The process of making maple syrup is a very unique process, and by no means easy. What makes it so special?
Climate and weather
Getting maple sap from a maple tree
Turning maple sap the maple syrup
Bottling maple syrup
Climate and weather:
Pure Maple Syrup is made during the early spring only in the Northeastern US and Canada, where the temperate climate allows the sugar maple and red maple to grow. The weather also directly influences the amount of syrup that is produced every year. For maple syrup to be made, the weather must drop well below freezing at night and warm in to the 40's and 50's during the day. This allows maple sap to flow from the tree. Vermont is the nations largest producer of maple syrup, accounting for half of the entire US production.
Getting maple sap from a maple tree:
Maple sap is 98% water and 2% sugar and other minerals and antioxidants. To collect the sap from a maple tree, a small hole is drilled in to the tree and a plastic spout is inserted in to the hole. Each tree is connected together by plastic tubing. We have 3,000 maple trees which are connected by miles of tubing suspended in 3-4 feet the air. This plastic tubing funnels all of the sap to holding tanks in our sugar bushes and then we gather it and bring it back to sugar house for processing. We collect about 60,000 gallons of sap per year. We also have our hands in a bit of the Old Traditional with over 500 buckets collecting sap. There is a huge amount of labor involved in walking to every tree and suspending the miles of tubing, but it is great to spend the time in the outdoors.
Turning maple sap the maple syrup:
Sap needs to be boiled to make maple syrup. It takes 42 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. We remove the majority of the water with a reverse osmosis machine which cuts down on our boiling time. The remainder of the sap is boiled on a wood fired evaporator where we finish the process of converting maple sap to maple syrup. The maple syrup is 66% sugar and minerals when it is finished. It is a completely organic sweetener that tastes wonderful. We put all of our syrup in to barrels for storage.
Bottling maple syrup:
We bottle our syrup throughout the year to ensure that our product is as fresh as possible. When we bottle, we heat the syrup up to 180-190 degrees. Everything we use from the maple tree to bottling is food grade and stainless steel to ensure safety and quality.
Come visit the sugarhouse!