And so I recorded the yield of sap in various buckets located around the yard from March 20-29, 2017. I took the average of these sap yields and recorded the temperature that day, along with some notes about the weather. After 10 days of this I plotted my data and, like any good cook-turned-data scientist, I began to look for trends.
What did I discover? Nothing. What a complete waste of time.
Just plotting maple syrup yield versus temperature showed no visible trend, but... something interesting happened if I grouped the data by sunny and overcast days. Check out the graph and see for yourself.
Well... that explains a lot! My observation that I got more sap on warm days was only halfway to the truth. Yes, warmth resulted in more sap in the buckets, but only when the rays of sunshine broke through the clouds and warmed the trees themselves.
Of course, it's likely that other factors at play. The data is still quite noisy, after all. Still, though, considering the extreme variability of environmental data, the trends are explained remarkably well by air temperature and whether it is sunny or overcast outside.
And so I share this simple yet elegant hack to all home sap tappers out there. Next time you see sun in the forecast, get your drill and bucket ready, there's maple syrup to make.
Thanks for being here // BC
I'm Erik, the Burnt Chef. I'm a Finnish-born Newfoundlander living in Norway. I have a passion for cooking and a deep fascination for the culinary history of the North. Simplicity guides my cooking. Time, place, and history guide my storytelling. This is my personal blog about food.