We are up to 6.1 lbs/tap (I told a few people 6.2 but after finalizing the numbers I was off by .1) Our total gallons is 12,324. This year has definitely been a year where our colder sugar bush out produced most warmer ones, after comparing numbers with some lower elevation producers. Again, usually its the other way around!
Now, on to the question everyone is wondering. Is the end here? Will we be able to process the sap that will run Wednesday and Thursday? Also keep in mind I am not talking about all areas just ours. This is a huge fight I have with my father/business partner every year and again we are on different sides of the fence.We have a small bet going about what happens next. I have heard a lot of different opinions and the consensus is that most experienced sugar makers feel its more than likely or very likely to be done. My opinion, is split, I'm a little more optimistic that we can continue and here is why: I feel that the sap was not able to be processed because it was spoiled, I did not feel that there was a buddy flavor or smell. The syrup we made had a bit of a bite, but was not at all commercial grade. We have never had a season where we made no commercial syrup, though usually being at our elevation it is under 10 barrels before things go very wrong.
I am hopeful that we will dump sap for half a day or more on wednesday, and then begin to collect once it clears out the lines. With no real warm temps in the forecast I think we should be able to process, though I am not going to say the flavor will be great. I could be very wrong and probably should not go against the old timers opinions. The other thing to note is that there will be some bigger producers who will pound terrible quality sap through their machines for a while now regardless of how many membranes they plug or filter press changes are required to filter a barrel of syrup. That is not quite our style, and I couldn't get my dad on board with that if I tried. It really is zero fun making syrup that way in every aspect. It takes longer, is tiring, ruins equipment, smells and tastes terrible and just sucks. I don't look down on anyone who is able to endure that torture at the end of the year, we just usually quit a little before it gets that bad! Good Luck to anyone who has not pulled the plug just yet.