This is the first year for making maple syrup!! So....we've been collecting sap, and yesterday I cooked down my first batch. I put 5 gallons of sap into the turkey cooker pan, and let it cook down. When it was way down, I brought it inside. The directions I read, said to cook it until it is 7 degrees above the temperature of boiling water. I tested my thermometer in a pan of boiling water on the stove, and got a boiling temp of 205. So I cooked the syrup to 212.
It is DELICIOUS!!! But it is very thin.....I know real maple syrup is thin, is this normal? If I cooked it longer, would it get thicker? It's a beautiful maple color, and from the 5 gallons of sap, I got about 1 1/2 pints of syrup. Does this sound right?
The temperature of boiling varies with elevation. To have it that low in PA is unlikely. What you most likely did was take the temperature of a slow boil. Not a vigorous boil.
The best way to do it is go to google maps, find your house. Switch to topographic. Then you will get your rough elevation. For each 500 ft subtract 1 degree from 212F.
So say your at 1500 ft.....
you take 212 - 3 = 209 This will give you your boiling point.
Then add 7 so you'd want the temperature to be 216 in this example.
Once you get it right a few times you will know. What we do is boil the bulk on the outside stove. Then when it's down to about twice the expected yield (5 gallons would be boiled to a little more than a quart). We bring it in onto the stove for better control of the heat. You will notice that as you get higher and higher temperatures you have to turn down the stove to avoid over boil. When the stove is on the lowest setting and you still need to stir a bit to avoid over boil. It's right.
To the question of if real syrup is thin.
You can make it as thick as you like... Ours is made to the thickness of commercial syrup.