Warm days and cool nights makes for perfect sap weather and the sap is running. After a few minor glitches all the equipment is performing well and we have collected enough sap for our first production run of the season.
The picture shows the first syrup running into the filter tank on Thursday morning. The next step is to do a final filtering on our filter press prior to packing.
The sap sweetness is less than 2% sugar. As a result the sap to syrup ratio is about 50 to 1 rather than the more normal 40 to 1. This makes a big difference in the amount of fuel required to produce syrup.
With the reverse osmosis machine we can compensate by concentrating longer. The low sugar content of first run sap is typical as the tree roots and much of the tree trunk are still frozen. The sap we are collecting has been stored on the outer rings of the tree trunk. The sweetness will improve as fresh sap is drawn up from the roots.
That first taste of fresh syrup this morning made all the tapping effort and equipment start up well worth while. Now for some fresh baked bread and fresh maple syrup for a real delicious dessert at dinner this evening.