The melted bucket was a first attempt at preheating the sap before putting it in the evaporating pan. As you can see a little more research will need to be done before we try that again.
This load of sap we picked up on Thursday and started the boiling down the first half on Friday and the second half plus what was gathered on Saturday. On Saturday some friends, the Roberts family, came over and helped us gather and boil down. You can see their thoughts of the whole experience at their blog. We processed 200 gallons of sap into 5 gallons of syrup, it took 18 hours and a whole truckload of wood!