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Last updated February 13, 2005
Maple Cream!
Today I took a chance, and tried making Maple Cream from some of my maple syrup.  Knowing that the syrup has to be heated to 234 degrees Fahrenheit, and that my thermometer was off just a bit, I made the attempt.   I heated the syrup to 230 on my thermometer, then cooled it to below 100 with a water bath.  I then went to stirring with the wooden spoon.  I stirred for the better part of half an hour, and seemingly got nowhere.   I started using the small hand mixer, with which I could barely dip it into, without slowing and burning out the motor.  I kept at it, and at about one hour of total stirring time, it turned!  I got a little over a pint of finished cream from a little over a quart of syrup.  The consistency and flavor are very good, with no crystallization.   If I had more syrup I would attempt another batch, but I don't know that any I have left would make cream.  I will have to wait till next year.

The end of Spokane's Maple Syrup Season
Well it has been the best season on record for this little producer.  The final tally on syrup produced is 216 ounces.  Adding in the 32 ounce burned, would bring the total to 248 ounces of finished maple syrup that this little maple produced.  That is just 4 ounces shy of making a full gallon of maple syrup per tap.  I could produce one more batch, just top make it a gallon per tap, but it is turning "buddy" so I am hanging it up for the season.  Stay tuned for big improvements to next years evaporation and monitoring system.  Hopefully I will have an alarm to keep me from burning up a batch of syrup next year.

Washington's Maple Syrup Season is here!!!!
Finally, the maple syrup season has come to this state.  I will post pictures on Thursday evening of the maple syrup and of cooking.  Stand by!   I am fairly certain, that I will shatter the Washington Maple syrup production record this year!

January 30, 2005
Okay, I finally have some pictures here for you from the 2005 season!  Here they are.....  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Cooking 2005  Finishing  Main pan

This page is dedicated to documenting my endeavors of making maple syrup in Washington State.  I grew up in Wisconsin, making maple syrup every spring.  When I moved to Idaho, and later to Washington, I really started missing producing maple syrup.  In the winter of 2003, my wife and I bought our first home.  Low and behold, the neighbor behind us had a nice maple tree in her back yard right next to our yard.  I asked if I could tap the tree, and she agreed to let me tap it.  I didn't catch the season in that year, due to moving in.  In 2004 though I caught the season and produced my first batch of pure Washington maple syrup.  I cooked many hours that year, averaging about 5 hours per batch.  A batch only added up to about 1/2 a pint...... I had a whopping 2 taps from which to make syrup.   These two taps gave me about 60 ounces of maple syrup in 2004.  This was not going to be a money making endeavor, I'll give you that!   I certainly was able to enjoy the production of maple syrup again though, albeit not on as large a scale as I was used to....  To view the pictures from the first year in Washington, follow this link.  Enter the username family and password wyatt to enter the photo page.

After the season I ordered a new stainless pan to replace the small lasagna pan I had been using.  The new pan has twice as much surface area to evaporate sap with, so it should speed the process greatly.  I will still fire with wood this year, but I plan to have a propane burner set up for next year, just for convenience.

January 26, 2005
I finally made my first and second batches of syrup!  I tapped the Sugar maple yesterday morning, and got over 7 gallons of sap, making almost an entire quart of maple syrup.  Today I got just under 7 gallons of sap, and made just over 1 1/2 pints of syrup.  The grade yesterday was likely light amber, as is todays batch.  It has great flavor as well.  One more day like the last two, and I will have more than I made all last year!!! 
January 23, 2005
Well, I am getting nervous.  It is still very early, so no need, but weather like today makes you ask WHY isn't it running!!!!!  It must be almost 50 degrees, and sunny.... No wind... Perfect weather for getting loads of sap....  We will see.  It is supposed to cool off this week.  I will probably tap my remaining two trees about mid week.
January 22, 2005
No sap yesterday, it cleared off too late in the day.  Today is another foggy day.  We will concentrate on getting the evaporator set up so we are ready for the season, when it finally starts. 
January 20, 2005
No sap yet from the silver maple.  Today was overcast, so it wasn't surprising.  Tomorrow, it is supposed to be partly cloudy, so maybe some sap will come.  After that however, it is supposed to rain for a few days.  I will wait for maybe a week to tap the other two trees.
January 19, 2005
I tapped the first of three trees tonight!  Wyatt and Coty helped me tap!  The weather forecast is calling for sap weather in the coming few days, so I tapped one of the silver maples to get an indication of when the run will start.  I will tap the other two maples when I start getting sap from this one.   I will keep you posted!

Washington's Maple Syrup Season is almost here!!!!
I will soon be making maple syrup again in Washington State!!!  The sugaring season begins nearly a month before the season in Wisconsin.   Last year I started a bit late, catching the last week of the season.  I still made a bit of syrup, but hopefully this year, I will make a whole gallon from my whopping two taps. 

In case you missed last years pictures, here are a couple of teasers from last year's production.....

Close-up of boiling!  Boiling set-up.....  Fruits of labor!!
I ended up producing just shy of two quarts from my two taps last year.  Hopefully I will make over a gallon this year...... 

Do you know anyone who makes maple syrup in Washington??
If you know of anyone who makes maple syrup in Washington, or another western state, I would like to hear from you!  I am sure there aren't many others, but there has to be someone else here making syrup, doesn't there?  Email me if you know of anyone else crazy as I am to make syrup here!


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