Lately we’ve been too busy tapping, collecting sap, and getting everything else ready in order to post much, but we’re just too excited about this latest project to wait any longer. We’ve been dreaming up this idea for over a year, and yesterday we finally got it running with Espyville Heating and Air Conditioning. A little background – Sap has a shelf life measured in days, as soon as it exits the tree bacteria and yeast start attacking it. Sap concentrate has a shelf life measured in hours, not only is the sugar concentrated from ~1.5% to 20% but the bacteria is concentrated equally as much! Anyone with a kitchen refrigerator knows that cold temperatures inhibit growth. This 5-ton chiller circulates below freezing glycol through a heat exchanger while concentrate is also circulated. At 22% sugar the mix won’t freeze until ~28°, and almost all microbial activity is stopped. We then fill the 3000 gallon tank at our own pace, knowing the chiller and insulated room will keep it cold. Instead of boiling once per day we can now boil once per week at a time of our choosing. Syrup quality should improve, leaving us more high-grade barrels for candy/cream/sugar. Tomorrow we’ll fire up the evaporator and turn this tank of concentrate into 750 gallons of syrup. Stay tuned, we’ll try to post more now that the season is on

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