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Crown Maple Mid-Season ReportSubmitted by Robb on March 21, 2011 - 8:06am
Production is going along pretty well. We’ve made 47 barrels of Crown Maple Syrup and, so far, it’s all light and medium amber. The sap has been incredibly consistent, with a sugar count averaging 2.1 Brix. (For an explanation of Brix, please see the March 7 posting “From Sap to Syrup.”)
As we get into mid-season and the average temperature start to rise, the chemistry of the sap begins to change. It gets thicker. We just added a larger sugar press which is ideal for this thicker sap well and also gives us more capacity.
These days, we typically start collecting sap around noon. Most of it is pumped up to the processing facility automatically, but in two locations we have collect the sap manually. About 3:00 in the afternoon we turn on the reverse osmosis system and remove about 85% of the water. We’re left with concentrate that has a Brix count of about 16.
From there the concentrate is pumped into the evaporators, which remove the last traces of water and leave us with our pure maple syrup. This process typically runs from about 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 or 11:00, depending on sap consistency. Then we go through our shut-down and cleanup procedures and we finally go home for a bit of sleep around midnight or 1:00 a.m.
Right now, making Crown Maple Syrup is a 7-day-a-week job. You have to take it when it comes – the sap season will probably be over in about 2-3 weeks. The colder it stays, the longer the season goes. The first 70 degree day is when the sap faucet typically shuts off, but that probably won’t be until at least April.
Until then, we’re pushing hard to process every last drop.
From the Farm provides updates on how the Crown Maple team is turning sap from the some of the most regal maple trees into quite possibly the purest maple syrup on earth. The Crown Maple team shares their insight into maple sugaring, the latest maple syrup production techniques, life in the sugarbush, conserving the land and sustainable forestry. Interested in more? Subscribe to receive updates.