Thursday, January 27, 2011

Maple syrup

It took almost a week and a lot of hard work but we have 100% pure maple syrup.  And it came right out of our backyard.  Amazing.  It is so delicious it's hard to describe.  It has a sweet maple flavor but also has just a hint of forest flavor, like you know it's the real thing.  Despite lugging over 6 gallons of sap up from our woods everyday this week we only ended up with about 4 cups of maple syrup but we will savor every drop of it.  It was a neat learning experience.  After tapping the trees and collecting the sap I boiled the sap continuously on the stove for four days, adding more sap as it came out of the trees.  Yesterday our weather changed and we didn't get any sap so I continued to boil it down until it changed colors and became more concentrated.  At a certain temperature it becomes syrup and not sap and after it reached that I tested it with our hydrometer to make sure it had the right density.  Then I filtered it through a wool cone to get rid of all the sugar crystals:

After it was filtered I canned it in mason jars.  The cleanup was a bit busy with maple syrup on everything!

It's another one of those things that we love: being able to make something instead of buying it. We only tapped four trees this year and it was a success so I imagine next year we will expand to more taps. 


Emma said...

Congrats on your first maple harvest! We're hoping to try tapping some of the red maples on our property next year and see if we can make some of our own syrup too.

I had no idea that it took 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. No wonder it's so darn expensive at the store! I'm sure yours tastes amazing. =)

Thanks for sharing!

City Roots, Country Life

Danielle said...

Thanks! We didn't tap any red's this year but it's something we'd like to do next year for sure. I have a greater appreciation for the 100% real maple syrup in the store now. Right now, I wouldn't charge anything less then $20 a pint for the syrup we collect and all the work we put into it. Haha.