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Author Topic: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup  (Read 10699 times)

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Offline BBTom

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The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« on: March 06, 2007, 05:37:45 PM »
Thought that those who are contemplating a move into the maple syrup business should see this...

The True Cost of Syrup Making
 
We've just received an updated calculation of the true cost of making Maple Syrup, with wood as a fuel source.  While the actual cost of items will vary from region to region, we believe that the overall figures should be accurate.
 
Evaporator 2 x 4                               2,100
Pipe, installation                                    212
Chain saw                                            249
Gas, maintenance for saw                    144
4-wheel drive pickup                       12,379
Maintenance for pickup                        656
Insurance for pickup                            879
Replace rear window of pickup (twice) 100
Fine for cutting in conservation area     500
Fourteen cases Lablatt's Blue               350
Littering  fine                                         56
Tow charge from wreck                       175
Overbilling from doctor re:splinter in eye 50
Safety glasses                                       29
Overbilling from doctor re: crushed toes 75
Safety shoes                                         80
New living room carpet                     1,200
Chimney brush and rods                        75
Log splitting maul                                  80
Chiropractor fees re: back                   250
Log splitter                                       1,750
Fifteen acre woodlot                       15,000
Taxes on woodlot                                900
Buckets and spiles                                  50
Containers with labels                               5
Divorce settlement                          33,698

Total first year's costs                     71,042
Value of Maple Syrup sales - first year   632

Net Cost of first year's Maple syrup  70,410

From the December, 1995 issue of  Maple Syrup Digest
2001 LT40HDD42RA with lubemizer, debarker, laser, accuset. Retired, but building a new shop and home in Missouri.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The True Cost of Masking Maple Syrup
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2007, 05:47:40 PM »
 ;D :D :D
Move'n on.

Offline pasbuild

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Re: The True Cost of Masking Maple Syrup
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2007, 07:45:25 PM »
Only fourteen case's of beer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you must be workin alone.
If it can't be nailed or glued then screw it

Offline semologger

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Re: The True Cost of Masking Maple Syrup
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2007, 09:12:34 PM »
i think i will stay logging a lot easier

Offline Ed_K

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 09:01:17 PM »
 What, you only bought 10 buckets,spiles and covers  ;D .
 Cost of line system $1400. for 400 taps.
 Profit, NEVER  :D .
Ed K

Offline WDH

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 09:05:24 PM »
It sure tastes good, though...........I am glad that you guys are doing it for the betterment of society.........
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Daconant

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 11:10:46 PM »
How about :
2 metal spiles                                $5
1 spile home made from wood      $0
3 drywall buckets                          $0
boil on the kitchen stove             not much since it just replaces furnace heat
total production .5 - 1 gal/year     priceless  ;D

I have tapped my one backyard tree as early as Feb 1 depending on the weather. This year the taps went in March 3. The latest ever. I have only had two days of flow so far and only 1pt of syrup finished. What I get starts lighter than any syrup you can buy. By the end of the season, it looks like grade A dark. I could probably go further, but I get tired of it after several weeks. I am now producing wooden spiles for some of my kids friends so they can tap trees in their yards too. Soon we will have a little community of urban sap boilers.
David Conant

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2007, 06:41:00 AM »
 smiley_clapping

Can remember them after school chores.  8)

Was a lot of fun going with grand father to his lot on the ski doo. Lean-to , boiling barrel and lots of wood smoke directed toward the lean-to.  ;D :D
Move'n on.

Offline BBTom

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2007, 06:50:29 AM »
just remember, When boiling maple sap in the home, to be careful of all the steam released into the air.  More than one urban maple maker has had to rewallpaper the entire kitchen.  :o   Some of my best customers have told me so!!    :D
2001 LT40HDD42RA with lubemizer, debarker, laser, accuset. Retired, but building a new shop and home in Missouri.

Offline breederman

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2007, 07:49:05 AM »
I remember that happining when I was a kid! :D  I think mom wanted to get rid of that ugly wall paper anyway.
Together we got this !

Offline slowzuki

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2007, 03:56:04 PM »
Did anyone else think that was the cheapest divorce settlement ever? :D

Offline olyman

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2007, 04:36:35 PM »
im with bbtom--friend that does large scale maply syrup--been in family for generations--said go ahead and do it in your kitchen--and tell me how much new wallpaper you will need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he gets 38.00 a gal---gooooooooooodd stuff----

Offline Murf

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2007, 04:45:13 PM »
Divorce?   ???

I'm still tryin' ta figger out where da lucky sod found a sugar bush fer $1,000 an acre.  ::)

Ders a soggy peice up da road a bit from here, da owner wants $475,000 fer a 100 acres of skeeters an half-dead Aspens with a few swamp cedars fer colour.  :-\
If you're going to break a law..... make sure it's Murphy's Law.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2007, 05:03:55 PM »
Nobody would pay anywhere near that for prime farmland here. You could get 100 acres of prime hardwood here for $75,000-150,000 on private. But most large scale sugaries here are crown leases, the government puts blocks on tender bids.
Move'n on.

