Croswell’s “Sugar House”

In contrast to the previous post, I thought it would be fun to post about our very small operation.

We made 10 taps by drilling holes in our sugar maples using borrowed sap buckets and taps for the collecting. I emptied the buckets into pails and carried them through the woods by hand as often as we felt necessary, depending on the temperatures and how fast the sap was running. All together we collected about 65 gallons of sap over a 3 week period. The best single day total was 9 gallons (it took two trips to collect it all).

We boiled down 5 separate batches yielding 10+ pints of heavenly syrup. We boiled down on a camp stove on our porch and finished it on our kitchen stove. It took a long time because we had to boil off all the water without the benefit of a reverse osmosis set-up.

Our filters were gravity powered and hung from an altered coat hanger for the dripping process. And we used home canning methods to fill our jars. We did invest in a hydrometer to help get the syrup to the right sugar concentration. The hydrometer, the filters and a digital thermometer were worth every penny.

We’re not too sure how much it cost us to produce the syrup, but we have a new appreciation for what goes into every gallon. I saw it for sale in a store recently for $44/gallon.  Right about now that doesn’t seem too steep.

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