Anyone ever made maple syrup?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cfabe, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna give it a shot this year, today I tapped the 3 sugar maples on our little suburban property, and I've collected a gallon of sap since about 4pm, so they seem to be decent producers. I figure I should be able to get enough to make at least a half gallon of syrup. Anyone have any advice? I haven't really got anything set up yet to boil the sap down, figuring on building a wood fired boiler of sorts outside using some cinderblocks and a flat, deep pan on top.
     
  2. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

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    First of all, a gallon of sap isn't going to make a half gallon of syrup... unless you've got some extra special trees! I can remember collecting sap as a kid -- my dad had tapped about thirty trees, they poured out about a gallon of sap twice a day each (some larger trees had two taps in them) and over the season we might have ended up with six or seven gallons of syrup. But nothing -- NOTHING -- compares to the taste.

    First, strain your collected sap through a fine mesh cloth to get out the bits. Then pour it into a pot on the stove top. My dad used to have a fire going day and night in the workshop with a large flat bottomed pan going, but for this much, just use a dutch oven on top of your stove. Put it over a low heat (enough to ALMOST boil, but not reach a full rolling boil) and let it simmer. Eventually, you'll get a pale golden syrup -- you can decant it into quart jars and seal it, or just put it in your fridge.

    It takes patience, but it's the best syrup you'll ever eat. I'm warning you, though -- you won't want to go back to the store bought stuff after.

    Tracy
     

  3. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah I know that it takes about 40 gallons of sap for 1 of syrup, but I think by the time spring rolls around I should have at least 20 gals of sap. More looking for info on boiling it down, have to decide if for my small quantity if it'll be easier just to do it inside on the gas range.
     
  4. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You will wind up with quite a mess if you try to boil down sap in the house :D The vapor will make everything sticky. We boil ours down outside over a wood fire.
     
  5. rj_in_MA

    rj_in_MA Well-Known Member

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    I've made between 1/2 and one gallon of syrup every year for the last 20 years or so. I always boil it down on my indoor wood stove and have never noticed a problem with sticky vapors. It does get humid, but nothing gets sticky.
    If you try boiling it down on a gas range, you're going to be using an awful lot of gas. It takes a long time to boil the stuff down.
    It's worth the time, though. It's delcious!
    -rj
     
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    If you store sap for any period of time it is going to start to ferment... you'll end up with what we call "bug run," a dark syrup with a very strong flavor.