Friday, March 13, 2015

Hal's Smoker Sap Cooker Experiment

To boil the sap down to syrup we needed something outside because the steam given off boiling gallons and gallons of sap would coat the walls of the house.

First thing Hal did was put up a tarp off the back door on the deck. Then we shoveled off the snow a few days later when the weather warmed. That black thing is his camp stove.
Then after testing out the old BBQ grill (not enough BTUs) and his camp stove, (also too few BTUs) he took my old Brinkman bullet style smoker that my dad had given me many, many years ago and attached an old gas water heater burner, drilled a couple of holes next for combustion air, set the grill on top and hooked the whole thing up to our 250 gallon house propane tank (yes, he is quite capable to do this sort of thing) and fired her up. Wind turned out to be a bit of a problem so he tucked the whole thing into a beaten up 55 gallon HDPE plastic drum to use as a wind screen.
Gas water heater element inside smoker body
My 12 qt Farberware stainless steel pot
Our Back Deck Sugar Shack
We collected just over 2 gallons of sap on that first day from only 2 trees (3 taps). Hal and I boiled it down to about a quart then he cooked it down on the kitchen stove watching carefully to ensure it did not scorch and the result was 4 ounces of maple syrup. After sitting in the fridge over a day it is nice and clear, all the "sugar sand" having settled to the bottom. Tastes a little weak to me, but perhaps this will improve once the trees are flowing better. We may find out today, there are already 2 more gallons of sap in the fridge and 13 of our 15 taps are now flowing.
4 oz maple syrup

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