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Backyard Sugarin': A Complete How-To Guide, Third Edition Paperback – February 7, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
My own sugaring set-up is total simplicity: just some old refrigerator grates set on top of cinder blocks, heated with odd scraps of wood that fell from trees in our woods, or that others have thrown away at construction sites, etc. (Much better than having those go in the landfill!) The sap is boiled down in flat baking pans, then finished off on the stove inside. Except for the initial expense to buy some professional spiles for tapping (you can make those, too, but I'm a failure as a tinsmith) and the propane it takes to finish a batch, I have spent ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for the 3-4 gallons of syrup we make each year. Not a bad return for a book that I cost me less than ten bucks!
I was mildly disappointed to find that the bulk of the information was regarding the engineering of an outdoor evaporating system. I know the title Should have been a give-a-way, but I thought that "backyard sugarin'" meant collecting the sap from your own yard.
We are just experimenting with syrup production on a tiny scale for homeschool purposes. I had hoped that we could use the book as a text for learning history, methodology, etc. Unfortunately, this book did not fill that expectation.
I bought this book 20 years ago with an eye to give sugaring a try since I have plenty of sugar maples here. Mann starts off with good practical advice about selecting the trees to tap (and they're not limited to only sugar maples) and gives a lot of ideas about times, buckets, equipment, and solving problems (ex: frozen sap).
A great portion of the book has a ton of information about making your own sap evaporators from simple parts like cinder blocks and pans all the way up to near-professional oil-fired evaporators made from 50-gallon drums. His instructions are so good there's little that can go wrong. In my first attempt I used the cinder-block-and-pans method, and the instructions are so clear and practical there was little problem in producing my first 10 gallon batch of great maple syrup!
Since then I've graduated to developing a sugar bush (large stands of maple trees) and pooling resources with neighbors who professionally produce and market local maple syrup. All thanks to Rink Mann for the inspiration.
It will give you general idea on what you'll be getting into and how to do it yourself without spending a fortune on manufactured sugaring equipment (after you've caught the bug you will spend a fortune on manufactured sugaring equipment, trust me).
The author goes to great depths on his descriptions and there are pictures as well (the pictures look better on a color tablet than a black and white kindle).
Having completed a few batches of syrup now, I am happy with the information and techniques contained in this book. Remember, this book is for the hobbyist and an introduction to maple sugaring. If you're a pro it will seem like a kindergarten picture book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easy to implement, If I can do this anyone can but not without this book.Published 9 months ago by A. Simpson
Despite the author's obsession with not spending any money, this was a pretty good explanation of the process. Illustrations are low quality.Published 12 months ago by Mark Mueller
Although the guide was written many years ago, all the advice and directions still pertain today. I don't know how many times I had to refer back to the information in this book... Read morePublished 14 months ago by AW