Boiling Maple Syrup & Working In Off Grid Wood Shop
We have been boiling maple sap into pure maple syrup for weeks now on and off since we tapped early. The flow is not yet daily but the time is coming. I worked in the off grid wood shop designing a panel meter for my Quanta generator device.
Chris and I have been working full blast in the off grid sugar shack. I built this sugar shack two years ago using all wood pallets and some barn wood scraps. It is covered with tarps I got for free from the local lumber yard. That makes this a totally free sugar shack. And it is still standing and serving us well.
This year we are boiling maple sap into syrup pretty heavily since I tapped the trees a few weeks ago. For a good maple sap flow you need nights below freezing and days above freezing. If one of those two conditions are not met in a given day then there is no sap flow on that day. The sun shining helps a lot to increase the sap flow as well.
Since we tapped a few weeks ago we have had a few pretty good days and some not so good. Most days were below freezing though. But we do have about three gallons of pure maple syrup canned or nearly done. We have three stages of maple syrup processing. We boil the raw sap out in the sugar shack. Then we finish the final boiling in the off grid tiny house on wheels. And then the final filtering and canning stage.
Boiling raw maple sap into pure maple syrup
For now we have a reusable coffee filter which we use to filter the maple syrup before canning it into jars. We boiled our syrup farther than is normally done for commercial retail sales so our syrup is darker and thicker than the commercial stuff allowed in New York State for sale as grade A syrup. This is sad because our syrup is actually thicker and so much better than the stuff in stores.
We cannot filter out all the minerals from the maple tree though so we cannot sell these first few batches until we get a better filter. For us we can either pour the syrup off the top or just shake it into the syrup and use it. The sediments are the nutrients and minerals from the trees after all.
Dark amber homemade maple syrup
I got a cute moment with the two cats laying on the couch in the tiny house on wheels. Baby cat was washing Felix and then Felix put his arm around her. But Baby hates being touched very much and then left. It was cute for a few minutes though.
Out in the off grid wood shop I am making myself a beautiful panel meter display for the Quanta Q3 Charge Accelerator. I spent my lunch time drawing out and measuring where the meters and banana plugs will go. This is my all time best work ever. I spent considerable time measuring out where the holes will go before going into the wood shop to drill them out. Placing a panel meter is hard work to get it perfectly straight because the mounting screws are so close to the face of the meter. I had to measure everything precisely and then carefully mark them out. The drill press was used for every one of the holes to get a perfect fit.
Making panel meter in my off grid work shop
I ordered more panel meters and will go into Radio Shack to get more banana jacks to finish off the project. There will be a meter for current and voltage into the generator motor. Then a meter for each of the three power outputs. And there is a volt meter for the capacitor bank so I can keep an eye on its charge status.
There are banana plugs for the input power, the three outputs and the capacitor bank. This will make it quite a beautiful and neat looking machine. Soon I will be able to get rid of all the wires on the machine and make it look better.
You can watch today's video here: Processing Maple Syrup & Machine Work In The Off Grid Shop
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