Updates.

I was excited enough about two things to post an update.

One: the maple sap is flowing.

20150309_134907 20150309_134909

Monday was a warm, sunny day, and the sap seemed to flow the most in the afternoon, after the sun had been on the trees for a while, which makes sense. Our house faces south-southwest, so the trees get sunshine all day. The right tree is healthier than the left one, as well as being slightly more to the southwest with the angle of the lot, so it produced a lot more sap. I think we got about a quart and a half. Today’s cloudy and foggy, though still warm, so we’ll see how it flows.

The second update is that we went to the taxidermist yesterday.

A bunch of huge whitetail bucks, one mule buck, some turkey fans, and a bull elk. Some bear rugs on the table. This guy does outstanding work.

A bunch of huge whitetail bucks, one mule buck, some turkey fans, and a bull elk. Some bear rugs on the table. This guy does outstanding work.

It seems our bear had good company.

It seems our bear had good company.

The 34 mount really shows off that white patch nicely.

The 3/4 mount really shows off that white patch

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3 thoughts on “Updates.

  1. 2 Things:
    1) I love the bear, it looks awesome.

    2) How long will you cook the maple syrup down? When we tried some last fall, they had different “grades” I think it was, or some other name. Basically it depended on how long you cooked it? But I never quite grasped it. Enlighten me if you will. I’m excited to follow the syrup flow.

    • The bear turned out so well! We’re going to use that guy if we get any more trophy animals, for sure. As far as the syrup goes- I’m not too sure on the timelines. We plan to do it on a weekend when we can keep an eye on it. I personally prefer “Grade B” maple syrup, as it’s thicker, darker, and has a stronger flavor. But, that means it’s more concentrated- boiled longer, and takes more sap to make.

      When you boil down, you’re basically evaporating the water to get to the sucrose and other compounds that give it a mapley flavor. As you can see, it looks like water- the sugar content over all is pretty low. It oxidizes to a tan color. Grade-A is thinner, and boiled for a shorter time. It’s also lighter in color and easier to make. I think what grade we go for will be a game time decision.

      The flow is good, too. 5 gallons in just under 5 days. We have two “Ale Pails” from home brewing adventures, and I filled up the first one last night. I cleaned out the second this morning, as it just brushed freezing last night, and the sap still flowed over night & two of the smaller gallon buckets on the tree were nearly full. Also the squirrels got into them. I also bought some barrels during the week- the 2 55s are for rain barrels (finally, wanted them for years), and then one 30 gal, specifically to hold the sap until we boil down. The way the weather’s looking, we’ll have a good, long season. Warm this weekend- near-70, but then dropping back into the mid-40s all next week. Still seasonally warm and reasonable, and definitely warm enough for the sap to flow.

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