The final tally is: 9 gallons of syrup.

Overall was a good year to make syrup, but not great for the production I had hoped. 50 taps at 1/4 of syrup a tap should be 12.5 gallons. I didn’t even make the bare minimum when it comes to production standards. I need to move away from some of my lower producing tress/taps and onto better pastures and not just tap them because they are there and convenient.

The new Reverse Osmosis was a hit! I was able to get 7+% sugar in less than an hour instead of waiting and running it overnight.

The new pan and guarding of the pan also worked real well, but fell short when I tapped into my house propane. I’m pretty sure my boiling production time went up and not down, but evened out due to the RO machine.

I did get a few over 50 gallon sap days! That was a first. Regretfully we had so much wind and bad weather, that off-set the good days and had overall low production.

On the good news front, all season long we were getting 2% sugar from the sap. I was very pleased since last year it started low and dropped to 1% or lower all season.

The new labels are a big hit. I still need to get some larger ones for the larger bottles, but for now these are perfect!

Thoughts for Next Year:

Find a stand of trees to run a line of 3/8 hose and taps to create a vacuum system and pull more sap from the trees.

More than 50 taps? I don’t really want to until I get my numbers higher but I may have my hand forced. I have a lot of people actually asking to buy my syrup this time around and will humor it and sell some. Not because there is any money in it (there isn’t at this small level, trust me it is all a loss), but it might lead me into putting in more taps and producing more syrup – for a reason.

Better brix reading? Not sure if they make something a bit more instant, but would like to look into it.

Better journaling – break it down to per tap / tree and mark the trees so I stop tapping the poor producing trees.

Lastly, I need another finisher/filter pan. This way I have one dedicated for finishing only and not trying to do both with it.

Until next year, I’ll be using maple syrup as my replacement for sugar and maybe even making some maple sugar during the year!

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