February 22nd, 2011

Macbeth the Usurper

Maple Syrup

Jenny's mad plan to make maple syrup from our maple trees has paid off. We now have to jars of Grade A light amber syrup.

We collected 5 gallons of syrup, then boiled them down to 2 cups. Day 1 of boiling was a fail. We tried two pots on the grill.

Day two, we switched to boiling in a shallower but wider pan. That worked far better, but the efficiency was bad. We burned through a tank of propane. (That was our #1 cost. $18.)

Jenny had doubts about our thermometer, so she did not push the temperature as much as she could have. The maple syrup is not quite syrupy enough. When we get a candy thermometer, we can finish it off proper. Then we'll have about 2 commercial bottles of maple syrup.

Outlays:
- Propane $18
- 5 gallon Plastic Buckets
- Tubing
- Candy thermometer

Also Used:
- Drill and drill bit
- Wax to seal tree holes
- Bricks to hold down bucket lids
- Sauce pan (wide top, narrow bottom)

So this year, everything is a bit expensive. However, we have more of this year to go. We can still make more syrup.

What we need is some outdoor propane cooking elements. That should get our efficiency way up. I'm thinking turkey fryer type burner. If we can borrow one, then making syrup should get quite cheap.