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Miscellany: Maple Sugar

Miscellany: Maple Sugar image
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The following communication sent us last spring, too late for publication then, ( is the copy of an article, prepared for , the press a nirmber of years since, by ■ the most extensive, and on the large f cale.the most successful manufacturer of . maplö sugar we have ever known, who ? resided in central New York, and for f several years made this manufacture bis c principal business, his product varying f frorrtö to 7000 lbs. Thé quality of his J sugar was superior, as we know from ( pcated examination, and was preferred { by many, to the best Muscovado. We ■ think the article may furnish some valuable hints, especially to those wisLing to ( embnrk in the business on a large scale. " Presamíñ'g that the result of my experienco on this important subject would be plensing to you, and tío doubt useful ( to the public, I have thought proper to ' add a description of my sugnr ment. About three-fourths of my sugar , is stirred ofF dry, and packed into dry casks. It thus koeps in perfect order, without being subject to any drain of molasses ; the rerhaihing 1 is drained with i clay during the heat of summer and is . then neörly equal to lump sugar. This circumstance provea that the sap is less adulterated than the juicc of the cane ; for all the West India sugars are subject to a drain of molasses frctn L to i. "My sugar lot consists of about 200 acres of land, on which 1 have set 2,000 pails, a considerable portion of the lot remaining unoccupied. 1 supply the largest trees with four pails, some with fhree, others two, and many one. My whole number of trees in use I estímate at 1,100 ; making an average yiold from a pail, of three lbs. of sugar, and from a tree, 5 lbs. vhich is considered a fair estímate for this latilude. The labor required to manage my factory is much less than would be imagined, and without a knowledge of the plan might exceed belief. I have but one place of evaporating, where all the sap is collected ; aud all necessary house-room prepared, to store pails and reservoirs through the year. After becoming acquainted with the situation of all the trees for use, roads we're all directions. nearly parallel to èaclr other, &nd so ncar, that xio tree stands more than 100 feet from one of these roads. By this arrangement the laber of carrying the sap by hand is as much diminished as it would be were the whole number of trees situated on aspace of 200 feet in diameter. "To gather the sap, light one-horse 6leds are used, with tapering casks fastened to thenvö feet long, 2 feet nt one end and 20 inches at the other in diameter and conlaining about a hogshead. - When drawn to the reservoir, the sap is conducted to it in one minute, without moving the cask ; and in a similar way the sap is conveyed into the evaporators, as need requires. "Two one-horse teams are usually manned with twa.bands each, and in this way each team will load and empty once in every 30 or 40 minutes. When the sap has been plenty, 25 loads have been gathered with one team and two hands in a day.. For the two last yectrs, two horses have drawn all the sap from the said 2,000 pails, though an extra sled haseen kept in [case of necessity. Four vaporators are provided made of sheetron weighing 3 lbs. to a square foot, each ? f which is about 9 feet in Jenglh, 6 feel (- nde, and 12 inches deep. The plan of t etting them is simple ; the bottoms béng flat, two walls are built at a distnnce early equal to the width of the evapora 5r or pan ; a flue is consiructcd for the c onveyance of the producís of combus on, and for increasing the draft ; no ■ re is permitted fo strike the sides of the : nn, but its whole forcé comes upon the otlom only. Last season, three of these ans were used, anti during the present, ;) nly two have been in use, to evapórale ie G, 090 lbs. in consequencc of the mo. erate flowing of the sap. "According to a calcuíáííon which I ave made, sugar makers muy venture . ) set seven or eight hundred jiails to onc jf these pans, provided dry wood be projred, and the eVaporation be continued -. uring the night in case of extraordinaq y runs, which ho wever do not often ,j appen. I have used from four to íive :rds of wood to a thousand pounds of ,ugar made, which was cut and put uner cover a year beforc being used. The bove plan of evaporating is worthy of onsideration by those wlio wish to j rovethequaüty of their sugar, as it is gj cknowledged by all those who have beome acquainted with it to be prcferable ) any other in use. Itsadvantagesare - c st. It carrieson the evaporation {j ut the least partiële of waste, as you annot raiso a fire sufficient to cause the ap to overflow. 2nd. No heat coming y on the sides, the syrup comes down in 11 its purity without any scorching or e urning, and without any smoke or ashes c sturbing the surface as in the common t nethod. 3d. The ease and small { nount of labor in tending, and the adantage of boiling during the night, as a ingle fire of large wood will evapórate j 100 gallons and sometimos more with " lerfect safety, while the tender may be j mjoying sleep. When the sap is boiled t n cast iron kettlesof the ordinary form, , t is impossible to preserve the purity of j; he sweetness in its natural staie ; hut it c vill become aiiulterated anddarkened, in roportion to the heat applied above the t ap. To this circumstance principally t s to be attributed the unpleasant fact of ( naple sugar being so universolly bad, c jspecially in color. It wisfirst ed that sugnr making on so large ascale } is I had adopted would roquire six or ( en hands ; but five hands have mnnaged , ïiy works with ease." The superior qualily of the sugar made y the writer of the above, was doubtless ;hiefly owing to his manner of evaporaing. He considered stirred sugar as nost profitable, being nicer and bringing i higher price than cake sugar, and losng nothing in molasses, as with drained sugar. He gives no specific directions br ascertaining the point to which sugar ;hould be boiled beforc it is fit for the , itirring process, nor for the manner of ïonducting it. These could be ascertainïd by experiment, lf we remember rigbt, he boiling was carried on as for caked sugar, and then it wassufiered tocool till granulation commenced at the edges, before 6tirring, which was continued until :lry. Those who prefer droining their sugar, san obtain thereby an article superior in whiteness and purity, lo tliat mode by any other pracess. The following diroctions are gathered from various articles in the Reporta of the Commissioner of Patenis. Boil the snp, if possiblc, tbe day it is gathered. For every gallon of sap, add une measured ouncepf clear lime water, todeprive the sap of acid and eviiporate. After boiling down to syrup which is about half the sweetness of molasses, strain through a ílannel cloth into a lub or barrel to cool and f-eltlo for 12 hours. It is then taken out, care being used not to move the bottom where it vm settled, and placed in a ketlle or pan, (the latter is best,) and beated to 98 degreps, or blood heat. Then add for 100 lbs. of sugar, the whites of four egg, iwo quarls of milk, and, (if the lime-water has not been previously used) one ounce of saleratus - the cggs well beat up, and thó saleratus well dissolved - stir the whole together in the syrup. Then apply moderate heat, not so as to produce boiling until all scum has risen. Boil, till done, which you will know by dropping some into water ; which if done, will form a wax. Then take out into tin pans to cool, and form the grain ; when this is formed, put into boxós" made smallest at the bottótn, having a thiu piece of board fitted in t'wo or three inches above the bottom, which is bored full of holes, to let the molasses drain through, which is drawn off occasionally by a tap in the bottom. Put on top of the sugar in the box a wet flannel cloth, (which is to bo kept wet for several days) and over that a board, well fitted in, to exclude thé air. By this process, samples are made, closely resembling loaf sugar. Those, who wish to improve it still farther, dissolve, after draiüing, and repeat the process. _