2008 Maple Sugar Season

Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:33 pm

We're starting to get ready here in Vermont, so I assume some of you out in the Midwest must be nearly underway.

I'll have two gigs again this year- boiling on a 5 X 14 ahead of 6000 taps and a 2 X 8 ahead of 150 taps. Guess which uses less wood!

Good luck to all and hope to see someone with a Cub in use around the sugar bush. Snow hear makes it likely the only thing we'll get to use it for is cleaning up in late April.

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:03 pm

Rusty, I've never in your area during syrup season. Does 6000 taps also mean 6000 buckets, or can you connect them together somehow? What does the 5 x 14 and 2 x 8 refer to? Thanks.


Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:22 pm

6000 taps, he probably uses tubing for most if not aall of them. The other is the dimension of the pan.

suger season

Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:32 pm

I see the local Suger Shack running thier hoses and getting things ready hope for all it is a good long season.

Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:30 pm


Have fun! Nothing like hot dogs cooked in the flue pan! Boiled eggs are good also. Oh, the memories!!!


Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:20 am

Bill: For someone who knows nothing about collecting and processing maple syrup does the residue in the pan give the hot dogs/eggs a maple flavor. Dan

Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:19 am

Dan England wrote:Bill: For someone who knows nothing about collecting and processing maple syrup does the residue in the pan give the hot dogs/eggs a maple flavor. Dan


We boiled the dogs and eggs in the flue pan. The flue pan was where the raw sap entered the evaporator from the storage tank. At that point the sap still had lots of water to be evaporated to get to the maple syrup. Therefore, there was not a strong maple flavor in the flue pan.

The dogs would have a sweetness to them that was very good. As for the eggs, a little different (probably in my head) taste.

I can't wait until next month because the AYCE pancake breakfasts start in earnest. Many non-profits hold these events and make some serious money to support their activities.

Hope this helps.


Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:49 am

Sorry to be late in answering back-- Yes, many of the 6000 taps are on tubing (about 75%). There are 10-12 collection tanks, depending on how much snow there is, and we typically pull a thousand gallon tank to each with a substantial tractor- new last year a 225 horsepower fwd New Holland. If the snow's really deep, we end up borrowing a bulldozer, plowing out the sugar road ahead of the season and letting it freeze. In the smaller operation I work on, it's all buckets, so we get some good exercise going tree to tree with 6 gallon pails, which we gather into a 150 gallon tank on the back of a Yanmar tracked vehicle. In both cases, I mostly boil after work, so I miss the sap gathering except on weekends.

Dimensions are the size of the evaporator in feet. There are two pans in that space, both divided with baffles into compartments. Lots of fire below, lots of steam above!

We have boiled hot dogs and eggs in the rig many times, but I prefer my dogs fire grilled, so I usually cook them in front of the arch on a stick. The larger of the two operations is inspected for both kosher and organic, so cooking in that rig is out now a days.

Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:56 am

Yes, Bill, that answers my question. Have never lived in a sugar maple area. Dan

Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:36 am

We are getting ready in Indiana. Monday, Feb 25 projects good weather for tapping. This is about 10 days later than our average tapping date.

LaGrange County IN

Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:07 pm

Sugar time is getting ready up here also. Don't forget putting Maple Sugar on your oatmeal or rubbing it into BBQ ribs and ham gives it a really great flavor. Maple Sugar beats brown sugar any day. Of course nothing is better than Swedish Pancakes with the Real stuff poured all over the melting butter. OK now I am hungary. I hope you fellows have a good run. Don

Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:50 pm

Swedes take credit for every thing. They know full well the Norwegians taught them. If it weren't for the Danes the Norwegians would not have known to teach the Swedes.

Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:13 pm

do or will any of you guys sell a southerner a bottle of the real stuff and not what i have to get here from kroger. my grandparents made sargum syrup every year until my grandpa passed away. sure miss those times

Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:05 am

Nothing better than pulling that bucket off the tree and taking a good long swig of that ice cold sap. Trudging thru a couple feet of snow with those buckets sure makes you thirst.

Then again that big cup of hot chocolate in front of the wood stove after taking off 30 lb of coats, hats, boots, mittens and scarves with a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies :shock: ----- oh to be 10 again.

I grew up in Glens Falls NY on Grampa's 450 acre dairy. The neighbors had gardens and the maple syrup farm.


Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:46 pm

Just got the word that I'll be tapping at least one day this weekend-- starting with pipeline. Those taps don't dry out as easily as buckets, so you can put in them earlier, and they can take longer to set up if repairs have to be made. We're at the end of the snowiest February on record, so it's likely tapping will be from snowshoes.