Turning Maple Sap into Maple Syrup
Turning Sap into Syrup
When you have a large quantity of sap, it's time to cook it up to make syrup. This is achieved by boiling up the sap in a large pan on a stove at home so long as you have a stove vent van and a dehumidifier in place. When you boil sap, it can produce a lot of moisture in the air. Professionals like to use outdoor gas ranges with large metal pans in order to prevent the moisture build up in their homes. Or you can also use an evaporator that is hobby sized. Whatever method works best for your home and needs is the one you should choose.
You want to boil the sap until it becomes thicker and thicker as the water boils off. You want to continue to add sap to the pan, never letting the level get below 1 ½ inches from the bottom of the pan. You can add cold sap to hot sap or you can cook two pans of sap at the same time and add one to the other to prevent the bottom from burning.
As the sap is boiling, you will want to skim off any foam that might be on the top, removing it and any other particulates that might be on the surface.
Using a candy thermometer, you will want to boil the sap until it is 7 degrees above your area's boiling temperature. Usually, the boiling temperature is 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but different altitudes can have different temperatures.
Once you've reached this level, you can choose to filter your maple syrup to remove any other waste that might have gotten into the sap or into the buckets as you collected the sap.
Or you can let the syrup completely cool as the sugar sand and other matter will settle to the bottle, allowing you to pour off the 'good' syrup into a fresh container.
Pour the remaining syrup into the glass bottle. Let the bottle cool and you're ready to serve fresh made maple syrup.
If you're planning on canning your syrup, make sure to can the syrup at 180 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent spoilage and contamination by bacteria.