Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
realworkingsailor

Andy's Non-Maritime Adventures

Recommended Posts

For anyone paying attention at home, it's been almost two years since I had to give up my sailing career. It has not been an easy transition to a shore career, but at long last I've settled on a course of action and now am pursuing a little more education to help me get there.

Back in August 2017 I moved up to a wonderful 80 acre parcel of gently rolling forest adjacent to my grandparent's farm. One of the assets at my disposal is a sizeable section of hardwood forest (about 20 acres in size), containing a large number of my favourite type of tree.... the sugar maple.

Now that winter has begun to loosen it's icy grip, I've decided to take advantage of the situation and try my hand at making my own, home made, maple syrup. Yummy!

 

I began a couple of weeks ago gathering the supplies that I needed to get started, spiles and buckets, and I set out with my furry friend into the woods.fullsizeoutput_cfa.thumb.jpeg.06fe574b2366dc3de64e7632c1293744.jpeg

 

1685718246_ZjXiDq5SsW90V03kXfJEQ.thumb.jpg.ed275217111d72ccf0b5e64437d1516d.jpg

 

For a first timer, it is suggested to tap between 5 and 10 trees (I tapped 7). Each spile will yield roughly a gallon of sap a day when the weather conditions are optimal (below freezing at night, and mild during the day). A few days after I tapped my trees, the weather decided to co-operate and things started to run.

dUV57ta2TjaQCKqmnU1T6Q.thumb.jpg.9d677e6570813a29f6d4caa5e9d4ad79.jpg

 

My furry friend is a great help when checking the buckets

2028456817_YKK6amSqGDJnwR4buFIg.thumb.jpg.49ec207af321a9853d5ab312585ee6c0.jpg

 

I'm out every afternoon emptying buckets, and since the bush trails are impassable by any vehicle that I own, it generally means hauling out the sap on foot (with toboggan assistance).

fullsizeoutput_d10.thumb.jpeg.e8b40ae3b90e8b50cedd06e80d7d1feb.jpeg

 

Six gallons of sap ready to go.

473465986_U2qBrneSUaur4WfB9K5EQ.thumb.jpg.46a7e7b7f53d88ed90065994b148be3d.jpg

 

This morning I began the initial boiling. This is always best done outside over an open fire (you can use a propane burner, but you'll run through a lot of gas!). If you try to do this inside.... say goodby to your wallpaper, it takes roughly 40 parts sap to make one part maple syrup, which means A LOT of steam. For my first run, I boiled down about 6 gallons at one shot.

s8vXwNUTRGGqRkPO0fxJUQ.thumb.jpg.31f01445ba07953a0a08ea93c270eff7.jpg

 

After a good day's boiling (about 6 hours at a steady rolling boil), the concentrated sap was filtered (there's always little twigs and things that fall into the buckets and the big pot), and brought inside for finishing. This is the tricky part where you have to watch the temperature carefully, and make sure the syrup doesn't boil over.... or burn.

YxU6nBq2S0OFysS2B1eS7Q.thumb.jpg.f4e8de3b735ab2aa5832062051fbb2f5.jpg

 

Finally after an hour on the stove.... my first bottle of maple syrup, it's a little cloudy because it needs to be filtered once more to remove the nitre (also known as sugar sand, which is a result of the natural minerals in the sap precipitating out), but it's still good enough for a first attempt......bring on the pancakes!!

 

Andy

 

PS, I've got another 10 gallons of sap waiting in the shed.... and more on the way.... I think I'm going to be busy.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back, indeed, Andy. It's been an odd season for maple syrup flow, but the next week or so looks promising in this part of the world. Congratulations on your first batch of syrup. You could get free fuel by renting your reduction process out to folk who want their wallpaper removed....  BTW, does 'furry friend' have a name?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, druxey said:

Welcome back, indeed, Andy. It's been an odd season for maple syrup flow, but the next week or so looks promising in this part of the world. Congratulations on your first batch of syrup. You could get free fuel by renting your reduction process out to folk who want their wallpaper removed....  BTW, does 'furry friend' have a name?

Thanks!

My furry friend is named Freyja, she’s 11 months old, and still a very energetic and entertaining puppy (and being a shepherd, she’s often stuck to me like Velcro). Sadly for the wallpaper people, I have an ample supply firewood that only cost me a couple of litres of gas and a few afternoons of work last spring. 

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×
×
  • Create New...