Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 28 Sugaring

The '13 sugaring season so far has been pretty good so far. There have been a few short stretches where it was too cold and the trees stayed frozen all day, and some rainy periods where it didn't freeze at night and the sap petered out, but more days with a decent flow and a number of excellent days where each tap yielded a gallon or more. The first week's production was 3.25 cups of amber syrup from 10 gallons of sap (about a 48:1 ratio). The second week's operation yielded about 2 cups of clear golden syrup; the lightening of the color was probably because of a stretch of colder weather. 

 Here's a photo of a sap icicle on a sugar maple on the UConn campus last week, forming on a wound that the tree sustained over the winter. The tan tips on the sapsicle are where freezing and sublimation of ice have concentrated the sugar solution down to something that is probably pretty close to being natural maple syrup, if only a few drops of it. You can imagine that this sort of occurrence was how the Native Americans first got the idea for maple sugaring. 

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