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 05:33:10 PM »
There is a complete Maple Sugar operation for Sale just north of Van Buren Maine with top of the line Equipment, Processing facility and home on a thousand acres. They have over 10,000 taps. Priced just under a million.
Lane Circle Mill
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2007, 05:51:21 PM »
Sounds reasonable enough to me. Looks like opportunity for someone with the $$. You coming north Mooseherder?  ;D ;)
Move'n on.

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2007, 06:19:00 PM »
Trust me Swampdonkey. The thought has crossed my mind. I would love to buy it and live there.(must be something wrong with me...brrrr)
We got da 50 acres and the little cabin waitin' on us already. We gotta hook up this summer. I'll cook ya some Tom Steaks. :D
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Offline Daconant

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2007, 10:15:49 PM »
When you are tapping only one tree, you end up making your syrup a pint at a time. I take it easy and don't try to boil it down as fast as possible, so the steam gets spread out over several hours. In ten years, I've never had any wallpaper removal problems.
David Conant

Offline sawdust

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2007, 04:23:56 PM »

Living out west I have never seen a sugar maple.
I have heard that you can tap a Birch. How do you know when it is time? How deep a hole and how do you plug it afterwards to keep bugs out?

sawdust
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Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2007, 04:29:35 PM »
Maple Syrup Harvesters are America's unsung heroes. ;)
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2007, 05:48:48 PM »

Living out west I have never seen a sugar maple.
I have heard that you can tap a Birch. How do you know when it is time? How deep a hole and how do you plug it afterwards to keep bugs out?

sawdust

-5 C nights and +5 in day time, freeze thaw cycles. Sugar maple wood fibres apparently are unique as the flow of sap for syrup production is a different process than that during the growing season, since there are no leaves and the ground is frozen for the most part.
Move'n on.

Offline Captain

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2007, 07:50:12 PM »
I'm about to experience that one first hand.  Mrs. Captain is demanding an arch purchase THIS WEEK.  20 taps produced over 15 gallons today....

Captain

Offline Mrs.Captain

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2007, 08:08:27 PM »
What Captain forgot to mention is that after trying to boil all day on a gas grill propane burner the sap failed to get up to 200 deg. F. fire_smiley  As I type this at 8:00 I am trying to finish it off. 

Does anyone know if you can stop the boiling and start again the next day.....

Our son was hoping for fresh maple syrup on his pancakes tomorrow morning   ;D  Guess again.....
Captain works for me! (or maybe it's the other way around)

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2007, 08:31:43 PM »
I don't foresee any trouble in doing that. It's not like making fudge. ;D At least if it has boiled it's been sterilized and won't sour.
Move'n on.

Offline wiam

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2007, 10:24:19 PM »
There will be some grade loss from reheating, but it will be minimal.  If you are boiling in a pot you are probably not making fancy anyway. ;)

Will

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2007, 11:05:23 PM »
Well it is now 11:pm and I have finally finished 8)!!  Pancakes for the boy tomorrow!!! 

By the way Will for pan boiled the syrup looks pretty darned fancy to me.  I bet we could compete with the big dogs... not in quantity (ended up with 8oz.) but in quality!! 

What is the best way to filter the finished syrup?  We put a coffee filter over the mouth of a mason jar but the process was extremely slow.  We did not however get any sugar sand only a couple of small bugs that flew in there for the final taste test.
Captain works for me! (or maybe it's the other way around)

Offline Coon

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2007, 11:56:04 PM »
Sawdust, I made some of the best DanGed syrup one could ever try and Yup it was from white birch trees.  Look it up on Google and you'll find that it is worth a better fortune than that of the maple variety.  I am not sugaring this year due to getting ready to move along with the project I got going in the garage.  I am keeping rather busy without it.  The doctors tell me  to take it easy with my back and that as far as they are concerned I am still doing to much.  But a guy has gotta do what a guy has gotta do. 

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Offline sawdust

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2007, 12:49:28 AM »

I have a few big birch out at Pigeon Lake, I will go take a shot at bleeding them later in the week. I will have to build myself a couple spouts.

time to search google.

sawdust
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2007, 07:18:41 AM »
Black birch or yellow birch would make some interesting syrup I bet, with a mint taste.  I got a great big old bruiser of a yellow birch on the woodlot, but I'd hate to spoil the veneer in it. ;D
Move'n on.

Offline Tom Sawyer

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2007, 09:56:05 AM »
Eating pancakes with syrup that you boiled from your own trees:  Priceless ;D

Offline Stephen Alford

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2007, 09:01:47 PM »
Sap started to run on ol PEI today and you fellows talkin about it for the last couple of days got me all  motivated an all so I started tappin  but I have a felling there is somthin wrong wit my technique (maybe I need more trees!) ::)
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Offline Greenedive

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2007, 09:07:52 PM »
Hah!!!! I finally get to see what a pickeroon is used for!!! ;D

Offline sawdust

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2007, 09:19:23 PM »

Ahve had willows squirt up from the stump. I should bring a pan to catch it in!

comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.

