Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Syrup 4.0

This Saturday was my best sap haul so far this season. I had about 6 quarts that I froze thursday night and collected close to 3 gallons Saturday morning with the family.

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There was a small learning curve with using the gas grill to boil the sap down but after a half hour of experimenting I think I have the process down. Now all I need is a couple 10 gallon days…

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For now the most sap I have had from any one tree has been a half gallon. Oddly enough there is no consistency in production from the various trees, go figure. I guess mother nature is truly unpredictable, but I am continually amazed how one tree can have a half gallon of sap and a tree 10′ away can have next to nothing. The other interesting aspect of this experiment is how much temperature plays a roll in sap flow.

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My evaporation rates were pretty low until I figured out I was losing a bunch of heat out the back of the grill under the third burner. So a couple feet of tin foil later and I was able to seal off the gap between my pans an the grill limiting heat loss and speeding up the boil.

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Once I boiled off the majority of sap down to about 2 quarts it was time to move the operation inside where I had more control of the sap to syrup process.

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An hour later and I was ready to add my “almost syrup” I had previously made over the last week to today’s syrup. I finally had enough quantity to take my “almost syrup” to true syrup reading at least 60 brix on my hydrometer. I went a little over getting a hot reading of 62. From here it was on to filtering and straight into glass jars.

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The filtering process was responsible for eating some of my syrup as some of your syrup stays lodged in the filter media. Its not a necessary step, but it helps remove sugar sand from the syrup creating clearer syrup.

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Once filtered directly into jars I reheated the syrup in a water bath to 180F so I could finish sealing the mason jars.

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February 12, 2012 - Posted by | Sugaring | ,

2 Comments »

  1. I’m really enjoying your journey into syrup making. I do have a couple questions.

    Is it a requirement to reduce the sap right after collecting it? Could you wait a couple days until you had more sap? Or is this required to keep it from spoiling? I know that it must be a pretty good medium for growing micro-organisms.

    How many gallons of sap did it take to make that 12-14 oz. of syrup?

    Comment by Fritz | February 13, 2012 | Reply

    • Everything I have read has said to treat the sap like milk. The sap should be kept below 38F and ideally should be boiled to almost syrup as soon as you can.

      It’s still early in the sugaring season, I have read that the real sap flows may not happen until the end of February so I have been able to collect and boil the same day. It’s been great for learning as I go. This past week I saved a gallon and a half by freezing the sap so I could boil it on the weekend. Given my work schedule I may have to do this if I get any major sap runs during the season. I am still a little skeptical, but we will see.

      For the small runs I gave been boiling as I go bringing the sap to almost syrup, which means bringing it to a temp of about 215F on my thermometer. Once I hit this temp I pour it into a mason jar with a top and into the fridge after it cools. From what I have read syrup should be jarred at a temp over 180F to kill the nasties.

      This past weekend was the first time I had enough syrup to “finish” which in my mind involves filtering and making sure the brix reading is correct.

      It takes approximately 44gals of sap to make a gallon of syrup. I am going to say I have boiled 6-7 gallons of sap to get the syrup so far, but I have not been accurately measuring my sap haul.

      Comment by billcarpenter4 | February 13, 2012 | Reply


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