Sugaring 2014 – Our New Filter Press
The couple of warm days here this week have really started to get the family anxious. With the warmer weather and some of the snow staring to melt, we know it won’t be long before its time to start tapping. We are entering our third season of sugaring, and are looking to further streamline the process.
The first year we started sugaring (2012) our biggest hurdle was boiling all of the sap we collected. That was slow going on the BBQ grill! So last year (2013) we decided to invest in a wood fired evaporator, knowing that we were going to get up to 40 or so trees. Everything thing worked great and we were able to boil off all the sap collected at a much better evaporation rate, but we had one catch. We had our toughest time filtering our syrup. We ended up with some great clear batches and other batches that ended up with so much sugar sand in them that we kept those for ourselves or maple nuts. Not wanting to end up with that much syrup on hand again, we decided that we needed to go hardcore on the filtering. I saved up all year and decided to invest in this shiny contraption.
The above photo is of a 5” maple syrup filter press made by Daryl Sheets in Pennsylvania. This contraption should hopefully take our filtering to the next level and give us crystal clear syrup for our 2014 Maple Sugaring Season. Now all I need to do is get some food grade hoses for the inlet and outlet, a stainless steel nipple for the outlet as well, and a new stainless steel pot and we should be in business. Like everything else maple, I am sure there will be a learning curve on the whole filtering process. There is a lot of information out there for the small sugaring operations, but I have found that until you actually try something in the field and make a mess, you never know what is going to work.
After consulting my records for the last two years, it likes like the sap really did not start to run until Valentines Day, so another two weeks before we get tapped in New Hampshire. This may change depending on weather…