Offline Sprucegum

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2007, 01:26:46 PM »
I don't know about the flavor but willow syrup should be good for you. Its full of that ASA(I'm not even gonna try to spell it) you find in Aspirins.  :D  :P

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2007, 02:27:34 PM »
Aspen has it also, since they belong to the family of willows Salicaceae = acetylsalicylic acid, a derivative salicylic acid

I also recall it in the bark of Viburnum trilobum, especially the root bark.
Move'n on.

Offline Sawyerfortyish

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2007, 07:01:50 PM »
I made 8 1/4 gal of syrup last weekend. I got somewhere around 225 taps between buckets and pipeline. Boy is gooood. Oh yea I did hear something along the the lines of the D word but I was busy trying not to spill any buckets and had to let go in one ear and out the other. I did get tired of cooking my dinner at midnight tho.

Offline ID4ster

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2007, 06:21:39 PM »
You can tap birch. Folks up in Alaska have been doing it for a long time. You would do it just like a maple but the sugar concentration is lower something like 80:1 vs 30-40:1 for maple syrup. I haven't tapped birch myself since I'm too far south for it but the taste is supposed to be very good and in real high demand from certain gourmet chefs. Don't fill in the hole. Just let the wound heal over. It'll do that pretty quick once the tree starts growing in the spring.
Bob Hassoldt
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Offline Daconant

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2007, 11:00:16 PM »


What is the best way to filter the finished syrup?  We put a coffee filter over the mouth of a mason jar but the process was extremely slow.  We did not however get any sugar sand only a couple of small bugs that flew in there for the final taste test.

I have used coffee filters for many years. If you try to use them for finished syrup, you will wait forever for it to flow through the filter. I try to filter the syrup when it is still at least twice its final volume. At this point it is much thinner than it will be and flows through the filter much more easily. Keeping it hot will also help as it thickens up as it cools. After filtering, I boil it down to finish. Little or no additional sugar sand appears.
David Conant

Offline Sawyerfortyish

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2007, 07:04:20 AM »
The 8.25 gallons of syrup I made took 530 gallons of sap to make. Thats 64 to 1 ratio I have no red maples taped if I did that ratio would be even higher. The ratio will change lower as the season goes on the sap picks up more sugar as it goes up and down in the tree.

Offline Sparty

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2007, 08:51:40 AM »
I've been running sap from 4 trees for about a month now.  Had taps in two small straight trees and two big gnarly ones.  The 2 small ones were pumping out about a galllon a day on good days and the big trees weren't dripping at all.  I was just about to pull the taps on the big ones, but two days ago they started pouring out syrup.  One tree is literally pouring, not dripping sap.  I boil in my kitchen with a ceiling fan and have not had problems with moisture.  I think my ratio is pretty close to 30:1.  I just use a fine cloth of any kind to strain it, but its just for my own pancakes, so I'm not  picky.  The best is to boil it down to honey thickness and put it on toast.

Don't ask my wife about the syrup, especially the batch that I forgot about and burnt to a crisp.  I just now got rid of the burnt sugar smell in the house.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2007, 12:19:55 PM »
Fell to sleep in the recliner , eh? ;)
Move'n on.

Offline Sparty

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2007, 01:49:59 PM »
I...uh,  got tied up with some important business.  Or at least thats my excuse.  I always set an alarm so I come upstairs to check it regularly.  THis time I stepped outside...for just a second.  Well that turned into 45 minutes and you know the rest.  Now I don't leave the vicinity without turning burners off, and I still set an alarm to check it regularly.

Offline Tony_T

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2007, 08:21:55 PM »

Living out west I have never seen a sugar maple.
I have heard that you can tap a Birch. How do you know when it is time? How deep a hole and how do you plug it afterwards to keep bugs out?

sawdust

You tap when the nights are below freezing and the days warm just above freezing.  You drill the holes about an inch under the bark.  A healty tree will heal over the hole in one summer.

Yes you can tap birch (black/sweet birch I believe) but you need more sap to make a gallon of syurp.

Concerning costs.  I made an evaporator out of an big old stainless steel sink (free).  Built a hearth around it with stone/mud and used a piece of old stovepipe for a chiminey (free).  I brought taps/plastic tubing at local hardware store and collect into pickle buckets I get for free.  Use my old 9N ford with a new plastic garbage can(s) mounted on the 3 pt. to collect/store the sap. For fuel I use scrap wood from spring cleanup and let it boil down as I'm pruning the fruit trees.  I put up the syurp in canning jars I get for free when I buy spagetti sauce.  Not high tech or high volume but cheap.  Have not made any the last few years as I've still quarts left from the last run  ;D

Offline WDH

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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2007, 11:19:18 PM »
Tony_T,

If you get overstocked, let me know and I can take care of the stuff that is past the use-by-date on  the label 8).
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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2007, 08:11:55 PM »
Ya'll better watch out fer da Maple Sugar Po-Lice. ;D
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Re: The True Cost of Making Maple Syrup
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2007, 08:40:48 AM »
That was a totally uninformative news article. 

What are the new standards?  is it 65.5, 66 or  66.5 Brix (% solids)?   

I thought it was controlled by USDA at 66 Brix minimum.
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