Boiling Down the Sap

Filed in Food & Drink by on April 3, 2014 2 Comments

I must have gone outside to check on my buckets about four times. Each time, I fell through the snow and completely filled my boots until my toes were frozen. Well, the last time I put my jeans over the outside of the boots and the only bad thing to happen was that my jeans became drenched. Because of the last trip and my pant modification, I’m saying that I won that battle.

I got a bit over a gallon of sap today. I think it was a good day. Seeing that I never tapped a tree before and in just a few hours I walked away with a gallon of sap, I’d say that’s pretty good. What I’m going to do with that sap…well, that’s up next.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to bring my winnings inside to see what it looked like as it boiled. I knew it would make virtually no syrup, but I was curious as to whether it would change color at all. If it did, but was still very thin liquid, perhaps I could fool myself and pour the water-like substance on top of my pancakes. This is what goes through my mind as I walk through the woods.

I brought everything in and boiled it for about an hour. I have half as much sap as I used to have. I couldn’t continue though because I began having nightmares of the electricity meter spinning off its bearing. I had to shut the operation down to think. Between now and tomorrow, I hope to come up with a plan. There’s a lot of sap out there that needs to be boiled down.

In the meantime, check out the pictures of what I did tonight. Let’s put this whole endeavor on record.

This is the sap bucket that the previous occupants of our house left us. This is what I collected the sap in from my other buckets. I felt good as I carried this “legit” sap bucket through the snow and into the house. It sure doesn’t take long to feel as though you’re “from Maine” around here.

Maple Sap Bucket

I want to show you the color of sap before it’s boiled down. It’s mostly clear, but there is sort of a hue to it if you look closely.

Maple Sap in Pot

I was just getting things going here. It’s only been on the heat a few minutes. Steve came up with a good idea: get the sap warm on the pellet stove first to save energy. It’s on anyway, so…nice.

Beginning to Boil Maple Sap in Pot on Stove

Now we’ve got things going. It’s been so long that I’ve seen a boil like this because I usually turn the stove down once it gets to this point.

Maple Sap in a Rolling Boil

I evaporated about half of the sap within an hour. Maybe more, maybe less. I turned off the stove and will wait until tomorrow to think of some other way to boil it. Notice the color change though.

Boiling Maple Sap

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Comments (2)

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  1. Sarah says:

    Ha! This post makes me laugh because it is just the kind of crazy string of thoughts I would have. I suppose the pros have a more efficient way to boil down the sap in huge quantities? What energy saving scheme did you come up with, or did you resign yourself to watery syrup on your pancakes?

    • Jay Gaulard says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Unfortunately, the maple syrup thing didn’t happen this year. I just couldn’t bring myself to use all that electricity. Over the Summer, I plan on getting a wood stove and installing it in one of the rooms in the house. I already have a bunch of firewood, so boiling down the sap won’t be an issue. I did, however, drink the sap I did boil halfway this year. It was pretty good. Tasted like sweet “maple” water. I even named it. “Jay’s Sweet Water from Maine.”

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