I had another idea, which we've just proved out. It's superior in several ways to the 5 gallon batch approach. The basic idea is to make a gallon of “hummer juice concentrate”, and mix that as needed. Here's what I did:
- Found a nice, sturdy, tightly-closing gallon pitcher, rectangular in cross-section for efficient storage in the refrigerator.
- Filled the pitcher to the brim with sugar.
- Put in food coloring (orange to attract the orioles), the same amount as for a five gallon batch of hummer juice.
- Fill the pitcher with hot water, stirring. The sugar will all dissolve nicely; you'll be surprised how much water you have to add.
I'm going to try one more thing: measuring the concentrate directly into the feeders and simply filling them with hot water. That just might be even easier...