Sugar Shack Sap to Syrup

By: Sap to Syrup  09-12-2011
Keywords: Sap, maple syrup, Syrup

Well there has been quite a bit of activity in the bush in the last little while. We have been working non stop for the past two weekends. We now have the evaporator in the building, nothing really hooked up yet but boy are we happy that there is no chance that a branch will fall on it. I can also tell Mike how I hit it with a golf ball as there does not seem to be any real dents or dings since we took it out of the uhaul.

We also tore everything out of the old shack, rebuild the floor and now our sugar shack will be much easier to keep clean.

Things are moving forward now, summer is over and it is time to Gear UP! Get it done!!!!!

October 9, 2011 | Categories: , , | Tags: , , , |

Hey out there.

I invited a couple of friends up from Toronto to see what Maple Syrup was like, they worked like crazy and had a good time.

luckiest shot ever


Heading down the NEW P-Line Hill

Spence hanging out with his Friend.

Happy Adrian

Happy Dan

April 7, 2011 | Categories: , , | Tags: , |

We had our first real evaporation night on Saturday night. We were out there until about 4:00am catching up to the sap collection. We have a pretty good chunk of syrup now that needs to be finished.

For those of you who want to know finishing syrup is when you do your final boil on a controlled heat source like a propane stove. This way you have constant consistent heat  in order to use your hydrometer or hydrotherm in order to tell what the density of the liquid is.

We definitely need some sort of way to evacuate the excess steam that Chuck creates. When the temperature outside dips down the place becomes full of stream, we call it the  Ghost. It’s time to put our thinking caps on and solve this problem and keep the Ghost at bay.

Sugarbush Computer system

The Ghost of the Sugar Shack

Emmett showing Roger how the Extractor works

Mike's sister Julie, helping out

March 20, 2011 | Categories: , , | Tags: , , |

Yesterday was amazing. Lots to report on the syrup front like the first thunder storm of the year. It happened at about 5:00pm yesterday and lasted for about an hour or so.

We also had our first power outage during production. Which just happened to occur  the first time we fired the new evaporator. We got to know first hand what it is like to be in peak production when there is no power in the building. Besides not having light or tunes we also had no means to put the sap into the gravity tank. But some times things work out as Spencer had just pumped up the gravity tank so we were full for a few hours.  Since the power was off from 5:30 – 7:30 it was not a real issue.

One issue was the amount of steam that we produced. We use an exhaust fan in order to drive the steam out of the building. Without our trusty power we had a bit of a sauna in the sugar shack, steam poring out the front door, the fan exhaust and every other crack in the building. We couldn’t see anything in there above 4 feet.

But Chuck and Burns performed great. It is a bit more work to keep both pans moving but we are seeing some real benefits to this set up in only it’s first run.

We pulled off our first batch from the evaporator and now just have to finish it, filter it and bottle it so we can bring it to you.

Mike and Spencer

All flowers and Sunshine in the sugar shack

heat from the evaporator coming out of the sugar shack

Prepare for battle!

Well I was back on the island getting everything ready for the new season. I can’t believe another year is almost here. I think I am  more worried this year than I was last year. Last year we had no clue how much work it was going to be, this year we know what to expect and that is what makes me worried. Then again we are much more prepared, we just need to get everything in running order again. Last weekend we spent time getting everything cleaned and prepped so that as soon as the sap starts flowing we are ready to boil seamlessly, or well as seamlessly as possible.

We spent a huge amount of time cleaning the whole sugar shack. We cleaned every log, every nook and cranny. The sugarshack has not looked better. We also expanded the bush to double our tap count, now a little over 800 . The extra sap is going to be great to be able to get boiling right away. We will end up with too much sap, but this is all preparation for 2012 when we are hoping to get the big guy fired up. The extra sap should make for some very very very long boils. But hey to much sap is better then not enough.

I can’t wait

I have had an amazing weekend up at the sugar bush. Mike has done so much work up there it blows my mind. When I arrived all the runs were completed, all the drops were in. We have a new count of 400 taps. I am incredibly happy.

That being said there was still a ton of stuff to complete in the sugar shack. You would not believe the hours we put in! Because I did not post anything all weekend I thought that I would put together a video that shows the whole processes we went through when building the sugar shack, enjoy.

Anyway I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who purchased maple syrup over the holidays It is really going to help this year. It really pumped me up for next Christmas. I guess I have a few different times of year to look forward to. Next year it would be great to have store front of some sort, I bet I could really make a go of it.

I also made a few batches of maple candy, I am 1 for 3 right now and I think I know what happened last time. I let the candy get way to cold before I put it in the mold. I have not yet recorded how to make maple candy on video yet as I don’t want to look completely inept at the process. We will wait until I can look really professional.

I have found the time to put together another little video from that last time I was up North. It is a quick little show of what our evaporator looks like and how it will work. It might look a bit weird because we have one pan stacked on top of another to keep it out of the way. I assure you It will do the job this season when the sap starts flowing. I hope that you enjoy it and have a safe and pleasant new year.

Today started out great. We began the day by fixing up the sugar shack. We installed a rudimentary sink drain for the sink . Mike put in some more rafter braces and cut out a few more logs. The Sugar shack looks amazing, much more wide open.

We did not spend much time out in the bush today as the weather was not helping what so ever. We are going to be able to get a few small things done tomorrow before I have to head back down south to Toronto. I really wish I could stay up here from longer but I have to keep working away at my web development stuff.

We took some time to visit with Keith Brown and pay off some bills, we picked up a gripple tool and some mainline ties. We should be all set for tying on the lines early tomorrow morning.

After we came back we leveled out the main evaporator and put in a sink and counter. We also put some insulation between the roof and walls to hold in a bit more heat. It gets nice and toasty in there now.

I will be able to post some videos and pictures when I get back to Toronto.

Thats all for now.

November 29, 2009 | Categories: , | Tags: , , , , |

Keywords: golf ball, maple syrup, Sap, Syrup

Other products and services from Sap to Syrup


Preparation Sap to Syrup

We now have the evaporator in the building, nothing really hooked up yet but boy are we happy that there is no chance that a branch will fall on it. I can also tell Mike how I hit it with a golf ball as there does not seem to be any real dents or dings since we took it out of the uhaul. This year I am going to be taking a lot more video and I have a new tripod to make it easier so look forward to some interesting videos.


Recipes Sap to Syrup

Mixed GreensHalved grape tomatoesCucumber dicedRed pepper dicedChicken breastBosc pear cored and thinly slicedDave’s maple syrupOlive oilBalsamic vinegarGreen pepper corn mustardSea saltFresh ground PepperFeta cheese. Add 2 tbsp of Dave’s Maple Syrup. Medium heat for 5-7 min. Add pear slices on top.


Videos Sap to Syrup

Running and evaporator efficiently is no small task, it may seem like nothing is happening but you have to keep things “dialed in” or you loose your fire, flood the pan or burn the syrup. I think Mike was the happier one of the two of us as he had been living in the sugar shack night and day for almost two weeks before we showed up.


Funny Sap to Syrup

This reminds me of some friends’ kids who were visiting and decided to put real maple syrup on their pancakes rather than fake stuff. I was listening to the point today on CBC and heard these crazy guys talking about affordable maple syrup for all Canadians. I invited a couple of friends up from Toronto to see what Maple Syrup was like, they worked like crazy and had a good time.