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The weekend of March 23 through March 25, 2007 was Maple Open House Weekend in Vermont. I visited the Wilwood Farm Sugarhouse in East Charleston, Vermont for these photos.
Approximately 90% of the sap of the maple tree is water. It takes approximately 40 gal (151 liters) of sap to make 1 gal (3.78 liters) of syrup. It takes a lot of energy to boil off the water in the sap. Below, you can see the steam from the evaporator in the sugar house.
The excess steam rises up this vent to the roof.
The vent opens to the rafters above. Sugar houses have a distinct roof structure that allows the steam to escape to the outdoors. The roof can be seen in the last photo.
In order to boil off the water from the sap, the wood stove is filled every 10 minutes with wood.
On the opposite end of the evaporator from the stove is a bucket (below) that captures even more pure, clean water that empties from the evaporator:
Here is the Wilwood Farm sugar house with its distinct roof. The steam was blowing to the ground on the opposite side of the house at the moment this photo was taken. When you drive in Vermont in March you quickly learn to identify where the sugar houses are making syrup from the clouds of steam pouring out of the roof vents. (The dog below is named Nikki.)