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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Let it begin!!

Some of our plans have changed and we didnt have much time to get our things together. We are tapping our own trees this year, instead of just helping out on others.  I couldnt decide which heat source I wanted to go with, propane or wood. We are only doing 20 taps and aren't going too crazy. I did end up deciding this week we are doing wood and made a simple cinder block arch today. If we had known all along that we would be tapping our own trees. I would have made myself one of the sweet arches that I made for sale last year.  We tapped yesterday and checked this afternoon. Not much doing but weather wasn't prime either. We ended up with a gallon or so of sap so nothing worth cooking.  We did want to do a test boil on the arch to see how it was and what we need to tweak before the real stuff is on.  We had a good boil in about 25 minutes and hard boil in 30-35. This being said, I am not the best fire starter and some of that time was me trying to get the fire going. Gasket for the top is in order this week. Flue slots on the front plate, and dividers in the pan are also called for. Overall I'm satisfied with the start and look forward to the fun we will have this season.

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