Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today's Boil

Comparing the dark syrup from this past Monday to the lighter syrup from today.

Last year, and the years before I would start boiling sap at 4 AM. Excitement for the day's events would wake me, so I'd get to work, or as I see it, play.

This year, I have been waiting until the sun comes up and the air warms a bit. My thinking is with a higher ambient air temperature, maybe I will use less gas. Of course the energy required to go from 20 to 221 versus from 40 to 221 is probably negligible.

So I started at 9 AM and finished 12 hours later. The yield was a tad over three quarts. And the coloration reverted back to yellow, as shown in the photo above. Probably due to harvesting the sap in colder weather. Today's (on the right) is cloudy due to the precipitate. Tomorrow it will be clearer. Oh, how I wish I had a bigger operation so I could filter and spin out the maple sand.

I lost track of how much sap I processed as I was emptying the buckets on the trees as the day progressed. I do know I started with something in the ball park of 24 gallons.


Amara said...

This is so exciting! I love anything food related, and especially if its being made from so completely from scratch.

Is there usually such wide difference in colors? Does it affect the flavor?

PtCakes said...

Hi Amara,

The lighter syrup is usually associated with harvesting the sap when the temperatures are colder. And as the season progresses and the outside temps warm, the color darkens. Also the lighter syrup (for our operation) is buttery and light in flavor. The darker syrup has a richer maple flavor.

This past winter I did a taste test comparison between our syrup and some from Vermont. Both were wonderful, but our's was buttery and the VT Best was peppery. I hypothesized, based on this one experiment, that like wine tasting, the syrup takes in attributes from the soil and air in which the trees are grown.