Mmmmm! We built this boiler from scratch with left over metal. It’s made from a broken stove and some chimney pipe. Off to the sugar shack! We’ll need to make it flat so it doesn’t tip over. Time to collect our maple water. Maple trees will flow anytime it’s above freezing. A spiel is driven into the trunk of the tree. We like to recycle old containers from the grocery store. The hole is drilled upwards so it will leak down into the pail. Lids need to be put on top so they don’t collect rain water. We taped about 30 trees. We need 40 gallons of maple water to make 1 gallon of syrup. Making maple syrup is about the love of it. Good fun for the kids. How does it taste? Bigger trees can hold up to 4 buckets. Pure maple water. Most of this is just water. 2-5% is sugar. The sled gets heavy fast! Time to load up! Oh no! Thankfully the lids were on tight, except for one. A shirt makes a cheap filer. If it’s not filtered, it will contain sticks and other dirt. The vat will hold a lot of sap. But the more in holds, the more heat is needed to keep it hot enough to boil off the water. A few inches works best. The maple water tastes only mildly sweet. Stocking up on wood to keep the cabin warm. Final installs of the chimney to the boiler. Ready to go! Some dry sticks to get the fire going. The fire will need to be cranked right up. Lots of ice build up on the deck of the cabin. A make-shift damper to keep the heat from escaping. The first of the boil. Now we are boiling! This entire process takes a few weeks, of filling and then boiling. It works best with the fire filled right to the top. Also when the fire is kept up rather than left to cool down. Once it boils down far enough, it is removed to carefully finish. If not, it could burn. We like to filter again before finishing. The color is turning a little. It now needs to be reduced carefully. The final syrup is thick and very sweet. Time for pancakes! My favorite, pancakes and bananas! The boiling never ends! Until it ends!