First Time Ever: Making Maple Syrup!

Today has been an exciting day! I finally made my first maple syrup, after I realized I was running out of space to store sap. All of the trees are moving sap at an incredible rate, now that daytime temperatures are rising. The point is, I hadn’t realized how much sap we were going to get (I don’t think any of us did), so we didn’t have quite enough place to store the 3-4 gallons I’m getting a day.

Yesterday, I finished filling up the big Rubbermaid we store our sap in. I haven’t worried about it spoiling, since there was a layer of ice floating in it. I decided that it would be fun to boil over a wood fire at least once, to see how it went.

2-Sap

I built brick supports inside our fire pit to hold the pot, and lit a fire underneath. We have a pile of dead brush that I was going to use for this project.

1-Fire Pit

5-Fire

Despite the snow and water, I got the fire going, and brought the pot of sap to a boil. As it boiled down, I added more sap to the pot.

4-Watching

Eventually, though, I decided that my wood was just to wet to keep the sap boiling effectively, so I moved inside to my stove-top. If you do this, make sure to have the vent running, or the steam will destroy your house. Keep in mind that if you are reducing five gallons of sap to a pint of syrup, all that water will end up in you house in the form of steam if you don’t vent it out.

6-Inside

Once I had added all the sap I was going to boil today, I started keeping track of the temperature. As the sugar concentrates, it drives up the boiling point of water in a predictable manner. Once the boiling point reaches 219 degrees Fahrenheit, it means that the syrup is ready to pack. (This number does vary by elevation)

7-Ace Filtering

I noticed some strands of white solids in the syrup as it was boiling, but I figure that’s just congealed protein and I filtered it out before canning.

Once the temperature reached 219 degrees (104 degrees Celsius), I took the syrup off the heat, and poured it into another pan lined with a flour-sack cloth. This filtered the syrup and removed any solid particles. The filtered syrup was then poured into sterilized ½ pint mason jars, and they were sealed for storage.

8-Canned Syrup

If anyone’s done this and has advice on how to make it better, please let me know!

I’ve made my first syrup! I’ll get up early tomorrow and make Ace and myself some waffles.

~The Homesteading Hippy

4 thoughts on “First Time Ever: Making Maple Syrup!

    1. The Homesteading Hippy Post author

      I just had waffles with this syrup. It turned out awesome! If I run out of cans later in the season, I might make some sugar as well. I still have a lot of boiling ahead of me.
      ~The Homesteading Hippy

      Reply
  1. Rick

    Fascinating! I’m going to have to read more into this. We have a lot of maples around, so this could make for a fun project. Thanks for the idea!

    Reply
  2. travis

    its quite on the light side for good VT maple.. Wanna get it to a darker color for the really good stuff. Only tourists like the “fancy” Grade A Dark Amber or Grade B are where it’s at! We live pretty close to each other.. i’m in huntington.

    Reply

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