23. From then on i will ship orders in the store by 6pm local on the next business day.
Thank you for your patience. I was out of too many choices of syrup, I hope that will not happen again. This year’s syrup production has been very good, the season started a little later than it did the last few years, but once it started it kept going with no real warm days nor cold days, both of which can stop the season. What we need to make maple syrup is freezing nights, best if 27F or below, and warm days, best if in low 40’s, but some sap will flow from about 34F up to the mid 50’s. As of today the red maple buds have opened, but the sugar maples are still tight. If they stay tight this could end up being one of our best seasons in several years. Once the rest of the maple buds open the 2023 season is done.
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.
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.