Hey guys. I'm near South New Berlin/Morris/Gilbertsville area.
This will be the second season for me making syrup. My property has about 22 good old maple trees on it so I decided to give it a go.
Last year, I had some friends at work more than happy to give me their old spiles and buckets. Both converted to lines. So that's what I used. The sap flowed crazy last year, and I had way more than I bargained for. It was high sugar content too.
This year, the sap is weaker and didn't flow for more than a couple of good weeks, although I was late getting going, waiting for the snow to melt to uncover my woodpiles. I got enough sap to make just shy of a gallon.
The first year I read a borrowed book, "backyard sugarin" which makes all the difference in learning, but not as much as actually doing it! The first batch of syrup I was finishing up on the inside stove, it boiled over the moment I went in to watch a show in the living room. BLACK SMOKE poured through the house, I had to take the pan out to the deck, and ended up with a black crusty mushroom, a ruined pan, and a burnt wooden table on the porch.
The second batch you can bet I watched a LOT more carefully, and got about a gallon.
This year, I got better pans and boiled down about 40 gallons or so to get the gallon, finishing careful and made some nice medium amber thick syrup.
Aunt Jemima/Mrs Buttersworth is made from methylcellulose thickeners, also used for making shampoo thicker. Enjoy!