Making Maple Syrup

Surprised At How Easy It Is Making Maple Syrup

I was surprised at how easy making maple syrup really is. It is time consuming, but it isn’t complicated. Now, I am only making it for my own consumption. There are many more factors involved if you are making it to sell. But if you are only interested in making maple syrup for your own table, it is not complicated or difficult in any way. The first step, of course, is collecting the sap. And Quality Hardware has everything you need for that. A drill bit, a bucket, at cover, and a tap are all you need. I stored the collected sap in empty two-liter bottles or whatever empty beverage containers I had. So far, I have collected about thirty liters of sap. That should give me just under a quart of syrup by the time I have evaporated it all.

Maintaining a Rolling Boil

One Saturday afternoon, after I had collected a good amount of sap, I set up a grill over an open fire in my back yard. I put six liters of sap in a pot and set it on the fire to boil. It took about forty minutes to get a rolling boil going. At first it started to boil over, but I put in about a table spoon of butter, and after that, I had no problems in that regard. The hardest part was keeping the boil going. As soon as the fire died down, the sap stopped boiling. I spent a lot of time going back and forth to my wood pile, breaking up branches, and feeding the fire. The second time I did it, I had a great deal more wood ready at hand. It took about three hours to boil six liters down to about one liter.

Ash Got In While Making Maple Syrup

The fire died down several times, and had to be revived with new wood, and blowing on the coals. This, of course sent ash up and over the edge of the pot. So, when I had reduced the sap down to about one liter, I let it cool, and then strained it through a piece of cotton cloth (a rag from a t-shirt. Don’t worry, it was clean). I tried using a coffee filter first, but the coffee filter quickly got clogged and was taking forever. Once I switched to the rag, it went quickly. The sap was cloudy, smelled very smoky, and was not appetizing at this point.

Finishing the Maple Syrup Over The Stove

The last step? You guessed it. More Boiling. This time, over the stove in the kitchen. Here is the only math involved in the process. The amount of syrup you get is dependent on the amount of sap you start with. I read that it takes anywhere from 32 gallons to 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. I wasn’t dealing with gallons, I was dealing with ounces. I figured a liter is about the same as a quart (not exactly, but close enough). There are 32 ounces in a quart. So one liter or quart of sap should give you one ounce of syrup. I had started with six liters of sap, so I should end up with six ounces of syrup. I got out a pyrex measuring cup and checked every once in a while. After about another twenty minutes, I was down to six ounces, and I stopped. The syrup was still cloudy, but it wasn’t smokey any more. And it tastes like sweet, delicious maple syrup. Easter morning I plan to have pancakes and my own real maple syrup with the family.

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Making My First Maple Syrup