A blog about our hobby farm on 8 acres, our desire to live off the land and off the map, fresh food, making homemade items and our three cats and eleven chickens.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
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.