Long time since our last update and a lot has happened. So we are finished our first batch of syrup. That’s right batch 1201 is ready to for sale. But there is only a very limited supply.
If you would like to pick up a bottle you can get it at. The Bean in Sault Ste Marie. Our wood fired maple syrup is $27 for a 1L bottle. These are special small batches and we have a very limited supply.
Anyway here is a quick little video of what we have been doing and some pictures.
I just wanted to put together a little post on our favorite evaporator to date. Yes she is very inefficient, yes she is warped, yes she is not 100% square but this pan and archway has so much character that we can’t help but love her.
Mike’s father is the only one who really knows the history of Burns and it is spotty at best, his memory is not what it use to be. As the story goes Mike’s Grandfather was using a very old style flat pan with no channels in it. Burns was custom made by someone in Sault Ste Maire. She is a three channel flat pan made out of 1/4 stainless steal.
The reason we call her Burnsie is because of how much wood she burns. This pan is so inefficient that we can’t possibly produce Maple Syrup for the market on it. The Days of old wood fired maple syrup are going to be a thing of the past.
There are however very fun facts about running Burnsie.
If you burn the pan it is no big deal – When I tried to run the pan with 3/4” of sap in it the first time I started it up I burnt the pan pretty good. The nice thing is that you can use a grinder to get it clean again. Try that with a delicate raised flu pan1.
It is easy to Run – Once you get a few inches of sap in her there is pretty much nothing that can go wrong2. No floats to jam up, no pipes to check on. Just keep the level high and the fire hot!
The Syrup is AMAZING – If I had my choice I would love to run this pan all day and I am sure that Mike would agree with me. The syrup is so thick and rich it is hard to describe, it like what maple syrup tasted like half a century ago. Mike calls it his Grandfather’s maple syrup.
This year we made a special batch 6 which took a ton of wood and over 2 days of boiling. I don’t know if we are going to run it next year or not but hopefully we get the privilege.
Thank you Alain for your comment the other day about getting one of these old pans for yourself. I would love to know more about it like how many channels does it have and what size it is? Chances are you will have a blast making syrup on it. If your really ambition you might even use it for a couple of years if you don’t break your back feeding it thousands of man hours of fire wood.
But I bet you it will be the best Maple Syrup you have ever tasted.
1 – please don’t do this for any reason!
2 – never say that within ear shot of your evaporator.
Hello everyone. Busy times in the sugarbush over the last couple of days. We have pulled off another batch making this the 4th batch of the year. I am here working on number 5.
We were having some troubles this year with cloudy syrup. It seems there is a lot more sugar sand in the syrup than last year which we have to filter out. Syrup is not naturally clear it is full of little mineral deposits. Mike and I subscribe to the monthly Agriphone Maple syrup updates which mentioned that bottling at temperatures above 190˚F can cause this sugar sand to form. When we asked Todd Leuty, the Author of Agriphone Maple Syrup updates to explain this further he had this to say.
With hotter packing temperatures you would think that new particles would not precipitate out of the dissolved state, however with maple syrup temperatures hotter than 190 F can cause sediments to form, which shows up as the syrup is cooled down. Where this occurs producers will re-heat and re-filter the syrup.
Thanks for the tip Todd.
Another thing that I wanted to mention was the how much we love our labels. Not only do they look amazing but when we recived them we found a card which gives the some information about their printing process.
It’s nice to receive a great product and to find out that it was printed like this, Thanks Clubcard we hung this up in the sugarshack.
We also had a question from Shawn who checks out the site from time to time. To answer your question we have about 800 taps right now, that is double from last years 400. We are hoping to expand the bush to 40,001 someday.
Though we have been really busy we have had some time to snap a few photographs, enjoy.
Happy first day of spring from Sault Ste Marie.
To start off spring we will release our first batch for 2011. The packaging was designed by a great friend of ours Jesse Gibson who was up here last year to see what maple syrup-ing was like. You can see some of the other work he has done by checking out his portfolio site: jgibson.ca
This is only the prototype label as other information like nutritional fact have to go on. We also have to find someone with decent hand writing for the batch number and size. Check here if you want to see exactly how much information is required in labeling Maple Syrup by Canadian Law. Thanks to everyone who helped to make this possible, lets hope we get to batch 99 this year.
It’s amazing how close to the end of 2010 we are. It seems like a big stressful race to December 25 but we will all get there. I myself am looking forward to spending time with family in Ottawa this year and that is the important thing.
I have been pretty busy with packaging maple syrup for the festive season. Maple syrup is the perfect Christmas gift. It is hand made with care from natural ingredients and is renewable. Sounds great to me!
The season always seem to come so fast but it is also gone just as quickly.
Enjoy it while you can.
Well there are so many questions to be asking when putting together a new Sugarbush. Right now I’m having a bit of trouble trying to find the right size bottles to sell Maple syrup in.
The 250 mL bottle seemed to be the most popular but as it turns out I only have one left. This means that I’m most likely going to have to break up some of my great big 4 L jugs into 250 mL. Fortunately I have all the equipment I need to do this. I have also found a comprehensive manual which gives the process of hot packing in detail.
In and I’ve been thinking about is what we are going to name the new Sugarbush. I was thinking about keeping the same name as the URL that I have now, sap to syrup I still want to get some feedback and not necessarily do with that in 100%.
Most likely will come up with a short list and then maybe have a poll to see which one wins.
Mike has a good priceless together of all the equipment that were going to need. It’s pretty good starting point and I think that we can cover a pretty comfortably.
I found this story on the financial post of all places. It talks about locally produced products in Quebec and we all know how amazing Quebecois are at the maple syrup business.
What really peaked my interst was the when they mention Sortilège a maple syrup liqueur made by
Maison des Futailles
it looks like a fine treat that I would love to try.