Making Your Own Maple Syrup – Part 2
Making your own maple syrup can be fun for the whole family and certainly delicious.
If you missed part 1 of making your own maple syrup, CLICK HERE to get all the details on identifying, and tapping your own maple trees. I also go into all the items you will need to be successful.
This article will focus on the next steps in the maple making process after the trees are tapped and the sap has been collected.
Making Maple Syrup - part 2
The premise of making your own maple syrup is pretty simple but there are a few tips along the way you need to keep in mind to make the experience the best it can be.
The first thing to consider at this stage is what, where and how are you going to evaporate the sap and turn it into syrup. The ratio of sap to syrup is roughly 41:1. So you need 41 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.
Of course you don't need to have such ambitious goals in terms of quantity if you are just doing a little project. Personally, I know that if word gets out I'm making syrup, the line of takers can grow quite quickly.
Back to the evaporating, the options are many from a small pot on your inside stove to a full sugar house with a commercial evaporator. I have had several set-ups over the years but for this years syrup I decided to go with a large lobster pot over an outside turkey fryer. This set-up works well for medium home batches of a gallon or less however keep in mind it may take several days to boil down 40 gallons of sap this way, I average about 10 gallons a day with this set-up.
I filer the collected sap through a double screen into the boiling pot initially. This will remove pine needles and little items that find their way into the sap before boiling.
Once the sap is boiling you will want to keep topping it off with new filtered sap until you get a nicely concentrated syrup. The sap becomes syrup about 7 degrees above the boiling point of water, which does change depending on your elevation. For me water boils at 212 degrees and the sap will be syrup about 219 degrees.
When my sap reaches about 215 degrees, I will filter it through special syrup filer into a smaller pot to be finished inside the house as the rise from from 215 to 219 can happen pretty quick and will require more attention to prevent boil over and a sticky mess you do not want to deal with.
Once you hit that magic number remove the syrup from the heat, I filter one more time to remove sediment, and pour into sterilized bottles or canning jars.
The best part, now you can enjoy and share with friends and family.