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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Maple Syrup

I'm making maple syrup right now. It's one of the things I've been doing in my internet hiatus.

We have 5 large maple trees on our property. One is too sick to tap. One is HUGE and makes a TON of syrup. And then there are three average ones. What I do is I tap the three middle sized trees one year, then the next year I tap the big tree. I like to do the trees every other year because if you do them every year they get dependent on it and then if you weren't to do it for some reason, they might explode or crack, which could hurt or kill the tree.

So this year is the third year I have done it and it's the big trees turn again. We are having a great productive year. It's hard to estimate how much syrup we've made.

Here's some of the syrup. We've gotten all of this, plus another 2 hourglass containers, plus another 2 or 3 quarts. Maybe . . . 6 quarts so far?

It's really easy to make the syrup. I used this guide to help me know how to tap them correctly.

After you collect it you just boil it for a long time. It probably takes 2 days of continual boiling to make about a quart. We pretty much make it non-stop during the whole month of March. And sometimes some of February and April, too! This was a late year because it was so cold.

You have to tap the trees when it is starting to get above freezing during the day, but it still dips below freezing most nights. The freezing causes the sap to swell--creating pressure that pushes it out of the tree as it melts.

We boil in a large stock pot (probably holds about 3/4 gallons) on a hot plate outside on our porch. We did it in the kitchen the first year and it destroyed our ceiling because it was so much steam for so long.

Anyway, after it gets thick enough, turn the heat off and let it cool. When it's still warm, pour it into quart jars and let it cool outside or in the fridge. As it cools it will settle.

All the wood sediment and imperfections will settle to the bottom. You can see in the quart jar below the sediment at the bottom.

So you pour off the syrup on the top and it is perfectly clear and amazingly delicious (like in the other containers above)!


Amy said...

Oh how fun! Yummy!

Iris Savea said...

That looks DELICIOUS!! I love maple syrup!! I remember the first time I went to someones house and had pancakes and asked for syrup I didn't understand why it tasted so bad! Little did I know most people don't buy pure maple syrup! i always joke with my husband that maple syrup should NEVER be extra buttery!

clare on earth said...

i love that you do this!

Marilyn said...

i am enjoying mine!

Ella said...

That's so awesome, Adrienne! I L.O.V.E. maple syrup, like, I have a problem. Seriously! I get it from a producer up north but I only get there once a year in July. I buy a gallon and it's gone by the end of the year. Thus, I am maple syrup-less right now and it is so sad. Lol.

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