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Waumbek
03-10-2005, 09:00 PM
I was 'shoeing off-trail on the side of Kinsman today through a maple sugar bush, and I got to wondering whether the cold high temperatures this month have delayed sugaring and whether the delay is just a delay or diminishes the quantity or quality of the sap run. I don't have many sugar maples (or reds) but one of these years I want to tap a few trees just to try it. I like the idea that maple sugar used to be considered "free" sugar in the 19th c., as opposed to cane sugar produced by slave labor. That's not to say that many New Englanders didn't prefer the taste of "unfree" sugar.

kdk1610
03-11-2005, 05:50 AM
i have sugared in the past.

the cold weather has definitely delayed the season in my area (central ny).

quality should not be affected. quantity might be affected. syrup makers want as many sub freezing nights coupled ideally with warm, sunny days as they can handle. this might not happen!

email me for more info if you ever decide to start...it can be a LOT of work!

dave

Dalraida
03-11-2005, 07:35 AM
My house is surrounded by suger bush that has quite a few of the trees tapped by the farms in the area. This time of year the sap lines are visible through the woods. So far this year the tappers have set up their tanks along the roads, but no collecting since we have only been above freezing about twice in the last several weeks. However, my contact at NOAA says that there are only one more set of disturbances to go before the patterns change to a spring mode. That should occur in about a week. We need to get this impending Northeaster over, with the possibility of one more within the next ten days.

arghman
03-11-2005, 08:38 AM
I don't have many sugar maples (or reds) but one of these years I want to tap a few trees just to try it.Go for it! This is my third year at small-scale sugaring (8 taps, I'll probably put in 2 more when we get above freezing again), last year I had 6 taps & made a gallon, which has lasted me all year + quite a few small bottles as gifts for friends. All are red maples, they're supposed to have lower sugar content than sugar maples, but I've gotten 35-40:1 for a boildown ratio with my reds, which is about average for sugar maples.

This year's weather has stayed colder than in recent years, but is by no means record-setting... the risk though is that when it finally does warm up enough, we'll get only a week or two of good sugaring weather (lows at least a few degrees below freezing, 40's-50's highs) and then the temp is going to jump up and/or the maple buds are going to start to open (which puts chemicals into the sap that make it bitter & that effectively ends the season even if the sap keeps running).

edit: p.s. I'd start with two taps (maybe 3 if you're feeling intrepid), it does take time & energy, and you'll learn what works best for you for next year.

Rugger
03-11-2005, 09:08 AM
I am constantly amazed at the topics that come up here. I loved sugaring as a kid in Vermont. Somewhere I used to have a recipe for Sap Beer, basically homebrew beer using Sap in place of water.

markv
03-12-2005, 06:08 AM
Has anyone heard of (or done) "The Master Cleanser?" It's a very old new-agey health thingy, involving at least 10 days ingesting only lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. I'm on Day 6 of it now...what an added aesthetic it would be to do this program with your OWN maple syrup! good luck...

Barbarossa
03-12-2005, 06:41 AM
I am constantly amazed at the topics that come up here. I loved sugaring as a kid in Vermont. Somewhere I used to have a recipe for Sap Beer, basically homebrew beer using Sap in place of water.
When Waumbek started the thread, my curiousity was piqued. I learned more from reading the replies than I did from ~45 minutes of browsing.

Treacly yours,

Barb